ArahPaint in knit design 4

Reviewing ToolsGuess weave from Grid
ArahPaint continues to be user-friendly for multiple applications including knit design.
The developer shares how-to videos that are frequently updated
https://www.arahne.si/public/news/
https://www.youtube.com/@arahpaint4/videos
The same holds for their downloadable manual, and any questions are answered in a timely and informative manner.
I am often driven by knit technique curiosity first, then find myself circling back periodically to program explorations to shorten the process for drafting blog charts and repeats, sharing new information as I notice it in manuals or online.
A recently reviewed https://www.arahne.si/tutorials/how-to-import-old-pattern-drafts/ led to my first experiment.
When using the weave guessing function, it is good to know that the program looks at the center of the grid, and tries to ignore the grid itself. If the center is not a single color and is homogeneous, use averaging to smooth it out before color reduction. If it is not filled properly, use contour operations (thickening) to make it stronger.
When guessing the grid, make sure you use the “preview” function, so you see what the program sees.
The steps, relatively “winging it”:
as in resizing/scaling any design, accurate cell/ anticipated stitch and row counts are needed. They may not be given in the source, where grid properties, cell shapes, and colors may all vary.
For example, the grid in the original may be 6X6 for punchcard designs, 10X10, or even 5X5 for electronic models. Recognizing the blocks used aids in examining and adding up counts when they are not provided.
Load the selected picture, in this case, a random RGB one from a previous post, known to measure 24 stitches by 60 rows: Go to colors, and select convert to 8-bit palette,  resulting in these changes in the palette window on bottom right corner  Before reducing the number of colors to 2, adjust your background and foreground colors. Without disturbing the 0 value,   use the shift key and with the mouse select a light color from the 8-bit values, it will replace the #1 value.  Return to colors, set the number of colors to 2,
Magnify the image as needed, and use the rectangle select tool to eliminate the dark frame. There will be a dotted color dashed outline that can be adjusted,  use Image/ Crop to the selection to eliminate the unwanted border.
Select Tools/Guess weave from grid, and a new window will open.
The program automatically defines the size of the original pattern. If the value is not the expected one, enter the desired pixel counts, and click OK.  The “weave” will appear on top of the original pattern, surrounded by a bounding dashed line,     choose Image, and Crop to the selection, and save the picture as PNG. The result matched that in the previous post, with the Gimp chart on the left, and the Arah on the right. Check that the final PNG is in indexed B/W before any electronic download.  Select OK, Close, and save.  The Threshold adjustment slider is found in the reduce the number of colors window and may be used to alter B/W images at any point in image processing.
In addition to using Image/draw in repeat to check alignments, the View Repeat option will tile the design an arbitrary number of times automatically, providing a large-scale view, illustrated only in part on the right in the image below. The process is repeated with pattern #42, 46X56, from a Brother electronic pattern book:
the original is on the left, the ArahPaint guess grid result is on the right, colored differently to make it easier to check for matches and any pixel placement differences,  its B/W png.   The steps again with #3604, 24X240, once again comparing Gimp results to those obtained with ArahPaint  One of the challenges which can appear to varied degrees when converting files is the amount of pixel cleanup required on the resulting images.
One contributing factor that may be encountered is that the original to be processed may be askew, as only slightly in this image, #26 from the Brother 270 collection.  Using the unskew tool is one manner to fix the geometry of a layer distorted by perspective. Rotation may also be used.
Make a rectangular selection around the object which you wish to unskew.
Click on the Unskew tool  Drag the corners of the selection to the distorted part of the image, they are marked by hollow squares at each corner Click OK in the Unskew dialog box The selection becomes a normal rectangular layer. If uncomfortable working with layers, click on this tool to fix the image and remove the bounding box  Repeat the process already described, reducing the number of colors to 2 after cropping to the selection, the dark squares are not a true black. If the png is to be used for download to an electronic machine, change the grey to true black before saving.
The original, followed by the ArahPaint result and a tiled view of it The same approach may be used on large nonrepetitive images.
Hand-count the number of cells in width and height if they are not provided.
A scan from the Dover publication on Celtic charted designs, converting this 73X54 image proved easy.  The scan of a 130X95 stitch/row count chart from Charted Peasant Designs from Saxon Transylvania posed some issues.
The problem, in this case, was not the use of the basic technique, but that multiple areas of the chart were not marked with the black contained within grid cell borders.
Cropping problem areas, processing them separately, and pasting them in place on the previous result where needed appear to greatly reduce final pixel cleanup.  While weaving and many needlework drafts are often represented on square grids, some knit designs are published to reflect the fact that actual knit stitches with the exception of garter stitch are typically rectangular.
In the early days of electronics, knitting machine models began to have libraries of stitch designs stored in memory, cassettes, or floppies. Often manuals or booklets were printed as companions, visual guides to stored contents. Colors and counts did not matter, since the intent was not to provide reproducible designs.
This chart is from Studio, published as a tuck pattern.
My best results were obtained after cropping the original to 74X60 unit counts and scaling the scan’s A: 1733X992 to B:1320X960, a multiple X16 of both values.
C: the result of reducing colors to 2, followed by guess weave-from-grid for a successful match to the original, a final 60X48. The png would need to be color inverted for use with the tuck stitch setting. The png, after removal of a few wayward pixels, and color inverted for use with the tuck setting   Returning to that griffin, after resizing/scaling the original to multiples of 11, 1430X1045 pixels, the left portion of the design produced a clean match to the original, while the right segment with the off-grid dark cells still did not. The previously separately reduced segment was added on the far right yielding a far closer match.  Weaving and cross-stitch libraries offer a huge range of potential design repeats.
Another image from an ancient cross stitch sampler pub. Is that a kitty protecting his shawl, and what stitch is that?! 4/24, 169X142 pixels Some resources:
Weaving library: fressinet offers images in black and white
Patternbase: from Dictionary of Weaves
Archive.org: filet crochet

Beginning with a design selected from p.83 in the Dictionary of Weaves Color convert to 24 ->8, an expanded palette will appear. Press the Shift button and click inside the picture to manually select the colors, adding 63 in this case
Filters menu: choose Averaging, and follow with the second choice Repeat the last operation X10
Colors: set the number of colors directly to 2
Guess weave from grid to 18X18
Crop to selection, magnify and check results
Convert to black and white if needed
Check repeat alignment   Other ways to handle the same task: another ArahPaint tutorial offers additional tips.
From the Cross stitch book, a 40X40 chart using a straightforward setting of the number of colors to 2.  One way to convert the picture on the far right to black and white prior to saving it other than adjusting the palette colors is to use Threshold to reduce the number of colors.
1: select Black white, and Preview in the associated window
2: if an adjustment is required, the slider may be moved to the left or right, Undo if needed, and when satisfied stop
3: click OK and close the window, save the picture as bmp. An earlier design intervention for the final B/W png: after setting the palette to 2 colors, reduce the number of colors with the same 3 steps using Threshold for another successful result. Reducing the number of colors window instead of setting the number of colors to 2:
Color convert to ->8, an expanded palette will appear
Choose Averaging, and follow with the second choice, Repeat the last operation X10
Open the Reduced number of colors window  Press the Shift button and click inside the picture to manually select the colors for foreground and background, this did not work for me on my Mac with the latest OS. Selecting colors manually from the expanded palette by clicking on them is an alternative. The higher contrast between the two the cleaner the results.
Select Preview, if satisfied Click on OK, and Close
Select the whole picture
Guess weave from grid
Crop to content
Magnify, evaluate the results, adjust the palette to BW if needed, and save  Filet crochet pattern books also provide gridded sources that may be used in knit design. This 43X43 pixel file is adapted from Priscilla filet crochet book #1
The same process may be used on color separation templates produced in DAK

From a random Pinterest find with an original 330X474 RGB chart:
A: guess weave from grid, crop to selection
B: tools, find repeat, crop to selection
C: the final 47X46 png drawn in repeat  Adding colors to black and white pngs following the tip by the developer in the post comments:
Choose a black-and-white repeat, in this case, a 36X9 pixel repeat  Double-click on one of the two colors to protect/lock it Double-click on it again, and the lock disappears, the color is no longer protected.
In the palette, use + to add a new color, this may be repeated more than once to add more colors or go to colors, set the number of colors to a number, ie. 6, for a random palette group that may, in turn, be edited to other values.   Double-click on the rectangle tool to draw filled rectangles  In rectangle options, above the palette icon, there are toggle buttons for Horizontal and Vertical, remember to protect a color  Once your selection is made, draw the filled rectangle across a selected width and height while keeping the protected color intact. Draw the result in repeat to check for alignment the protected color may be toggled to white  If the designs are to be programmed for multiple color slip stitch or DBJ there are rules to be observed, and there may be restrictions on whether each palette color will be recognized as a third or fourth color by the download program ie. when using Ayab, where no two colors may occur in the same range of 8-bit values. For 4 colors, the ranges would be 0-63, 64-127, 128-195, and 196-255.
The img2track partial window with the associated color assignments for the first vertical variation.  The horizontal choice allows one to play with selections possibly matching yarn colors in fair isle knitting,          only 2 colors per row may be used, here the A feeder yarn remains fixed Remember to unlock the previous color choice if protecting new segment selections.
Visualizing possible FI striping results in progress Working with diagonal patterning in machine knitting introduced some approaches.
Following guidelines in Easily generate random weaves it is possible to quickly generate DIY designs for use in multiple techniques.

To begin with, load a new picture 12 pixels wide and one pixel high
Set the number of colors to 2, black and white if the goal is downloadable pngs.
Fill in a repeat, and multiply it by Y multiple times to achieve the final number, or fill in vertical bands using the pencil tool on the final planned starting canvas.
A single row repeat first multiplied Y X6, then X2 Select the measurement tool: The tilt tool shifts every next line of pixels, the width of the line in the X field for the horizontal tilt, or in the Y field for the vertical tilt Default values are set to 0 The selections for this design:  The resulting file, also shown drawn in repeat: Two more, with a starting picture total height of 24 pixels One repeat, multiple width selections  This repeat may be used for tuck or slip stitch, providing the final png is color reversed. The 12X24 initial result was multiplied X2 in height/Y to produce the 12X48 one. The image on the far right checks alignments Working in multiple colors using the same approach: These charts continue to use the selections with reverting back to the original after each variation, though steps may be made sequentially and reversed in a matter of seconds Any results may be modified by adding other program functions to produce drafts of expanded repeats ie. through using drawing in repeat/ random. The results may be suitable for large pieces ie blankets and likely best knit as DBJ.  The ease of designing needs to be paired with good notes on charting cause and effect and an understanding of the relationship between pixels/ punched holes and stitch formation using varied cam button settings.
Using Filters is an additional way to develop images that play with the eyes, sometimes with only a few keystrokes.
A description of filters and their use may be found on pp 88-101 of the user manual (thumbnails # 96-108).
Filter options: This first series uses only the contour filter and random selection of arrows from this tool

beginning with a 12X12 pixel design developing it into a 31X31 one, not all doubled pixels eliminated

Machine knit fringes 3

The term fringe may be used to describe a decorative border of hanging threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material. Samples in these posts can apply to that definition
A collection of machine-knit fringes 1 9/19
Machine fringes 2: mock hairpin lace  10/19
Some methods for creating the long loops 8/12
Present fashion has fringe as an element in mixed locations in finished pieces. For the traditional fringed appearance, lengths of trim may be knit ahead of time followed by its application where desired. Depending on the location(s) and frequency of the applique, a repeat could be programmed to preselect needles in needle locations for hooking up the pre-knit trim or even simply cut lengths of yarn.
Dropping the ribber to its lowest position and using the ribber gate pegs to create continuous loops may provide the desired effect in a fringe or cover the surface of any knit completely.
In these beginning samples, the number of plies changes, but not the needle selection.
Many variations are possible, experimentation will help determine personal preference.
Images of loop formation in progress: after a row is knit to the opposite side, needles may be brought forward again to ensure they will knit properly, or to add a latch tool bind off in front Latch tooling in back of the cast on to reduce roll to the purl side at the bottom of the knit or add color contrast, may also be added at any point in the knit, as surface interest or to serve as a horizontal line to add elements on the knit side on specific rows after the piece is completed.  Possible applique use for varying lengths of narrow trim Leaving lengths of the yarns used in the project at each end rather than becoming enthusiastic about clipping them provides a good reference as to the number of plies used for the loops and the thickness of the background yarn.
Here 3 strands were used for the loops.
Crochet cast-on on every needle and knit a few rows, they will roll to the purl side. End on the side on which you find it easier to form loops.
COR: create a row of loops, I prefer to do so from left to right, bring all the needles forward, knit a row to the left securing them
COL: knit for a few rows in the ground yarn and bind off.
Turn the work over, with the roll away from you.
Rehang the trim using the hooked on a row with purl side facing as a horizontal guide, and continue to knit.
When the piece is completed, the roll will appear on the knit side and may be used as a decorative element. Method 2: uses two strands of yarn for the loops
COL: crochet cast on with the ground yarn and knit a row to the right.
COR: knit a row to the left.
COL: move the knit forward, crochet cast on behind the stitches on the machine with the loop yarn. Knit a row to the right.
COR: create a row of loops, bring all the needles forward, a
knit a row to the left securing them
COL: knit for a few rows, lift loops off gate pegs, and position them between the beds
Continue knitting in the ground yarn until the piece is finished. There is a single row subtle roll to the purl side of the ground. If the piece being knit is a scarf, the direction of the loops is a factor if the trim is added after turning the piece upside down The solution is to produce the fringe as a separate trim which may be stitched upon completion or hung on the start of the piece and stitched on at the top with the piece off the machine after the bind off, or to knit 2 pieces with loops from the bottom up and graft them together at the center of the length of the accessory.
The method most likely to yield very long horizontal, even lengths of continuous loops or stitches as one knits at the bottom edge of the piece or in horizontal lines or patches as one continues up the piece is to remove the ribber if it is in use and use the cast on comb anchored with equal lengths of wire or something that will not stretch.
Add enough weight to it so it will not shift up as one moves across the row creating the loops, as shown in the 8/12 post. Here the yarn is fuzzy mohair wrapped on every other needle. When wearables are trimmed with fringe, there can be a concern as to how the fringe will wear over time or how the yarn ends would behave if the piece is laundered. Twisting the plies provides an answer. The yarn thickness, number of plies, and the chosen color(s) can be varied to suit the piece.
Bullion fringe is one where there are no cut ends or knots, often seen with the twisted elements equal in length. It is available commercially by the yard, and if fiber content or other features are compatible with the knit piece, the purchased fringe may be hooked on and knit in where desired with consideration as to how to best secure or hide any cut ends of edges on either side.  Even in a commercial sample intended for sewing, note that there are slight differences between the width of the resulting twists and their very bottoms:  It is possible to produce fringe with a similar appearance on the knitting machine.
Playing with the number of plies, spacing of twists, whether the loops are added at the bottom edge or sides of the knit, and seeking a rhythm: Note the long red loop in the background yarn occurred where the empty needle was not pushed back to the B position during working with sideways loops.
The first try at long loops across a horizontal knit: At present my ribber is set up, and since I am planning more double bed fabrics and fringes are a temporary distraction, I tried to form even loops around a quilting plastic ruler for more control of the process. Definitely clumsy and not a good idea for a wide piece. The handling of the loops remains the same.
COL: crochet cast on the width of the planned piece from left to right
COR: knit a row to the left
create a series of long loops on every other needle, done here by wrapping the large ruler The plan was to knit loops through the stitches on the corresponding needles on the top bed, the ruler was removed, there was not enough slack in the loops, and some of the stitches created with the fringe yarn jumped forward COL: to secure the row, knit a row to the right
COR: repeat a crochet cast on in front of all the stitches to the left Twist the loops,  to place them on the base knit, hang the small loop/eyelet formed at the end of the twist on the alternate needles between each of the stitches created by the original loops keep notes as to the number of twists in order to be able to replicate the effect, perhaps even try to twist pairs of loops together continue knitting the body of the knit.
A completed swatch with methodical twists and wraps. The quality of the braid, both in length and in its bottom edges is controlled by the number of twists and the tension applied when releasing the twist. It takes a bit of practice with the specific yarns and loops to keep fringe lengths and their appearance even. In a final piece, the stitch count needs to be considered so loops may need to be formed on each or a single end and hung on the first and/or last needle in use before continuing to knit.
The yarn ends on either side will need to be secured, adding them to the twist on each side will do that, but then the result is considerably thicker than the other bouillion.
The bottom of twists when their count is not adequate can form loose, little donuts.
What of creating those twists? the goal is to use a tool to turn the yarn in one direction, folding the result in half, securing it, and allowing it to twist. The method is different for hooked on pre-cut lengths of yarn.
Tools commonly used by weavers to twist fringes in any length, with cut lengths of yarn where the number of twists needs to remain controllable and even, with hand cranks allow for easy counting and achieving that goal:  When applied cording is required and the number of twists does not necessarily influence the result, hair braiding tools may be used. They come in multiple configurations and the same model may be found in a huge range of prices.
There are 2 selections for twisting secured yarns, the first twists to the right, the second twists both yarns together to the left, resulting in the braid. Hair is attached in place, the twisted ends are secured with elastics often supplied with the twister or purchased separately. Yarn lengths would need to be knit in securely, knotted on the edge of the twisted lengths. Cording using the same tools would need to be secured with knots at both ends and may be used as trim, hooked onto knitting in progress, or stitched in place after completion of the piece. An easy, inexpensive DIY tool created with supplies I had on hand but it is also easily available for purchase.
A small cup hook was screwed and secured into a bobbin winder normally used for cross stitch. The body of the tool becomes a secure handle, the crank makes it easy to count twists and keep their number constant if a fringe with equal length and thickness elements is planned.  For fringe worked sideways, suitable for trims that can be placed anywhere on the body of the knit, the first sample is worked on a 3 stitch vertical base strip of knitting.
Crochet cast on from left to right and knit one row back to the left. Make a slip knot on the fringe yarn, knit it through the first stitch on the right COL: knit to the right, thus securing the thicker knit stitchCOR: wrap an empty needle further to the right to determine the length of the loop to be created. Its location can remain fixed throughout or varied if the intent is to experiment with different lengths of bullion.
Wrap the yarn plies around the empty needle, apply a light tension twist and lift the end of the loop onto the first knit stitch on the needle on the left, knit it through the stitch immediately above the wrap release the loop from the empty needle on the right, push it out of work so as not to pick up yarn a long loop of the ground yarn as the carriage knits a row to the left COL: twist cording and hang on the first needle on the right maintaining light tension on the twisted length, knit a row to the left, or knit the loop at the bottom of the twist through the stitch immediately above it before knitting to the right  COL: knit to the right, repeat the process.
A closer look: insert the tool, and removed the loop onto it. Be sure to push the empty needle back to B until it is needed again. Tug the loop lightly forward, and begin to turn the handle to twist the yarn until the twist appears evenly distributed while keeping count, different counts may be tried in the same test swatch. 
insert a single eye tool into the loop on the hook of the twisted cord, lift it onto the last stitch on the right on the top bed, it may be knit through or simply laid in the hook, bring the needle with the multiple stitches forward, tug lightly on the bottom center of the twist, and release.
To complete the bouillion: knit a row to the left side.
Lift the twist away from the body of the trim, bring the plies up and in front of the twisted yarn, and use them to knit through any stitches on that needle.
Begin the process again. With some practice, you may find some different and preferred variations to the suggested sequences.  A variation: the first experiment was formed on a base of 3 stitches, here they are increased to 5
COL: crochet cast on 5 stitches, knit a row to the right
COR: knit a row to the left
COL: knit slip knot through the first stitch on the right as above
knit two rows
COL: wrap empty needle, knit through the first stitch on the left,
twist yarns and hang onto the needle,
bring needle forward,
knit two rows
COL: bring yarn ends in front of twisted yarns,
knit to the right securing the plies,
knit 2 rows,
continuing to form fringe bouillion as described. If significant or even variable fringe length is required, cut lengths of yarn may be applied to the knitting, or make long loops and cut after they have been secured.
The lengths will be twisted two or more at a time, first in one direction, then in the opposite, and released.
This is a video for the tool sold by Lacis, which is very similar to my hair braiding tool. The twists are made clockwise on one setting, then counterclockwise and released. They can be overtwisted and when the twist is reversed and released, the results appear to find a common average for fairly consistent quality.
The knots to secure the yarns may be executed as you go or at the end of the twisting process, keeping the fringe length even or varied as needed.
My initial sample used loops with 2 plies in each
COL: begin with a crochet cast on from left to right
Knit a row to the left
COL: hang cut loops across the row, knitting each through the stitch previously on the needle
use the background yarn to repeat the crochet “cast on” in front of the loops to secure them, move the KC to the right
COR: continue knitting and bind off
For the test, I used loops sized on the same ruler as for the bouillion sample and then cut. Later, below, the comparison is made between the different finished fringe lengths.
The yarns plies got combed and trimmed to even lengths.
Enough yarn needs to be secured in the twister hooks so the ends will not slip out during the process, which is very quick, and it soon becomes evident how long to twist in one direction before reversing the twist setting.
The couple of rough spots evident in my trim happened when the yarn split and was caught in the hooks of the twister, so the release was not clean.
I varied the number of plies, in each hook, beginning with 2 in each, then three, four, and mixing things up a bit more in a couple of the series. The plies in the cut end below the knots remain available for counting to verify the numbers of plies used if notes are lacking.
A crochet hook or latch tool may be a useful aid when pulling the ends through a fringe loop, forming the knots. Comparing the bouillon fringe length to the above: Here the loops are created using a factory 4 ply space-dyed wool. After a chain cast-on and a row knit in the ground yarn, the loops are knit through each stitch on the needle bed, then knitting continued for several rows and the piece was bound off.
The loops were cut open at their bottom, the hair twister was used to create the fringe, with 2 yarn thread lengths in each hook. The results are quick to produce, and worth some further experimentation. There are many other possible variations, including blending fiber content in the fringe lengths.

Knit tubes, i-cords, and simple knit strips that are allowed to twist in on themselves are all options for fringing, but be prepared to weave in lots of yarn ends. One of my slip stitch scarves, with attached i-cords fringe Series of loops, twisted or not, can also be applied in pattern anywhere on the knit, and folks who do not like fringe can create a variety of alternative edgings, some ideas will be shared in a future post.

 

Photos of my work: memory lane 2

Back in 2013 I shared some images of my early knit work. I recently came across some slides of knits I produced back 1990-1991 in my “student days”. The large, non repetitive images were knit using a bit knitter connection to a Passap KM in the days when images were scanned with a black and white security camera set up with color filters. The “death coat” was designed during the Gulf War, in 1991. The images below are photos taken of my slides

my most political piece from the same period, one of my 2 finished pieces in 3 colors per row dbj (on dress form)

from old postcards of Boston, back and front could be reversed when worn
a ruana, knit in panels on a Studio 560, using mylar sheetsThis was my first attempt at a FI dress when learning the km, also on a Studio 560. I did not use a brother punchcard or electronic until 1991

And this may well be my one and only ever round yoke sweater. The motif was not completely original, but inspired from a magazine,  and reworked for a different, bulkier gauge. My model was quite petite. 

My ceremonial costume for an acid rain dance was woven, with knotted on plastic strips cut from colored small plastic bags. In those days the variety of color and size in them was limited, and they were mailed to me from friends in different parts of the country. The bottom of the sleeves and hems were edged in twisted fringe that incorporated pompoms and jingle bells.

Below a part from series that followed shortly after the above, previously uploaded to flickr is shown. Photos were taken casually with a camera. For a long time I rode the fence of feeling the need to avoid the expense of a professional photographer and model, since I have always knit very few, often labor intensive pieces with the hope of selling them, and that would add considerably to my own base cost for each piece. Consequently, a lot of my work from those days went undocumented. At some point I decided a record of the work was more important to me than the “quality” of the photography. These pieces were all knit pre my teaching days. Later I found accessories such as scarves and shawls allowed me to explore a variety of fabrics in a more immediate way than in developing full scale garments, and my production knits since then have reflected that.

marbled paper inspiration, 3 colors per row DBJ

 

Other stuff: “Quilted and stuffed” monofilament cocoonInspired by and adapting the repeat in a published machine knitting magazine

Return to circles, knit “pies” 3

Elizabeth Zimmermann provided guidelines for circular shawls in her books and publications, including “Knitting Workshop”. For a basic pi shawl (p. 112, Schoolhouse Press, 1984) the assumption is that each section is twice as deep as the previous section and has twice as many stitches. Below CO row represents cast on stitches if the work is to begin from the center out, Column A the row count on which the increases take place, column B the number of rows knit just prior to the increase row (A-1), and C the number of rows available for any planned repeat (A-2), these are constants. The columns directly below each cast on (CO) number (orange) counts represent the number of stitches when increases are complete. The stitch count doubles when the number of rounds has doubled. Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns, Dover 1972, p.p. 245-247 provides guidelines for circular medallions. She calls her first a “disc” medallion. In executing it the aim is to scatter increases so they are less visible and do not form spokes. Four stitches are cast on, with 4 stitches increased in the total count every other row. The number of stitches between M1s increases by one on every other row. My chart happens to read from left to right. As with any knitting in the round, the process may be reversed, starting at the circumference and moving toward the center. I personally like charts to help visualize results, and have revised her counts in the illustration below so increases are at the same rate but placed a bit differently within the rows. On rows with even numbers between decreases, start row with half that number of knit stitches before the first increase. Because one is knitting in the round, with knit side facing, all rows are knit. If the work were knit on 2 needles, knitting every row would produce a garter stitch. what happens if increases “line up” For her circular “radiant” medallion after the first 2 rows increases are made every 4th round. My chart is renumbered excluding the first 2 rows, so the increase rounds would occur on numbers divisible by 4, making it easier for tracking them. Each “building” round increases the number of stitches by 16.

In her “target” circular medallion, the building increases are arranged in concentric circles. Each increase row begins with a M1. Once RC 20 is reached, a stitch is added between increases on each increase round. This chart reflects the knitting progress, but not the shape. STS column on right reflects the total number of stitches after increases have been made. Each building round after RC 6 increases the count by 32. Formulas for more, varied geometry-based medallions are also offered in the book.  I finally “discovered” actually using formulas in Excel! The video that clearly and quickly helped me learn how to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFVkSnGgZZclooking at the flow in table form for the first 2 medallions

These formulas do not take into account changes in gauge or stitch type within bands. For similar shapes to be achieved in machine knitting, the number of transfers would be prohibitive. In order to achieve similar shapes, one begins with the radius of the finished circle and the shapes in the family may be knit sideways, using holding.

Hand knitters can work with 4 double-pointed needles, one or 2 (or more) circular needles, and crocheters can follow similar shaping methods. The advantage to long circulars is less bunching up as the work grows, and if you like working flat or want to try the garment on while shaping it, you can use more than one long needle, making the piece or the try on manageable. Working from the top down when knitting such shapes may give one more control over the size of the finished piece i.e. on length of body and sleeves, height between bands, extending a yoke into a shoulderette or cape. Stitch pattern size and repeats add to the math calculations. Garter stitch is the only hand knit stitch that approaches a square gauge, could be used in combination with patterned bands.

The charted patterns above rely on M1 to increases. Yarn overs may be used for decorative holes at increase points. If preferred, the hole may be diminished by twisting the stitch when picking it up on the next round.

When knitting in stripes, the “jog” at the color change in knitting can be eliminated by slipping the old color purl-wise and starting to knit the second stitch. TECHknitting provides more alternatives in her posts: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/01/jogless-stripes.html
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2011/03/jogless-stripes-pretty-picture-version.html. For a method using yarn ends and a needle when the yarn is cut http://imgur.com/a/NREsH.

For shawl shapes and their geometry using YO increases, see the posts and publications by Holly Chayes.

To start it all from the center out: I am used to doing the magic loop cast on with a crochet hook, and then moving on from there, Kitty Falol shows it worked with DPNs.

Illusion DIY patterns in crochet

I previously posted on illusion knitting, and on one approach to designing simple patterns using the technique. The first 3 images below are of the swatch illustrating one of my hand knit patterns. 

Since I am now involved in a group interested chiefly in crochet, I got curious about executing the fabric in crochet. Part of the problem is that enough texture needs to be created to be able to read the “shadows”. I tried crocheting in different parts of the chain, around the posts in the row below, and ultimately went back to afghan stitch. I had not used the latter since making blankets first for my son, and then for my grandchildren.

the Tunisian aka afghan stitch fabric as it looks head-on tilted up to its side and its rear view

Those of you new to the technique can find some instruction at the Red Heart website, and in a beginning how-to video from Crochetcrowd. I used Tunisian simple and Reverse Tunisian simple stitches to create my pattern. In this technique, chart texture rows are read right to left. The return rows are not illustrated. It takes 2 passes of color one, followed by 2 passes of color 2 to complete one pattern row. Yarn is carried up the side, color is changed in the same manner as in any crochet stitch. In my test swatch, no border stitches were planned for or included. It is always wise to test the repeat in repeat before working the fabric.

 two passes are needed with each color, so here is the repeat with double length columns     

A: color used   B: forward and backward pass for each color   C: number of passes to complete a single repeat. The highlighted box at the bottom indicates a completed single design row. Only 2 colors are in use in the swatch. I found it easier to track my work and the edges where the textures need to meet by using an additional pair of colors in the chart itself. Rather than use the crochet terminology I marked my first stitches with F and B for each color, referencing the front/ forward, and rear/ back vertical loops/ posts respectively. As one moves across the row from right to left, when the color/ texture change is reached, the yarn is brought to the front or the back as needed, and the next color/ texture is worked in the reverse post/ loop.

working in back loop only of the starting chain produces a firmer edge at the bottom of the piece return pass every other row, not represented in chart changing color Front, vertical loop Back, vertical loopH: horizontal, V: vertical red indicates hook entrance through the front, green for through back vertical bars respectively, prior to working the next stitch

Both swatches were made using similar weight yarns. The crochet version required more passes back and forth than in knitting, where the work may be turned over and the texture reversed on each knit row. The knit repeat measured approximately 5.5 inches L by approximately 4W, isolating my best guess stitch number equivalent to the crochet one. The crochet swatch measures 7 inches L by 6W.

Online Pattern generators, hacks, free KM manuals, and more

I welcome being contacted re any problem links
generators that require color changing every 2 rows using a color changer (or 2 carriages)
mazes on gridded output, easily adaptable to knit http://www.ludiculus.com/maker/mazes.html
more mazes  http://www.billsgames.com/mazegenerator/
maze pattern http://www.unikatissima.de/e/?page_id=2062 blog closed 
cellular automaton http://www.unikatissima.de/e/?page_id=2148 blog closed  
Some unikatissima blog content may be found here, but generators fail as they relied on Flash Player, now defunct 
other generators that can help with shaping garments, or some basic knit motif design
Truchet tiles generator https://dmackinnon1.github.io/truchet/gen.html
knitting pattern http://kpg.sourceforge.net
top-down circular raglan calculator http://kpg.sourceforge.net
Icelandic round yoke design does not work any longer in later version browsers, on Mac even with the installation of Silverlight, on Ravelry, it was noted the program does operate in internet explorer  http://knittingpatterns.is/#/Design
random square patterns http://www.unikatissima.de/e/?page_id=3638  blog closed
punchcard generator and how to use videos
https://patternpunchknit.com/
 beta online tool 11/2022 
math calculators for knitting
free online manuals, magazines
machineknittingetc.com now https://mkmanuals.com/
hacking
a hacking history https://www.beautifulseams.com/2014/10/29/tricodeur-writeup/
only the intro is in German: a nearly hour-long presentation by Fabienne
another approach for Brother models KH”‘930, 940, 950i, and 970: http://daviworks.com/knitting/ and the associated group on Ravelry 
970 how to hack instructable 
for additional cumulative information, software compatibility and hardware specs see Claire Williams’ website
GitHub
PatternUploader
color reductions/ conversions for large, nonrepetitive images Mac
online dither generators
https://ditherit.com 9 dithering types
https://app.dithermark.com  a huge range of possibilities
Hand knitting websites worth a browse:
https://www.knittingfool.com/Pages/Reference.aspx
pattern generators/ web design
open-source charting program http://sourceforge.net/projects/sconcho/
quick screenshot

1/21/2016: Online weaving program by Andrew Glassner ; associated blogpost 

11/26/17 a simple, user-friendly free motif design paint program for Mac, last updated April 2019: Paint Brush

Plarn/tarn/ tarn my way

When I first shared plarn information here, I was under the impression the term applied to anything cut into strips and in turn used as “yarn” in knitting or crochet. Now, however, it appears the term “tarn” is in use when t-shirts or fabric are used. There are many ways to create tarn easily found online, including youtube videos by several authors, and even commercially dyed and prepared skeins/balls for purchase. Since I machine knit, I am interested in producing “tarn” that may knit on the bulky KM, which results in limitations that do not apply if one is to knit it by hand or crochet, where needle and hook sizes are far less limiting.
In my sewing stash of “rulers”, I had one product by June Tailor which since my purchase appears to have evolved. Its closest cousin by the same manufacturer is the shape-cut-ruler. It is a convenient cutting guide that I have also used on felted wool to produce even slits for later manipulation such as chaining.In this case, I began by cutting off the sleeves and upper body from armholes to neck, resulting in a tube, which in turn I pressed and folded in half, leaving a single fold edge for later cuts to produce the continuous strip.

Below the ruler is positioned over T-shirt tube folded almost in half in this case, with single fold border at top for later continuous cutting into tarn yardage

this is a better view of upper edge; rotary cutter moves within slits, inverted “teardrops” at the top serve as stops for the cutter, leaving an even, upper border intact, I tend to use rotary cutter moving from bottom up; this is not a hard and fast rule and may be adjusted to suit your preference

follow cutting guides through slits across the piece; a sharp blade helps considerably; when finished with the first pass, move ruler along each cut line, and make a second pass with the cutter to eliminate any areas skipped on the first pass and thus uncut while applying even pressure on the ruler; this is quicker and neater than using scissors; in turn, release the strip and lift away from the ruler, move ruler one strip over ( I am right handed, so moving from right to left), repeat process across fabric width

one T shirt down!

here I like to use a long curtain rod, broom handle, or anything else on hand and slip the slitted but partially intact tube onto it

here is the above rod, perched with ends resting between my kitchen table and the opposing countertop. The black marking line indicates the location of the first border cut from right towards left, and cutting (with scissors) continues in the same movement across the width of the fabric

time to make a ball! beginning in this case with “yarn end” on right, “milk” about an arm’s length of the strip (as you pull on the fabric it narrows and curls inward), and begin winding the result into a ball. As you move across the supporting rod the ball will have to be moved over and under it at regular intervals to keep the fabric flowing easily. I did so at the end of each loop circumference, which was easier for me than lifting the right end of my rod to free the “yarn”. The result:

the “yarn” superimposed on the ruler for an idea of the change in fabric width after pulling/stretching

a sample knit EON on the 260

On my crochet hook

Lots of crochet patterns of late have featured chains and bobbles as components. I have been playing around with the idea of combining both. The fabric could be shaped by varying the number of chains and double crochets creating bobbles, and with very thick yarn the fabric may appear nearly solid. This is my working graph. Ovals represent chain stitches, beginning at the left chain is created, first bobble row is represented in red/orange; second bobble row is represented in green, crochet after work is turned over, and when the opposite side is reached, visually it will appear as though a single row of 5 bobbles has been completed. The numbers represent the number of triple crochets in each popcorn, the crosses are joining single crochets for anchoring chains to previous rows, and closing off popcorns. The graph was created in Excel.

The yarn in use here is a very soft acrylic, intended for someone who cannot wear wool.

a thicker wool, less open space

Nearly any crochet fabric has the potential to be incorporated into knit items of clothing and accessories.

Where are they now?

Many of us grey-haired knitters may recall the art to wear movement and some of them became familiar at the height of home machine knitting and seminar circuits. I am beginning a thread that makes an effort to discover them in the present time, will add to this post as I find links. The order is purely random,  includes published teachers and some of the knitters/ fiber artists found in the book documenting the birth of the movement pictured below.

John Allen.  Nicky Hitz Edson.  Some of the thousands of entries that may be found via google for Norma Minkowitz. Jean Williams Cacicedo. Linda Mendelson 

This post was written in 2011. Susanna died in mid-July 2021. A young Ravelry member at the time began this Wiki page with references on her life and work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanna_Lewis.

Plarn

A new word discovery for me today, apparently not to many others out there. For ideas in crochet, on making it 1, and for the same method used to obtain continuous bias strips 2.

I made a plastic bag woven piece back in my student days, it was woven, rya knotted onto a wool warp, with jingle bells and pom-poms as both a decorative and a sound element; in an instance of art school need to name I called the piece my “Ceremonial Costume for an Acid Rain Dance”. At the time colored plastic bags were hard to find, friends mailed them to me from wherever they traveled.