Truchet tiling design inspiration 1

For many years my knitting of accessories and wearable pieces was my source of income, guided by what pricing the local market would bear, the limitations of mylar sheets or that of an early Passap interface to program repeats, and the amount of time required to complete each piece.
There is practicality and ease in playing with colors using small motifs single-bed, and varying materials and yarn plies allowed me to aim for limited edition designs without looking at identical finished products more than once or occasionally a few times.
At first, Ayab and then img2track changed the playing field in terms of downloading and programming designs.
Eventually, my knitting moved from production pieces for sale to creating samples for my blog almost exclusively.
I have had a long and continued interest in math-based designs, and knit a line of accessories using automata-inspired repeats, often limiting the repeats in size to ones that would align vertically without having to program multiple DBJ segments, reducing the possibility of programming errors in scarves that would often require around 1200 knit rows in length.
A 930 followed the 910, this, knit in July 2021, was my first try at using img2track to download multiple tracks. There are many ways to yield math-based patterns, and nowadays online generators and reference sites abound, making it possible for nongeeks to use the resulting files to create knit suitable designs.
Some recent Truchet tile images shared on Instagram brought me back to exploring math-based images and what by default needs to be executed as larger-scale design motifs in knitting.
Sebastian Truchet was a Carmelite priest whose “Memoir sur les Combinasions” was published in 1704. It is a wealth of patterns built up from a simple motif, which you can see here
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3486m.image.f526.langFR and in which he discussed squares, half black, half white, split into triangles, with four possible orientations for each tile. He was also the inventor of the point system for indicating the sizes of typeface fonts.
His method of tiling by the combination of manipulating four-letter codes, A, B, C, and D, in rotations using triangular shapes inspired new variations in tilings.
Cyril Stanley Smith introduced two alternatives to the basic Truchet tile in 1987. One uses only diagonal lines to create maze-like designs where the coloring is removed and only the boundaries remain. The other, resulting in the designs produced in this post, uses quarter circles that may be filled or used as outlines and rotated to form the final shapes.  Distinctions in naming the tiles are not often made. “Truchet” is the commonly used generic term.
Some articles on the tilings:
Generalizations of truchet tiles, Multiscale Truchet PatternsThe Tiling Patterns of Sebastien Truchet and the Topology of Structural Hierarchy, and More on tiles, fun with portraits.
Basic elements include contrasting triangles,  quarter circles, and diagonal lines.
One may find code for programming DIY in various GitHub links. Python is far beyond my interest or skill, there are many ways to achieve the designs.
Spreadsheets are also programmable, but require the development of formulas.

Developing patterns from online sources, beginning with the Smith variation using quarter circles: the Wolfram site is a computing and math one well worth exploring, the files there are Computable Document Files, a document standard developed by Wolfram Research. They can be saved and opened using the Wolfram CDF Player, which is a standalone application and a Web browser plug-in provided for free.
To preview search results in a browser: https://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TruchetTiles/.
Ad blockers may interfere with proper previews in Safari but appears to not be an issue using Chrome as the browser.
Files cannot be saved from the preview results other than as screengrabs.
What is cdf  
For permanent access to preferred CDFs:
CDF Wolfram player download is available for Mac and Windows, you will be asked to provide an email address.
After the player is installed and opened, click on the central option, and search for your area of interest.  Any demonstration may be saved for future use, most are customizable to varying degrees.
In my first effort, I used colors and left the black outlines. The second, simpler method of editing follows below it.  The swatch png, 58X150, includes 2 stitch vertical borders in the dark color. The machine was set to the built-in KRC color separation for DBJ. Some of the circular shapes have been already edited, but if I were to reuse the repeat, I would clean up more of the design shape edges
160 design rows were knit, measuring 7.5 inches by 20.5.
The dark color is a chenille from an unmarked cone with uncertain yardage. The space-dyed is an 8/2 rayon slub.
Tension was set at 5/5, the knit carriage on KCI, and the ribber using lili buttons for birdseye backing. KCII may be used as well if preferred, the side vertical edges will have a slightly different appearance. Developing an added repeat:
the working file in the cdf is a default 600 by 600 pixels. If the goal is to save a black-and-white downloadable png, the present plan is to fill in portions of the design with black while leaving others in white.
Checking tiling insures continuous designs at any point in the process.
It is possible to directly scale size in the cdf, but the shape outlines become broken in the automatic % reduction, so the filling-in process I suggest fails to be contained. In this exercise, none of the other available parameters were changed. When the player is launched, click on the tile, it will be surrounded by an orange line,  copy the image, and it can then be pasted directly into Gimp.  Change the Image Mode to BW Indexed before proceeding further.
Using the fuzzy select tool click on any area in the design, it will be surrounded by dotted lines select bucket fill, to fill the selected area with black.
Edit, undo will revert to the previous steps in sequence at any point.
If satisfied, select the rectangle tool.
Clicking on the selected area will allow its use for copying and pasting the outlined segment on a new canvas or cropping the area to the selection for saving while clicking anywhere in the Gimp work window fixes the results. The dotted lines disappear. Repeat the process on the remaining image.  The processed file will measure 600X600 pixels.
Anyone working with large-scale images and reducing file size to make them available for knitting as single panels on a standard machine is familiar with the loss of detail and the need for cleanup of edges as incremental decreases in file size are attempted.
Magnifying any of these will help evaluate forms and scaling decisions for final repeats to be used in knit test swatches.
Downloading or copying and pasting them from here for personal use may change the image mode to RGB in the process, check mode and convert them to indexed BW if needed before any further use.
300X300200X200 pixels  150X150 pixels  The proof of concept was knit using the 100X200 repeat without any pixel cleanup.  The blue yarn is a 2/20 wool, and the white is a 2/28 Italian yarn of unspecified fiber content from my stash. Both beds were set at 2/2. The KRC setting separated the colors so each color in each row knits only once, but it takes 2 passes to complete one row, so 100 design rows translate to 200 rows of knitting. In this instance, img2track used on the 930 broke up the design into 2 tracks, a 66-row first track, followed by a 134-row one.
Each track needed to be programmed sequentially.
The ribber was set for birdseye backing, which in this case results in an interesting shadowing of the pattern Comparing the two swatches: Variations in tiles made by changing variable view options will still align when combined, easily producing a range of new designs at merging points. Use guides to help narrow down segments of interest, here they are placed at even 100-pixel intervals on two adjoining 600-pixel images. To remove a single guide after placing it, go to Edit, Undo Add the Horizontal or Vertical Guide. To remove all guides, go to View, and uncheck Show Guides.
And for those not averse to developing any larger motifs from scratch, the limitations of any geometric shape, when reduced to low-resolution knitting, mean the search must begin for what one determines to be a pleasing circular form.     My original circle was placed on a 40X40 grid with outlines every 10 cells, the central circular 20X20 repeat was isolated and split into quarters, in turn generating these 2 tiles out of the 8 total required, also 20X20, with the second the color-reversed image of the first. A similar approach can be used in color to visualize the initial 8 tile repeats and their rotations in order to form new shapes. This technique may be useful in planning floor tile patterns but is cumbersome for developing knit designs. Facilitating and speeding up the process: in my post on using ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design, I briefly touched on the Drawing-in-repeat feature in Arah to produce random tiling.

Thanks to the developer there now is a video, viewable on Instagram and Facebook, on how to use the feature for this type of tile, which allows for very quick DIY versions that can be trimmed as needed for knitting. This is my very first try, a how-to will follow in the next post.   And the second, composed of triangular formsFor spreadsheet users, this one generates the various tiles in Google Sheets and a related article.

 

 

Color separations for larger scale mosaics and mazes

There are generators online for many generators to aid with knitting design. In 2015 I published a post on working with generated mazes: Gimp charting 1
The mosaic and maze graphics prior to their color separations are not suitable for fantasy fair isle double bed knitting as a shortcut. There are simply too many vertical white pixel rows begging for carriage jams no matter the machine used. The same long lines of black or white cells make them unsuitable for traditional fair isle knitting as well.
Visual clues are helpful as steps get navigated. In small-scale repeats, a different option from the method that follows is to begin with a file previously used and separated, magnified to 1800X.
1. using the rectangle select tool, begin on row 1, extending handle outside the image, I work from left to right
2. hold down the shift key, and continue selecting every other row. As each row is selected, it is outlined with dots. The handles to the right and left of that row serve as guides as to the last row worked, moving up as separation progresses. Clicking on the rectangle select tool at any point fixes the layer, and the dotted lines will disappear. The process could be performed in steps, with guides placed prior to color inverting the previous steps in the sequence and moving onto the next. The guides remain until they are removed by clicking on the check mark beside show guides, or with the Image / GuidesRemove all Guides command.
In large designs, I would guess this may be more easily error-prone than when using layers.
3. after each pertinent row has been selected, choose the color invert option, and save the resulting file. The first step is completed in the separation.
The file then needs in turn to be color-inverted and lengthened X2 prior to knitting. The result matches the separation in the previous post.   Holding down the shift key when using the pencil tool on any image produces very different results.  My samples continue to be knit on the 930 using img2track, a download program I find reliable and easy to use. The only errors in programming I have encountered were due to operator errors, not software ones.

Since 2015 working with larger images has become far less daunting as my methods for color separations of mazes and mosaics have evolved.
Laura Kroegler’s online Mosaic Pattern Generator is still available. Returning to it, and using these parameters the pngs were downloaded both in red and then again in black and white. A 38X38 stitch repeat was isolated, and using Layer/Transparency/Color to Alpha a knittable mosaic design was obtained which, when knit, would require elongation X2 for color changing every 2 rows The last file, doubled in length to 76 rows in height, requires no further processing The separations are achieved now in just minutes.
The proof of concept swatch: when using repeats that are so much wider, one must commit to far larger swatches to test them. In addition, the placement in the final piece may matter with shifting the pattern to highlight a preferred center, here the machine was allowed to place the design as a simple overall one on 78 stitches by 116 rows. There are droves of inspiring large-scale mosaic crochet images published nowadays, which led me to wonder about DIY similar large graphic mosaics in machine knitting.
I performed the first color separation with shortcuts, used mirroring the cleaned-up repeat, did not verify each step with tiling, and committed to knitting a test swatch. A 68X136 repeat X2 in width and at least with 40 more rows in height, produced a 16X24 inch test swatch, wherein a couple of missing pixels became noticeable.
The swatch was also knit using slip in both directions on the main bed, which produces a narrow, short fabric as opposed to wide and also short when using the tuck setting. Back to the drawing board.
The initial approach is similar to that used in creating mock filet crochet shapes on the machine.
With present tools the results process is easy and quick: to begin with, choose any symmetrical design where the shaping of the motif occurs in single rows, this one measures 23X23  scale the file X3 in both directions to 69X69 save this brush to use later for bucket-fill in the design.     Choose fuzzy select by color/black, each shape will be surrounded by a dotted line bucket fill the selections with the saved pattern click on rectangle select to fix the layer, work on and clean up the repeat, and check a magnified version for any missing or misplaced pixels.  Save the png. for reference before continuing to work. Make one of 2 choices. If the goal is to place a motif, and to add borders or horizontal additional design stripes, create a new canvas, larger in size than the above, fill it with the same pattern, and then Colors/Invert.  Click on the rectangle tool to fix the layer.    Change the white color to alpha in the previously processed snowflake, click on the rectangle tool again copy and paste the file onto the color-reversed grid, and click on the rectangle tool.  Check the pasted image visually, and continue adding any other designs.  If the goal is to produce an all-over design, crop the shape on the dotted ground, and save it as a 69X69 repeat. Pasting the original on an equal size color reversed dotted ground does not work.  Tiling the result of the cropped repeat will show the need for cropping it by one row at the top and one column to the right.   The resulting repeat, 68X68 tiled X3 in each direction for a visual check.  Using the process previously described
1. open the 68-stitch file in Gimp, and magnify it to at least 800X for a visible grid
2. open file/new, equal size and magnification
3. copy and paste 1 on 2, click on the rectangle select tool
Colors/invert, click again on the rectangle tool or anywhere in the work window 4: magnify further if needed. Using the pencil tool fill in every other row beginning with row 2 in a contrasting palette color, and click on the rectangle tool 5. Layer, transparency, color to alpha, as described in the last post, click on rectangle tool 6. Copy and paste this result onto the 68-stitch file in the first window, there will be lots of dotted lines onscreen  Click on the rectangle select tool to paste the image in place. Since those large areas of white will be knitted in a tuck or slip fabric, the above result needs to be color inverted. If used as is, set the machine’s built-in double-length function.  Doubling the length of the file prior to the download to km Part of the view on the img2track screen for the 68X136 file ready for download. Committing to proving the concept:  Using the same approach of tripling the original, here the repeat was used in an attempt to render a larger-scale mosaic. The process becomes fiddly because using the fuzzy select tool and then the bucket-fill-in pattern does not work cleanly on areas that are only 3 pixels wide.
That said, it is possible obstinately, in stages, to get from this, 36X54 To a 36 by 56 mosaic
A last edit Perhaps falling in the category of “don’t have to simply because I can”.

Images at this stage of the process may be knit double-bed as a “fantasy fair isle” with no further separation.
On an electronic machine, download the repeat, program it for the number of needles in use on the top bed, and select the KRC separation button.
The first preselection row will need to be from left to right.
The main bed is set to tuck in both directions, the ribber to N in both directions.
There will be lots of non-selected needles tucking on rows with large numbers of side-by-side white cells. Because the fabric is being knit using every needle on both beds, each main bed tuck loop will have a knit stitch on the opposite bed anchoring it down. Those rows will appear more compressed, producing narrower horizontal lines The yarns used were very thin single strands of  2/28 at tension 4/3. The result is a very lightweight and loose knit with lots of drape. The 72 stitches by 140 rows swatch measured 16 inches in width by 10 rows in height. Perhaps a good method for summer shawls, worth exploring in thicker yarns for blankets. A closer look at the structure:  A larger BW design was processed using no modification of the original 75X71 motif. When using Gimp/File/Save, the result is a .xcf document similar to PSD files in Photoshop. It will store layers, transparency settings, and more information associated with and parts of the same project. Note to self: before deleting the .xcf make certain that at least the final png has been saved.

If one is familiar with image processing and fond of the maze appearance in designs, there is a font to try: Mazeletter
The downloadable associated documentation and source for inspiration: http://mazeletter.xyz/Mazeletter.pdf.
A very quick random type sample rendered with no advance planning: 

Another, mosaic4way, is potentially usable for single bed fair isle or dbj.  The drawback has been that my sample pngs for both were created in RGB mode, and conversion to BW or scaling loses details.
It is possible to begin on an all-white canvas, set the mode to indexed to start with, type text, merge layer down, crop to content, and have workable indexed black and white knittable results, but the degree of success appears to depend on the font size used.
Another thing to investigate 😉

Working with diagonal patterning in machine knitting

After a slow down in my blog posts for a variety of reasons I find myself playing catch up with the eternal list of knit fabrics that I wish to explore out of my own curiosity and the attempt to answer questions from knitters who contacted me directly via the blog or have asked them in the online forums in which I am a member.
Stephen West is a prolific designer of colorful hand knits in a variety of techniques and complexity. This honey-striped scarf is an example.   Slip-stitch patterning is a likely way of knitting a similar effect combined with
the use of the concept familiar to many when making bias cast-on rags.
A fixed number of stitches is cast on and positioned as far to one side of the machine as possible. They are then decreased on a fixed side and increased on the opposite one.
The strip moves across the needle bed, when far enough on the side opposite to the starting one, it is returned to the original needle bed position and the process is repeated until the desired length is reached.
If the moves to and from are performed on solid color rows matching needle selections may not be an issue. If the repeats in other cam settings are to match, then proper needle placement can be assisted by marking the metal bed, the factory-supplied needle tape, or a custom-printed one, and hand-selection for the first design row may be required and planned.
This chart attempts to visualize the proposed movement using colored stripes. Stitches are bound off on one side and cast-on on the other to maintain a fixed width with shaped edges.  If the goal is to maintain straight bias edges, the design repeat would need to be rendered wider in order to compensate for the shifts on the needle bed in turn modifying increases and decreases at a different rate The black cells represent the adjusted stitch counts needed for each pattern band.  When an item such as a scarf is worn, both options will appear as diagonals. If any picture knitting is included and the direction of it matters when the piece is worn, appreciated particularly in representational fair isle, such accessories are best knit as 2 pieces knit from the bottom up, and grafted together at their center after the fact.
Increases and decreases are calculated based on the knit gauge carefully for garments. The approach to accessories may be more casual.
Stripes heights are varied to accommodate any specific design motifs or cam settings and in turn, are added to the base visualization charts.
Here an attempt at 45-degree striping is made by beginning on a 3-stitch tab.  Increasing on the carriage side creates loops, while those opposite the carriage form knots.
Increases and decreases are indicated by arrows.
Increases are made on alternating sides, opposite the carriage, to produce matching edges.
The red cells in the chart represent the carriage side prior to each pass.
Table cells have been rendered rectangular in a 4 to 3 ratio, estimating the difference in gauge between stitches and rows.
Striping for an even number of rows matters if color changes are made on a fixed side ie if a color changer is in use. Yarn ends at color changes may be cut or the yarn can be carried up the side depending on preference and the number of rows involved. If carried up for long stretches, the alternate color yarn not in use may be secured by e wrapping it on the end needle periodically. Care needs to be taken that the float up the side is not so short as to have an effect on the swatch length and having an effort to remedy that will leave yarn ends too short to be secured.
The result is not going to produce a proper square, garter stitch is the only knit stitch that results in approximately true square shapes.
If the center of the machine is always used for swatches, keep an eye on the stitch formation. If loops are formed repeatedly on specific needles akin to tuck stitches or problem areas such as those in the center of this swatch are encountered, they can be caused by damaged needles or sticky latches that may result from frequent use. Diagonal lines in knits that maintain straight sides are also achieved using short row/holding intarsia techniques. Segments are planned in specific orders which can be varied to form added shapes.  Chevrons would be more easily created by knitting separate strips and seaming as you knit or after the fact. The addition of small-repeat fair isle patterns is also possible. Keep in mind when bringing needles back into work to reverse shaping, needle preselection for accurate patterning in Brother machines needs to be maintained by hand selection.  Some of the published punchcard patterns can serve as a source for diagonal lines that may be tiled and programmed for the full design in addition to being used for their original intent. Numbers 52, 384, and 328 (published with error), are suitable for tuck, slip, and FI with moderately wide floats, while 335 would fail as a tuck stitch.
Tiling as in any patterning will reveal errors, such as here for 328.  The latter was edited to a 22-stitch wide repeat, becoming suitable for only electronic machine models.
The charts with the red grid on the top row were rendered as tables in Numbers. Since their end use is different, they are the color-reversed version of the cards, whose screengrabs were in turn processed in Gimp to create knittable pngs.
The smallest repeats suitable for electronics are given in the center row of images, the amended 328 cannot be reduced in size. The last row illustrates tiling for all files as BW images that may be opened and amended to suit the size of the pieces planned.
Files in png formats for the group: if pngs generated by me in BW indexed mode are downloaded and opened in editors such as Gimp, they will open in RGB mode. To make them suitable for download programs, convert them to indexed BW mode again and save the result. There should be no loss of data.
384, 12X2412X48 144X144328, 22X44
176X176
335, 12X24
24X48 144X144  52, 8X16
24X48 192X192 The black lines formed by units 2 rows in height can be followed or erased to establish short rows shaping a stitch at a time every two rows, in a view of at least 2X2 full repeats to check color placement as seen here. The method was used to isolate the previous ungridded color illustrations. Another instance of a published diagonal tuck card, in this case, incorporates a combination of 2 and 4-row tuck patterning. The repeat is 24X48 The previews may be used to replace color selections with those matching yarn colors used in the project to develop some idea as to how color shifts might affect the final piece.
Adding lettering or small shapes and maintaining the diagonal can result in distortion of the motifs.
One option to add such motifs is to form the knit by beginning on 3 stitches as in this shared swatch and planning the stripes to heights and widths that accommodate adding designs or fonts. Short-row intarsia will also produce diagonal striping, from simple to complex as seen in this chart, with knitting sequence numbered for each segment.  complex_number_01A limited number of rows may be knit in stocking stitch in areas following shapes not simply to travel to the opposite side and reverse shaping,  but also to add small rolls or hems.
Another use might be to add small vertical motif details or patterning in their usual orientation.
The limit appears to be a maximum of 8 rows of alternative patterns, in order to keep the short-rowed areas from developing into distorted edges, which may be variable depending on the yarn and pattern used.
This first swatch was knit using progressively thinner yarns, wool, wool rayon, and a 2/24 acrylic in the FI segment. FI is a slip stitch that narrows the knit. The dark acrylic color stitch definition here gets lost. The band is seen pulling in the short-row segments on both sides. The shaping in both the top and bottom segments is by 2 stitches at a time.  The result in different yarns of equal thickness, with the FI band knit at a tension one full number looser than the stocking stitch areas, with the top and bottom solid color segments now shaped 3 stitches at a time. There is a trick when making A-line skirts to change the triangles that would poke out normally at the bottom if shaping were to begin immediately used as a design feature in many runway knits recently. If between an inch or 2 are actually knit up straight before shaping starts, the problem is eliminated. Depending on the design this may be a solution or it may read as a patterning error.
There are some conventions and “rules” for short-row techniques, but they do not always apply.
Keeping good notes helps to make successful experiments reproducible.
Two more tries began to experiment with working on the first and last groups in the holding techniques on a different number of stitches than the remaining shapes, noting differences. In the first an all-knit row is made across the short-row eyelets, reducing the planned FI band from 6 rows to 5. A rough spot in maintaining even stitches on one side is noticeable.  Progress: holding happened at the start of the bottom wedge, the FI was knit at 2 tension numbers looser than the stocking stitch, for 6 rows.  The goal in the short row shaping for the triangles is to maintain vertical edges that appear as straight as possible to the eye. One need not work on large swatches, small ones can provide clues as to differences resulting from variations in the starting side of the short-row shapings.  Studying the results can lead to many variations. There are student theses and careers based on exploring limited techniques to the max.
Building a theoretical true square or other predictable shapes is subject to the yarn and tension used. Beginning with a small sample, this shows the order of knitting 2 triangular shapes with the carriage beginning to knit each shape from alternate sides. In this case, 2 stitches are to be brought in and out of holding at a time. Because each color knits for 2 rows, small slits happen in the fabric resulting in eyelets. They may be used as design features, or attempts can be made to reduce their size. One way to do so is to have plain knit rows between holding selections to keep the small slits from intersecting and becoming double height. On the left swatch, one yellow row was knit to the left before reverse shaping in the same color. In the swatch on the right, in addition, 2 rows were knit in the blue prior to reverse shaping.  Reviewing the concept and developing a chart for larger swatches: the cyan color cells represent stitches in the hold position and the white cells stitches that will be knit.
At the top of the first wedge, most needles will be in the hold position, return them all to the B position manually before knitting the next row.
With the carriage on either side, set it for KCI with the cam buttons to slip for a free pass to the opposite side, the first FI pattern row will pre-select. Holding need not be canceled, since no needles are brought far enough out for the technique.
Cancel the slip setting, change the cam setting for FI knitting, place the pairs of colors in their corresponding feeders, and knit 6-8 rows of pattern.
Bring all needles out to hold except for the first desired group, if the holding lever has been canceled, reset it and commence reverse shaping.  Merrily knitting along and you forget to loosen the tension for the fair isle stripe: And what if the FI were to actually follow diagonal colored stripes? The approach is the same. I am right-handed, my default is often to begin on the right. Left-handed knitters can mirror charts as needed to make them easier to follow.
The first triangle is shaped from right toward left, subsequent ones begin on the left, then to wrap or not wrap becomes the question. Review of wrapping, which does not disturb the stitch on or the position of the wrapped needle:   bothI obstinately use random yarns at hand, sometimes too thin for the task at hand, true here. Any type of intarsia, of which holding is one, will be accompanied by lots of yarn ends that will require weaving in. Some of the stitches were wrapped here, some not, and maybe the eyelets could be considered a pleasing design feature. The 8 rows of FI, knit at 2 full tension numbers higher than that used for stocking stitch, minimizes the size of the eyelets all on their own on both sides of its stripe. Errors in bringing an added group or not into work may not always be immediately visible, frogging this type of knitting can be painful.
I would not use the last 6 stitch modification in any future swatches. Elizabeth Zimmermann published many patterns for hand knitting utilizing garter stitch and striped diagonal wedges for garment shaping.
Machine-knit stitches do not form as close to square ones found in garter stitches. Rendering the full-scale garment on a knit leader would make knitting to gauge while avoiding tons of math calculations possible.
DIY is a bit like assembling paper cut-outs that are required to fit together, first attempts at planning do not always succeed. One may begin at different parts of the piece and seam two halves together if necessary in order to keep matching stitch formations in both directions. Stripes may be added to form secondary intersecting shapes. On the left is a simple one-piece vest concept with no miters in the back panel, which may be knit from the bottom up or as two pieces with a center seam.
The bolero style is repeated in 2 separate pieces with mirror shaping in the second and would be joined at the center back.
The knit gauge is easier to maintain in short or small wearables.   Many garments may be made following the concepts for creating “pies”.
Decades ago batwing sweaters based on a sideways circular knit concept were standard presentations at knit seminars. Short-row diagonal graduated wedges were followed by varying amounts of all knit rows.
This idea for a short sleeve garment is from a Japanese magazine. In creating such illustrations because of the scale of the publication, the aspect ratio is distorted. In the final garment, the bottom circumference can in fact be far narrower than it might appear to the eye in the sketch and may be gathered or left released depending on design goals. The neckline diameter at the end of the project, after joining one shoulder, is gathered with evenly distributed decreases to the desired measurement prior to knitting the collar.  A way to form a long sleeve item, using binding off and casting on stitches in addition to shaped wedges followed by all knit rows. Knitting a garment on the bias at 45 degrees will produce a knit fabric that drapes differently.
Horizontal patterning can turn into diagonals and chevrons, and fancy decreases may be used in the center shaping of the garment.
Pre-computer programs and knitleaders, an easy way to sort out shaping for garments, was to begin by drawing on large sheets of graph paper. An all-square grid is fine.
Calculate a 10 cm/4 inch knitting gauge to the second decimal point before any rounding off. For example, if the gauge works out to be 5.728, and the measurement needed is 19.5 inches, the multiplied value result is 111.696, which can be rounded off to a 112-row line on the graph paper.
Working in cm can actually lead to easier calculations and is required when using a charting device.
Each cell in the graph paper grid equals one stitch and one row.
For knitting on the straight grain, based on gauge, draw series dots placing them on the beginning and the ending pots for each measurement, and connect them with straight lines.
Curves such as those necessary for necklines may be composed of short straight-line segments.
When knitting from the bottom up, continue with a colored pencil, filling in squares as they jog in or out, maintaining the new outline as close to the first as possible.
For the bias knit, whether on graph paper, the computer, or a charting device, begin by drawing a 45-degree line.
Rotate and trace the unmodified original straight-line image in place, follow the lines, and mark in and out jogs once more in color for contrast.
This is a very small chart so outline jogs in far larger pieces cannot be reflected. They would produce edges not as straight as in standard knitting, which will need to be considered when joining finished pieces.
As the piece is rotated, a wider grid base is required. Consider that the motif images as they are worked on the purl side will be mirrored horizontally on the knit side, a particular consideration if any text is introduced. Comparing theoretical purl as opposed to knit views on the left, two purl views on the right.   Fonts in various stitch and row counts are useful when planning knit text.
The point at which the text or pattern is introduced needs to have enough stitches in work on the machine to contain the intended words, ie for the above, a minimum ground, independent of shaping, would need to contain more than 9 rows if solid color stripes are to be added above and below it, and 26 stitches in width in this case.
A proof of concept swatch with arbitrary shaping on every other row illustrates the need for shaping based on a calculated gauge if a square is indeed the aim.
I knit on a 930 where mirroring is automated for programmed designs, so the text was programmed as drawn.
Sometimes less information is more. It became evident very soon that the placement of the text on the left was wrong if the aim was to have it centered in the final shape, and that more rows were needed at the top of the design.
On the right, the purl side as it faces the knitter is shown, with black pixels used to represent increases and decreases. The center red line separates the needle placements on either side of 0, and the text is shown in the default mirroring. The respective swatches after their rotation preview one of the potential results A true diagonal repeat may be planned for motif patterning knit from the bottom up. The drawback is that for executing a fair isle using more than 2 colors or with multiple color changes, partially illustrated on the far right, the 32X32 repeat would need to be rotated and knit as above.  

From the Brother machine knitting techniques book, a suggestion for dividing a sweater front into diagonal halves created by using the holding technique  

The idea of chaining the eyelet areas to reduce the size of the slits is an interesting one that up to now I have not tested.

Diagonal pleats

Long vertical button holes/ slits in knit fabric 1: intarsia

There has been a long thread in the machine knitting FB page lately that arose from a share of these 2 images.  There are three hand-manipulated methods available on most machines. True intarsia knits all parts of a design simultaneously and is best suited for complicated designs. Short-rowing is best suited to diagonal shapes, while the slip method is to vertical shapes. Both knit designs one section at a time and have no floats between shapes on the purl side.
True intarsia is also called bobbin or tapestry knitting.
Members contributed their concepts along with some of their swatches illustrating the idea that effects similar to the cables on the left could be executed in intarsia.
One member shared an Instagram link with a body of work by cari + carl using the technique.
I have been knitting for decades. Intarsia on the knitting machine along with cables or most hand-technique-only finished garments is something I have avoided at times, simply because they were too time-consuming when knitting items for sale in shows or even galleries, at others because some evoke my personal flight response.
I used to hand knit as well, preferred lace, intarsia, and most definitely complex cables knit on 2 needles.
Prior to attending a design school as a student, I worked in a shop that happened to sell knitting machines but whose main income came from selling yarn and lessons to hand knitters. As part of my responsibility, I had the job of hand knitting bulky intarsia sweater samples which at the time featured large images, often of birds or other animals, that were sometimes wrapped over the shoulder and onto the back or sleeves.
As I began to work on Brother machines, I acquired all the related accessories. My intarsia carriages other than in demos were stored unused for years. I gave away my yarn-brake years ago,  and very recently shipped my Brother 260 bulky intarsia carriage to a Parsons student, so by default any of my experiments at present will be knit on a standard km.
I was stuck on the idea at first of large stitch count cable crossings being made by using holding techniques and initially could not imagine how the same could be done using an intarsia carriage. It took a while for me to sort out in my brain that slits may be created in intarsia by simply not wrapping stitches as the knitting continues and maintaining color changes across the row of knitting, resuming yarn crossings in the areas that require joining.
Some considerations: using the intarsia carriage, the stitches are formed in stocking stitch, so the resulting knit strips will tend to curl to the purl side, far more noticeable in narrow strips, perhaps less so in yarns that will result in stitches that are permanently set by blocking. Using bulky yarns on appropriate gauge machines may also lessen the curling.
Experimenting with familiar yarns helps determine whether the familiar knit carriage tension when using them on the single-bed matches that achieved when the intarsia carriage is in use.
My Brother Machine Intarsia Standard carriage is the KA-8210 model:   It was intended for use on early Brother punchcard models listed in the manual. Trippers were required to advance the row counter in later models.

The B tripper doesn’t engage in my carriage, the A tripper does, and triggers the row counter in my 930.
The yarn placement for intarsia knitting is the same as that used in knit weaving.
“Sinkers” are provided with the accessory, and frequently turn up in the “identify this please” questions in forums. I have a tendency developed early on to use clothes pins as small weights when needed, used them in the swatch that follows, and if bobbins filled with yarns are used instead of the yarn balls or cones, their weight will be enough to keep yarn lengths manageable.
Each area of color has its own yarn supply, usually wound on bobbins.
Yarn bobbins are available in a variety of materials and sizes from cardboard to plastic or even wood. The overall shape may vary, but the concept of wrapping yarn around the center of a narrowing shape and slipping an end through a slot to secure it is shared by all types related to the image on the left. It is possible to make your own in similar configurations out of any material that will hold its shape.
The clamshell version became my preferred version of the tool. The small ones come in handy for holding ravel cords or even wire.   When knitting more than a swatch it is likely far easier to work without a ribber in place. I like to do all my knitting with the main bed anchored and angled with ribber clamps rather than flat. If the threader is missing from the supply of sinkers, floss threaders can help, and are also handy when beading on the machine. The used yarn here is 2/18 To knit: begin with a familiar yarn. This carriage may actually produce a different stitch size and resulting gauge than the result when using the same tension number on the knit carriage, a factor if the plan is to combine intarsia segments with the main carriage for any stocking stitch across all needles in use.
Brother knitters are familiar with the preselection of needles when patterning. When using the intarsia carriage all the needles in work, B, are aligned in the D position. They are seen below just behind the latches.
Knitting may begin on either side. Start on waste yarn and ravel cord if working on a large piece, cast on, and knit one row unless casting on in different colors matters.
Remove the knit carriage and continue using the intarsia carriage, beginning with it opposite the side on which the knit carriage had been removed, leaving a yarn end.  If any latches are closed, the stitches will drop on the next intarsia carriage pass. They will drop as well if the yarn skips being laid over any of the needles in the D position. There will be an eyelet at the very start of the process which is eliminated when the yarn ends are woven in. A reminder for Studio knitters: Brother needle positions are A, B, D, and E, C was present in very early models but was then eliminated permanently, while Studio kept the alphabet in proper order.
Laying on the yarn  An illustration of the crossings to eliminate holes.  I had initially begun on an uneven number of stitches, then decided it was more practical to be able to use 7 prong tools for my planned cable crossing, so I decreased on each side accordingly.
Eliminating the crossings will deliberately cause separations between the colors.
If the intent is to cross the resulting strips, then the side of each where transfers stop matters.  Using the appropriate tools remove the stitches onto them.    The yarn ends need to be kept free for the next intarsia carriage pass, the needles are aligned in the B position after the cable crossing is created. Remove the carriage by sliding it off the bed or using the release knob Return it to the opposite side to make a free pass and return to the side of the needle bed where the necessary yarn ends will be available to proceed.  Resume wrapping to join the strips once more Knit to the desired length, and bind off in one or more colors.
When off the machine the stocking stitch strips will curl. Here the knit is exposed to steam and some light pressing This gigantic swatch, for me, is the end of my intarsia knitting, though it is best to never say never.
Tips and techniques for the Studio AG 50 Intarsia Carriage
Brother Intarsia without an intarsia carriage
If cable crossings are the goal for this and following slit techniques, planning the crossings in color can help track the process. This is one of my earliest illustrations for doing so, from my Excel days, followed by a series of later blog posts on the topic. screenshot_33

Symbols in knitting charts

Many of the symbols associated with both hand and machine knitting cannot be separated from the history of lace frame knitting. In 1764 an eyelet lace attachment was invented for hand tooling transfers on the existing knitting frames, and nearly 200 years later the first home knitting machine appeared, the Brother 585, in Japan, with an accompanying transfer carriage.
Mary Thomas, a hand knitter, began to explore the need for symbols in the 1930s, these are found in her book of knitting patterns, first published in 1943

Japan’s contributions to lace patterning in particular are readily available in early punchcard books for Toyota, Singer (Juki), Knitmaster (Silver-Seiko), and Brother, expanded over the years to include larger repeats for use in electronic machines.
When Brother first published their list of symbols, they used ones as given for hand knitting, and it took a while for them to catch up to reversing the symbols to represent transfers on the purl side. They are seen here showing illustrations of formed stitches for both knit and purl sides, with the direction of the symbols often matching the knit face, as seen in the Brother Home Study Course. A clue as to surface being represented is that it is a convention that vertical straight lines | represent knit stitches, horizontal ones — knit.
Hand knitting symbols have proliferated, are not always consistent with functions assigned to them. The latter varies depending on the part of the world hard copies of patterns have been published, and there is increased potential for DIY meaning assigned to symbols in an era of self-publishing patterns and software that allows one to create their own.
A cumulative, extensive collection of symbols may be found @ http://www.knittingfool.com/Reference/KF_Symbols.aspx
My first exposure to symbols and textures provided in addition to paint functions on gridded canvases with cells that could be adjusted in size and zoom, along with drawing in repeat, was to Cochenille Stitch Painter back in Commodore Amiga days. My last use of the program Windows gold version was in 2012, I was never interested in the less supported and updated Mac version. These illustrations are from its manual at that time. The knitting and crochet symbols were said to follow Japanese standards. My teaching days were in a Brother punchcard lab with a couple of 910s available for final projects. Punched holes and black squares seemed to be more than enough to meet any machine knitting needs.
Programs like stitch Painter and DAK offer symbols as alternative palettes. Outside either universe, the availability of fonts whether free or for purchase has varied over the years.
As I published posts, I began to create charts that needed symbols to represent stitch movements or actions. My most used font for this purpose has not been available for download for several years. This is its associated keyboard chart, from 2008 Knitter’s symbol fonts by David Xenakis,  were enclosed in frames, though extensive, I did not find them helpful, a sample: DAK at present time
The company has trademarked their ascii based font as “Knitwrite”, info on using the symbols may be found in their stitch design module manual pp. 251-276. The pencil tool is used to draw with them, here the symbols are viewed in color in the associated keyboard  Cables symbols and their use are explained in pp. 284-292, a sample illustration of the potential appearance of a work in progress Programs for purchase at this time: envision knit, is available for MacOS 10.11 through 12 (Monterey) and Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, offers a free demo, may be purchased for $99, from their online manual: iPad and iPhone users: Knitting Chart is available for use in a few ways, Requires iOS 14.0 or later, the ad free pro version may be purchased for $15.99. Its symbols are familiar but other attractive features include illustrating crochet patterns in the round (done here using Illustrator and a for purchase font ), and row by row written instructions for charts. The latter was a draw for me with Intwined Pattern Studio, which still maintains a website for its purchase, but has not been supported for Mac since it failed there completely in 2013, and supposedly runs in Windows up to version 10 on both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. There is an associated Ravelry group with nothing shared in 3 years, I would caution against buying it. Knit fonts that are still available, but may be problematic or not display properly in the latest OS, for purchase: https://stitchmastery.com/fonts/https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adriprints/stitchin-crochet-pro/
https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adriprints/stitchin-knit/
Sconcho is a GUI for creating knitting charts, it is free, for Mac OS 10.6
Some symbols in hand knitting and foreign symbol charts may be found mixed among Webdings and Wingdings, a printable cheatsheet @https://www.thespreadsheetguru.com/blog/

Commercial machines like ShimaSeiki use a combination of symbols and color-coding to program needles, cable crossings are represented by straight-line color blocks Stoll sample.  Limitations are encountered when using symbols in any self-drawn chart if there are no bridging units between cell units both horizontally for cables, and vertically for stitches and textures worked between both beds.
In machine or hand knitting charts, an alternative is to use color to indicate crossings. I wrote experimental posts in 2015, in reference to knitting them in fair isle 1,
and 2. Long since then, I have no longer had access to Excel, the topic may merit a revisit using Numbers.
An interweave article was published in 2018.

Additional links including pixelated lettering fonts, care labels, alphabets in knit stitches, and foreign symbols may be found in post 

Things get more complicated if it is necessary to represent stitches formed on a grid and the relationship of needles on both beds to each other. One method presents the information in a linear manner such as in this instance,  while Japanese pattern books began to represent both beds with actions in symbols on knit and purl grounds corresponding to each bed DIY charts for double bed knitting are left to invention for the sake of clarity or meet limitations of unclear symbols being automatically scaled to fit in cell sizes.

Cables and software for electronic download to knitting machines

A Ravelry post discussing cable connections to knitting machines for downloading patterns and associated software has led to my accumulating the information below. I am primarily a Brother and a sometimes Passap knitter and can speak to only part of the content below from direct experience.
The information on electronic downloads cannot be separated from a history of hacking, which began with Brother machines when mylar sheets became less available and folks began to have an interest in bypassing them. A review of such efforts was also shared in a previous post:
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<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1CRNjzOuto>
Brother 930: http://learn.adafruit.com/electroknit
Brother 970: http://glitchknit.tumblr.com
930 knitting: http://andrewsalomone.com
910: Claire Williams  Wordpress site is no longer available
Fabienne http://fabienne.us/tag/knittingmachine/
keypad: http://travisgoodspeed.blogspot.com/2010/12/hacking-knitt…
FB100 Emulator software, disc utility program, cable
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
Superba hacking and open source software https://www.hackerspace-bamberg.de/Singer_Superba
E6000 https://www.hackerspace-bamberg.de/Passap_pfaff_e6000
hack and 3D printed accessories, PassapKnitterstream

Present interfaces available for downloading patterns to Brother knitting machines: so far, both programs do not appear to run natively in the new iMac with M1 chip and Monterey OS.
That said, https://ayab-knitting.com , supported devices: https://ayab-knitting.com/supported-devices/. My experience using it has been with the 910. Pre-assembled kits used to be sold, over time they were offered by 2 different providers and were taken off the market by each of them. In many cases, there appear to be some issues with the program in DIY units as well resulting in mispatterning especially in long pieces of knitting.
Ayab operates as a true knit-from-screen, so the computer needs to be awake through the whole knitting process. In the case of the 910, the hack replaces the reader completely, the left side of the machine is left exposed, and the interface replaces the traditional patterning and power source, with its own cord connecting it to the power supply.
The last update to the program was in 2019. It performs color separations for dbj in multiple colors per row, including the only one of its kind, the Heart of Pluto one that eliminates jacquard color separation patterning errors and knits single passes for each color in each design row on the main bed.
Since the built-in patterning control buttons are rendered inoperable, Actions such as color invert, setting the number of repeats, vertical flip, mirror, rotate left, and rotate right are available within the program. Patterns may load both in color and shades of gray, palette color choices make a difference in achieving successful color separations.
Ribber settings include classic, middle color twice, HOP, and circular for tubular fair isle or other fabrics.
https://xxxclairewilliamsxxx.wordpress.com/hack-ta-machin… is an early post on the hack, showing steps involved. Kits with parts for DIY may be found online including at https://ko-fi.com/redpinkgreen/shop.
The program is free, any incurred expenses depend on how and from where the interface components are purchased.
The related Ravelry group has been quiet for a very long time, for more information on what is being developed and what users are knitting, the FB group has frequent shares. I would urge anyone interested in the program to join the group before making final decisions, to observe issues reported, and the finished projects if any using it https://www.facebook.com/groups/1384431355220966.
A recently added video KH 900+ KH 965 Brother knitting machine – How to install the AYAB Shield/alternative pattern control|
On my blog when I actively used the program, I shared my experiences using it and explored a variety of fabrics using its settings.

img2 track: works with Brother models KH 930, 940, 950i, 965i, and 970. https://daviworks.com/knitting/index.html. The program is also free to use on swatches limited to 60 stitches in width, to use the full width of the needle bed a the purchase of a registration key is required, the cost is around $100. The download cable can be ordered directly from Davi and directions are available for those with the ability to build their own. The program downloads the pattern into machine memory, so the computer does not need to be awake other than during download. The size of the download is limited by the machine model brain, with the 930 being the smallest.
When large files are planned, the program will reduce the pattern into tracks, and each has to be entered as a new program after the previous track is completed. The KH-930 takes just a few seconds to load the track because the memory holds only 2 KB of data (about 13000 stitches). Later models have a much larger memory (32 KB). The KH-940 and KH-950i require 42 seconds to load a track. The KH-965i and KH-970 load only the requested pattern, so the loading time depends on the size of the pattern. With Brother models KH-965i and 970, you can load a pattern from img2track without erasing the previous ones in the KM, as long as they fit in the memory. So you can have 901, 902, etc. loaded and choose between them.
Color separations are available for multiple color dbj, but not as a single pass for each color in each row as in Ayab Heart of Pluto. Images open in shades of grey. Each color in each design row is knit twice. It is possible to knit each design row color only once by adding a hand technique.
Adjustments may be made for vertical stretch, maximum width, and the number of colors used. Any remaining changes can be made by using knitting machine button selections.
Out of habit, I have used both programs to open bmps and pngs saved in indexed mode though both are said to open common file formats ie. jpg, gif, png, bmp, tiff, …Neither program exports files in other formats or allows for editing specific pixels in the designs in any way after they have been opened.
I have found img2track to be completely reliable, errors encountered during knitting or programming have usually been operator ones. I develop my patterns outside either program in paint programs, I prefer to use Gimp or ArahPaint6.
The AYAB GitHub offers a huge library of ready for download images from various sources,  most in png format.

I do not have any direct experience with Studio Electronic machines post-EC1 Studio’s approach to machine brains was to develop an exterior box that could be purchased separately from the knitting beds, EC1 on the left, their PC1 on the right From the manual on its use The following information is gleaned from online searches: Studio or Silver Reed’s efforts to move away from mylar sheets as seen in the EC1, headed in a different direction than seen in Brother knitting. There are two options still available are the SilverKnit and SilverLink systems:
SilverKnit, with more info at https://silverknit.nl/dk/silverknit-en.htm “provides the knitting functionality of the EC1/PE1 for electronic Silver Reed machines. The site lists all pertinent information on system requirements and compatible models. One can knit patterns without the need for additional software, which may be created with a graphics package of your choice.” The pieces involved include a controller unit, a coil cable connector curly cord, and the box, which may be secured on its side to the knitting machine case using velcro strips, usually true for other switch boxes and control units as well. There is a SilverKnit software user interface. For Superba machines, there are the Superbaknit packages available: type A for pressure pad, 624, 9000 models, and type B for light scanner/pegboard models. They allow patterning across the entire bed, accept multiple file formats, and seem to use the same platform as the Silverlink program. 

The Silverlink, now in Series 5 is for use with DAK. Manuals for softbyte cables include information on series 3, 4, and 5. There are distributors in each country listed on the Softbyte site. There are also individual dealers selling related DAK products in other states and locations. Prices are not necessarily fixed, and relationships with local dealers may foster easier-to-reach individual support.
A 2020 review of the Five Pattern Control Methods for a Silver Reed Knitting Machine.

Passap knitters were first introduced to Creation 6 as the proprietary Madag E6000 software, usable with a short dongle on computers available at the time, making it necessary to remove the card reader from the machine in order to get it close enough to the computer for download. The dongle was plugged into where the curly cord connects on top of the console. Cochenille developed a download, knit from screen cable, and my early Passap pieces were made using Suzan Lazear’s BitKnitter on a reader with 8K memory. With true knit-from-screen, console memory is bypassed. The system was also available for Studio machines, both became abandoned.
As is true for the present DAK system, there was also a proprietary Passap file format used, CUT, aka Dr. Halo. Eventually, I  purchased a switch box and download cable from Richard Croucher in England, and up to the present-day that has been my go-to for downloading patterns using and an ancient laptop. Personally, where I go now that I have a new PC available, is TBD. I failed to get the system to work using VMware on my old iMac.
One of the caveats with downloading to the Passap is that the cable connection for both the curly cord and the download cable share a single entry point to the console. This connector was temporarily available and spared some of the wear and tear on the console The addition of a switch box, secured with velcro on the console, allows for the possibility of downloading and knitting patterns without having to make any multiple other connections. Aside from connections to the machine, there was the issue of available software for drawing repeats and downloading in the proper format.
In the heyday of machine knitting aside from textbooks and articles beginning to appear from authors such as Lewis in the US, Kinder in the UK, and Carmen Router in Australia, lots of practical accessories and other info grew out of a very active knitting community in Australia as well. Accessories included a plaiting feeder and a stitch ditcher, and homegrown freeware was shared for printing reader cards. To this day Wincrea is still available for downloading to the E6000 machines. Others have followed ie Journal 6, which is now available as freeware, the repository may be found here. Wincrea remains the easiest to use. Supported formats are CUT/ Dr. Halo, BMP, and WMF (Windows metafile). At the present time, downloads of patterns are only possible in machines that allow PC downloads with later manufacturer chips and larger, 32K memory.
CUT files have a separate palette, the program reads the palette if it is found in the same folder as the CUT file. If the program palette is not the same as when the pattern was saved previously, the colors may not be as expected.
Some scaling may be done within the program. Files may be saved in both CUT and BMP formats.
If one chooses to, saving palettes is done by using specified names in the 256 color PAL (Dr. Halo) format.
When a design is uploaded to Wincrea step one is to have it read the correct number of needles and the number of colors used. If it does not recognize a com port, it will give an error message, and com-ports can be reassigned using the E6000 settings option menu. Once it recognizes the port, then it will come up with the download to E6000 option, and will also give an estimated time for the download to take place. It walks the user through how to prepare the machine for download. Two things are required: the console’s correct buttons need to be pushed to get to a “PC start” programming position, which verifies the machine itself is capable of accepting the download,  and the switch must be in the download position. If things work, a beep follows once the download option is selected and the LED screen on the passap actually shows a progress bar for downloads that take longer than a few seconds.  If the pattern has indeed downloaded successfully, the console beeps again and then follows up with questions on whether you want to alter the design in any way from its built-in additional options, what knitting “technique” you want to use, how many needles you want in work on either side of 0, and if you want to place the design in any particular place on the bed. It is possible to continue programming, either segments or different patterns altogether. At that point, cables are swapped out or if using a switch box, providing the operator remember to flip the switch to the knitting position, things should go smoothly. If one has forgotten to change to the knit position, the machine will beep and give you a totally different error message and beep. The Passap console has a whole series of lovely beeps, for all sorts of prompts and reasons that may be at times downright infuriating to people using the machine.
Passap color changers were available as add ons for automatic sequential color changing for up to 4 colors, are placed on the right rather than on the left as in Japanese machines, so programming downloads and first preselection rows must take that into consideration.
As CUT files proliferated, shared by Madag and individual designers, or as knitters wished to create their own, interest grew in creating, reading, and converting formats. Programs like Dr. Cutter for doing have long since become unavailable. Stitchpainter’s early versions were able to save CUT files, I have not been able to verify online whether the present version still does.
Present-day options for opening and converting CUT files include for purchase Graphic converter. On my new M1 iMac, I had issues with CUT files not opening. The software developer was responsive to questions and troubleshooting, a nod of thanks to Thorsten Lemke. The advice: please download the latest version http://www.lemkesoft.org/beta.html, and make certain that in preferences, the box aside Detect Only clear formats is uncheckedand for solving the same issue in XnviewMP, a nod of thanks to Pierre-e Goulet for the solution:  in Settings, General, make certain that  Show all graphic formats is checkedXn Convert allows for easy batch conversions.  I did not encounter any issues on Mac.
As these programs have grown in complexity, some of the CUT files open in strange colorways, need adjustments and editing, possible within the above programs, for increased or any visibility while some are viewed clearly. Batch conversions to other formats are possible, performed easily and quickly.  A Windows-only image conversion program for exploration: Konvertor
DAK proprietary formats ie STP and PAT to my knowledge are not readable by any program outside the DAK universe.
Softbyte now offers a similar setup with a switch box allowing for download to a console capable of accepting PC downloads, the E6000 Link 2. “This link has a switch that enables the selection of either downloading or Interactive Knitting. It means that the cable can be kept permanently attached to both the E6000 console and bed. This avoids the need for repeated connection and disconnection of the link, and therefore also avoids wear and tear on the E6000’s sockets. The other links do not have the switch and need to be disconnected after downloading, so even if Interactive Knitting is not required, we recommend using the Serial E6000Link 2.”The Softbyte links for Brother machines include versions for downloading and uploading with a Brother PPD or to machines that take a pattern cartridge. The magnet arm for interactive knitting is not included with all, may be purchased separately. “The USB Brother Link 5 enables patterns to be downloaded from DesignaKnit, and any 900 series patterns to be uploaded to DesignaKnit. The 900 series pattern numbers are those loaded from another source into your knitting machine or PPD (e.g. from the PPD, Brother FB100 Disk Drive, or DesignaKnit). This link supports downloading and uploading with the KH930, KH940, KH950i, KH965i, KH970, and with the PPD using Cartridge III in KH900 mode, or with the PPD using the CK35 cartridge. This link is identical to the USB BrotherLink 1 except that it includes a magnet arm that attaches to the carriage and thereby enables Interactive Knitting with any knitting machine, including non-electronic ones.”

The ScreenLinks provide row by row instructions and audible memo alerts for non-electronic machines or anyone using mylars, built-in patterns, or other software for the pattern downloads. They are not able to download patterns. The Universal Link for DesignaKnit allows one to connect any knitting machine, including plastic beds, to the DesignaKnit interactive knitting as opposed to knit from screen function. The USB cable is attached to your personal computer. The other end of the cable is attached to the mainframe of your knitting machine, the magnet to the carriage or lock of your knitting machine. The cable senses the magnet as it moves past it, and as it does DesignaKnit will advance the pattern one row. From the manual: And shown applied to a plastic bed machine @ https://www.allbrands.com/

Garment shapes filled with patterns may be developed in DAK, the cable allows one to use DesignaKnit as a knitleader or knit radar device increasing the capabilities of the knitting machine when shapes are created illustrating pixel-based increases and decreases, akin to what could be drawn on graph paper with each cell representing both a single row and a single stitch, and connecting dots placed on the basis of gauge calculations.
Having a small supply of self-stick velcro tape to put on each of your machines, allows for the cable and magnet to be moved as required.
A second knitlink arm appears to be required for the use of the lace carriage. I would guess it might be attached to a second knit carriage as well if one is choosing to knit with 2 knit carriages selecting needles.DAK cable manuals published by Softbyte. Full Dak software manuals are not available until the program is purchased. There are 5 program modules. Some of the user experiences, answers to questions, and related knits may be found in the FB associated group.

My DAK explorations 1

WORK IN PROGRESS

Resources for users or those curious about the program are offered below. There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window, are not available until the program is purchased and installed, each may be downloaded as a PDF. DesignaKnit Professional contains 5 modules:
Standard Garment Styling has built-in sweater patterns that may be adjusted to custom measurements and gauges
Original Pattern Drafting: allows for using a pattern designed in garment styling to custom features such as knitting the design sideways or making pieced such as the front and back different lengths
Stitch designer is a paint program. A grid may be created to match the stitch gauge for a sense of aspect ratio of the design in the finished piece. When the type of knitting for the project is selected, warnings as to possible errors in any rows provided
Interactive Knitting: with the proper cable connected to the computer and the knitting machine the design is followed row by row, voice prompts may be activated so as to receive warnings when to change colors as well as counters for the number of rows between shaping ie increases and decreases while knitting sleeves
Graphics Studio: convert graphics to stitch designs, including color separations for DBJ, color reductions, scaling for large non-repetitive designs
When the program is installed and opened the manuals are found listed after using Help 
in a series of tabs, ending with that for section 5. There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window.
Online references:
a quick summary of version 9 upgrade features
https://softbyte.co.uk/DK9UpgradeForms/DK9_upgrade_features_F.pdf
videos DesignaKnit9 graphic studio
https://softbyte.co.uk/dk9englishvideotutorials.htm
the DAK Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/523785160964950
members of the group have access to teaching material shared by Sheila West https://www.facebook.com/groups/523785160964950/user/1164753159
Youtube tutorials for DesignaKnit 8
https://www.youtube.com/c/Knittitude/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=0
a search for DesignaKnit9 tutorial yields mixed results, including many for version 8
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=designaknit+9+tutorials
Graphic design studio search https://www.youtube.com/results search_query=designaknit+graphic+design+studio
offered courses at knititnow, search https://www.knititnow.com/Courses/#
login required as well as fees

Brother magazines for a while published accompanying pat files for DAK, they can be found http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=DAK+files+Brother
also for Studio http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=Dak+files+for+silver+reed
and Passap http://machineknittingetc.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=date&dir=desc&q=Dak+files+for+passap

I am a complete novice at the use of this program, tend to start learning new tools by comparing them with what I am familiar with, which in my case are spreadsheets and other paint programs. I have decades of playing with changing file formats depending on end-use. My questions on aspects of the program’s use are not intended as criticism, they are born of curiosity and the attempt to explore a new tool.
I am using Dak on a PC, at the moment my blog posts are created exclusively on my Mac. There is much that is fluid in addition to learning the software.

These are the formats that can be opened, converted to stitch patterns using Graphics Studio Stitch Designer, or opened as a background image in Original Pattern Drafting and used for tracing a garment piece: BMP, GIF, ICO, JPG, PCX, PNG, TGA, TIF, WMF, P?M. There is no export option for saving the repeat images in stitch design file formats for use in other than the native program. Passap CUT files are completely excluded.
I lean towards looking for workarounds to accomplish what I want if the task is not native to the program I am using.
One way to achieve conversion for DAK file formats for use as a png or bmp download with other cables and software is to isolate and select the repeat unit, copy it to clipboard, paste in a paint program, export as png or other desired formats There is a handy option in Dak when thumbnails is chosen from the image menu, one can browse through saved folders containing compatible file-formats including the images in those Brother magazine downloads. The small preview will identify the specific file size. When you left-click on your choice, it will appear enlarged at the bottom left of the view window, it has been moved from its corner in my screengrab, left-click OK on the enlarged image, it will open in the program window. Minimize the size until no further reduction is allowed by using the magnifying glass or the scroll function in the mouse. This is a different operation from scaling the original to a different size. The save-as option for the image offered at that point are:
For choices emulating export in other paint programs, right-click on the image, choose copy, open a paint program (Arahpaint is my favorite at this moment), and from its image it menu choose paste. Using Arah’s color exchange, the image may then be converted to black and white for 2-color work and is saved in a format usable with other software and in other machines. Here the image has been pasted in Gimp using the same process, but if the image needs to then be reduced to BW, Arah is the easier and predictable tool to use.
Activating the working palette, referred to as yarn colors: from the manual It is possible to achieve color exchange easily in Dak as well. Most operations appear to rely on an understanding of its symbols and what might be considered a language one must learn in order to use the program effectively. By activating the view yarn button palette, the items that may be viewed and changed are:
A: represents left mouse click on that color
B: represents a right mouse click on that color
C: click will swap A color to B color
D: needle hook alone represents non selected needle, pusher, or simply color depending on the machine model
E: color worked on patterning needle ie contrast in fair isle, knit stitches in tuck or slip setting It is useful to establish working history using the same design motif. In the first image, left-click on red, the from color, right-click on white, the to color, click on the double arrow to make and apply the change
The process is repeated with left-click on blue, right-click on black, and on double arrow. White squares appear in the final color choice boxes in the bottom image
The print dialogue allows for saving patterns as bmps. One is walked through the following steps with a series of windows. To save the repeat as bmp
choices may then be made about file name and the location for the save, If there are no “short” needles in the image being processed as in the last screengrab above, there will be an error message onscreen, pointing out problems in the numbers of colors present in rows ie more than 2 for FI.  This is fixed by clicking on either the “needles” of one of the two active colors in the yarn palette to make one color the ground, the other the contrast. The results from this process for printable bmp files are shown below, not for a bmp that may be used to knit the pattern on an electronic machine using a different download method. Here the resulting stitch pattern picture is shown in color reverse as well.  Using other print options: for this repeat, the color change page is blank since the fabric is being knit as a 2-color fair isle, without added color changes  Printing pattern text will do exactly that in longhand form, for each stitch and each row of the repeat 

Dak is the only program I know of for home use that allows for visualization of the knit design with approximations of knit stitches, seen here in both the BW and the original color version of the above FI design, shown as knit stitches on the public side. The image needs to be a minimum size for the appearance of the details as is true in most paint programs for grid views.   At this time I am continuing to knit on my machines with punchcards and using Ayab, or img2track on my electronics, have no immediate plans to change that, hence my interest in using DAK software features while keeping in mind the possibility of using the final repeats on other machine models.

The information on using the stitch designer lace module originally written here has been moved to its own post along with new content, updates, and corrections.

Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2

In the progress of being reviewed and edited, with added information 12/2022
The most recent Gimp Update

There is a Russian online site offering a huge range of punch card designs. The question of how to convert the site files for use in electronic machines surfaces periodically and did so again recently in FB groups.
My posts with information related to this topic:
Brother KMs: punchcards and their use 
Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics
color exchange Gimp update for Mac 2

A Russian language tutorial on converting punchcard images using DAK
A recent video offering on navigating the site in English, begin viewing on minute 5
The site link
Small previews link for FI
The translated site link  offers larger previews
The options in English for working with published cards The help menu is available after the card is chosen Designs are presented on pages that list them from longest to shortest row counts for the complete repeats. Punchcard users can reproduce holes as given. There is also an option for entering a new design and it appears, in turn, one may be able to generate a separation for its use in DBJ.
Beginning with a smaller design intended for machines with 12-stitch repeat restrictions simplifies the view and processing of it for newbies. The published patterns are offered Silver Reed ready. The option for converting the cards for use on Brother 260 renumbers it with the appropriate location for the number 1 row marks required by the operation of the different brand’s card reader. Toyota versions are also available. Making the holes larger is a boon to reproducing the drawing correctly regardless of end-use. Splitting the card into segments is helpful when using factory blanks with a 60-row maximum repeat, and often also when processing the image for use on electronic machines, which is affected by screen size views available to the software user. For some reason, I found the commands erratic when working on the translated version of the site, and fared much better in the original language publication.
In the 2022 adaptation, the small previews were chosen for conversion to pngs rather than the full card templates used below.
The chosen card image may be dragged onto one’s desktop. I use Numbers to create my tables. The 2 all-punched rows, marked with blue arrows, and any standard vertical rows of holes on each side of the provided designs need to be isolated and eliminated. This is a 12-stitch repeat required for use on some machine models or useful when using a thicker yarn on every other needle to achieve the same design, every other vertical row is blank.
A: the table with cells 20X20 sized to match the number of rows and stitches in the original. The card image is arranged in the back of the table with the constrain properties option unchecked in its image-arrange menu.
B: cells corresponding to marked holes are filled in with black since the final goal is to create an indexed BMP or PNG.
Using and holding down the command key during cell selection helps perform the coloring cells in action on groups, clicking on any cell again while still holding the key down will deselect the fill. Release the key, choose the fill-in color, repeat, and continue until the holes in the full design are filled in.
C: click and hold the command key, select every other blank vertical column marked with letters at the top of the table, the blank vertical rows are selected, release the command key, right-click on any of the same letter selections again, and choose to delete selected columns from the pull-down menu or after marking the rows directly from the table menu at the top of the screen. Eliminate all cell borders. The result shows how the pattern will appear when used to program fair isle.  Screengrab the final image surrounded by extra white cells, and open it in GIMP.
Change the mode to indexed BW, crop the file to content thus excluding any extra white cells, and scale to the original design’s 24 by 74 dimensions. Punched holes are now pixels; export the knit-ready BMP or PNG.
Using the filter, map, and tile options allows one to check on horizontal and vertical repeat alignments for any errors and begin to imagine how the repeat might appear on a finished piece. Color exchange may be used on the BW files converted to RGB mode to visualize the knit using specific colors. On the far left below the final BMP is shown magnified X 800 with a superimposed grid, then filter-map-tiled to 48X148 size. It is followed by a BW color-reversed version of the same, as well as color-exchanged ones. Getting a preview of how a finished garment might appear, here the tiled version is 192 pixels in width and one may glean some idea as to whether that repeat should ever really be used in a sweater or even a blanket. Further image scaling or cropping can happen based on the knit gauge. A very quick rendering imagining pattern and color placements using a simple sweater outline Collections of every other needle repeats for processing with a similar approach may be found in these volumes, available for free download
Chunky punchcard patterns  12 stitch Patterns of Knitting With Creative Punch Cards Juki 12 StitchBoth volumes include accompanying swatch illustrations.

In machine knitting, the word lace is used in categorizing a large variety of knit fabrics. The terms include:
simple lace, executed with carriages that transfer and knit in a single pass
multiple transfer/ fashion/ fancy/ lace: executed with carriages that transfer only
lace and fine lace combinations
fine lace
tuck stitch combined with transfer lace
tuck/ pull up lace
transfer lace combined with weaving
punch/thread lace
ladder lace
punch tuck rib
drive/drop stitch lace
If one explores the second selection for 24 stitch cards looking for openwork patterns for 24 stitch cards, the resulting  20 pages of repeats do not differentiate between the lace categories, so the onus is on the visitor to determine proper repeat use.
In addition, the option for switching machine brands does not readjust for changes required for the pattern to read correctly in the alternate machine brand card reader. As an example, transfer lace cards are shown with blank starting rows, ending with punched holes, a Studio brand feature, and in some cases with a punched row ending with blank rows, a Brother feature.
If changes are made in machine brand selection, the only adjustments in the new image appear to be made to the numbering sequence, but not to the punched or unpunched starting and ending rows.

For punchcard users or enlarged views: printing the PDF breaks the repeat into segments required if one is using individual 60-row maximum length factory cards and not a punchcard roll. On the far right, the difference in relative size between a factory punchcard and the PDF image printed without any adjustments.  Filling in the dots with a black marker renders the to-be-punched holes more visible through the card, making marking prior to punching easier and faster.  For a better, printed match size, after capturing the image from the PDF for a single page outside image edges, opening it in Gimp, and cropping it to content, it is then possible to scale the results to measurements of a factory punchcard equal in width and adjusted for the number of rows in the image. My card required print measurements were 14.1cm by 26.1. Scaling executed with an aspect ratio that is too long.  breaking the chain-link, removing size constraints The result with printing to match the card stock measurements was extremely close to the desired size, useful, but hard to photograph  Entering patterns: the translation Working with the Russian menu:

The saved pattern will be assigned a number, in this case, 9831In the 24-stitch repeat FI area of the site, enter the assigned number into the search field on the upper right changing the view to larger holes if preferred, the option also becomes available to separate for 2 colors DBJ  translated to “recalculating for 2 fountains”.
Screengrab or save pdf, depending on needs.

2022: This process appears complicated, but with some familiarity with both Numbers and Gimp, can be fairly quick. Revisiting the site, I made the accidental discovery that working with images as shown below, by superimposing a Numbers grid to these point measurements, developing the designs became quicker and easier to manage  Two instances: from any black and white chart and a seasonal 24X120 repeat from this website.  Beginning with a published and gridded punchcard model: I am used to converting patterns for testing and using them on electronic machines. If the goal is only to have a printable template for marking holes to be punched, see the very bottom of this post for the quickest method.
The technique steps reviewed as applied to pattern # 403 as seen in this scan  Open the image in Gimp, and crop to the outer edges of the selected punchcard. Eliminate unnecessary information by using the select tool and bucket filling each area including non-repeat information with white. Adding a visible pixel line along one of the edges of this image will help locate handles for adjusting its size on the white spreadsheet ground. Save the result.  In Numbers, at 100% magnification, create a new table, 24 cells in width by 48 rows in height. Using a thicker cell border in a contrasting color is useful, here the border style is set to 3 points. Drag the image onto the spreadsheet, place the mouse pointer on and hold it in place on any one of its handles, appearing as white squares along its edges to a larger size than the table, then use Image Arrange and uncheck constrain proportions. Select the whole table, and drag and position it in front of the image.  Using the image handles adjust its size and place it for easy tracing.
Size and position in the Arrange menu will help with fine-tuning. Fill in the cells above the white squares visible beneath with any color that will facilitate keeping track of the marks.  Move the table away from the image at the end of the process. Visually check for any obvious errors in the overall repeat.
Scaling while retaining the odd number value resulted in patterning errors.
The problem was solved by resizing the table cells to even numbers, 14X14 points.  Remove all cell borders, and set the zoom at 50%. Screengrab the result with a white border around it.
Open the grab in Gimp.
Use the Image and Crop to content option.  Set Fuzzy select to select by color click on the contrast color, and pixels will be surrounded by broken lines select bucket fill to black, click on rectangle select, and then anywhere in the window to fix the result, the dotted lines will disappear  Follow with these steps
Image Mode menu, convert from RGB to BW Indexed Colors Menu, and choose Invert. Image Scale to 24X48 Magnify X800, Show Grid, and check for any errors.
Save the file.
Filter, Map Tile for the repeat alignment check.  The resulting, proofed repeat, 24X48 The top row of images summarizes the steps using Numbers, and the bottom row the results using Gimp  See punchcard templates for more information on associated settings, including downloadable spreadsheets.

Using the setting for centimeter ruler units, a partial segment of the above table’s repeat was printed. The result is shown ready for tracing over an improvised light box The squares on the card with black cells beneath them may be marked with any tool. For the result to be knit in the tuck stitch setting, users would need to punch all unmarked squares. If only the marked squares are punched, the pattern card could instead be used for thread lace in machine models with that capability.
A slightly different approach for pattern 8095 from the Russian site. Prior to committing to the process, check the row numbers in the PDF, and make certain the repeat is correct. This one happens to have a missing, blank row Using the small preview from  http://perfo.12rus.ru/index.php, download it Open it in Gimp
Crop the image to eliminate the border
Fuzzy select by color the background which only appears white.  Bucket-fill the ground with white from the Gimp palette, and only the repeat will remain Do not convert it to indexed
Create a Numbers table containing 24 cells in width, and 58 in height using the centimeters ruler setting, with cell size set at 0.5cm wide by 4.5cm high. The full table size will measure 10.8cm by 29cm.
Drag and drop the design image onto the sheet, resize it to table measurements, position it underneath the table, and begin filling in cells.
A: in some instances, it is possible to work all in black. As I progressed up the repeat I had to readjust the image placement slightly
B: the image size was tweaked to measurements of 11.2X29.1, and a separate color cell border is used
C: the full repeat is separated into sections to fit on standard letter sheets when printed. The result: The electronic repeat: Before committing to a knit, using Gimp, Filter, Map, Tile, check alignments. In addition, the result helps visualize whether or not the result is what was expected If the only thing needed is a traceable template for punching holes using the 11.2X29.1 measurements in resizing the cropped preview in Numbers, open it in its own sheet, watching its placement and you are good to go! Working in Gimp alone, the alternatives to working in pixels: Using a screengrab of a DAK DBJ color separation: the repeat itself is cropped to its edges with the rectangle select tool. The size is calculated using the formula for the width and height of cells in the unit measurement of your choice, ie cm or mm. Even though scaling is done with the chain link broken, the program will round off the values to very slightly different numbers. The printed repeat underneath a blank punchcard is ready for marking.  When using Numbers, the program will separate the repeat into segments for you if needed. My charts and results have been produced using default document borders.
If using only a paint program ie in the above case Gimp, the user is in charge of dividing the template into segments that will fit on the printed pages. Using legal-size paper can in many cases avoid printing on multiple sheets.
Some math is inevitable, the considerations involved:
in terms of mm and cm, 1 mm= .1 cm, ie. 216 mm+ 21.6 cm, a shift to the left with the addition of a decimal point
Working in cm: using punchcard 8095 once more
Each square on a blank punchcard is 4.5 cm wide and 0.5cm high
Full punchcard: 24 stitches, the fixed width for punchcards = 10.8cm
58 rows, the variable, in this instance = 29cm.
In printing, using default borders:
US Letter: 45 X 0.5 = 22.5 cm = maximum # design rows
Full repeat = 58 rows X.5= 29cm.
First sheet: 45 rows X.5=22.5cm
Second sheet: 13rows X.5= 6.5 cm 22.5+6.5=29cm
On Legal61 X 0.5 = 30.5cm = maximum # design rows

It is possible to download a PDF of each card from the website. When downloaded and printed as given, my result can be seen as obviously off-scale

 

Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics

There is a Russian website with a treasure trove of machine knitting patterns, some for 12 stitch models, and extensive collections for 24 stitch models including for fair isle, lace, and single motifs.
There are pull-down options to show the full repeats charted for Silver Reed (default), Brother, and Toyota brands. The numbering system on the right of the cards will be shifted to the appropriate starting line, but the images themselves do not seem to adjust the placement of the punched holes themselves when that is necessary for correct knitting when switching km brands. The collections begin with the longest repeats. One such repeat  I have never had an interest in owning DAK. That said, their Graphics studio seems to offer an interesting range of design possibilities. The machine knitting groups in FB have recently had questions submitted on how to convert the site’s charts for use to create downloadable .pngs.  In response, a member, post has been sharing videos in Russian explaining some of the pertinent processes (my editor is refusing the Russian characters for her name). Those of us who are Mac and Gimp users need not be left out of the process, the conversions are achievable with the investment of a bit more time and patience. The charts as given cannot be successfully converted to the indexed mode and scaled in Gimp to produce readable patterns. One solution is to combine the use of a spreadsheet table, in my case created in Numbers, combined with Gimp design options. I assume similar steps could be used with Excel tables. Prior knowledge of the basics of both programs is required.
For a follow-up post on this topic, see Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2.
It is easier to test how-tos beginning with a source diagram that has larger, more readable dots representing the punched holes. This was found on Pinterest The units in many such illustrations are not square, and the goal is to end up with a .bmp where each square unit represents one stitch, one row. The cell size I prefer in Numbers tables has come to be 20X20. This particular design is 24 stitches wide, and 60 rows high. To make it workable in that cell size, the repeat is opened in Gimp, cropped to its margins, scaled to 240 X 600 pixels, and the new image is exported.
Drag and drop the image onto a new sheet if working on a previously created Numbers document. Click on the image, and then on format/ arrange to resize it to the desired proportions,  A table is then created, 24 cells wide, 60 high Resize the image if needed to match the pt table size, in this case, to 480X1200. Adjusting the size by using the arrows to the right of the size option gives more accurate control than simply dragging on points on the original image. Turning off constrain proportions will allow for tweaking the size as well if needed. On the left is the first table image, to its right, the resized punchcard pattern Select the whole table, by clicking on the circular symbol at the upper left, and alter the cell borders to a bright, contrasting color. I chose red, 3-point  thickness Move the table over the punchcard image or the reverse. The arrange option may be used to place either in front or back of the other as needed Using the command key select individual cells or cell groups, release the key, fill with color The repeat in progress Copy and paste the completed table. Make certain there is a different color cell in any white squares at the far corners of the image, in this case, upper right and upper left (yellow), remove cell borders .screen grab a larger area than the repeat on the right, open in Gimp
.choose crop to content, that will eliminate any extra surrounding cells
.fill the contrast color squares with white
.choose image/mode/indexed/BW convert
.proceed to scale the image. In some instances, this needs to happen in 2 steps: the first may be scaling up to make certain both values are divisible by 20, and the second to scale down to the desired repeat size of 24X60
.prior to saving the .bmp for download, magnify to at least 800, with the grid in view as the first visual check, also tile to make certain the design lines up properly in repeat, in a way that is found pleasant or at times, to be avoided. One needs to have a basic understanding of punchcard illustration markings, and often the repeat required for use of the design in electronics may only be a very small portion of the total one offered in the publication. The extra rows represent perforations that are not part of the design and may be cropped off in Gimp. This repeat is what began the FB discussion Making the marks more visible is possible by changing number values as well as by moving the slider immediately below the input levels Proceed as for the first image, being mindful of an unnecessary row at the bottom. The saved image can be tweaked in size by turning off constrain proportions and adjusting values for width and height for proper placement under the table grid it soon becomes evident that the card is composed of smaller repeat segments, which in turn can be copied and pasted making for quicker work the isolated repeat tiled The far longer repeats might best be managed broken up into sections. This is part of #6717, shown in the process of trimming unwanted info in Gimp and after adjusting color levels to create a sharper image. The converted, partial punchcard repeat What of the lace punchcard repeats? There seems to be no differentiation between the different types of lace on the website: thread lace, simple lace where stitches are knit and transferred in a single pass (a Silver Reed/Studio special), and lace requiring the use of 2 separate carriages and passes, one to knit, one to transfer are all grouped together. In addition, the pull-down menu if used will change the numbering on the side of the card, but not the design content  The conversion process intended for the final use on the Brother machine: the image on the far right shows a review of the proper placement of pairs of empty rows between lace segment sequences, highlighted in grey In the past I have found lace repeats, in particular, to be particularly cranky when scaled down in Gimp due to the paucity of black cells. After the above steps, I decided to try color invert, resize, and color invert again, which in this instance, produced what appears to be an accurate repeat. Of course, the final .bmp is likely to need mirroring for use in some electronic models The process did not work for me in using Gimp alone to edit test repeats from the website directly. The white dots, in that case, disappear with scaling to the desired size.
Using resize X 2 with color invert and back with a Stitchworld pattern image got me closer to an editable lace repeat using Gimp alone, worth considering in the future. Practicing using both programs in sync can make the progress a very quick one.

Revisiting automated shell shapes

My original posts on exploring automating shell shapes were written in my 910 electronic days using mylar sheets in early 2013: 1, 2. The repeat produced a visually successful fabric. I received a question on FB about executing the shells on a punchcard machine, and another on how I “come up with these things”, so here I am going to attempt to share some of my present thought processes.
Since the time I wrote my original posts my approach to my explanations has changed. I have become increasingly familiar with the software I acquired since then, and now have cable connections that allow for download to 2 different model Brother electronic machines. iPhone cameras make it far easier to “shoot and share”. Initially, I used to often start at step 10 of any technique, now I explore the basics and logic in more detail.
My original mylar repeat entered as separate programs in days when each mylar sheet was precious. The 910 in my default setting produced the “image’ as drawn on the knit side of the resulting fabric. The post was written prior to my tiling the repeats as a matter of routine to check their alignments. Doing so would have shown a couple of missing pixels, and pointed to any other errors in filling in mylar squares.All transfers were made in the same direction, which now leads me to wonder whether biasing might result in a long piece of knitting. My leaf lace post illustrates modules created manually by holding with the direction of knitting reversed after the completion of each row of leaves. The start of the same concept being applied to the shell shapes with errors later observed and resolved: As always, ideas need error-proofing and refining, easier done in a chart if possible prior to any actual knitting. This type of design would be required to achieve a continuous, uninterrupted repeat on the electronic, whether all in a single direction or reversing every other row of shapes. It is applicable to joining several punchcards, but only on single 24 stitch widths.
There are a number of changes to make if it is necessary to get the pattern to reverse direction in alternate rows of completed shapes. My first tests were planned with knitting moving only from left to right. To execute such a pattern on a punchcard KM, the repeat needs to be altered from 14X2 to 12X2 in width. This is the start of sorting that out:Attempts to visualize holding can happen in spreadsheets, documents, image processing canvases, or even simply on graph paper, moving/ “drawing” back and forth across the cells mimicking carriage movements and marking them accordingly. Large staggered repeats can be programmed in electronics. All shapes are limited in terms of the width of the repeat occurring across the number of available needles on any machine. Some previous posts on electronic knitting such repeats: 2014/02/24/holdingshort-rows-hand-tech-to-chart-to-automating-with-slip-stitch-1/, 2018/05/20/ayab-short-rows-automated-with-slipstitch/, 2019/08/03/a-return-to-short-row-shapings-bumps-and-slits/

As mentioned, my long-ago swatches were knit on a 910, which by default produced the knit image as programmed on the knit side. On the punchcard machines, the image-as-drawn effect is achieved on the purl side. Lettering is likely the most familiar instance where mirroring is required for punchcard machines to produce it correctly, a consideration here as well. For the moment I will work drawing the shapes in the direction I wish to have them appear on the knit side. The beginning goal was to establish a continuous 24 stitch repeat, with the same technique applicable to electronics thus avoiding programming 2 different repeats. This proved to be a fail.If the color changer were to be used for changes every 2 rows the complete number of rows would need to be a multiple of 4 in height for each segment. With larger gaps between changes, the yarn may be changed every X rows manually, making an easy fix to breaking that rule. The next step is working out 12 stitch repeats with patterning needles to be brought in and out of holding position as well. The options on a punchcard would include 8, 12, and 24 stitch motif widths. The machines will be set to slip in both directions throughout, end needle selection must be canceled. This method is not executable easily on km models that do not offer that option, electronics use KC II. Note that machines sold in Europe in some models may have different names for the same functions, ie. SM in some instances is the equivalent of KC II, whereas ours is for a single motif. Punchcard settings: I do not have any blank punchcards to test a repeat on at the moment. I do have a 930 that essentially behaves the same way by producing the entered pattern on the purl side, so I planned on that fact. Adding arrows to my tentative chart reflect the direction of the next movement of the knit carriage the starting 24 stitch brick repeat,reduced to black pixels/punched holes and mirrored horizontally to have the result planned above on the knit side The bottom, curved edge fo each of the shapes is created first. That said, the above used as a continuous repeat is not executable to achieve 2 rows of different consecutive shapes.

Other shapes have previously been explored using slip stitch, and later, slip stitch combined with holding. A brief return to previous turns at holding and slip stitch used to create alternating color shapes: in 2013/02/12/an-entrelac-pretender/, a continuous slip stitch only card was used. The result on the knit side,while on the reverse floats between alternating shapes are the norm Results with no floats are found in the swatches in the posts: 2013/02/21/entrelac-pretender-2/and a larger motif: 2013/04/11/entrelac-pretender-3/Both were knit using pairs of punchcards for each.
Returning to the goal of the moment: to knit the shells in a floatless way, using a technique executable on a punchcard machine as well. The repeat in question so far is 28 rows high. If the punchcard or the electronic advance every row with each pass of the carriage, the alternating shifting blocks of the repeat will be selected in full with every 28 passes. In this instance, one returns to the start of the same repeat every 28 rows. Identical shell full shapes are created across the knitting rather than the shifting shapes desired in alternating full row repeats.
Separating the 28-row repeat into 2-14 row ones. The 12 stitch repeat is tiled X2 horizontally. If programming two separate repeats were the only solution, the bottom shapes, 14 rows high, would need to be punched X 4 in one card. In electronics half of each repeat would be adequate to program only once and entered as an all-over, repeating pattern.Here the repeat for all full-size shells is planned,  the black squares would also need to be punched X 4 on a second punchcard, to be programmed separately.Marking up the needle bed with water-soluble markers or pencils helps track placements of repeats across the desired number of needles in work: dark lines indicate placement beginning with the mark for half a repeat to maintain straight side edges on the finished piece. Red lines mark the placement of the stitches when they are moved to the left in order to knit the full shells across the bed. On a 930, the image will be knit in the direction of the pattern as drawn on the knit side, as it would be on a punchcard machine. I intend to begin knitting the shells with COR. Since the pattern is fixed on the needle bed, one option is to move the work in one direction or the other on the needle bed using a garter bar, so that the knitting is in the proper place for the desired anticipated needle selection. This was easier in my own mind than reprogramming the pattern repeat for each full row of shells whether by entering a new download or altering placement using the position option at the start of each row. One of my first working repeats amended later in several steps is shown here mirrored in black and whiteVisualizing the process on the needle bedScaling the image to render it a bit more legible:The machine will be set for both slip stitch in both directions and holding. End needle selection is canceled.
The first preselection row is from left to right. Every needle will be preselected and will knit every stitch for the first 2 rows in the desired shell color.
Color changes are made manually.
At the completion of a row of shells, its corresponding color ends on the left side, a free pass is made, returning to the right. Knitting with the new color for the alternate groups of shells begins again on the right side.
After the first 2 all knit rows, as the carriage works its way back to the right on the following pass, preselecting will occur for a decreasing number of stitches. This is the first-row holding selection when using the above repeat:
Beginning piece with half a shell on each side: all but the first 6 stitches are brought out to hold. When more than the single needle is selected at the top of the first half-shell (6 sts to start, 1 at the end), COR: bring the next group of 12 stitches to the left into work, knit to left.
COL: bring original 6 needles out to hold. Bring into work any needles not selected in the group of 12 into work as well.
Continue knitting, repeating the process across the bed.
On design row 14 of the last half-shell remove work on a garter bar.
To execute full shells across the next row of shapes: move the work 6 stitches to the left.
Return emptied needles to A position (out of work, OOW).
With all remaining needles in B preselect the next row (1) from left to right. Cam settings need not be changed.
Change color if desired, knitting 2 rows across all the stitches.
Bring all needles out to hold except for the first group of 12 sts between red marks, and repeat the process previously described across the bed.
When the last shell is completed, design row 14, remove the work on the garter bar again, shift it 6 stitches to the right.
Push back the now emptied needles back to A (OOW).
With all stitches in the B position, make a free pass to the right, row 1 of the half shell row will be preselected, change color, continue across the pattern row as described. This yarn is far too thin but makes stitch formation easy to identify.The last tweak eliminating having to bring any needles into work by hand when working at the start of each shape is reached. Punchcard knitters will need to punch the black squares, repeating the 24 stitch pattern 4 times in height, to a total of 56 rows. I used two repeats side by side on the electronic as well to eliminate having to consider and choose the position option on the 930 needle bed, resulting in having the pattern centered in each 24 stitch fixed segment of needle selection. I am in the habit of using a needle tape for punchcard machines on my electronic models since I so often transition usings designs for the former in the latter. It is possible to add all knit rows or even patterned ones between shell rows. On an electronic KM with 2 carriages available, adding a FI band would be simpler than trying to manage to change cam buttons in addition to the other number of steps already involved with the slip stitch and holding combination along with moving the knit on the needle bed. Contrasting color row stripes can be programmed by adding 2 or more/ even number rows of all black squares (or punched holes) at the top of each 14-row segment of the final repeat. Reverse shaping of shells appears to not be necessary to avoid biasing on my limited tests. The proof of concept swatch:I was too aggressive with clipping yarn ends on the left side, especially while in the process of changing colors, not ever a good idea. Automating the pattern fully on electronic models using only slip stitch patterning is possible. The length of such patterns grows exponentially in proportion to the size of the repeats. Reviewing errors in the beginning concept An attempt to visualize the placement of the shape variations in the finished piece using the shell motifs beginning with the shapes created in order to create a straight side edge

Redrawing the pattern for a 36 stitch test. On the left is the drawn image of the pattern, on the right the mirrored image for downloading to my machine to produce it in the desired direction. Much of the time is invested in developing and testing the final and correct image for download, the knitting that follows that is fairly quick.  My repeat is 36 stitches wide, 98 rows highCOR: knit a base row in color one from right to left
COL: KCII (no end needle selection) to right, the only needles preselected will be those corresponding to the programmed black squares, the remaining will be in B position. Knit to the right.
COR: set the machine to slip in both directions. Knit slowly and evenly. All needles in work on the bed must be cleared with each pass of the carriage.
Continue in pattern across the bed, checking that all stitches are knitting off properly.
When all needles are preselected, change colors for the next set of shells. These rows create the base for the next group of shapes. If a stripe or other pattern is wanted regularly, those rows are best added to the programmed pattern itself.
The automated test swatch: Preserving the 3D texture relies on using yarns with “memory”, ie wool and avoiding aggressive blocking. Using thinner yarns makes the stitch formation more evident. Hard pressing, in this case, knit using acrylic yarns, flattens the fabric considerably, and often, permanently. Both the hold/slip (top) and fully automated swatches (bottom) are shown.Isolating like modules and looking for any differences in each to prepare for a larger number of repeats in each row of shapes across the needle bed
There are several methods for securing yarn ends both during and after knitting in the final pieces using these techniques. Testing such methods on swatches is the best way to determine what works for yarn and colors used as well as our own personal preference. The pattern width may be adjusted to create considerably larger shells if desired. Punchcard knitters are limited to 8, 12, and 24 stitch repeats. For them, this would be the maximum size, including an added number of rows for contrasting color stripes, in this instance 4. A return to the original 14 stitch repeat, illustrating a way to begin editing for an extra row in width at the bottom of the shape and ending on 2 stitches rather than a single stitch at the topImagining adding increases and or decreases for shaping at sides, which in turn could lead to an evaluation of switching to entrelac approaches when creating large shell shapes for similar effects. The 3D qualities and distortions are obviously missing from these illustrations.A Prada sweater using similar shapes If you are interested in any large size clamshells, and intarsia appeals to you whether in hand or machine knitting, Cheryl Brunette has thorough directions for many such shapes, including 2 videos on shell shapes Part 1, and Part 2
More online inspiration using large shapes:
from a Russian blog

a hand-knit blanket from Garnstudio the common illustration for shaping triangular shawls using such motifs Similar pattern repeats are at times also referred to as scallops, fans, or scales. A “scallop” design a “fan”