Cellular automata charts for knitting, etc.

I have written before on the fact that since my knitting is done primarily on a Brother 910 and a Brother punchcard models, I am ever curious re and exploring ways to produce charted images that will allow me to knit patterns via mylars or punchcards, with an occasional wincrea download to my Passap via an ancient laptop. My eternal wish list to date has included the option to download to a hacked Brother model I already own, or to my Passap, directly from my Mac (presently Mavericks OS). Mathematical knits via hacked or commercial knitting machine use have been explored by some, including Claire Williams  and Fabienne. With the help of online generators, even with a lack of understanding of the math involved, one can produce charts for knitting or other textile applications.

Wolfram  site is a resource for both Mac and Windows platform users who are interested in math, computation and its visual results. There is a downloadable CDF player that allows exploration of documents and provides for download, CDF format explained, demonstrations projects, search for cellular automata. Below are some samples obtained through browsing the site. In some instances show mesh option will provide a gridded motif, show scale will indicate “stitch counts”
screenshot_28

screenshot_29

then there is this

screenshot_31an isolated segment
screenshot_30the image  in Photoshop (CS3) photoshop no gridas it appears with program’s self color adjusted grid photoshop gridGIMPGIMP_cellular2creating a colored grid grid for easier countsgimp color grid

see previous blogposts on isolating repeats, drawing additional markings, and other uses for GIMP.

A visual guide to  automata “rules”

Weaving drafts as inspiration for other textile techniques

July 2021: since this post was published I have written on using a combination of Mac Numbers and Gimp to modify repeats from punchcard and electronic published sources including:
Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics
Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2
Numbers to GIMP to create images for electronic download
I am now adding a shorthand version for those with some familiarity with both programs using an online draft from Luminescence to obtain a knitting repeat. Images saved from the site even if drawn in black and white do not convert easily and cleanly to black or even 2 colors indexed images in Gimp, are workable using this combination software method.     

As previously published:
Weaving drafts can be a source of inspiration for other textile mediums as well. Luminescence is an online weaving program developed by Andrew Glassner. There are ample instructions and help files on site with regards to weaving. My first instinct, however, is often to interpret images of all sorts for knits (I abandoned weaving many a year ago). I am sharing some very quick first experiments with the software with that possible intention. The same charts might be used for other counted stitch unit textiles.
The first draft I chose to load from the app’s pull-down menu was called High Seas. The numbers indicate “Fabric Size”, stitch and row counts in knits

120High Seas120

Quoting from the help files: “Show grids: This is another cosmetic choice. Turning this on draws the internal grid lines for all 6 grids (warp pattern, warp colors, weft pattern, weft colors, tie-up, and fabric). These let you easily count the cells, which can make it easier to match a published draft. As with Show threads, this checkbox and its effect are disabled if the Fabric size is 100 or more.” “

“To save an image of the fabric, just right-click on it. You should get a pop-up menu that offers you a few options. One of these will be Save Image As… (or something close to that). Choose that, and you’ll get a standard dialog box that lets you put the image where you want it. Using Firefox on the Mac allows the image to be saved in the standard PNG format, which offers the highest quality. You can change that to JPG or anything else using almost any image editing program.” Safari is problematic with saves, allowing only for a web archive or screen capture.

99 Hi seas99easier to see and/ or count units, clear tiling: 60hig seas 60enough to easily sort out repeats: 30hi seas30

your preferred paint program may be used to draw lines that isolate single “knit” repeats; threading and tie-up sequence repeats are used as guides, making the process fairly straightforward

hi seas30 repeatimagining possible related borders screenshot_51a more complicated draft kiss me you fool 99isolating the much larger repeat kiss me you fool REPEAT

kiss me REPEAT

always double-check tiling prior to knitting for accuracy, any “surprises”, and the possible pattern placement on the knitting machine’s needle bedtile check

got a draft from an online pub? always good to start with a recognizable,  simple design screenshot_01isolate the repeat (GIMP):  crop tool and size control154crop

in this instance, the result is a 154X 154 pixel square image, with 14 X 14 unit desired subdivision, making my grid preferences setting 11 X 11 pixels

200_11_11gridtiling test: looks like a match!tiled_04

line width, colors, etc. may all be set and changed to suit individual needs and preferences. Please note superimposed grid lines are lost when the image is tiled or exported from GIMP, some version of screen grab or snap must be used to capture and save gridded images

an additional draft, the same process

3ae712f7a512a61537a3983aff9d98b2

second sample

screenshot_07

screenshot_08

A bit on the charting: after launching the program and loading an image, the GIMP windows options will become available. I leave my toolbox always active. Tool Options give the opportunity for controlling crop size, pencil line width, etc. As you click on/ select any tool, the options windows will change and offer selections for managing that particular tool

windowscrop croppencil brushpencil

notes from a  previous post on charting for straight-line drawing on Mac: “first select color and pencil tool. Place a pencil dot where you want the line to start. If you press the shift key, a crosshair will appear, press the command key in turn as well for straight-line mode, click where you want the line to end. Consecutive clicks will continue drawing straight lines that originate from the end of the last line. Pressing both the shift and the command one at once after the initial pencil mark will call up the color picker and require a color selection and an “OK”

QR codes for knitting (2) or other textile techniques: “happy holidays” a few ways

I reviewed, edited, and added information to an earlier blog post on QR codes and knitting earlier today. The results from the same steps in processing the generated images may be applied to any fiber technique which results from using counted, single units.  In light of the coming season, I thought I would offer some “happy holidays” variants. In assembling them, I found an additional free online generator that allows for far more control on output code pixel dimensions than others I have previously experimented with.

Aztec (smallest unit possible 100 pixels square)QRA100onto the morovia website the “blanket” size QR150 getting back to knittable, less than punchcard width screenshot_45QR21a less than 50 wide repeat for mylar, and surprise!screenshot_53QR49

A bit on ribbers: Japanese KMs, alignment, and symbols 1

Before approaching using ribbers in relationship to cables I thought I would mention a bit on alignment. An online source reviewing the topic with downloadable PDF: http://machineknittingetc.com/brother-kr120-kr710-kr830-kr850-kr230-kr260-service-manual.html. Studio machines’ how to may be found on a youtube video by Roberta Rose Kelley. Before making any adjustments check that the clamps that hold the ribber in place are flush with the table and securely clamped; that the screws in the setting plate are not loose, and that they, in turn, are installed at the same depth.  As adjustments are being made, and the thumbscrew is tightened, the setting plate may actually slide toward the main bed, narrowing the gap. To prevent that from happening I had to use a metal spacer between the stopper and the main bed.

Make any adjustments based on needles at each end. Ribbers tend to bow in the center with wear and age. To check how needles in both beds line up in relationship to each other: with the racking lever on 5, the pitch lever on P, pull forward at least 10 needles on each end of both the main bed and the ribber, they should line up point to point. If any of the needles do not touch or line up, loosen the 2 screws to the left end of the ribber just a bit (a quarter turn is usually enough), tap the end of the ribber with your hand just enough to the right, or left to line up needle positions. Recheck the alignment on several spots across both beds, tighten screws, check again.

Another visual option for checking alignment is offered by Studio machines in their manual for the RT1 transfer carriage  To check the height of the ribber: pitch lever on H, bring it to the full up position (Brother has 2 up positions), and bring forward at least 10 needles at each end of the main bed. Use spacers ie. a credit card, or claw weight hangers that came with ribber as measuring aides; they should slip easily between main bed needles and ribber gate pegs, the recommended distance between the back of the KR needles and the KH gate pegs is 0-0.6 mm.

The online PDF has additional photographs of the nut that needs to be loosened in order to change the height. To loosen it, the ribber needs to be brought to its down position. Use the spacer tool, start with a quarter turn, to begin with, (lefty loosey, righty tighty). Lift the ribber into place. By moving the thin metal lever (adjuster plate) up and down the height may be adjusted, one side at a time. Bring the ribber down to tighten the bolt, up again for a final check.

Lastly, with main bed needles out of work bring groups of ribber needles out to E. A single claw weight should slip behind the ribber needles and in front of the main bed gate pegs. Repeat adjustments if needed so the space between the beds is as equal as possible. The space between the bottom of the main bed and the top of the ribber gate pegs should be between 1.1 and 1.7 mm.

To adjust the distance between the 2 beds: bring at least 10 needles out at each end of the ribber. Use the spanner to loosen the thumbscrews, and a screwdriver to loosen the flat clamps.

If the nut should become completely loose for any reason: the part in question I believe, is #24 in the service manual, the “slide plate guide stud”. In the image below b= the bolt that became completely loose on one of my brackets. I discovered after getting things back together that a, which secures the ribber bracket, is actually directional with a barely perceptible change/ difference in shape. If it is accidentally rotated 180, it will keep the ribber bracket from changing height positions and working properly. Rotating it restored expected actions for me. 

Yarn thickness and needle arrangements may also require some tweaking of height and other adjustments. Listening for changes in machine sounds as the fabric is knit, and visual checks over time are a great help in avoiding problems. Here are positions for bracket lever as indicated in the service manual 

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down I have several sinker plates. An accessory that began to appear with ribbers at some point, seen here in this illustration:

below is a close up showing markings on the right side of upturned connecting arms in 2 different model year ribbers
and here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 marking, where it makes a noticeable change, bringing the unit closer to needles when on the machine during knitting And,  speaking of ribbers and clamps, not all clamps are created equal though they may appear to be doing their job until some attachments cause problems.
Studio (shorter) vs Brother in place Brother bulky on top of the standard clamp, its shorter cousin Knitting symbols used for the ribbing attachment show what the stitches would look like on the “wrong” side of the knit. In the Brother system, KR refers to the ribber bed, KH  to the knit one: typical illustration of symbols as found in Brother punchcard pattern and technique books:

rib set up

ribber_5

ribber_4

A brother publication on Japanese symbols for knitting available in English, French, and German, may be downloaded from http://machineknittingetc.com/japanese-symbols-for-knitting-machine.html  ; page 15 is missing from the document. Another resource: http://tata-tatao.to/knit/japanese/e-index.html

 

More on charting, foreign symbols, and cables

This topic has come up as part of previous posts. I recently reviewed links and thought I would re-group them a bit differently here, adding some new.  Please click on continue reading to have the list appear as active links if they do not immediately do so in your browser. The latest additions are at the post bottom.

http://www.stitchmastery.com

https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/adriprints/stitchin-knit/

https://www.softbyte.co.uk/designaknit.htm

http://www.envisioknit.com/features/

https://stitch-maps.com/about/key/

pixelated lettering

http://www.fontpalace.com/font-download/Notice+3+Std/

http://www.fonts2u.com/munro-small.font

http://www.fontspace.com/ten-by-twenty/munro

letters in knit stitches

http://www.fonts2u.com/knitfonta.font

http://www.fonts2u.com/knitfontb.font

http://www.fontspace.com/honey-and-death/knitfont

care labels

http://www.fontpalace.com/font-download/Notice+3+Std/

I have been trying to navigate Mac Numbers again, but in playing at my own latest charting with software after the Yosemite update, I find I am drifting back to using Excel once more as my primary “graph paper”. Charts published in foreign languages and magazines, and particularly those in Russian (where the same symbols appear to have different functions depending on the publisher) provide challenges in translating for using charts provided in hand or machine knitting.

Some sources from/for different countries that may help with interpretations:

http://www.knittingfool.com/Reference/KF_Symbols.aspx

http://www.garnstudio.com/glossary.php?langf=it&langt=en

Anna Burda magazine symbols PDF includes HK how-to illustrations:  ab2  2/1/15

 Verena chart from older pubs easily found on Pinterest

A partial volume of an out of print book on Japanese symbols 

4/24/15: Sconcho is a GUI for creating knitting charts that come with a built-in stitch library. A manual is available. Custom stitch symbols may be created in Inkscape to form personal vector shapes.  X11 may be required to run Inkscape on your computer as well, all are free.

6/14/2020 a free for iPhone and iPad app Knitting Chart  also includes crochet symbols

 

 

Holding stitches/ short rows

I am planning a thread on motifs and miters, here is a brief review of holding stitches in preparation: short rows are just that. Instead if going the full width of your stitches across, you knit only a portion of the stitches on the machine, turn, and go back to the beginning, which results in one portion of the fabric knitting more rows than the other side or fabric. It is also referred to as partial knitting. It is used to create many angles and curves. The machine’s knit carriage needs to be set appropriately; needles pulled the furthest position (E_Brother_holding lever, D _ Studio _Russell levers, Passap will need pusher adjustments) will not knit. To return stitches to work in increments push stitches back into upper working position (C or D depending on machine brand). In patterned knitting stitches must be returned to the proper position for patterning with a transfer tool. In Brother machines needles need to be arranged manually in proper location for the pattern to knit correctly, Studio machines will do it automatically since they select and knit on the same row. When using holding with the lace carriage held stitches are knit back to A using ravel cord, and returned to the needle hooks in work position when they need to be knit. Because knit row sequences are in pairs (or more) there will be slits or “holes” perceived at the edge of the held knitting, these can be considered a design feature or nearly eliminated by “wrapping” first adjacent held needle before knitting the second row, or knitting one stitch less than the required amount toward the held stitches, and then bringing the remaining needle into work before knitting back. Bringing more that one needle into hold on the carriage side will create “floats, so multiple stitches are usually brought into hold opposite the carriage. Knits often tend to stretch more in width than in length, so in garments such as pleated skirts, it is likely the piece (knit sideways) will grow in length and tighten in width, with tension and garment weight providing 2 more factors. Large swatches and having them rest in the position in which the knit in the final piece will be worn are a necessity in calculations. Some references:

Settings and images of wrapping to avoid holes: this site is now down, the information may be found in webarchives , will take a little bit of time to load content
http://www.getknitting.com/mk_holdposition.aspx.
Calculating frills and triangles online http://www.getknitting.com/mk_0603frilled.aspx http://www.getknitting.com/ak_0603triangle.aspx

Short row one side only http://needlesofsteel.blogspot.com/2008/10/short-rowing-part-1-one-side-only.html.
Diagonal corner http://needlesofsteel.blogspot.com/2008/10/short-rowing-part-2-knitting-diagonal.html.
Short rowing 2 sides at once http://needlesofsteel.blogspot.com/2008/11/short-rowing-part-3-both-sides-at-once.html.

Shaping shoulders and necklines (Studio) Knitting: site no longer exists http://www.guagliumi.com/free_stuff/downloads.html for PDF download infoMachine Geometrics – Susan Guagliumi – Threads magazine, April-May 1987, pp 66-71.

A ravelry post on topic with hints for hand knitting by Rox Knits http://www.ravelry.com/twir/86/ask-a-knitter-26

TechKnitting on HK topic http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2009/10/basic-short-rows-theory-and-method.html
http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2009/10/short-rows-method.html

 

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

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

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

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

Tuck and slip color striping

There is a very early Brother “how-to” publication, which can now be found available for free online

The diagrams accompanying some of the tuck and slip patterns illustrating how the color changes combined with the stitch type affect the knit presented the information in an interesting manner. With both tuck and slip the unworked needles’ stitches get longer (unpunched holes, white squares), carrying up the last color knit in them until they are knit off again. If the subsequent color change is in the same color as at the start of the sequence, the in-between color (dark in diagrams) travels behind the longer stitches in slip, or is caught in with interim loops in tuck. The swatch photos show the knit side, the charts the purl side in symbols and  color change sequences

slip stitch

tuck stitch

More stitch types and techniques are represented as well in the publication as well.

Converted images,”representational knitting”

One bit camera “snaps pictures in digital retro style. I began this tale with a partial shot of my face. The app apparently is no longer available via US App Store (11/15/2017)

resized, greyscale, knittable size bmp

The old bag of tricks did not produce an image I was happy with, I finally used Ggraphicconverter Picture_Mode_ Bitmap for my downloadable file

Migrated from Mac to a PC laptop, opened in WinCrea, the image repeat was downloaded to Passap, program tech 179. The bottom  of the swatch is knit single bed LX (slip stitch), the top is double bed, back bed set N/N, same tension throughout, the middle stripes are operator error in forgetting to make the lock change to LX on the front bed; the gauge is significantly and obviously different

Moving on to a birds’eye backing, the bottom starts the pattern with dark color, top with light (another operator error and a reminder to keep notes even for what may seem obvious); the black is slightly thinner than blue resulting in a change in gauge once again

The bouncing gauges certainly indicate some of the problems in maintaining aspect ratios in representational knits. The best solution may be to do a large swatch in the planned technique that is at least 100 sts X 100 rs in chosen yarn and then adjusting image aspect ratio before knitting the final piece, which in turn may be better done before conversion to final BMP and require repeating the process from its beginning.

For separations such as technique 179, and those by default in Japanese machines for 2 color DB, images must have an even number of rows in length. My original image crop was 73W by 85L pixels, so I had to shorten it by one row, which was actually achievable within WinCrea. The single bed FI swatch measured 7 inches in width, the double bed ones 12 inches at their widest point.

Last but not least, here is my friend Rocco processed via Hyperdither, Mac to PC, to WinCrea, to Passap and knit 150X150 pixels/ stitches

May 24, 2019 a greyscale mode scaled image processed in ditherlicious online produced a sharper, far more defined image than my previous effort 142X146 pixels

for more Rocco “portraits” see post

GIMP and dithering color reductions for B/W “portraits”

The many faces of Rocco: my 2013 tests in Gimp, the image is 150 pixels wide by 154 pixels high  The image is used with the kind permission of Rocco’s owner. I have used this image before, when I posted previously on some ways to reduce colored images to B/W for possible knitting using a Mac computer, please see post on 013/03/14/ color-reduction- conversions-mac-os/. Gimp offers some alternatives to the familiar dithers and is available, free, for both PC and Mac platforms. Tutorial links on Gimp edge detection available online as of May 2019 are listed at bottom of the post.

Image_Mode_Indexed_ one bit black: immediate result, too dark

Threshold adjustments may not be made in indexed images to alter the above image, so it’s back to greyscale. Reductions to greyscale may be achieved through Image_ Mode_ Greyscale or choosing Colors_Desaturate_OK options. Desaturation offers additional choices

Image_Mode_GreyscaleColors_Desaturate_OKRocco desaturated, in “knittable portrait size”using edge detection and its algorithmsDifference of Gaussians

what happens if in addition color_ invert is used with Robertsadjusting B/W with Thresholdafter a bit of “tweaking”Image_Mode_Indexed, rendering it “knittable in 2 colors”getting silly with filling the ground with pattern behind the floating head

2021: the latest, December 2020 updated version of Gimp for Mac OS
Gimp dithering controls easily accessible with mode changes to indexedI found I got the best results adjusting the contranst in the original grey scale image prior to changing its mode to indexed and dithering (Floyd_Steinberg, normal)Hyperdither : options offered  defautlt Jarvis
default Stucki
online, options https://ditherit.com it is possible to choose from multiple palettes Sierra dither

5/4/2019 Other than GIMP: after straightforward load, convert, save, with no other adjustments, images shown in approximate 150 pixels/sts in width, no significant change results with conversion to color B/W indexed
http://gazs.github.io/canvas-atkinson-dither/
online, default settings https://29a.ch/2016/08/04/ditherlicious-1-bit-image-dithering
Check dithered results, downloaded images may be in RGB Mode. Prior to any knitting, they will need to be converted to B/W indexed.
Looking for ways to reduce the noise in dithered images I tried this conversion in XnSketch, using the photocopy effect,  beginning with the colored image of Rocco, the results:imported the result into Gimp and saved it in indexed  2 color BW and in turn 3 color indexed mode, no color adjustments, finding the result pleasantly simple beginning with the greyscale generated image followed by Mode changes in Gimp, indexed 2 color BW, then indexed 3 color, there appear to be very subtle differences with a bit more detail: Another online resource with an extensive array of dithering options https://app.dithermark.com. Here are 2 conversions using the app, the images are 2 color B/W. The presence of a third color is an illusion created by the difference in the distribution of BW color pixels, they loaded fine as viewed for knitting in Ayab, and in img2track, once I remembered to change its setting to 2 color knitting from the last used one at 4 colors It is possible to reduce images to 4 or 3 colors using the program as well: a slider for color count is used to choose the final number of colors in the reduction. Again, these instances have no added manipulation A series of dithers:
To retain the quality and size of the dithered image, download it, rather than using a screen grab. The software used to separate the chosen dither may alter the result somewhat. I am writing my posts using an iMac M1 with OS 12.0.1. At this point Ayab is not operable, img2track does open images, but in this case, with interesting distortions, and it does not download any files at all. 11/2021 A member of the FB img2track group, Amy Szczepanski, suggested this as a possible explanation “My hunch, from having looked at the source code for older software on which img2track is based, is that the new Macs are not correctly processing the data in the PDD emulation step. The PDD step relies on a module called pyserial to interact with the serial port. Based on the age of the software, I suspect that much of it needs a certain amount of housekeeping to get it to work with the newest versions of the other modules that it depends on. (Broader tech context: a lot of the original work on hacking knitting machines was written in Python 2.5, and I’d be surprised if much of it had yet been ported to Python3.) Another suggestion was that a new FTDI driver may do the trick. Drivers may be found @https://ftdichip.com/drivers/vcp-drivers/. Presently, their latest MacOS one is a beta version, for up to Mac OS 11