Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 2: adding color

Any tuck repeat may be used in the slip stitch setting. The results for “safe” repeats executed in slip stitch may not be very textural or dramatic.
Though at times presented in color, the same patterns can be very effective in single colors as well.
Prior to testing multicolor patterns, I like to start the work with waste yarn, testing color changes there first, making certain colors are threaded properly, not crossed, and that the color changer is set up properly.
The Brother single bed color changer is unique, in that the yarn remains in the changer, not leaving it with each color change; its manual 
In the absence of a single bed changer, some fabrics may be knit with the ribber up, using the double bed model. This is the only option available for the bulky machine. There is a limit as to the amount of tucking that can be achieved successfully since the ribber arm does not have the system of wheels and brushes that help keep loops and stitches in place single bed.  Manuals

Instructions from the Brother single bed color changer manual 

For Studio/ Silver Reed

Punchcard volume collections are a great place to start to search for published repeats and subsequent DIY inspiration.
One such is Brother volume 5  Since the knit carriage needs to move to and from the left-hand side of the machine with each color change, an even number of rows in each repeating segment is recommended, but not necessarily required. The first preselection row is generally moving from right to left. End needle selection on helps the edge stitches knit. At times end needles will need to be pushed forward to knitting position by hand. Depending on how the repeat is placed on the needle bed, with some experience with a tuck or slip stitch, one can decide whether keeping the end stitches in the pattern creates a better effect at vertical edges. Analyzing 2 random repeats The respective .bmpsAs with all punchcards, the first and last 2 pairs or rows are not part of the design, they are necessary for the punchcard to roll continuously in the drum. Keep in mind that the card is reading design row one while your eye sees the row marked #1 by the factory on the card outside of the machine. Following the suggested color changes to match the specific swatch takes the guesswork out of the equation. In DIY or in trying a different color sequence, such guides may have to be shifted and marked accordingly. Specific color suggestions are given in the samples above in the left-hand columns. In #327 the order is in a variable sequence, which requires a bit more attention than #328. Follow the line below the #1 mark to the left, each card begins with color 1. Color notations in 328 are also next to those 2 all punched rows at the top. That is because those 2 rows overlap the first 2 design rows as the ends of the card are clipped together, front over back, for smooth, continuous, advancing movement. In 327 the sequence at the bottom would need to be hand-marked.
Before tackling patterns with moving components, these charts begin to analyze color changes in a ready punched or self-designed card which produces a honeycomb-like effect. The chart colors used are random picks from the palette, for illustration purposes only, illustrating areas where color changes may occur. The tuck/slip stitch held in the hook of non selected needles gets elongated and comes forward on the knit side, creating vertical lines in the color that is not knitting. The blue highlights the row where a single stitch, single row tuck or slipped stitch is created and the corresponding positions of the yarn on the knit side of the fabric Four tucked rows is probably the limit on Brother machines unless one is working in fine yarns. In the first interpretation, the ground knits for 2 rows on all preselected needles. In the second, the surrounds of the interior striping knit for single rows only at the top and bottom of the repeat. Electronic repeats A and B on the right may be as small as a single 4X12 unit.

The same card may be used, altering the color-changing sequence so the ground that will surround the tuck or slipped stitches changes as well. Using the same card would require a pattern start on card marking row 2, and an initial preselection row from the left to the right Keeping the 4 tuck row maximum the blocks of knit stitches between tucks can be varied, as can the movement of the vertical bars. The card repeat on the left would preselect from the right, while the repeat on the right would preselect from the left. So the card on the right is already punched, and instead of changing the colors outlining the shapes, one wants them constant and with a start from the right? The workaround is to advance the card to the last row in the full repeat, #36, lock the card, and preselect toward the color changer continuing to change colors in 2 then 4-row rotations after releasing the card. Tiling the repeats multiple times as with any pattern helps isolate areas where color changes might work as well as give us a sense of pattern movement across the fabric. With so many tucked rows so close to each other, it is best to use thin yarn. For slightly thicker yarn, one possible “fix” might be to simply eliminate one of the 3 tuck bars across the repeat, again check tiling for any errors, or places for color changes. Here the shift is not completed, some tuck bars were not eliminated the “corrected” repeat without additional rows, some possible color changes can follow the colored chart suggestions Moving on to electronics, playing with symmetry the repeat now becomes 30 stitches wide, the tiled image check for the unaltered version on the left.  The repeated adjusted two different ways in height to accommodate color changes in a few different spots Working with repeats with tuck or slip bars that are only 2 rows high make for easier use of a range of yarn thicknesses. There are some surprises to be found when color changes are made as often as every 2 rows, sometimes using up to 4 colors. The extra all knit rows may be eliminated altogether.
Beginning with a pattern that has large areas of black squares can help one understand what happens to the design as that knit ground takes on color striping in the same frequency as the color changes. The yarn used here is a 3/8 wool, making the fabric a bit stiff. The repeat is a larger cousin of card #327. Before the days of software tiling methods, on way to check repeats was to knit them up as Fair Isle. The large floats in this made it not its best use, the floats were sometimes caught with the companion color or looped. Had the long floats been consistently free, they could have been cut for a fringed look on the purl side and would have held in place well. Tuck knit in a solid color Slip stitch in all variations has purl side edges which curl to a greater degree, the short skipped areas were probably due to too tight tension of too quick a carriage pass to the opposite side tuck alternating two colors every 2 rows slip stitch  2 color variation slip stitch with the addition of a third color in the rotation Some patterns using color rotations every two rows are referred to as mosaics, mazes, or floatless fair isle. They can be deliberately designed, but there are treasure troves of working repeats in punchcard pattern books that produce visual cousins and may also knit up as lovely fabric in single colors, and wonderful surprises at times when one designed for single color is striped. A few to try that are pictured with corresponding swatches shown on the knit side:  from volume 5, the grey cells indicate the page numbers that correspond to the thumbnails in the downloadable version from Stitchworld, I have included repeat sizes, grey highlighted ones are suitable for use in punchcard as given Brother yarn changers are numbered, from right to left, and their published card designs color suggestions reflect that The Studio color changer color positions are marked with letters of the alphabet from left to right Some of the Studio punchcard pattern books showed both sides of the expected fabric assi\ociated with each card, here is a repeat that breaks the tuck rule of no more than one blank square side by side in any row.
This swatch pattern from a Japanese magazine illustrates the difference in the formation of the tucked loops when two blank squares exist side by side. The repeat is 10X22, colors are assigned letters rather than numbers here as well Another rule breaker: odd numbers of tucked rows with no added all knit rows. Experimenting with such repeats results in less organized all-over patterns, here colors are changed every 2 rows, every 4 rows A single knit row may be added, for an added variation with color changes every 4 rows These repeats take shapes in another direction which becomes more textural and interesting when blank stitch areas are expanded for use in slip stitch setting This pattern, with color changes every 2 rows and two-row tuck sequences has an assumed interesting pattern shift.  The tiled X2 horizontal repeats lined up side by side show that extra knit stitches have been added, shifting tuck stitch rows by one stitch in alternating directions, but just because it is published, it does not necessarily make the repeat correct. Those striped areas can only occur if there are solid all punched areas.  Keeping the constraints of a 24 stitch repeat, reducing the width of segments to 12 stitches rather than 24, the original repeat as amended The tiled results for each24X56 repeat proof of concept swatch in a far thinner yarn than the book photo Japanese magazine publications often recommended many color changes, each for varied numbers of rows. Sometimes more is less. The number of colors may be reduced, and changing the numbers of rows used for each color as well can expand the number of fabrics produced from a single repeat. Good note keeping is a necessity if the intent is to easily reproduce the fabric at a later time.
Mixing things up for vertical designs:  

Single bed tuck and slip stitch fabrics 1

The main difference between the 2 stitch types is that in tuck stitch the strand of yarn on the non selected needle is held in the hook of the needle forming a loop, while in slip stitch the strand of yarn bypasses the non selected needles as the row is knit, forming floats between stitches Symbols commonly used for bothIn both instances the stitch on non selected needles when the pattern begins (blue row in photo) is held in that needle hook, growing in length until that same needle is selected, and with the next row of knitting (red) one returns to the standard knit stitch formation.
Both distort the fabric, the tuck stitch widens and shortens it, while the slip stitch narrows and also shortens it. Both are capable of producing textured, interesting fabrics on only one or on both sides of the knit depending on the pattern’s design repeats. Which side is chosen as the public side is simply a matter of preference. In accessories and clothing, the interplay and “reversible” effects can provide added interest.
Because in tuck knitting the stitches are being held and gathered, more rows will be required to produce the desired length in pieces. Because the knit gets stretched sideways fewer stitches will be required to achieve the wanted width, making it suitable where larger garment pieces are planned. Looking at the stitch in a 2D diagram: A– loops are created for 2 rows, the original stitch is shown elongated. Each patterning needle hook now holds 3 yarn ends. B– the needle coming forward prior to the next pass whether by card reader selection or by hand, will knit on the next carriage pass to the opposite side. C– the originally held stitch as it might appear on the knit side

The group of loops as they knit together then forms small lumps/ bumps, or what I think of as “butterflies”.

The capacity of the needle hooks in terms of the number of loops they can hold and the quality and thickness of the yarn used place quick limitations of the number of rows one may use for tuck patterning. The Passap system tolerates many more such rows than the Japanese model machines, where the limit is often 4 rows. Slip-stitch is far more flexible in terms of applied “rules”.
Brother controls for patterning in any model are by the selection of cam buttons that offer directional arrows on the carriage Some of the options:    and not often used, but worth exploring, the use of opposing tuck and slip buttons at the same time. As with any knitting, for needle selection to occur the knit carriage (also known as KC) needs to engage the belt using the change knob set to KC. End needle selection or not depends on the goal fabric. If KC is in use but no cam buttons are pushed in, there will be needle selection, but the fabric produced will remain stocking stitch.
Any tuck cards may be used in the slip setting, but the reverse is not true.
Functions are in the directions of the arrows. For example, if a left button is pushed in, the next carriage pass will form loops or skipped stitches while traveling from right to left on the non preselected needles, and knit stitches on all needles on the return pass to the right, aside from any preselection being present. If both buttons are pushed in, the knit will form loops or skipped stitches with each carriage pass on non selected needles until those needle positions are pre-selected again, and then the stitches held in the hooks of the needles will knit with the next carriage pass.
It is possible to create the stitch structure on any machine, including manually by pulling selective needles out to hold for X number of rows. Motifs may be short or long, all over or isolated, can be arranged vertically, horizontally, diagonally, in diamond, basketweave, and plaid effects, may be combined with the use of stitches on the opposite bed, and with needles out of work (OOW) on either or both beds.
Punchcards are restricted to a maximum of 24 stitches or factors of 24 in the width of the repeats and require a minimum of 36 rows if they are to be used in continuous patterning. In electronics, the basic rules should be followed, but a single small repeat is enough to program, the size of large non-repetitive ones is limited only by machine memory and mode of download.
Both fabrics like to be weighted evenly, and several rows of waste yarn should be used at the start of the piece prior to testing patterns. Because it will be wide or narrow and short, that is a consideration if the plan is to combine several types of stitches in the same garment. Gauge swatches should be larger than usual.

Boiling things down to black and white: in both tuck and slip automatic patterning, selected needles produce knit stitches. Punchcard knitters are required to punch a hole for every knit stitch, leaving only areas that will be forming the tuck loops or skip stitch floats blank on the card. In a published chart for the stitch is used, black squares may be used to represent knit stitches and rows, white ones the tuck or slip stitch locations. It is up to the user to determine whether if using a published source, color reversing the repeat in electronics, or punching out the all-white areas as opposed to black is required. In single bed stitch formation, if one knits with two or more empty needles in work side by side, it will quickly become evident stitches will not form properly on those needles without additional steps being taken. This remains true in tuck knitting, but not in slip stitches. Though there are some exceptions, the usual rule is to have no more than one unit in any row without a punched hole or black square/pixel on either side of it. Punchcard pattern books are a great source of “safe” repeats. Electronic users need to isolate and draw a minimum of one repeat, which may be quite small. If duplicating a whole card with fewer unpunched holes than punched ones, only the white squares need to be drawn as black, and later the repeat is color reversed. Punchcard patterns usually have two rows of all punched holes at the top and bottom of the card that will rest on the first and last 2 rows of the design repeat respectively, allowing for the card to roll continuously in its reader. Cards also need a recommended minimum of 36 rows. Brother #1 mark on the right is 7 rows up from the bottom, while the card reader is reading design row one inside the machine, out of view. Cards from other KM manufacturers may be used, but the starting row may differ, as was also true back in mylar days. Punchcard machines produce the pattern as drawn on the purl side. Some electronic models or download programs vary, may require the pattern to be flipped horizontally.

An easy way to start becoming familiar with the knit structure of stitches is to begin by working with “safe” design repeats, using a familiar yarn in a light color. Depending on the punchcard machine model year, the card on the left (1) was a standard Brother issue, the one on the right (2) not always. Both may be used to test all cam buttons and stitch types, card one tolerates elongation well, card 2 may meet some resistance with tuck stitch if the yarn is thicker than the needle hooks will contain easily. Converting the cards to black and white pixels: the small single repeats for each card are highlighted with a red border. Depending on the method for programming the electronic machine, however, the single repeat may have to be repeated horizontally to match the number of stitches to be used in the piece. The third repeat is a hybrid of the previous 2, the start of making what is published more personal Studying published sources makes it easier to design more personal repeats. Cards that are “safe to use” can get one started in examining the texture and developing an understanding of how stitches are formed. They are often composed of variations of either card 1 or card 2 with added black areas. Using punchcards supplied in the packs with respective machine models appropriately can easily be done Additional published cards are also easily found increasing the number of tucked rows and observing the rule of knit stitches on both sides of the single unpunched squares resulting in no preselection.  Below, some of the single repeats are outlined in red. With additional rows now tucking, the added insurance of having them knit off properly at regular intervals is achieved by all punched (or black squares) single rows, highlighted with orange squares on their left. The black border isolates the actual patterning rows in the designs. Again, the top and bottom pairs of all punched rows are not part of the overall design but are necessary for the punchcard machines to line up patterning for knitting a continuous design The blank vertical areas may be arranged moving across the repeat’s canvas in a variety of ways. In this chart the tuck symbol is evident, some of the knit stitches around each tuck series are highlighted at the bottom of the chart in green, the single electronic possible repeat is 4 sts by 12 rows What may be confusing when symbols and charts such as the above are encountered is that the very first row of the symbol actually rests on the spot where the knit stitch that is being held for the next 3 rows rests, so design row 1, 5, 6, 13, etc are actually all knit. The punchcard minus the all punched rows at its top and bottom:  The factory-supplied blank cards may have arrows on the left, familiar in lace card designs. In the above case, the implied use is that the card start in the locked position on row 1 with the carriage on the right, preselecting to the left. If only a single color is to be used starting side does not matter. If regular color changes are recommended, more often than arrows dots, or color numbers are used in that column to indicate color change locations.  In Brother machines, the first preselection row may be made from either left to right or right to left, depending on the fabric being created. With the exception of dbj using the KRC button or patterns that expressly specify the starting side, most patterns using the color changer will need a start from the right. Here if that is done, color changes could occur every 4, 8, or 12 rows using 2 or even 3 color sequences.
There is another issue to note. Counting up design rows from the bottom the card is marked row 1 five rows up. This is a Studio punchcard. If using it on a Brother machine, the starting row would actually occur with the card locked on row 3, color change row markings if given, would have to be altered accordingly.
Distribution of tuck stitches can occur in groups, or more sparsely. The card on the right begins to break the rules with 2 needles tucking side by side for 3 rows. Those areas create floats akin to those created by slip stitches as the side by side loops drop off the needles in those areas rather than knitting off together. As areas of white become less balanced, punchcard knitters may find it easier to mark the tuck bars and punch all else, electronic knitters draw the white as black, and color reverse.

Few tuck stitches amidst lots of plain knitting are likely to not distort the fabric very much or produce a noticeable texture. The fabric will lie fairly flat, and approach a width proportionately closer to that of stocking stitch using the same yarn. The outlines can serve as markers for the introduction of additional hand techniques ie tying objects or beads in the center of the shapes after knitting and prior to felting in order to obtain surface bubbles of non felted stitches, or marking areas for duplicate-stitch or other embellishments.

In some instances, thread lace repeats can provide DIY inspiration. With the color reversed, the structure for possible tuck can be observed and determined if suitable. In the bottom right image, those white solid lines are the easiest edit, shown in progress With the basic structure recognized, weaving punchcards may be suitable, not all need be color reversed. Electronic repeats may also be used directly or adapted for use on punchcard machines, providing the repeat unit is a factor of or up to a maximum of 24 stitches in width, which translates to 2,4,6,8,12, and 24, and repeated to the recommended minimum of 36 rows in height. For tuck stitch, those narrow vertical bars surrounded by black squares are the common factor. The StitchWorld pattern book charts require only matching a usable width for use in punchcard models since the knit stitches are shown as black squares. Here is a random selection 253 translates easily to this, it would need to be punched twice 251 is a bit more problematic. Half the repeat is wider than 24 stitches. Here it is readjusted to 24 stitches, the height is 32 rows which may just barely squeak by punched only once the repeat tiled to check proper alignments This repeat is from a Studio mylar sheet. It also may be used in punchcard machines after removing 2 columns, since only half the repeat is necessary, and it is 26 stitches in width. Color reverse is necessary. In electronic machines it is easily accomplished with a command or the flip of a switch/ push of a button. The white squares as given would produce loops on all the corresponding needles, with no stitch formation in those areas.  I chose to eliminate 2 columns from the blocks on the left. Tiling shows the amended repeat’s appearance, with the color reversed image for actual knitting to its the right. Repeats with a balanced number of black and white squares provide all over textures in fairly balanced fabrics. As the number of black squares on a field of speckled tuck stitches grows, the knit shapes may actually poke out from the surface of the knit, since those areas are not gathered in the same way as their surrounds. Yarn properties and tension also have an effect.
Design with very few black vertical single stitch “bars” are commonly found in patterns published for electronics, often also too large for for use on punchcard models. As with lace, where there are few black pixels on large fields of white, caution in trimming the image is necessary. Tiling once again helps one locate possible errors. An example of such an image tagged as being 42X62: tiled 42X62adjusting to avoid those 4 rows tucking consecutively, now 42X60Designing your own can begin with the choice of a template, such as this one, 24 stitches by 36 rows.  To begin with, I added a rectangle to the full template repeat on the left. To its right, the size of the rectangle then begins to be altered along with the addition of some all knit rows.  The center illustrates making certain the 4 stitch repeat aligns properly at the top and bottom of the new repeat. The test final repeat image is on the right. Working with a different shape, using copy and paste to place it,  adding a brick variation on the right, for punchcard full repeats of 24X40The matching electronic repeats for both, unless your download requires programming for the total number of needles in use:
Testing tuck stitch limits, breaking the side by side white square rule in all over patterning with moving blocks of 2 by 2 blank squares

A quick review of plaiting on Brother machines

Over time plying yarns and the resulting color distribution comes into question, and often that leads to discussions on plaiting. One of my ancient swatches shows some variations in using 2 different colored fibers in three ways. It was tagged for display with myriad other assorted swatches on corkboards in my classroom, which were usually covered with a variety of illustrations of stitches and techniques covered in weekly classes and in response to recent trends. As always, effects vary dramatically depending on the choice of color and yarn fiber and thickness. Here the 2 yarns were fed through separate tension masts, and knit together plaiting with yarns swapped in feeders for reversible striped effect yarns wound together with yarn twister and used as a “single strand”A mock plaiting effect may also be obtained without a special feeder by locking the pattern on any all blank row, the standard yarn feeder with A and B yarn placement, and the fair isle setting. Results are not as consistent in color distribution.
True plaiting usually requires a special feeder unless the specific model km has a built-in option. Two yarns are used in the plaiting feeder. They pass by the needles in sequence. One yarn always passes first, the other follows. The standard feeder that normally carries the 2 colors when knitting fair isle is replaced, so this technique may be used in fabrics using cam button combinations other than fair isle and thread lace. Looking into the plaiting feeder from above you will see a central hole that traditionally carries the “main yarn”, and a crescent-shaped opening that carries the second yarn, which will trail behind as the carriage moves across the knitting bed. The second yarn appears on the purl side of the fabric.
In days when lurex combination scratchy yarns, and in any situation where the fiber used is unpleasant if touching the skin, a softer yarn may be used and brought to the interior side of the piece for comfort. I made a chenille sweater at one point with traditional cap sleeves that absolutely refused to knit to gauge. Adding matching wooly nylon and knitting it with the chenille solved the problem permanently and stabilized the knit. The contrasting color can provide a pleasant effect when fold-over collars, cuffs, etc. are part of the garment, and so on.
Brother plaiting feeders: Be aware if considering purchasing one that other parts appear on e-bay and other sale sites under this name, but are not the specific accessory. The following illustrations and directions for use are from Brother pubs easily found for download. For use on the main bed: Canceling end needle selection applies in any situation is used in a tuck or slip stitch settings if there are needles out of work on the main bed for any reason to maintain proper patterning in needles in work. Electronic knitters have the KCII option in the change knob.
For use on the ribber:
More random, ancient swatches: stocking stitch using equal weight yarns in a single bed tuck stitch double bed every needle rib tuck stitch using the same pattern repeat a racked sample When working on large pieces especially, the yarn in the front feeder especially may have a tendency to slip out. This is one option for helping to prevent that when the ribber is in use At one point I produce several circular sweaters using equal weight yarns to obtain the reversible 2 color look. I had more than one feeder, so I actually used a dab of glue in the slit below the yellow arrow The drawback to doing that is that the yarn cannot then be easily slid in and out of its position, but rather has to be dropped through the remaining hole using a double eye needle.

Twisted headband meet fisherman rib, seaming, variation ideas

The machine knitting forums in both Ravelry and Facebook have recently been buzzing with versions of twisted headbands in varied techniques and yarn weights. Tanya Cunningham sparked the discussions by showing her bulky tubular knotted version. In her blog, one may find clear instructions on fold and assembly.
I chose to knit mine in full fisherman rib, making the fabric reversible, so that facing side at the start did not matter when seaming. I wanted a single thickness and a lightweight but warm fabric that would lie flat, perhaps being worn under jacket hoods on winter walks. My first band was knit with a punchcard carriage with a magnet placed for using it on my electronic. I forgot I had removed its row counter when it was last used for knitting with 2 paired main/ribber carriages in order to clear the end of the bed. As a result, I was unable to use the row counter, as that fact eliminated the tripper for it.
Part of my plan was also to avoid bulk at the twist as much as possible. Increasing the stitch count for such warmers can easily approach more of a hat shape, and a “top” could be added to complete the piece if it is intended to be worn as one.
In terms of inspiration, there are endless sources for twisted bands available, most for hand knitting, but sometimes they can be adapted to machine knitting easily enough, especially if one also owns a G carriage. One such source is Dropsdesign , simply enter headbands, knit, in the search field.
Head sizes and what each of us determines as comfort can vary tremendously. A table of head circumferences may be found at craft yarn council, and for much more detailed charts see
The twist will take up some of the finished lengths.
My first band sailed through on my Brother 930 standard:
Cast on 22 stitches in 2/18 silk wool, tension 5/4, at the same tension as the body of the band, intentionally loose.
Knit to head circumference, checking the length on the machine with weight off periodically after weight hits floor (scientific measurement), and periodically after the weight and comb are moved up.
Transfer stitches to main bed
Knit one row single bed at a looser tension (I used 8 in this version)
Bind off around gate pegs, OK if tighter than the bottom, it will be part of the seam
Twist and fold,  rehang one side of the chain, alternate loops from the loose cast on
Knit a loose row across all layers and bind off,
Turn inside out.
Variations in color are due to the wonderful lighting in my apartment on another gloomy, rainy winter fall day.
Visualizing the necessary folds: make certain not to twist the fabric, fold it in half. Colors are used to represent portions of the finished, continuous  rectangle, dotted lines the approximate center line when it is folded

For my second effort, I switched the yarn to a yummy feeling 2/14 wool that was plagued with random dropped stitches on the Brother, no matter what I tried. That piece wound up lightly felted by hand after intentionally adding more knit length. I eventually gave up and moved over to my Passap, where things went smoothly knitting on 4/4. A reminder: in this fabric, one bed knits every needle while the opposite bed makes loops on every needle. It is helpful if the first stitch on each bed knits as carriages move to the opposite side.
Passap setting EX/ EX beginning on right and moving toward the left will tuck on the back bed (ribber setting), knit on the front (main bed setting) while tucking on front and knitting on the back when moving from left to right. Operating from the same side, the Brother settings to match would actually be the reverse of those illustrated in the ribber manual. Starting sides are in Brother instructions are often based on cast ons with 3 circular rows. I prefer 2 as I have explained in the past, it avoids a float forming between stitches on one side of the fabric. In this instance, it matters in set up only in terms of planning ahead as to which bed will form knit stitches first and having the first needle in work on that bed to ensure that the stitch will knit. In matching patterns between brands, cam settings could matter more. End needle selection brings stitches out to knit in patterning, but if KC is used here, all needles in work will be brought out to knitting position, so that is not a solution for having those stitches knit. Another thing to note in the instructions is one that might be missed upon a quick view. The Brother setting shown is for full pitch. That is because their instructions are for full fisherman knit for when every other needle is in use. If every needle were in use, the setting should be on H, not P There is also the option when one wants to insure end stitches knit in patterns such as tuck to bring end stitches out to hold manually prior to knitting the next row.
A gauge swatch in double bed tuck should be at least 80-100 rows in length. One can sometimes “wing it”. It is important if you do that, that the length is measured between the beds as close to needles as possible, and down from there without weight and after the fabric has relaxed. Do not assume it will stretch to fit, the result may be several inches too small.
A comfortable length for me in the blue wool consisted of 310 rows, knit at T 4/4. Stitches were quite small, so after transfer to the back bed, I knit a row to the opposite side at tension 8 before binding off. I also placed contrasting color yarn markers at the center point of the cast on and bind off to make seaming up evenly easier, and held things together with a double eye tool so as not to accidentally twist the piece.

The number 4 band is my first sample, knit on Brother standard. Number one got pulled on to the planned length based on the “it will stretch” assumption. A metal ruler/yardstick was marked with tape at the desired height, while on the machine the marker was reached, but when off it, the final measurement was a whole 16 inches as the knit relaxed, far too small for most human adults! Number 2 is the brother version felted by hand to hide dropped stitch and edge stitch repairs, knit and shrunk to a measurement longer than head circumference for finished width, taking into consideration the fact that stretch is lost in felting. The fit was tested on my own head during shrinking and before drying. The number 3 band is the “comfy wool” one knit on my Passap. When I taught my course, after weeks of swatching the first “garment” involving a variety of automatic and hand techniques, students were required to knit a “baby hat with earflaps” exactly as given in printed instructions, using any stitch pattern and yarn of their choice. It provided an interesting exercise in gauge and proof of the need for swatching before beginning plans for actual garments. The results varied from so small the hats would only fit a small doll to ones too large for any human head.
Knitters are often resistant to swatching, but making assumptions about results can result in not the best use of both time and materials. If working in tubular stocking stitch the tension used should be the same as for knitting of that yarn in that stitch single bed. Tuck stitch is short and fat. In every needle rib there are stitches being worked on both beds, so double the number on the top bed would be actually worked than when using needles on only one bed. Loosening the tension by several numbers on both beds does not equate to matching width for similar numbers of stitches to the ribbed version. Here is a resulting mini-band, testing the same seaming technique used in the fisherman-rib samples. It was 20 stitches in width, 80 rows in length. I cast on at a loose tension, matching that used in the body of the stocking stitch tube and knit a row to seal before setting for circular knitting When the top is reached, transfer stitches from the ribber to the top bed, knit at a looser tension tow to the opposite side prior to binding off and seaming (here I used 10). The technique should be usable on bulkier bands as well.The elongated stitches at the top of the “band” are due to an extra needle in use on the ribber. To review, the proper settings from the Ribber Techniques Book:

Machine knit fringes 2/ pretend hairpin lace

Hairpin lace, familiar to many crocheters, is based on a central column with side loops that can be produced in strips, in turn, joined together in different configurations to compose open inserts, shawls, garments, serve as trims and joins.
A double-sided machine knit fringe can serve the same functions. My first swatch is knit using the #1 punchcard. Tension is totally dependent on the yarn used, the fabric may be executed on any machine, but as is often the case I am writing specifically for Brother.
The needle arrangement includes 2 center stitches, an even number of out of work needles to determine the width of the long loops, and one stitch at each end that is knit for the duration, then unraveled to loosen loops for various joining methods or uses.
To start with 2 needles are cast on in the center of the piece, knit one row on them alone. This will produce a small tab that is woven in upon completion of the strip, as are yarn ends, and creates a base so whole loops may be added in equal numbers on each side. Bring the side stitch on the carriage out to work, knit one row to the opposite side, bring outside needle on that side out to E, set machine for preselection row, knit back to the opposite side. Proceed to knit with both tuck buttons pushed in.
A separate cone or ball of yarn will be needed in matching or contrast color to anchor stitches in the central vertical column. Bring the row counter to 000. Multiply the number of loops required X2, since it will take 2 passes of the knit carriage to complete each pair, one on each side of the center.
I brought the side stitch on each side prior to knitting the next row out to E, rather than settling for using KCI alone, found that kept the side edges stable and I was not getting dropped loops. If long strips are to be knitted, control over what is happening on each side matters in their assembly. The separate strand of yarn is used to e wrap around the needle that comes forward with each pass of the carriage. Even though the illustrations for the technique show equal loop withs, they can actually be created asymmetrically as well, or the central column may actually be moved on the knitting machine as one advances through the piece. The dots on the metal bed are from another piece

the first selection of a needle forward by punchcard e wrapping with second yarn before moving to left e wrapping with second yarn prior to returning to right, completing a sideways figure 8, end stitches out to E before prior to each carriage pass Using the finished sample as an insert brings up the topic of joining knits. Here there is a single stitch on each edge. The unbound off the stitch at the top on each side can be hooked on and secured with the first pick up. Stitches in the sides of knits form “loops and bumps”. The loops are formed carriage side as the row knits, can be used as possibly the least satisfactory single stitch increase. Opposite the carriage, as that same pass is completed the yarn will twist and create the “knot”, an easy and often acceptable single stitch increase. Which of the two is used to pick up for joining depends on yarn thickness and desired effect. Swatching will serve as a guide. Being consistent gives the best seam/join, without bumps and lags. The single edge stitch side border needs to be stabilized if it is going to serve as the detail at the bottom of the piece.

E wrapping every other needle as shown above with separate strands of yarn for 2 stitches on each side may be used to produce a no-roll edge on the sides of any knit fabric.
Knot vs loop: Using thinner yarn for knitting after the join even if on the same number of stitches, will gather the fabric More on seaming and joining knits 1 and 2. Extensive accumulation of images (crochet) for inspiration and possible technique links may be found on Pinterest 
On the left is a sample using an asymmetrical width, latched join method, while on the right loops are twisted broomstick lace fashion, and there is a crochet stitch join strips of different colors used gathering tightly on one side can be the start of circles and shells

Japanese design books include their own symbols, here is part of a schematic for a shawl. It precludes an understanding of crochet symbols. The latter are simply illustrated and there is more convention as to their meaning than that for knit symbols, particularly as more and more designers are adding homegrown ones to self-published patterns The convention for joining strips of machine knitting by crocheting or latching side loops together suggest having a ladder space (white square, one or more may be used) and a side edge stitch on either side in segments of the final piece ie. afghan strips. When binding off at the top of the piece, the first and last stitch on either side is skipped, leaving them open so that they may, in turn, be unraveled. The easiest method if the goal is to join pairs of strips is to line up two of them side by side, unravel side stitches from the top-down, only enough rows to match the number of loops that will be latched through each other, and proceed for the length of the piece. Depending on the yarn, work can be rehung on the machine, followed with a latch tool bind off, a segment at a time if needed, while maintaining a continuous piece of yarn. Steps may be repeated for a crochet pretender edging at both ends if the number of needles on the machine will support that. Another alternative for the horizontal edges when no fringe is planned is to bind off with a crochet hook as follows: knitted edge: slip stitch in each knitted stitch, open section: chain 1, 1 single crochet stitch into first jumbo stitch, chain 1, 1 sc into second jumbo stitch, chain1 repeating across the row. If desired, sc again across all stitches. A row of single crochet may be needed to balance cast on edge as well. Then there is the option of “winging it” and making a personal decision about other suitable alternatives.

When strips approach traditional hairpin, if you wish to work bottom-up or arrangements of loops are planned to be varied, whether, by crochet sequences or rehanging loops on the knitting machine, unraveling may be done while also threading a length of yarn through the loops akin to a lifeline in other types of knitting, making them more manageable. A hand knitting video by Bernat Yarns illustrates the principle on conventional hairpin laceThe technique is sometimes referred to as a cable join. The video also provides a reminder that if all the latching through is done in a single, same direction, the fabric will bias. To avoid that, start latching on right for one pair of strips, on left for the next pair. Finishing side edges by latching is shown in the Bernat #4 video along with adding a fringe to finish the top and bottom of the piece.  If you enjoy crochet patterns longhand in the “old fashioned” way from out of print sources, here is a reference for inspiration, with hairpin illustrations # 448-456.
A join and side finishing, one side of each strip chaining strands of loops through each other, the outside edge twisting loops akin to broomstick lace: A partial illustration from Pinterest from an unknown source showing how the loops coming together to make shapes might be charted out: the ovals represent chain stitches, the v slip stitches, the different colors the finish of a complete strip’s edge Tuck lace is a fabric produced with needles out of work in combination with tuck patterning on the main bed. Patterns for it can serve as the starting point for either the center strips in double-sided loop fabrics or they can be worked in repeats with wider ladder spaces between them for a far quicker “pretend” version. This is one of my ancient swatches for the technique from a classroom demo, using the 1X1 punchcard, shown sideways to save space.
The card is used at normal rotation. Any time there are needles out of work, end needle selection is canceled to maintain patterning throughout including on end needles of each vertical strip. Tuck <– –> is used resulting in texture as opposed to simple stocking stitch and ladder fabric (center of the swatch). In the right segment, the ladder threads are twisted, in the one on the left they are not. This is what is happening: for twisted ladders on an even total number of needles have an even number in the selected pattern (4), and an even number out of work (6). This is one fabric that definitely benefits by the use of some evenly distributed weight and a good condition sponge bar. End needle selection must be canceled Here the stitches are arranged with an odd number in work (3), an odd number out of work (7)

A way of determining needles out of work vs patterning/ in-work ones for both tests: the first is knit on a multiple of 10+4, the second on a multiple of 10+3These fabrics will narrow considerably when off the machine, here is an image of the above swatch after a period of “rest”.

 

Mosaics and mazes charting meet Numbers, GIMP, and DBJ

A category search for machine knitting/mosaics and mazes design will lead to my previous blog posts on topic.
Previous posts on working with Mc Numbers include: knit charting using Numbers 2  which covers basics, keyboard shortcuts, and more,
Numbers to GIMP for creating images for electronic download  , charting knits color separations 2, charting knits, color separations 1, lace mesh motif charting, charting knit repeats using numbers 1, visualizing knit cables, knit graph paper 

To knit these fabrics use one light color and one dark for major contrast is recommended. Matching the dark yarn to dark squares and reversing their positions may produce interesting optical variations. The resulting knit has reduced floats and is not as bulky as traditional Fair Isle. Many patterns published in punchcard machine pattern books will produce such patterns when knitting single bed, changing color every 2 rows. White squares need to be 2 rows high, no more than one square wide. A page from one such reference:What appear as a maze designs in the swatch photos below would actually be unsuitable for use in the mosaic separation discussed in this post. The cards are designed for tuck (or slip) with color changes every 2 rows. The approach for planning and charting out such fabrics would be a very different one

There are a few rules in designing your own: in mosaics, the odd grid rows should contain single or dark-colored squares plus any cells used to create horizontal lines. The even grid rows usually have single or adjacent light squares but only single dark squares. As with any other fabric access to electronics allows for use of small repeats that can be color reversed or lengthened X2, whereas punchcard knitters need to meet the usual constraints in motif size in width and height. Tile features in software can often give clues to errors such as skipped cells or edges at top and sides of repeat that do not line up, avoiding having to actually test the repeat in knitting to evaluate the same.

Pre-drawn motifs that require color separation are available in a variety of sources. Kathleen Kinder published 2 books with repeats one for 24, the other for 20 and 40 stitch punchcards, inclusing isolated electronic repeats as well.

The original “swatch” inspiration for this post and its repeat were pictured in Mosaic Knitting page 110the numbering system reflects every other row worked alternating sides of the workit is shown here with a superimposed table grid with its  cells outlined in a thick border and positioned in front of a scaled screen grab of the original motif (arrange/ aspect ratio turned off)use command key to select a series of cells to be filled in with color, I chose to use black the cell borders can be edited as wished. Here borders were removed by selecting none, then, in turn, the outer border was highlighted in an easy to identify thicker red line

Below are more variation on borders and numbering for the start of the machine knitting repeat. Adding digits to the Numbers original repeat serves as a guide to appropriate size scaling in GIMP. One way to obtain the repeat size is to type digits in at least 2 cells at the desired location in any row or column. Select both cells, click on the yellow dot, and drag it to the last cell in the series here I went into autopilot: the repeat is isolated. The lengthen X 2 requirement can be achieved later in GIMP or as here via the table/ arrange/ size option in Numbers (wrong step for mosaic/ mazes)
I change the outer border to one point dotted to have a guide for a screengrab The captured image may then be imported into GIMP, image mode is changed to color indexed, B/W bitmap, and it is scaled to the appropriate size. The view grid, snap to grid options are in use.
I worked in 1800 magnification, created a new canvas 2 pixels wider than the original on the left, copied and pasted that image onto the new canvas. In the center illustration, RGB mode is once again in use. The added green pixels serve as guides for using rectangle select to capture each of the rows containing them in turn and then using invert value from the colors menu to reverse background and foreground within each of those rows.  The completed color separation is shown on the far right, with those 2 extra rows on its left side the last image needs to be once again converted to BW mode. The 2 extra rows of pixels on left are cropped off, the image is scaled to twice as long for use with the color changer, and the original 12X14 repeat is now 12X56
the actual BMP

this is the charted and tiled original repeat. There are classic differences from what is typically thought of as “floatless fair isle” in it. The very last row ie is in one color only.  When those 2 passes are made with the “no knit” color with the change knob set to KC I, the first and last needle will be selected. Push them back to B position prior to knitting the next row to avoid side to side floats.  Because of the maze component floats of as many as 7 stitches are created on the purl side in one of the 2 colors. A quick proof of concept swatch: this is a slip stitch fabric, note the difference in width between the patterned area vs the plain knit. If one has a ribber and the appeal lies simply in the lines created by both mazes and mosaics, those features can be retained with DBJ, and the fabric will lie flat. There will be limitations as to the thickness of the yarn used. a “pretend” longer repeat
The question has come up in forums as to whether the DBJ separation can be used for mosaics and mazes. The “Japanese” one, which prevents elongation by knitting each color for each row only once does not since these shapes rely on knitting the same needle selection twice in each color. The default separation in the Passap or the designer self-drawn one that will knit each identical spot in the motif separation twice. The design is elongated. Susanna wrote a technique for use on the E6000 for having the console perform the color conversion for true mosaic knitting. The repeat shown earlier in this post separated for DBJis compared here with the earlier wrong separation for “mosaic knitting” and found to appear identical. The process was a quicker way than that of dealing with different colors for ground and design
different pairs of colors, same results Back to the drawing board: row height is as in the original repeat being extra careful, not necessary, the process can be inverted once more to check the repeat color separation the actual knitting repeat, double-length before downloading to machine the corresponding proof of concept swatch,  with shorter floats than when the DBJ separation is used single bedtiling of the original repeat and its color reversed image illustrate the optical difference between switching dark and light color starts This repeat is from Kathleen Kinder’s (24 stitch) Floatless Fair-Isle book, p.86the repeat of the design separation on the right is intended for use in electronics with color reverse and double length chart separated using GIMP for mosaic knitting matches her repeat Recently on Facebook mazes turned up as a topic in machine knitting once more. Most maze generators online that I have found are designed for printing out game solving images ie here is one from http://hereandabove.com/maze/mazeorig.form.htmlfor knitting purposes unikatissima and Laura Kogler offer alternatives. Years have gone by since I first wrote on mazes and mosaics. The repeat worked with below was used in my post 

here I am revisiting the same image. To begin with, a repeat is isolated and processed in numbers (top row), and then in turn in Gimp. Always tile repeat to check for any errors and to see if the final image represents what is desired
the repeat (8X16) is then doubled in length for knitting after that single all-white row was edited out (middle images). The repeat is now 8 rows wide by 32 rows in height
One of the yarns is chenille, the other a wool. The chenille is slightly thicker and fuzzy, so some of the yellow rows are almost hidden but the pattern is definitely there. Here the design is knit using both slip (bottom) and tuck (top) settings. Again, there is a noticeable difference in width produced by each stitch type.Observations: make certain that after the image is isolated in Numbers cell size is converted to square/ equal measurements in width and height before importing and scaling its screen grab in GIMP if not already so. It will likely load in RGB mode, convert to Indexed before scaling. Added colored squares are only possible if you return to RGB mode. After rows with colored squares are cut, return the image to indexed before saving as BMP for knitting. If any pairs of rows do not have 2 consecutive rows of cells in either color check your pattern. In DBJ the final repeat should be 4 times in numbers of rows in height to the original one, and thus divisible by four.  The separation first doubles height for each row for 2 colors. Then height is doubled once more to allow for color changes every 2 rows. In Mosaics and Mazes, the color reversal happens on every other row in the original design. When that is completed, the height will be doubled for actual knitting to allow for color changes every 2 rows, with the final row count double that of the original motif. Rules for tuck knitting apply here as in any other technique. If white squares in the final chart have black ones on either side of them, the appearance is that tuck would be possible. Examining needle preselection is an easy way to assess that possibility.  Reversing the colors used in actual knitting may yield interesting changes in the appearance of the fabric. 

Julie Haveland Beer shared a file on how to Convert Mosaic Knitting Chart to KM Skip Stitch Diagram (shared with her permission), as mentioned in my post on numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/

Ribber trims 3: one trim, four variations

I found this on a random sheet tucked away with references from some seminar or other eons ago, its origin is not known to me
I like to chart out my repeats and plans for executing fabrics, along with ideas for possibly varying them in ways other than suggested, this was my  beginningThe sequence in photos, beginning with the cast on, 2/24 acrylic yarn,  zigzag  row with inserted ribber comb,  halfpitch 1 row is knit across all stitches to complete cast onknit one more row to return to the opposite sidethe setting is changed to full pitch, stitches are transferred between beds to match  diagramsthe center needle in each group of 3 is brought out to hold for one row, knit one row to return to the other side center needles are pushed back to D position in order to be knit on return pass to the opposite side this tool makes that needle selection faster and easier when the 20 rows had been knit in pattern drop stitches on each side of center stitch transfer ribber stitches up to main bed I knit 3 rows rather than 2, to return to right side  for bind off here is the swatch, still on comb for “setting stitches”

I found the above results upon completion disappointingly wimpy, then tried the same steps in tightly twisted and slightly thicker cotton, achieved better results, but was still not happy. That set me thinking about an alternative way to produce a similar fabric with changes in needle arrangements. The full series of swatches is seen below. The yellow is knit in a 2/8 wool, the beige in the same weight cotton as the white on the right. All swatches were knit on the same tension, for the same number of rows.

The adjustments on the original pattern are as follows. At half pitch begin as above with zig zag to left, 2 circular rows, knit back to right. Set pitch to P, transfer between beds

knit back to the opposite side, transfer each of the side stitches on the top bed onto the center needle in each group,

bring those needles out to hold for easier knitting on the next pass knit one row back to the right,  making sure stitches  have  knit off  properly. When you have returned to the right side, set the carriage to tuck from right to left only (left tuck button), RC000loops will be formed on the center needles as they would have been formed over the needles as if holding was in use

when the 20 rows are completed the carriages will once again be on the right,  all stitches will have been knit on the previous rowtransfer all ribber stitches to top bed, knit 2 rows, bind off. None of my swatches were blocked other than by some tugging, particularly along the bottom edge. The spacing between stitches is narrower because ladders created by single needles left out of work are formed by yarn lengths that are shorter than those that happen when stitches are knit and then in turn dropped. The height of the swatch is also affected, and the half fisherman texture in the wool swatch, in particular, is more evident.

More variations to try in a multiple of 3+1: using either method or a DIY cast on, dropping (yellow) stitches marked with a * at the end, or transferring them to right or left and setting the main bed to tuck in one direction only.When the work is removed from the machine, stretch cast on outwards, then give each “scallop” a really good pull downwards. Steam lightly over the scallops to set them. Variations of the double bed trims may be worked on the single bed as well.

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 2; knitting with 4 carriages

When switching between N/N and tuck/ tuck on the ribber it is not necessary to switch the tucking lever from its up position to the lower one. The ribber will knit every row when used in either of these settingsIt is possible to knit this type of fabric using color separations such as those seen for one type of DBJ where color one for each design row knits 2 rows, followed by color 2 for corresponding design row also knitting for 2 rows. Each color may be drawn and programmed once, followed in turn with elongation X2 on both punchcard and electronic machines. I prefer to work with the elongated images, believing it makes it easier for me to correct errors or knitting problems, should they occur. This color separation is the default on Passap. In Brother electronics, it would need to be hand done and programmed. It is best to start with simple shapes. This triangle series has been used in several of my previous posts. The chart shows the transitions in the process

Brother DBJ settings using tuck on either bed, not addressing hand needle selection on the ribber for the production of reversible fabrics. The yellow color highlights cam settings that require changing by hand for every other pair of knit rows and making the changes with each color change. With the exception of the bottom 2, the same settings were used in some of my brioche variation experiments. The resulting fabric, knit in reverse order from the chart (top setting down to first). The dropped stitches happened when I did not notice the ribber weight was resting on the floor, with no resulting weight on the fabric. There are single repeats of each motif. Two more possible DBJ variations

A full range of DBJ variations of the same repeat, including ones using slip stitch and shared in a previous post, executed in both one and 2 colorsPassap knitters have the option of arrow keys and stitch type on the back bed that makes fabrics possible with ease that is daunting to reproduce on Brother machines. There is a category search on my blog that will lead to a collection of posts on the topic of knitting with 2 carriages selecting patterns.

I have often considered the possibility of using 2 coupled knit and rib carriages for some of my patterns but found it limited knit width because of carriage stops on the ribber bed, the unwillingness to have my ribber carriages fly off the bed, and the added limitation imposed when both carriages are selecting needles. Now that setting changes were required every 2 rows on the ribber I found a solution of sorts. It is one of those try at your own risk tips, but for me, it made several of the last swatches in brioche achievable far more quickly and accurately.

As in any knitting with pairs of carriages, when needle selection is happening from opposing sides, the turn marks need to be cleared on each side of the machine as the opposing carriage begins to move across the needle bed to avoid breaking the belt.

I happen to be knitting present swatches on my orphaned 930, which still knits producing interesting sounds. It came with no carriages. I am actually using a knit carriage from a 910 and one from my 892E punchcard machine, with a magnet glued to the proper location facing the rear rail. I removed the stopper pins from either side of the ribber bed, placed lace extension rails on both sides as well as the color changer with all change buttons released as seen in this illustration. On the left, as the carriages move beyond the end of the needle bed, the return signal lever is tripped, making a characteristic noise. At that point, the turn mark on the left has been cleared, and it is safe to operate the carriages from the right toward the left
The right side of the machine is more problematic. The extension rail will store the knit carriage safely, but the ribber carriage has to move out enough so without its stop it would fall to the floor. My solution was to jerry-rig an extension the appropriate height so the ribber carriage could slide out as much as needed while being supported. I was able to knit the hundreds of rows required for many swatches with no problem other than operator errors. Here the pair of carriages on the right are seen resting far enough off the machine to clear the belt, at an adequate height for them to slide off and on easily. At first, I secured the connecting arm to the connecting pin with an elastic “just in case”, but that proved unnecessary. 

I have been asked lately about the lili setting used in all my ribber carriage illustrations (center position). I tend to use that as a default to prevent errors and for consistent quality in my ribbed fabrics, especially if matching gauge ie in garment pieces or bands are needed. That said, for the carriage to travel far enough on the right in this setup, the slide lever had to be used on I. The plastic tray helped reach the appropriate height, and made for easy slide off and on. There are a few minutes of maneuvering when setting up the first selected row. As always it is good, to begin with, familiar yarn and previous experience with double bed fabrics.

Some of my own operator errors are due to the fact that I still am not used to the fact that the 930 appears to revert to factory defaults with each new design entered, that I have to remember to switch from isolation to all over, that the image is reversed on the knit side like on punchcard machines unless the reverse key is used. I spent decades using the 910, where once the selections were made and once the pattern variation buttons were set, that became the default until buttons were changed for specific applications.

The 2 pairs of carriages may also be used for vertical striper backing using lili buttons on Brother machines, and for both slip and tuck variations of same. I will add information in a separate post. More “patterns” are possible as well, emulating some of the Passap possibilities for its back bed settings.

Double jacquard motifs in multiple styles, shapes, and sizes may be knit with variations in tuck settings. My post on a-return-to-brother-ribber-and-dbj-settings/   reviewed many of the possible cam configurations as well as working with multiple and even altered carriages. Passap machines have the added benefit of far more patterning than Brother on their back bed, the equivalent of the Japanese ribber. I am still obsessing over 3D folding effects, racked herringbone is back on my mind, as well as tuck ribber settings on Brother if one is willing to hand manipulate needle selection. I have been browsing through some of the directions in Susanna’s book again. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it was published first in 1986 and is the ultimate textbook on knitting fabrics on punchcard machines. It predated most electronics. Susanna continued to write for magazines and later addressed electronics in those articles and in her teaching lectures and workshops. This shows the cover of the paperback version.Over the years as many folks have written on DBJ, the separations have been named with some variations. In Susanna’s book, the original design is referred to as punchcard type A, the KRC separation built into Japanese machines is classified as Type B. This image shows the now-familiar series of triangles used in many of my blog posts on DBJ including at the start of this one. It is illustrated as the original repeat, then the separation is shown with either color represented by black squares. One of the peculiarities of this separation is the single row color start. One may choose whether black squares or white squares knit first based on the pattern itself rather than simply on the convention in their specific machine brand. Color reverse in electronics is easy, but the function cannot be combined with KRC. It can easily happen if the separation is completed in software, prior to downloading the final repeat and knitting it. If a punchcard is used, simply exchange positions for each of the 2 colors in the color changer and follow the usual sequence. Designs must have an even number of rows.Susanna classifies the subsequent separations as C1 and C2.  Because each color in each row knits twice, there may be an odd number of rows in the initial design repeat. I am often asked as to why a type C1 or 2 separations would be a boon to fabrics made on Japanese machines. The options for new settings and resulting variations in the knit surfaces on both sides is increased many times over. These are some of Susanna’s suggestions for using the tuck setting in DBJ and begin to illustrate the point.

Lace transfers meet fisherman rib, 2 color ribbed brioche on Brother machines 2

Over the years I have avoided ribber fabrics that involve hand manipulation of stitches in addition to patterning. Runaway stitches are hard to see and repair.

In these fabrics transfers are made by hand with multiple transfer tools. As stitches are moved, the last of the stitches transferred on the purl side (in this illustration 4 stitches), one will lie directly behind one of the stitches on the main bed (marked in red), sharing the same needle hook space. As the next row is knit, the needle emptied by the transfers picks up a loop. The following knit carriage pass will complete the stitch on the needle holding the loop, and the eyelet.

My recent posts reminded me of a repeat from an older Brother punchcard pattern book that combined lace transfers and fisherman rib. The original repeat is shown on the left, designed for use on punchcard machines.Stitch and tuck loop combination transfers are made every 4 rows, prior to knitting that row in the opposite direction. The machine is set for half fisherman rib. Tucking happens on top bed on all needles in one direction only, the ribber remains set to knit both ways throughout.If all transfers originate on the same spot, a vertical line of eyelets is producedCan plaiting give me 2 colors the “easy” way?
If transfers move to the right or the left, an arc will be createdAiming for the punchcard pattern book inspiration I began at first by marking up the needle tape with water soluble pen to help track repeat segmentsAfter a short trial swatch I sought to automate needle selection to serve as a guide for moving stitches across the needle bedThe main bed is set to tuck in both directions. White cells tuck, black cells knit. Rows in Brother preselect for the next row with each pass of the carriage, so on even number design rows as the carriage moves to the opposite side, all needles will form tuck loops on the main bed. The next row will be preselected, with some needles now back in B rather than D position. With an appropriate transfer tool, move the stitches on the non selected needles to the adjacent selected needle to their right after pushing it back to B position. After each transfer push all worked needles and their stitches as well as he now empty needle to E position. As the carriage returns to the opposite side an all knit row will be completed. Several tension adjustments may be needed to insure loops do not get hung up on gate pegs as stitches move across the bed, while still being loose enough to knit off properly.

The charts below reveal planning for a 2 color repeat with mirroring of the original above. Seeking new geometry, the repeat “inspiration” is mirrored horizontally. The final repeat is on far right. The knit carriage is set to tuck in both directions throughout. On white cell design rows the main bed tucks, the ribber is set to knit. On mostly or all black cell rows the main bed will be knitting, the ribber is set to tuck. In this fabric the transfers are made on knit stitches created on the previous row prior to moving the carriage back to the opposite side. All transferred stitches and the empty needle are brought out to E position prior to moving the carriage to the opposite side, will be creating the second all knit main bed row. Transfers are made every 8 rows, with pairs of transfers being made toward each other, no longer all in the same direction as in the single color sampleThe central repeat is color reversed to achieve the final repeat on the above right in order to produce those transfers on knit rows. Final row count needs to be a multiple of 4 rows in height. Here is a 2 widths 36 stitch X 32 row repeat chart The extra line seen occurs when one forgets to reset the ribber to tuck, and stitches are all knit on a “wrong row”. It is by coincidence that they seem to occur in the same spot in the repeat

more accurate knitting

On the bottom half of the swatch below the difference is the result from when one carriage knits every row on both beds, requiring a change on the knit carriage as well, canceling its tuck setting with every other color changeThe last repeat may be flipped vertically as well. It then needs to be edited so those white squares land on the row after an all knit row, not below it. The final repeat on the right is 36 stitches wide by 64 high. There are still 8 rows between transfers. On the left is the first resulting chart, on the right the amended chart so selection for transfers occurs on the proper row.the germ of one last idea, the repeat 14 stitches wide by 96 high, max transfer seven stitches (odd #)playing with ideas a bit more, max transfer six stitches (even#)

This was my attempt to shoot for a recurring shape and planning on having transfers land on a like color, the repeat is 8 stitches in width, 112 rows height. Six stitches are the max number transferred. More would give a wider curve, the final repeat would be exponentially longerits reverse side :
When the main bed tucks in both directions with one color, knits in both directions with the other:I did try to eliminate those lace holes. On the right of the swatch as shown below I threaded a needle and attempted to close the eyelets with stitches, getting closer to the line one might get in a hand knit. On the left I hooked up loops to fill the empty needles. The latter changes the intersecting lines completely.

picking up only the white yarn from the tuck loop below the transferbringing filled in needle back to E position prior to knitting next row the difference in intersecting lines at the outer edge of my intended shape

Tuck stitch meets thread lace repeats and vice versa

A recent share in the Facebook machine knitting group led to this blog post by its author <https://www.knittingmachinemuseum.com/single-post/Knitmaster-580-Electronic>

The inspiration fabric led to ideas for recreating it on a punchcard machine, and my own trip down that rabbit hole led me to think about the relationship between tuck stitch designs and thread lace ones.

Not all Brother knitting machine models were equipped with the capacity for thread lace. The 260 bulky happened to be one of those models, which were manufactured with 2 MC buttons seen in this illustration

Studio manuals refer to the fabric as punch lace. Early pattern books including ones for electronic machines provide a large range of pattern repeats for such fabrics and can be design sources for other knit stitches if one understands the structure being created.

In tuck stitch the unpunched areas, white squares or pixels represent loops created on non selected needles, punched holes / black squares or pixels represent knit stitches. In punch/ thread lace those white areas knit both thick and thin yarns together, while in punched holes/black square or pixel areas the thin yarn knits on the stocking stitch side of the fabric, with the thicker yarn floating behind it. Depending on fiber content, gauge, etc. the illusion of eyelets can be created. This is half of a Brother punchcard repeat, suitable for thread lace, reworked for knitting the design in tuck stitch. That is, in turn, doubled in length to allow for color or yarn value changes occurring every 2 rows. The resulting swatch is tested first in 2 colors to proof the repeat, then using clear serger thread as one of the 2 “colors” for a very different effect that blends that of both fabrics.

Looking at design sources for possible redesigns for the alternate knit fabric: published punch lace cards

published tuck stitch cards DIY a place to start is with simple color reverse punch lace to tuck test. Not suitable are any areas with lots of side by side white squares. In the bow solid lines those could be modified, most of the repeats in the colored swatch segments of the published charts are unsuitable.

Once the chosen repeat is isolated, the punchcard can be further edited for electronic knitting. Tuck to punch lace: any of these would be worth a test, some results may be very subtle.From punchcard repeat to electronic: strong black and white images that have punched holes represented as dots may be the hardest to process quickly in Gimp. It is best to isolate the single repeat. Some clean up of the gridded image may be required. Test the latter by tiling it. Color reverse the single it if that is the original goal, using built-in function in electronics or punching black squares in cards.

Not to be forgotten: the easy variations for visualizing results with a few clicks of a mouse,

and an added source for both stitch types are slip stitch patterns in suitable configurations

A previous post on editing repeats such as the above using Gimp, and one on superimposing shapes onto a mesh ground that may be the springboard for superimposing self-drawn shapes on tuck or thread lace suitable backgrounds

Lastly, an earlier post on thread lace on Brother machines