Revisiting drop / release stitch lace 1

Hand knitters may be familiar with drop-stitch patterns where the yarn is wrapped multiple times around the knitting needle, followed by knit stitch(es). On the next row, when the wrap is reached, the extra wraps are dropped off the needle, and the remaining single loop is knit in a regular manner. On the knitting machine this technique is called drive and mesh lace, release stitch or summer fair isle by Passap, and drop stitch lace in some of the pattern books. Drive lace typically has lines of patterning where loops are formed between rows of all knit stitches. The main fabric, stockinette, is knitted and produced by either bed. Selected needles knit pattern stitches on the other bed for one or more rows, then are dropped from those needles, unraveling back to their starting point, creating the larger, open stitches. Sometimes a distinction is made between terms used, in drive lace the bulk of the punchcard is left blank, and there are far fewer marks than in drive lace. In mesh lace the balance of holes to punched or blank areas is 50/50 or more punched areas than blanks, often the “holes” or black squares are side-by-side.
Drive lace marks out the shape of the pattern, mesh forms the background. Blank rows across the width of the repeat allow the knitting of plain rows between dropped stitches including ones, separating the series of holes, or stabilizing the fabric.
Both types of mesh may be combined in the same fabric, with dropping planned on the same rows. The diamond on the left represents drive lace, and the one on the right is a mesh version. On the right, solid “lines” echo the shape. Repeat is suitable for punch cards but may be altered to suit both cards and electronics. revised with fewer single dots, and solid lines in the ground The fabric may be created both as a hand technique or using automated patterning. In sources that show loops being formed on the ribber, stitches are released by uncoupling the ribber carriage and moving it across the knitting and then back to its original spot, thus dropping the stitches. In Studio machines the P carriage may be used to drop stitches, see previous posts on modifying one for use on Brother KM.
The tension setting on the patterning bed affects the loop size and its tension is frequently one to three numbers looser than the all-knit bed tension. In Brother machines, the ribber knits at a tighter gauge than the main bed, so take that into consideration and adjust it when knitting all knit rows on every needle on the ribber, where the tension may need to be loosened one or more numbers than when knitting same yarn in stocking stitch on the main bed. Matching tension numbers on both beds may provide enough of a difference in stitch size for loop formation. The difference in gauge between the beds also merits calculating adjustments when knitting in circular or U format.
Releasing stitches may happen after every pattern row, after groups of pattern rows (such as bubbles or check patterns), or even at times when knitting is completed. With groups of pattern rows, I have had better results with more frequent stitch releases. Two types of mesh can be created. Stockinette mesh has an equal number of rows on both beds. The result is enlarged stocking stitches along with narrower, single-bed ones on any one row. Half Milano mesh has a horizontal ridge on the purl side with 2 rows knit on the all-knit fabric bed, to every one row on the patterning bed. One of the rows has the patterning bed slip every needle, with the ribber only knitting, the second row forms the combination size stitches as discussed previously. In patterning in Brother KMs, this would need to have such rows added to the programmed design. The fabric is a bit more “stable”. Passap offers multiple techniques for dropping stitches, often referred to as summer fair isle, and using 2 colors per row. Different looks are achieved by changing the built-in technique number, as well as when using a stitch ditcher on every row knit, as opposed to using empty passes of locks to drop the stitches.

Previous posts on the topic
2012/09/24/working-out-the-kinks-in-my-drop-stitch-lace-saga/
2013/10/19/drop-stitch-lace-2-colors-per-row-Japanese-machines
2013/10/16/drop-stitch-lace-2-colors-per-row-passap-km/
2013/10/19/drop-stitch-lace-2-colors-per-row-Japanese-machines/
2015/06/14/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-brother-km/
2015/06/16/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-2-brother-km/
2015/06/18/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-3-end-release/
2018/01/16/drop-stitch-lace-using-ayab-software

knitting patterns with no blank knit rows between loop formation 2015/06/16/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-2-brother-km/
2015/06/18/geometric-shapes-in-drop-stitch-lace-3-end-release/

stitch dropping tools
2012/09/21/knit-bubbles-and-stitch-ditchers-dumpers/
2015/06/10/brother-kms-pile-knitting-ribbed-stitch-dropping-tools/
from an old Studio KM Japanese publication, using their tool and what appears to be a lace repeat

another related fabric: 2017/10/18/revisiting-knit-bubbles-brother-km/
using ribber cast on comb for an open cast on  either bed
2017/02/14/ribber-cast-on-comb-open-stitch-single-bed-cast-on/

Working with positive and negative space variations: the repeat is suitable for any machine, my sample is executed on Brother KM. Since alternate, all blank rows have no needle selection, before knitting that row (ribber only will knit), dropping stitches knit on the main bed on the previous row will not alter the pattern using any method you prefer, set up knitting so all stitches are on the ribber. If you prefer to set up complete repeats prior to watching, “air knitting” prior to ribber set up or using the position option on the main bed if that is available, will help achieve that set knit carriage to KC II (used when patterning does not occur on every needle across the needle bed), both part buttons pushed in for free pass to the opposite side of km, no knitting occurs but the first row of pattern knitting is selected. Ribber is set to N<–> throughout the carriages now move to the opposite side, selected needles on the main bed pick up loops, and nonselected needles stay empty. Ribber knits every stitch using a ribber cast on comb, stitch “dumper”, or another tool, move needles holding stitches forward to drop loops, and return empty needles to work position (B)as carriages move to the opposite side, needles are selected for next row of knit stitches to be knit on main bed carriages now move to the opposite side, loops are picked up on selected needles all needles are now not selected, above stitches/ loops are dropped, needles are returned to B position before the next carriages’ pass carriages move to the opposite side, selecting pattern needles carriages move to the opposite side, picking up loops before carriages move again, drop stitches formed. Watch loops after they are dropped, if tugging knitting it is not enough to pull them out of the way of needles returning to patterning, take a tool, or something like a credit card. Slide it from one side to the other between the beds, thus keeping loops clear away from the main bed

In summary; assuming one is starting on the right side of the machine COR
step 1. <-  the carriages select needles that will form loops
step 2. ->  the carriages knit, picking up loops
step 3. drop the loops just formed, returning all empty needles to the B position
step 4+ repeat 1-3 for the entire length of the piece
My sample was knit in slightly fuzzy wool. Smooth, thinner yarns result in longer stitches whose patterns get read more easily. Because wool has “memory” the vertical edges tend to roll to the purl side and return to rolling even after heavy pressing and steaming. There are a couple of spots where no long stitch was created due to markings on the mylar not being dark enough.
Other things to consider: this fabric widens when blocked, so cast on, bind off, and beginning and ending edges need to accommodate that. This particular design creates a fairly balanced fabric. In many drop-stitch fabrics, it is recommended that edges contain stitches dropped in the pattern in order to maintain vertical length at the edges. To achieve that, the first and last needles on both sides should be on the main bed. That said, having an all-knit border (stitches knitting only on ribber, no dropped stitches) may work well in your pattern, or pull edges in too tightly when compared to the all-over motif released repeats. Testing on your swatch can be achieved easily by simply taking some needles on the main bed out of work on one side, thus creating the “all-knit border”. The latter can happen by accident if not all needles are returned to the B position properly after dropping stitches.

It is possible to produce a drop stitch pattern on the bulky machine or depending on the yarn, knit with heavier yarn on EON on the standard machine. The resulting “patterns” happen with varying the number of rows used to knit in each color, which has not been addressed in previous posts. I prefer to use patterning on the top bed to select needles, but this pattern may also be knit as a hand technique, using the ribber to produce the loops that will be dropped. This page from the ribber techniques book reviews the baseline process and settings

purl side is shown first for each segment, followed by its knit

Punchcard knitters are not excluded from creating these fabrics. Some punchcard sets supplied with machine purchases were published for Silver Reed Machines, two such sets are available for download ie. Silver Reed-Singer R-2 Standard Punchcards For SR360 Ribber and the same in a 30 stitch version making them suitable Silver Reed-Singer FRP70 30 Stitch Ribber Punchcards. One such card easily translates to one color drop stitch. Changing fiber content affects the scale of resulting patterns and the size of the dropped stitches, the yellow sample was knit using a wool rayon, and the purple cotton used the same tensions. If using punchcard machines, factory issue punch cards provided with the KM may be usedPlaiting is also possible, but depending on the color choice the pattern may become muddied A slip stitch edge may be planned to keep edges of items such as scarves from rolling consider top and bottom edgings that include the technique (illustrated in the previous postAdding complexity: dropped stitches may be combined with other stitch types, shown here in combination with tuck stitch on the main bed, dropped loops created on the ribber. Stitches are transferred up to the top bed. The KC is set to tuck, the ribber episodically picks up loops across the whole row, and they are dropped on the following pass; it is then set to slip when the main bed is returned to tucking An alternative way to produce this fabric on Brother is to use the knit carriage with no yarn to do the “stitch ditching”. The basic design programmed into any brother machine, electronic or punchcard will need to be altered. The intended design in my sample is a 4 X 4 square, colors represent what would be punched holes, black squares, or pixels. Simple block patterns such as these may be released upon completion of each “square” series, in this case, after 4-row segments. Two rows are added at the top of each “square”, one repeating the motif width, the next completely free of any markings Rows 5 and 6, 11, and 12 are not part of the original repeat. The 5th design row provides needle selection, traveling from right to left. When the carriage passes in turn from left to right with no yarn, those preselected needles will drop while preselecting a blank design row (6) that allows the carriage to return to the left-hand side. As it moves back to the left, the carriage will preselect the first row of the design. With COL yarn is picked up in order to knit the next set of dropped stitches. A color change may be made while the carriage is on the left.
Begin with all stitches transferred and in the work position on the ribber only. Every needle will be in work on both beds for the remaining fabric. The ribber half-pitch lever is on H. With COR set the change knob to KC, preselecting from right to left for the first row to be knit after pushing both part buttons. This allows the KC to travel to the left without forming any loops or stitches, but the preselecting first row of the pattern. Change color if using more than one color, knit 4 rows. color 3 (or 2) can be an empty feeder. Change to color empty so yarn(s) in use are held until picked up again and there is no yarn in the ribbers sinker plate yarn feeder. There are 2 options for dropping stitches. One is to disengage the KC from the ribber, it will be picked up again as you move into the color changer to pick up the yarn once more. The other is to keep the carriages paired, set the ribber to slip for 2 rows, then back to knit as you return to the color changer, pick up the yarn again, and continue to knit. If row count is important ie in making a garment, the row counter gets turned off for the 2 rows when stitches are dropped, remember to turn it back on when knitting the next 4 pattern rows. I personally find this fussier and more error-prone than other methods I have described. My swatch is knit in acrylic thin yarns and lightly steamed, so bubbles have flattened out considerably. The fabric is related to that shown in the ribber techniques book, page 23, created by picking loops up from the ribber combined with racking.
This is my ayab repeat, this time executed by configuring the knitting to begin on the last pattern row 16 for that first preselection row from left to right instead of altering the repeat itself More to try: the typical appearance to look for in the source inspiration is that of single-row horizontal geometric designs with all blank rows separating them from each other.
Studio pile knitting patterns such as those found in may be used as published. It may be worth color inverting or spacing out the designs with many more white squares in between the motifs for more recognizable designs in the dropped stitch areas and for a more stable fabric in repeats such as these. On rows where there are no punched holes, resulting in no preselection in Brother machines, stitches are dropped prior to moving the carriage for preselection of the next row of patterning. The results are easy to test and amend. One such pattern: the original repeat The yarn used here was a softly spun rayon that began eventually to split, and get partially caught up on gate pegs, leading to the ending of the swatch Switching yarns made knitting easier and quicker to produce, planning for a different sort of wave, an amended version of the original design was used Fair Isle
a 24X60 design repeat was randomly chosen and used double length The first pattern row will pick up loops on the top bed, using any tool, drop the loops and return empty needles to the B position.
The next pass will drop the stitches and preselect the next row of loops.
Knit to the opposite side again picking up loops, drop them, return needles to B, repeating the steps.
The knit grows in length very quickly, the side edges and cast-on and bind-off methods would need more careful planning in a final project.  On electronic machines, the repeat can be adapted to yield more knit stitches between the flower forms
Beginning with a 23X31 isolated motif,  the shape is expanded to 30X36,   and two potential dispersals with the flower drawn in symmetric repeat in width and height X3  Transfer lace patterns: use patterns that have at least 2 rows knit between repeat segments. The results are likely to be subtle. On electronic machines: cast on as preferred, transfer MB stitches to ribber, where all stitches will be knit on every row. The main bed will be knitting the stitches that will be dropped, the lace carriage will not be used. As the carriage moves across the bed selected “lace” pattern needles will be knit, and the non-selected ones will be skipped. Program the pattern in the usual manner. Set the change knob to KC II to cancel end needle selection, the knit carriage to slip in both directions and continue knitting until all needles are in the B position. At that point disconnect the main bed and ribber carriages, unthread the yarn or have it held for you in the yarn changer. Set the main carriage to knit, move across needles in B, dropping them since no yarn is in use. Bring the disconnected carriage across the knitting again, reconnect to the ribber carriage, and rethread. Set KC to slip again, repeating the process. As an alternative for dropping stitches, leave KC set to slip, and push all needles out to hold. With no yarn in the feeder, any loops will be dropped. Make the 2 passes with KC only as described, reconnect carriages, rethread, and continue until no needles are selected again.
If on an electronic machine with 2 knit carriages available: the number of rows is usually an even number, so an additional knit carriage with no yarn could be positioned on the opposite side to the one selecting pattern, set to do plain knitting, holding no yarn, and it may be used to drop the stitches on “plain knit rows” on lace card without requiring the other additional steps and cam button changes.
Tuck and drop: use color reverse if appropriate (black squares for knit stitches, white for tuck) set up as for other drop stitch fabrics, choose patterns that are broken up by 2 rows of plain knitting between the tuck rows. KC II is used once again. Since in such cards, you one is working with punched holes or black squares, the empty knit carriage alone may be taken across with no yarn, dropping the complete, all knit rows. It is not necessary to change the knit carriage setting from tuck to knit to do so.
Tuck is an alternative option for a free pass as well, realizing that helps avoid errors in patterning by missing resetting the cam buttons between the two functions.
Racking patterns:  a few variations are suggested in Brother punchcard volumes. Sometimes translations are what can be described as interesting. One such pattern Yarn choice as always can make a good deal of difference, here a wool rayon was used. The zig-zags would be more visible if worked using a larger number of all-knit stitches

 

A no longer “mystery pattern”

A Ravelry post shared a Knittax pattern for this stitch and was followed up by my first, untested interpretation of the repeat here the center stitch selection in the center of knit blocks is eliminated partial repeat for punchcards electronic repeat X 2reviewing the idea after a few days I realized the repeat should be edited; orange squares need to be knit stitches  Slip <-> creates floats to be hung on center non selected needles of blocks of 5. Before the next row is knit, bring that needle out to hold to insure groups of loops in the needle hook will knit off with the next carriage pass.

When I sampled this repeat, I decided three all knit rows between loops were too many, and this became my final repeat, tiled X 4 (suitable for punchcard)multiple tuck loops, side by side do not even stay in the hooks slip stitch sample, purl side a bit closer,  knit side

Knitting in pattern with 2 carriages vs color changer, Brother punchcard KMs 2

After my recent attempt to resurrect my single bed color changer and frustration with my 910 behaving “flaky” when reading mylar sheets drawn using template marking pencils (perhaps, because over time of some of the marks flaking off the surface of the mylar, with changes their density as a result), I went back to the idea of using my punchcard machine. I pulled out an old friend, illustrated in my post 2012/10/15/mosaics-and-mazes-from-design-to-pattern/ , had forgotten about my other post 2016/08/25/knitting-in-pattern-with-2-carriages-brother-punchcard-kms/ and actually came up with a second alternative for starting to knit with 2 carriages. Here is a bit more description: I began with a card punched with repeats that are single rows in height, and would normally have to be elongated for use with a color changer. Since 2 carriages are used, the starting side does not necessarily matter. With COR, color 1, carriage set to KC, card set on row 1 but not locked, but rather, set to advance normally. The first carriage then is moved to the opposite side of the bed (in this case the left). The second carriage is now placed on the extension rail on the right, cam settings set for the choice stitch to be worked (in this first case tuck or slip). It is threaded with the second color, is used to knit 2 rows of col 2, returns to right. The carriage on the left now comes off the rail on that side and onto the needle bed, with cam buttons set for appropriate stitch type, it travels to the right,  and then back to its starting point. Yarn weight alters the appearance of any fabric considerably. As always, slip is short and thin, tuck short and wide.

The same method may be used with any punchcard requiring color changes every X even number of rows. FI can be knit with 2 separate sets of colors in each carriage, or with one carriage set to select but with no cam buttons engaged for solid color stripes between motif repeats (it will plain knit, with color in A feeder, the card keeps advancing). Cam settings may be combined for different or opposing textures or stitch types without any manual changes to cam buttons. Of course, also helps if your punchcard is punched correctly to start with ;-). Problems in the slip stitch red and white segment were due to tension adjustments being needed for stitches to knit off properly. 

Lastly, there has never been a single bed 2 color changer for the 260 bulky. Extension rails for the bulky machine were manufactured at one point. If a second carriage for the bulky is available as well as the rails, working this way opens up a range of complex fabrics for execution more easily.

And then, buyer beware! I am still experimenting with a patterned ruffle. So I tried the card first with 2 carriages, but the design was different than one of my aged swatches using the same card.

I went back to the color changer, assuming this yarn pair might work in it, and it did, but here is the resulting fabric, so it would appear the above is technically twice as long. Frankly, when the color changer works, when only one carriage cam setting is used or very few changes are needed, and if you don’t do things like pushing the wrong button, have your yarns happily mating or causing loops in all your brushes as they travel from the yarn changer side, it may even be quicker than using 2 carriages. What is possible may not produce what you originally intended, but sometimes the surprise can be a very pleasant one. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board to accommodate the techniques and yarns involved. Pictured below is part of the working repeat, whited out areas are not punched for these swatches, they are covered with cellophane. Denise Musk’s book on the technique of slipstitch provided the source/ inspiration for the experiments. For the second swatch, the card was flipped over vertically. 

Areas of the knit placement on THE needle bed may be changed to suit. I like working within the 24 stitch marking on the needle tape for this sort of work. Flipping the card vertically when using the color changer in this instance will allow that, and begins each row with knit stitches (every hole punched on right in the image above), and patterned knitting and needle selection stops shy of the “slipped” stitches (unpunched areas on left). In using the slipstitch setting this may not make a significant difference since the yarn threads stay in front of the gate pegs. This repeat is also suitable for the tuck setting. The yarn gets laid in hooks as the non punched area of the repeat is cleared. While not knitting or necessarily affecting the pattern, this can cause added issues with loops and yarn tangles on that side (one may be noted in photo of purl side of swatch below). Seam-as-you-knit can also now occur on the opposite side, away from yarn ends and color changer.

Purl side showing loop at non-knitting (or punched) side and edge curl on the left may actually be used as a “design feature”. The density of the tuck stitch helps keep it in place.

the knit side 

an “oldie” of mine, using the technique in a single color 

4/6/17 I am getting along better with the color changer by making different yarn choices, so I now have a WIP, and am going about a shawl design backward: ruffle first, body later. Reasoning: seam-as-you-knit should be easier if not taking place during ruffle knitting. If the latter is not bound off it may be continued with body knitting taken off on scrap yarn if needed to facilitate doing so. BTW, as with all knitting that uses patterning on only part of the knitting on the machine, end needle selection must be canceled on the knitting undercarriage. Any reverse movement of the carriage will advance the card for a pattern row, so that is an added possibility for errors as the knit grows in length. The pattern has 18-row segments, 36 for the full repeat. For 36 passes of the carriage, only 8 full rows of knitting take place. Every individual has their own design process. I tend not to sketch, but rather to make decisions as each piece grows. As for some math? 800 rows would actually take 3600 passes of the carriage, the shawl requirements TBD. (3276 on completion).

A previous post with notes on color changers: https://alessandrina.com/2014/01/26/some-notes-on-machine-knitting-color-changers/

Older model machines had no provision for a second yarn mast, and an accessory was available for mounting on their left side. Having the yarn in that position brings it closer to the changer and seems to help with undesired looping and sliding within the changer’s wheels. This shows the carriage traveling toward the extension rail, with the auxiliary mast in place

If the ribber setting plate needs to be moved forward in order to balance your ribber when in use, setting it as close to the needle bed as possible or even removing it may be needed if it starts to catch and hold the yarn

 the “finished” ruffle; HK markers every 20 repeats to help track rows knit and being joined on with “seam as you knit” technique
the finished shawl after a successful truce with  my color changer 

going green the series grows 

Knitting in pattern with 2 carriages, Brother punchcard KMs 1

I touched on knitting with 2 carriages in some previous posts:
2011/03/30/knitting-with-2-carriages/
2011/03/29/lace-meets-hold-and-goes-round/
2015/03/31/combining-tuck-stitches-with-lace-2-automating-them/

If 2 carriages are in use for patterning extension rails are a must. For this discussion we are excluding the lace carriage as the #2, the intent is to use 2 knit carriages with each set to desired cam functions. As one carriage is put to rest and the other one is set to move from the opposite side, the card does not advance, so the last row selected is repeated one more time. In one of those lightbulb moments today (any excuse not to do laundry) it occurred to me that starting out with an odd number repeat pre-punched card, coming from the opposite direction at the end of each odd row repeat, an even-numbered repeat would actually be knit. The card below is a Brother issue with all standard knitting machines. Card number (2 in this instance) may vary, depending on the year of purchase. Color changes here as well would have to be planned for every even number of rows, so respective carriages can travel to and from each side.

punchcard

The swatch below begins with locked selection row on punchcard row marked #1 (standard location); tuck setting is used in first 2 segments, FI on third; pattern produced is “OK”, but not actually tucking for 4 consecutive rows; note how much narrower FI is than tuck. Tuck tends to be short and fat, slip and fair isle short and skinny when compared to plain knit in same yarns 500_326

500_327

Since Brother preselects for the next row of knitting, setting the first selection row one locked below the usual spot on in this case #48 got me what I wanted, each color now tucking for 4 rows

500_325

500_324

Then something a bit more exciting occurred to me; one is an odd number, so any card where single rows are punched could be executed in theory, changing color every 2 rows (remembering to start with first selection row one row below # 1-row mark on the card). This sample was knit with 2 carriages, using a maze card, illustrated in a previous post, in which each row had been punched only one time, requiring for the repeat to be elongated X2 500_319500_320

the image from the previous postgrey_slip

Using 2 carriages allows for combining yarns using different tensions, cam settings, fiber content, or sometimes using materials that the single bed color changer is not “friendly” with. Also, there is no pushing the wrong button, causing errors in sequence, or dropped knitting if no yarn is picked up.

A punchcard carriage may be used on electronic machines. I work on a KH892, and a 910. The 910 is from a much earlier model year than the punchcard machine. The back rail for the KH to travel on, is a different shape, with slits as opposed to smooth, and a bit more raised. The electronic carriage set on KC locks on the belt and advances the card appropriately, but the fit is quite snug, making it hard to push, while the 892 behaved well on the 910. If borrowing carriages and sinker plates from different model years or one type of machine to use on another, proceed with caution and listen to your machine. Sometimes the span of time between model issues is irrelevant, even if model years are only a year apart, and the swap is not the best for successful knitting, may “work” in one direction, but not as well in the other.

sample back rails: 910 910892rail2

 Dec 7, 2018 Knitting studio simple lace with 2 lace carriages transferring stitches 

 

Charting shapes for automating short row knitting and programming

In machine knitting, stitches are usually brought out to hold opposite the carriage. If multiple stitches are brought out to hold on the carriage side, floats are created. Triangles stacked vertically as seen in the previous post will create a spiral curve along the line where stitches are held. The carriage needs to get to the opposite side and back after each ‘decrease’ or ‘increase’, so pairs of rows are used to execute and reverse angles in short row shaping. When multiple rows are knit independently from the rest of the knit, slits are created. In two-row sequences, these are generally similar to holes created in lace, in longer sequences much larger slits are produced. The latter are often used as planned design elements. The small holes being visible may not pose a problem for the knitter. If they do, wrapping the adjacent needles can help eliminate them, but the doubled yarn in the wrapped needle may create small, sometimes visible bumps on the knit side of the finished piece, creating a secondary pattern.

Reducing eyelet size: in traditional wrapping  required needle(s) are brought out to hold, and the yarn is wrapped under and around the last needle in the hold position on the carriage side before knitting the next carriage pass

                        COR                                                              COL                                both

The “automatic method” for wrapping

Decreasing: if COR (COL), 1 stitch to the hold position at a time, set the machine for holding. Bring one needle on the same side as the carriage into the hold position. Pass the carriage to the opposite side. COL (COR) repeat if shaping is 2-sided, or if shaping is only on the starting side, knit back to it, and with COR (COL) repeat process. Increasing single stitch: bring 1 needle always opposite the carriage into the work position.

Decreasing:  more than 1 needle or stitch at a time: if COR (COL), place 1 fewer needle than required into hold on the opposite side as the carriage, knit 1 row to left (right), toward the needle in hold. When COL (COR), bring into hold the last, additional needle. COL (COR) repeat the directions if shaping is 2-sided, or if shaping is only on the starting side, knit back to it, and with COR (COL) continue decreases on the single, opposite side.

Increasing:  to remove stitches from holding, COR (COL) place the desired number of needles into the working position on the side opposite the carriage, knit one row, repeat with COL (COR) if shaping is on both sides, or knit back to starting position COR (COL) and continue increases on the single, opposite side.

Charting out shapes knitting or programming stacked equal triangles/spirals: the wedge illustrated in the previous post single spiral wedge“Air knitting” is often used to think out fabric issues before swatching using yarn. Drawing lines to follow the carriage movement direction required to keep the knitting continuous, whether on graph paper or within software programs can help sort out shapes that will work in short rowing. Holding needs to happen in 2-row sequences. Below, black lines and arrows indicate the direction of knitting for each row, in this instance beginning with COR. Blue = knit stitches, yellow = all knit rows at the completion of each wedge (2 or multiple of 2, depending on planned design). This repeat is suitable for knitting a continuous strip with ruffling/spiraling at various degrees, not for ‘pie’ shapes.

offset

Working out the repeat: the red line represents the starting, selection (KC), knit row, the numbers at the bottom the width of the repeat, the numbers to the side its height. The first repeat A results in the fewest punched holes, drawn squares, or programmed pixels, requiring being knit double length. The remaining repeats (B, C) are drawn double length, standard card rotation is used. Eyelets form at the held edge. C takes automatic wrapping to decrease eyelet size at the held edge into account. When any sequences are programmed for knitting using slip stitch, the end needle selection is always canceled by using KCII or turning non-needle selection cams in punchcard models.

A                                 B                                    C rufflethe start of a miter shape: blue repeat, extra knit rows in yellow, auto hold on the bottom rightscreenshot_45

Going 3D: in many designs, the original repeat may simply be mirrored to be executed. If this is done here, one can see there is no longer a continuous knitting line, directional arrows are moving in opposite directions or toward each other from the center point

offset1restoring continuity offset 2and shifting rows around to create a workable repeat offset 3one shape knit 3 different ways:  red row = KC II, all knitdouble spiral

An executable 24 stitch, 26 rows repeat:  black arrows alone indicate movement of carriage on the first row of the repeat, black arrows on red line indicate starting point and direction of movement of carriage for KCII rows. A begins to knit repeat with COR, B with COL. whole repeatsThe triangle’s vertex can be squared off, the height of the repeat shortened, to make 3D shapes much rounder ball1X8ball1X8

Not just for electronics: some punch card repeats to try (also suitable for any machine). End needle selection is canceled.  Selection rows are always toward the first pair of rows knit in a holding pattern, so for the first 2 cards, they would be from right to left. Single rows are punched but 2-row sequences are needed, so cards must be elongated X 2; miter shaping repeat is shown on the left, spiral on the right. Narrower shapes may be created and knit on the appropriate segment of the 24-stitch repeat needle positions. Use needle tape markings as guides for placement. The preselection row is from right to left, the pattern repeat begins with COL. All punched, extra series of pairs of rows of knitting may be added at the top. Note: just a few rows may not be added with a small segment of an additional card with clips, the whole repeat may have to be split into sections to allow for the extra rows and their smooth passage through the card reader. As an alternative, more rows of all holes could be added to the original card when first punched, tested, and then trimmed if not needed. It is useful to try out the repeat as a hand technique first in any of these instances, to determine personal preference.

miter_spiral1

Going 3D: punch only actual holes (black pencil marks were originally used to mark squares that needed to be unpunched for the auto wrap on right, not the best choice for B/W scans). Two-row sequences are punched, so no elongation is needed for either repeat. Miter shaping is shown on the left, spiral on right; mem <– indicates the direction for KC row; decreasing angles are auto-wrapped, increasing angles need not be as seen in the top of miter on left, where needles are returned back to work to create the reverse shape.3Dmiter_spiral corrected

Some ruffle possibilities: all knit rows were added to the card on left with snaps, and are composed of all punched holes. The number of all knit rows between held segments determines the spacing between wedges and the degree of spiraling of the final fabric. KC row needs to be R to L for A, left to right B. Holding sequences are now staggered, changing the angle of the resulting curves. A short float is created where 2 stitches are brought to hold on the carriage side.                                                      

A: elongate X 2                              B: use as is         ruffle-pair-

The recommended minimum for punchcard length is generally stipulated to be 36 rows. Card A without the added rows is 28 rows high (the last 2 rows are for card overlap when adding snaps), so the repeat below, with the extra segment removed, would need to be punched twice

A single_correctedeyelet pattern reflects shaping500668

500_

500_676

B: dotted lines outline segment: yellow dots on the purl side, the 1 needle floats ruffle_floatone possible card revision: red dots indicate punched holes, stitches in hold as the carriage moves from the left to the right ruffle16_CORany difference in the swatch, in this yarn, was almost imperceptible; results would vary depending on yarn thickness and fiber content.

rufle not floatthe swatch as a “ruffle”ruffle_show

Working with generated mazes: GIMP charting 2

My previous posts on using gimp to generate charts and images suitable for knitting: 1, 2, 3, 4. I am working in Mac OS 10.10 now, so there may be some variations in results from earlier OS or for Windows versions users.

the edited repeat from the previous postcropped

It is possible to knit this design in DBJ with the same separation as for knitting it as a maze, both are 2 color slip stitch patterns, the maze separation is less laborious. To process for use in DBJ, the image needs initially to be doubled in length. The easiest way to achieve this is to create a new gimp document, several times the size of the repeat, select and copy the corrected repeat, in turn pasting it in the new, larger canvas. I used 40 by 60; color 1 is red, color 2, white, most of my charting is done at 1,000 times magnification

copy and paste

drawing a vertical line in nonpertinent color to border areas having several rows with no second color present, as seen below, may help define end or start of selections when attempting to invert colors. Color invert may be achieved in RGB mode, not indexed. Below the inversion occurs on “even-numbered” every other row. The program in my OS now showed the previously red squares in blue, the alternate squares in black.

screenshot_16
After using color invert, nonpertinent color (blue) may be erased (using the pencil tool, each square on the grid is a single-pixel) as well as those yellow “border” squares. In the image below the black squares on the left represent all holes that will be punched out in the card. One drawback of this program, because of the scale using single pixels, is that no text to include row numbers etc. is possible. The final repeat is 10S X 44 R.
screenshot_24_DBJ

If one wants to avoid using double length in the automated machine settings, the image of holes to be punched may be doubled in length. To do so color mode needs to be changed to indexed (4 colors) to retain image clarity.screenshot_19

screenshot_20X2

 fabric knit in DBJ, long stitch on left, bird’s eye backing on right 500_2355

Maze and mosaic knitting, my previous posts: drawing motifs, from design to pattern (Excel), from pre-punched cards,  and references and pubs. The repeat worked out for slip stitch and edited down to 2 colors. Again, the black squares on the left represent all holes that will be punched out in the card.

screenshot_21-mazeTo further mark the repeats in blocks, making charts easier to follow in absence of numbers, the subject of drawing straight lines comes up. Most of the online tutorials for using gimp are for its Windows version. The pencil tool may be used. Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not (Mac), you can access them from the image menu bar through Windows → Dockable Windows → Tool Options, which opens the option window of the selected tool. In theory “Ctrl: this key changes the pencil to a Color PickerShift: This key places the pencil tool into straight line mode. Holding Shift while clicking Button 1 will generate a straight line. Consecutive clicks will continue drawing straight lines that originate from the end of the last line.” On my Mac, I worked out this method: first select color and pencil tool. Place a pencil dot where you want the line to start. If you press the shift key, a crosshair will appear, press the command key in turn as well for straight-line mode, click where you want the line to end. Consecutive clicks will continue drawing straight lines that originate from the end of the last line. Pressing both the shift and the command one at once after the initial pencil mark will call up the color picker and require a color selection and an OK.

windows: dockable itemswindows_dockable dialogues

gimp lines

separation for maze knitting 10S X 22R, elongate X2
maze_needsX2 borderknit as a single bed slip stitch, changing colors every 2 rows screenshot_01as dbj 500_2361

The dropped stitches were a problem when using the ribber on one of my two 910s, that adventure can be the topic for another post.

Working with generated mazes: GIMP charting 1

Laura Kroegler shares an online generator for “mosaics”unikatissima offers them for mazes and cellular automata. Representations of such patterns have cropped up in relation to hacked knitting machines and electronic downloads such as those seen in the Claire Williams blog, and in published information by Fabienne, who of late also has a Kickstarter project. Such patterns may be charted for hand knitting or for use on punch card machines once the size of the repeat is taken into consideration. Mirroring either vertically or horizontally can make the image far more interesting, but that has to be a consideration in planning if the stitch repeat has a constraint of a 24 stitch limit. A beginning unit 6 stitches wide will allow for the horizontal mirror to be repeated twice on the punchcard. The minimum punchcard length is 36 rows. The maximum scroll down to height in the Kroegler generator is 20, so for the least punching, an 18-row max would “fit”. The caveat here is that if the generated pattern is to be knit as DBJ or as a single bed slip stitch, those 18 rows need to be color separated accordingly. For the design to be charted out easily, it may be saved, and then in turn gridded in Photoshop or Gimp with the grid matching stitch size in the generated pattern preview (ie below note X and Y values are 5 X 5, so grid used would be 5 X 5 pixels as well).
After reviewing the tiled generated pattern, the image may be carefully captured from the screen and saved. I worked with an 8-stitch repeat for my tests. Below are screen grabs of the resulting patterns after some of the various options offered were tried. Mirroring this repeat horizontally makes it too wide for a punch card (16 X 2=32).

38_400

40_400

42_400

46_400

44_400

using a 5X5 grid after capturing a portion of another generated image, using a simple 8X8 repeat, outlining single repeats, thinking punchcard machinescreenshot_34

checking the result tiled to predict possible knit “look”screenshot_28

If working with a 6 stitch repeat, horizontal mirroring becomes possible for punchcard machines, perhaps making things more interesting; the program can generate a single repeat as a png, and punching holes is a drag so maybe length remains on the short side in anticipation of the punching holes and color separating for knitting the motif as either DBJ or single bed slip stitch, so here goes: having the generated image produced so each stitch and row is represented by a single pixel allows one to work within any program preset to superimpose a 1X1 grid:screenshot_07

screenshot_08my saved png, supposedly for an 8X12 repeat newgridded in gimp, revealed as  11W X 23 Hscreenshot_09

testing tiling: oops!screenshot_10

the trimmed repeat, eliminating double lines, 10 St W X 22 Rows Hcropped

tiled, looking closer to original, cropped_tiledand then there is the knitting of it if one chooses to do so as single bed  “floatless fair isle” as opposed to double bed dbj

For the latest version of gimp for Mac OS, version history may be found at the gimp website, for Mac Yosemite and Mavericks’ latest information on version 2.8.14.

2020: latest Gimp update for Mac, my Mac OS: Mojave 10.14.6, now swatch testing on a 930 with image2track cable and software, which allows for easy use of larger repeats. Newer thoughts and observations: the maze can be generated using only black and white. If all boxes for options are checked as seen below, there will be shifts in the overall design. A small, working BMP may be saved for download, but only part of the overall repeat will be selected by the generator. Quitting the generator, and opening it once more entering the same options will generate a new image, so saving and naming each is a good habit to form the BMP in Gimp, explored in two renditions, eliminating double lines The proof of concept swatch for the version on the right and knit in tuck stitch the double-length BMP ready for knitting,  14X68

One more, using different option selections the BMP in Gimp, explored in two renditions, eliminating double lines My latest process for the required color separation

 

More slip stitch experiments

Slip-stitch fabrics are capable of creating interesting textures. When blocks of stitches are slipped, the floats that may appear on the purl side are considered problematic by some knitters. One solution is to work using mosaic and maze “floatless FI” designs. This was addressed in previous posts, including color separation methods for planning them, and a variety of knit swatches.
The images below have often appeared in knitting boards on Pinterest, I am returning to the slipstitch design thread.

A Missoni  knit  missoni comboSportmax Armida sweater   lyst combo

I decided to plan a “square/block” shape to sort out the technique; it could easily be adapted to a diamond one. By necessity, larger repeats need to be executed on an electronic machine whether via mylar or download program. The plan is to change colors by any means available, usually, every 2 or every 4 rows, requiring a motif repeat that totals an even number of rows. In hand-knitting garter stitches can become part of the resulting texture, but they are impractical here. Often commercial knits are produced on machines that can automate many more functions and surfaces per row. The Missoni sweater is a fine knit, and on a detailed examination, reveals lace eyelets in some of the stripes in addition to plain knit and slipped stitches. Not impossible to do on a standard KM “home” electronic, but the simplest way to add lace eyelets would be via hand transfers.

my starting chart

repeat start

 checking that that repeats line up

multiple repeats

possible mylar repeats

mylar repeats

I drew the top repeat above onto mylar for use on a 910. The sample swatch was knit using 2 carriages (and lace extension rails). I selected R 1 from right to left, with the carriage that was to remain on that side, and began knitting with the second carriage, placed on the right, holding the alternate color. There are a few ways to achieve the pre-selection row, depending on the choice of start to the fabric, and whether a color changer as opposed to a second carriage is in use.  Contrasting colors help us see and understand stitch formation. For the bottom of the swatch I used double length as well as color reverse, with color (carriage) changes every 4 rows. The top of the swatch is knit with color changes every 2 rows. Slip-stitch is short and thin. Since there are more stitches slipped on the bottom of the swatch, the fabric is pulled in in those areas, making the knit on either side “bubble” in a way that the top of the swatch, do not, and resulting shapes no longer appear as straight lines horizontally.

striped slip ksidepurl side

striped slip p side

The single-width blocks that form the stitch pattern are usable for tuck knitting as well. Whether the motif may be elongated on standard machines depends on the yarn thickness used. Tuck-stitch fabric tends to be short and wide so that the finished knit piece will be wider than the slip-stitch version.

Taking this shape to a punchcard requires editing, and the results are quite different. One sample idea, moving stitch groups around to fit a 24-stitch repeat:

punchcard repeatAll the white squares would need to be punched to form knit stitches, the yellow left unpunched, to form the slipped ones, the look of the fabric would be very different.

Previous blog posts on related topics: tuck and slip color striping, block stitch color separations, where the term block stitch is used based on publications that refer to floating, staggered designs rather than to square shapes.

As for creating “solid” block shapes: an initial repeat is charted below, 16 W X 24 H. Black blocks are drawn on mylar or downloaded, is used color reversed with no elongation. Knitting starts with base rows knit in the color that will form the “block” on the knit side of the finished fabric

block shape

the knit side

block_front

and the purl, note floats as wide as the “block”

block_back

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 3

SPLITTING THINGS UP leads to a series of quite different fabrics, sometimes creating interesting secondary solid color shapes when striping is added to any of the forms; repeats will need editing to avoid extra rows to keep the designs balanced, or have them added across their width for extending shapes, such as in creating ruffled effects. I have worked on these charts using Numbers, image capture, and resizing and editing again in photoshop if needed. The images below are not intended as a “sit and knit” tutorial, but rather as a start for creating your own designs, on the desired number of stitches, I randomly picked 22

some possibilities on method: SPIRAL original shape

splitting in 2 parts

changing positions and stacking, all knit row edited to bottom of repeat

a mirrored segment

added to first repeat, center line double row edited out for knitting

MITER: original repeat

split repeat

moving parts around

areas for adding plain knit rows in desired numbers across the knit (yellow), keeping in mind how this will affect color changing sequences if striping is used to create secondary patterns; repeat usable for machines with color changer on right

mirroring the whole repeat horizontally for use with color changer on left

Changing colors at regular intervals including every 2 rows will yield secondary, geometric patterns; all knit rows may be added to the right or left of the shapes maintaining color changes, for different effects; if these are planned in extended “white areas”, the holding sequence needs to be maintained every other row; slip stitch setting may be used to automate, with repeats reworked for use on 24 stitch punchcard machines. I find when exploring any of this initially, working repeats as hand techniques helps me understand necessary sequences and editing before committing to punching holes, filling mylar squares, or programming pixels. Swatches and notes, swatches, and notes…

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 2

Visualizing the shapes (using charts in Mac Numbers)A spiral gore is the first or second half of a miter gore, conversely, a miter gore has 2 consecutive spiral gores, knit in a mirror image. GOING ROUND: numbers 1-12 represent knitting sequence for wedges, thicker lines at segment edges = rows across knit width at end of each sequence, 2 rows or many more depending on planned design shape

Previous posts on related topics:
2011/06/18/knitting-math-and-pies1/
2011/06/24/taking-it-to-a-garment/
2011/03/29/the-doilies/
2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/