Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 4, stitch release, added racking

Though written in 2017, the post on revisiting drop/release stitch lace 1 has had new swatches and updated design ideas added. It includes information on how to use punchcards intended for other fabrics as possible design ideas and a cumulative list of previous posts on drop stitch lace.
The Brother publications have offered this idea for end release drop stitch in one of their volumes of punchcard patterns.  Many published designs recommend beginning the knitting with the racking handle in the center position, 5 of 1-10 positions in Brother, and 0 of 6, 3-3 in Passap. Often the starting position is relative and when a lot of racking is involved, they may be varied, though not the sequences in terms of the number of movements, to different starting points if that seems to offer an easier way to track position numbers. It is one of the many things that once the method is sorted may be adjusted to personal preference. Some of my swatches below were started with the racking position on 10, some with it on 5.
Many knitters in forums appear to have success with end release drop stitch. My experience has been that episodic release of the stitches even as often as after 2 rows knit yields far more predictable results. It is how I worked my shawls produced in the technique, including these two, knit in days when I did not always photograph all my pieces Giving end release another go, this was my initial needle set up. With the majority of the needles in work on the main bed, the larger stitches in the final fabric will dominate. The stitches after the cast on have been transferred down to the ribber. The work on the machine, with stitches on the main bed released at the end of the swatch. There is a long stitch DBJ single color pattern happening which may prove to be an interesting fabric if no stitches are dropped, to preserve it, all stitches would be transferred to the top bed, and bound off.
Here the racking took place in single positions after every knit row. Dropping stitches on completion of the swatch, particularly along the edges was so fiddly and such a nuisance I simply gave up in spots, some indicated by red dots.  This watch had stitches released at the end of each shape, racking in the top portion occurred after every 2 rows knit Here the same design was knit using different yarns. The first is knit using the same blue wool, the second a tightly spun rayon. So many fabrics can be automated, sometimes the fabric is a vague look-alike cousin of the original, close enough to be a reasonable compromise. Slip stitch patterning across the top bed can offer a quick solution to bypassing a lot of hand manipulation. Assuming that was possible for this fabric, my starting repeat, 10X30 pixels: and the plan would be to knit it in a 40 stitch swatch, placed in a way so that the “mock racking” would move equally from side to side. Working on a larger than needed canvas, the design can be placed on a magnified work area with a visible grid, at the chosen starting point. If the background is left as white in BW images, moving repeat spacing may erase black pixels as copy and paste in place are used. The solution is to make the background transparent using the Layer menu, as explained in other posts on using Gimp. To save the repeat as a BW bmp or png, remove the alpha channel The final repeat is 40 stitches wide, 34 high, with blank rows added to its top to serve as a place to drop stitches and have knitting happening on the ribber only.
Depending on the download program or the knitting machine model number, repeats are automatically mirrored, so if direction matters, mirroring of the repeat may need to be performed once more.
Why the repeat will not work for drop stitch: if the KC is set to slip in both directions, the function will happen on all needles in work on the top bed. On any given row, only black pixels (or punched holes) will knit. The slipped/ skipped stitches keep elongating until a black pixel replaces the white one in that needle location. The degree of elongation is illustrated in the chart in color for part of the repeat, the yellow marks the widest gap between knit stitches. If knit as is the repeat will soon cause serious knitting problems and carriage jams.  Though designing for one type of fabric may fail, this repeat or similar could be used successfully double bed in other ways, using hand transfers on the top bed or down to the ribber. In this case, I chose to transfer down to the ribber, which avoids concerns about restoring correct needle selection, and the repeat was not mirrored for use on my 930, so the resulting knit appears as drawn on the purl side, but is mirrored on the knit side.
The fabric is far removed from the drop stitch idea, but as for drop stitch lace, stitches after the cast on are transferred to the bottom bed.
Newly selected empty needles will create eyelets with the next 2 carriage passes, and texture will appear on both sides at the transfer down locations.
The shapes created do not travel on the knitting bed any longer.
End needle selection needs to be canceled at any time that slip stitch patterning is used and does not occur on every needle on the top bed.
If the pattern is to be interrupted by all knit rows here seen as rows with no preselection in the programmed repeat, then any needles with stitches on them need to be transferred down to the bottom bed before continuing to knit.
As preselection begins again, those needles should be filled by picking up from the stitches below them on the ribber, and then the process may be repeated.

DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 3

Previously published related posts:
Img2track_multiple colors per row dbj, each color knitting only once 1/21
DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 2 12/19
DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 1 12/19 
Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 2 1/20
Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 1 1/20

Reducing the number of rows on the front of DBJ fabrics and the associated elongation of the planned design matters so some designers far more than others, at times only in specific projects.
It may remain something in one’s wheelhouse that is not worth doing because one can.
When I was knitting garments and art-to-wear pieces I found I preferred to work in 2 color dbj, plying thin, sometimes space-dyed yarns and dropping threads, replacing them with the next shade in the chosen color wheel spaces to add more colors per row.
Long before computer interfaces that made downloads or even color separations easy, most knit artists used punchcard machines, often the Passap Duomatic, lining up long individual panels to create large, non-repetitive images, Nicki Hitz Edson among them. That said, the topic has remained   interesting to me.
In the post written on 12/19, an option was presented for having each color in each design row knit only once rather than twice. Tables in a Numbers spreadsheet were used to produce the necessary color separation.
The present goal is to repeat the separation process using other possible DIY methods.
To review: the dbj automated separations for more than 2 colors per row with the exception of the Heart of Pluto one when using the Ayab interface generally result in each color, in each design row knitting twice. This is also true of default console separations in the E6000.
The yarn for this fabric needs to be thinner, colors easily become muddied if not chosen with care, there are 6 carriage passes for each design row of knitting, and charts and downloadable repeats including all knit rows become considerably longer.
When experimenting with colors keep careful notes about your own color placement in each yarn changer location, they may not match those assigned by the download program or in the original chart.
DAK offers the option of printing templates for its DBJ separation methods.  They may be used as guides for using the designs outside the program, whether for download to electronic knitting machines or to be followed in punching cards.
Files may be opened in the DAK Graphic Studio Module with the intent to convert them to stps for use in its universe or to adapt the design for other uses outside it.
My experience with several trials of small images in 3 colors is that the resulting design conversion is faulty.  The file size morphed into a 40X40 repeat as opposed to the original 12X14, leaving no option but to draw the design from scratch in the stitch design module.  
My third attempt finally got my 3 colors represented properly, but still in the 40X40 pixel size, not worth troubleshooting, redrawing the motif is far easier and more straightforward.
Img2 track will perform the separation but does not offer a charted view or template for it. It has the added interesting function of immediately reducing the file by half because upon download the image will be lengthened automatically by a default setting to double length on the Brother machine. The issue may be addressed by doubling the file in length prior to selecting it with img2track or the stretch factor in the program may be changed to 2, also before selecting the file for separation.
I prefer to manipulate files as needed prior to opening them in any program for download, believe it makes patterning errors easier to correct, and avoids forgetting to change settings when returning to knitting the particular repeat again. In the January 2021 post, I suggested manually pushing back to B position all needles in work prior to the carriages returning to the left on every other row as one way to reduce the resulting elongation in the designs. Here the plan is to achieve it by amending the color separation and its needle selections.
One of the advantages of DIY is that the color order in the separation may easily be matched by that in the color changer.
Repeats should contain an even number of rows and may also contain rows where not all colors are in use. The first starting repeat:  The often published convention in performing dbj color separations is to begin ordering the colors based on the number of cells they occupy in the first row, here the yellow would be followed by black and then red. Other programs start with the first pixel color on the left by default.
After drawing the repeat in Stitch Designer, working with Dak choosing color separation C, and exploring print options, one may obtain a template. Its screengrab serves as a guide to tracing pixels, the results match the Gimp separation which follows.
DAK automatically mirrors the motifs horizontally prior to working with them in any way. The mirrored DAK template compared to the in-progress Gimp separation: My goal is to produce the fabric with each color in each design row knitting only once by changing the separation, the function performed automatically by Ayab’s HOP code.
This technique applies to double bed work only, is not suitable for single bed 3 colors per row slip stitch.
The backing used is bird’s eye on the ribber, with slip stitch set in both directions and using both lili buttons. The result is that every other stitch knits on the pass to the right in any color used, the alternate needles knit on the return to the left completing one full row of knitting in that single color on the purl side.
The main bed needles are preselected on the way to the left, create stitches on the way to the right, as they flatline. Since there is no needle selection, as the carriages return to the left, no main bed needles will knit, resulting in only one row in the color being carried knitting on the top bed as well. Needle preselection continues to be made for the next row to be knit after the color change.
This makes for a more balanced fabric unless colors begin being skipped for multiple rows, in which case the ribber stitches may even form small ridges and the main bed stitches will become more elongated until the skipped color is repeated.
Working using Gimp alone
It is possible to color separate using only Gimp. One of the tricks is to use significant magnification, along with the view grid and snap-to-grid options when working with developing or editing designs.
In the latest version of Gimp for Mac, using the fuzzy select tool, selecting pixel color segments allows for color substitutions when converting charts to BW prior to the final png save.
It may be achieved by clicking on a single color, followed by holding the shift key, clicking on more colored pixels for multiple selections regardless of color, and then selecting bucket fill with the replacement color. Using select by color, followed by using the bucket fill tool, changes that particular color globally throughout the repeat.
As selections are made, dotted lines outline selections until after the color change and the image has been fixed.  Colors are fixed by choosing the rectangle tool and clicking in the work window outside the image, those dotted lines will then disappear.
This separation begins with black, the first color pixel on the left.
The original image is scaled X3 in height to 11X30, the file resulting from the separation will be scaled again X2 prior to knitting the repeat after it has been completed.
Copy and paste the scaled X3 results on a larger new file so that color markers for each row may be added, horizontal guides every three rows help define each expanded, now 3-row color sequence.
Following the color rotation markings for each row, erase colors unlike it and not represented in each design row to its right, so where the black marker pixel is on the left yellow and red are erased, where the yellow marker pixel is black and red are, and where the red marker is black and yellow are. That single row with no color red is left blank.
Those extra columns on the left are cropped prior to converting the file to BW. The results on the far right would need to be used double length, whether scaled before the final file save or after download, prior to knitting. Depending on the machine and the program used for download, if the direction of the design matters, the result may need to be mirrored as well.  Developing the test png on the elongated repeat My test png, mirrored for download to the 930.
I had color changer issues with yarns being picked up 2 at a time fairly frequently, which were likely static related and improved following a rare use of yarn spray and a humidifier.
Having end needle selection, KCI on the main bed helped avoid issues with edge stitches not forming properly.
I tend to grab yarns randomly when swatching. The resulting colorways are not planned for use in finished items, they are explorations that help illuminate subsequent choices.
The yarns used in the swatch are of three different weights, so tension needed to be adjusted to accommodate the thickest yarn, resulting in more elongation of some of the stitches on the front of the fabric. The latter might be far less noticeable when knitting with thin, equal weight yarn selections. The design can be easily identified and it is also seen that colors are indeed knitting a single time for each design row. There is an exception on a single row toward the bottom of the swatch, where blue and white have knit together during tension adjustments on both beds.
One drawback to this method is that since it is downloaded as a fair isle, the capacity of the machine to offer prompts and reminders as to which color is in use and which selection should follow in knitting 3 color dbj is lost.
Testing the concept on a design where more rows have less than 3 colors represented. The repeat is slightly modified, from the one used in the second 12/19 post Here it is shown modified, with rows containing fewer than 3 colors marked. Separating the repeat using only Gimp:
the file on the right rendered double length
and in turn with the second of every pair of black pixel rows erased the comparison between the two I left the color changer set up in the same sequence and yarns used in the previous swatch, so colors do not match their placement in the charted design. I stopped knitting when the color changer carried 2 colors across a whole row, and I did not notice the error until I had reached the other side. A repair can be made easily, but I chose to stop since the repeat was previously untested. There is a dropped stitch also missed on the purl side, an easy repair when a piece is finished.
The fabric is narrow as a result of the slip settings, the cast on and beginning and ending rows of knitting need to be adjusted or they will stretch out quite a bit compared to the remaining knit.
The proof of concept with each color in each design row knitting only once: The 12/19  post also compares its repeat knit using the initial double-length file to the one resulting from the amended repeat with each row knitting only once for each color in each design row

Multiple color drop stitch lace using img2track and more

WORK IN PROGRESS

There are many fabrics where samples may be knit using the proper color separation and released just prior to binding off. Samples and designs may be found in several of my previous posts.
End release is a possibility depending on how the repeat is programmed but does not always produce good results. As can happen in any fabric, what works in swatch size may not when knitting far larger pieces. Fuzzy yarn is problematic in many knitting techniques, it is best avoided in these fabrics. No matter the yarn, after knitting longer pieces, I have found sections that simply refuse to unravel. In addition, if long stitch shapes are distributed on knit striped grounds, the release needs to happen at a minimum when the top of each shape is reached. A sample with drop-stitch interrupted by all knit rows with only one color released. 500_986The repeats for designs may be self-separated to suit.
For more than 2 colors per row the built-in separation in img2track may be used, where any number of colors are selected for each design row and repeated twice. Passap separates for 2 colors with each pixel knitting twice on every row by default, but in Japanese machines, the pattern needs to be separated and programmed using other means.
The knitting method suggested here should work with more than 2 colors per row are separated by the software.
The post on Using Layers in Gimp for color separations illustrated a method for obtaining the necessary file to match those built-in variations when working in only two colors. The repeat is one that was separated and used in a previous post Here the file is separated quickly using Layer menus in Gimp alone Three variations of the final png files are shared The last appeared the most interesting visually to me when tiled This is the appearance when a different design was entered in img2track. The separated file 3 color file in BW is not shared. The method for knitting the pattern: the long stitches are formed by loops that are created on the top bed and dropped on the following row.
This is the method I used in my early dropped stitch samples: to begin with, cast on for every other needle rib, knit 2 circular rows followed by one-row all knit rib, transfer all main bed stitches to the ribber. For an open stitch cast on directions and photos see the post.
The pitch for every other needle Set up needles on both beds for every needle rib with an extra needle in work at each end on the main bed, cancel end needle selection (KC II). With the main bed needles in the B position, set the knit carriage to slip in both directions so as not to pick up loops across the whole row on its way to the left. Change the pitch for when working on every needle on both beds.  Make the first pass toward the color changer, needles will be preselected for the first pattern row
COL: the ribber remains set to knit every needle, the main bed to slip in both directions. A piece of tape in front of needle butts of needles in A position aside the edge of needles with stitches on them on each side helps keep from accidentally moving extra needles into work when dropping whole rows of stitches
COL: change color, as carriage moves to the right, selected needles will pick up loops on the main bed that will form the long stitches when dropped, while the next row of pattern is preselected, so by the time the carriage has reached the right side of the machine, the repeated needles selection is still present
COR: using any convenient tool (I use the edge of a piece of garter bar or ribber cast on comb), bring all needles in work out to E, and use the same tool to return all stitches back to B position. The loops formed on the main bed will be released forming the long stitches: check that all needles are indeed empty and that loops are free and between the beds
As the carriage moves to the left again toward the color changer, the ribber only will knit all stitches, needles on the main bed will be preselected for the next row of long stitches, selected needles do not knit until the next carriage pass from left to right.
COR: colors are changed every 2 rows
Ayab users have a different alternative for knitting this fabric as described in the post, using the circular ribber option. Instructions are given for dropping a single color or both. I cannot imagine manually dropping stitches after every row of loop formation on the top bed for any large piece in this manner. As time passed, I developed a hack for using a second knit carriage with a modified sinker plate.  Anyone with a compatible second knit carriage may use it with the resulting modification to knit a variety of fabrics much more easily, including any that would require the ribber settings changed in both directions, more convenient if the action is required every even number of rows.
Back to drop stitch in 2 colors (or more) using img2track, changing the base design to a small geometric shape. The 8 stitch repeat scaled X 4 in length as separated in the previous post to 8 stitches by 32 rows is used in the following samples.  Rather than relying on manipulating it in width or height and programming each repeat the changes in my swatches were made using variation key selections on my 930.
This type of fabric is best knit using a yarn with no memory, that will allow for retaining the blocked shape. The elongated stitches can have a peek-through quality that will allow for solid knit in a different color, an undergarment, or even bare skin to show through.
Working with a small geometric design to start with helps to develop a sense of the change in its aspect ratio as the original is scaled and knit in different widths and lengths.
Use any separation that allows for knitting each color pixel in each design row twice.
Begin with carriages on the right / COR
After EON cast on and knitting the first full row from left to right, transfer the top bed stitches to the ribber. Place needles in work on the top bed in the B position with first and last outside those in work on the opposite bed. This will allow for edge stitches to be dropped in pattern as well. With the transition planned to every needle rib, the pitch needs to be adjusted accordingly The second carriage, C2 is set to KCII as well. It will be advancing the design with each pass as well and will drop loops on the first pass, preselect for the subsequent pattern row on the next
COR: using the paired carriages set the knit carriage to slip in both directions so as to avoid picking up loops on every needle in work on the top bed, the first row is knit on the ribber only toward the color changer.
Download the repeat.
Program it for the width of the needle bed.
Cancel end needle selection on the top bed, KCII
The separation is technically entered as a fair isle design, variation keys for altering the repeat in the individual machine brand ie double width or double height may still be used.
While moving to the left the first pattern row is preselected.
COL: When the left is reached, change color, the top bed remains set to slip in both directions, the ribber to knit in both throughout.
Before moving to the right for a single time push selected needles back to B so as not to pick up loops on the way back to the opposite side. The second pattern row is preselected during the move to the right, the ribber knits every stitch
COR: knit to left on creating loops, concurrently the next pattern row is preselected, I prefer to change color at this point leaving the carriages to the far left
C2OR: use the second knit carriage with the hacked sinker plate set for plain knitting, make 2 passes with no yarn in its yarn feeder. The first pass drops the stitches. The second pass returns it to the right leaving all needles in the B position. Because no cam buttons are selected in this version, the carriage does not engage the belt as it would if it was also used for advancing patterning.
COL: with the new color no loops are picked up on the way to the right, needles preselect for the next loop row created when moving from left to right
COR: knit back to left creating loops
C2OR: use the second carriage set for plain knitting to drop loops on as it moves to the left, needles are flatlined in B on its return to the right
It is easy to identify the last color used by looking at the ribber. At the completion of each stitch drop, with COL, ribber stitches will clearly be in the last color used.
COL: with the new color no loops are picked on the way to the right, they will be formed on the second pass returning carriages back to the left.
C2OR: use the second carriage for 2 passes
Repeat the last 2 steps until the desired length is reached
Transfer all stitches to the top bed, create a loose bind off tested on the test swatch.
The sampled repeats altered using variation keys in the 930
8X32

16X32

16X64 The transition in aspect ratio as the original repeat used on the right is changed to double its width Here the comparison is made to the double-wide repeat also doubled in length
The elongated stitches allow objects behind them to peek through Another 2 color variation  Previous posts include samples isolated on striped grounds, using 2 colors.
Adding a third color can make the overall appearance muddy and small designs can appear lost. One sample in the post Here the goal is to use the img2 track separation, maintaining the same color change rotation in each piece.
Reviewing points to consider: in more than 2 colors dbj separations, the double-length variation key is set automatically except in the 950i, where it needs to be set manually.
In knitting drop stitch, the repeat chosen must have each color present in each design row unless the shapes are deliberately altered with solid color stripes in each color. The software is smart enough to recognize any design rows in which a color is not represented.
In conventional dbj, this keeps the design continuous, but in drop stitch, those extra rows will produce an all knit stripe interrupting the overall design.
The software scales the height of the motif to half the original, due to the fact that the double-length variation key is automatically turned on, restoring the original aspect ratio, the png loaded needs to be the original repeat scaled to double its height.
In DIY a small design will likely be less recognizable than larger ones, but working with one can help one understand how stitches can be formed.
The initial design is 6 stitches by 7 rows. It was stretched in width since the fabric elongates the design, and in height because to software will, in turn, reduce that by half to 14X12. The tiled potential appearance as a dbj fabric:In the first sample three carriages are used:
after the basic cast on, transfer and set up needles as described for all variations.
To use the second knit carriage to drop stitches, the first preselection row is made from left to right with the color 1. As the pass is made to the right, no needles on the top bed pick up loops, the ribber knits in that color, preselection for the next row of knitting is made.
As the carriage returns to the left the first row of loops for the long stitches is formed, the ribber knits the second row in that same color.
With both carriages to the far left push the button selection for the next color selection. The number prompts for color changes by the machine will be off by a row during this process.
With the second knit carriage and its altered sinker plate on the right set only to knit make two passes, returning it to the far right. The first pass drops the loops, the second pass returns empty needles to the B position, creating the long stitches.
The paired carriages will knit only on the ribber as they move from the left to the right again, preselecting for the next row of loops. They will place loops in the pattern on the top bed needles as they return to the left, and knit a second row on the ribber.
With carriages to the far left push the button selection for the next color selection.
Use the knit carriage for two passes from right to left, repeating the two steps for the length of the piece.
When the top of the piece is reached, drop any loops on the top bed before knitting a row on the ribber and preparing for transferring stitches to the top bed and binding off.
Only one set of loops is created in each color.
What of end release? because all 3 colors are present in every row, the design is suitable. The first preselection row is from right to left.
I found the combined carriages harder to push, and the knitting wanting to ride up toward the ribber bed needles.
The bottom of the swatch has loops released before a transition to plain knit simply exchanging colors every 2 rows until the end of the test was reached. The top duplicates the effect achieved above by pushing preselected needles back to B position with a tool prior to moving with the new color from left to right. Side by side comparisons: If the end release fabric is preferred but the stitches riding up are a nuisance, the carriages are hard to push, not all stitches release on a larger swatch, or a slightly fuzzy yarn is used the same result is it possible once again using the modified knit carriage to drop stitches making passes from the right?
The problem with that concept: if the knit carriage or any other tool is used
periodically to drop stitches in a long piece when it moves across the row, it drops on the first pass, leaves needles in B position on the second pass when
returning to the right. As knitting resumes with both carriages, no loops are picked up on the first pass to the right, so the pattern with colors dropping for 2 consecutive rows is interrupted, resulting in a patterning error. Selectively dropping stitches while maintaining proper needle preselection is impractical.
Also, if the intent is to use the knit carriage also to select and drop stitches for 2 rows out of every 4, the motif would need to be lengthened several times. I found when programming the far longer repeat the software refused to make the proper needle selection, switching every 2 rows rather than repeating the same multiple times. That aside, the number of passes required becomes daunting.
Changing color selection and order may make the individual shapes more noticeable: Any published or self-drawn separation for 3 colors per row patterning including every color in every row of the original design may be used, programmed as a single bed design, and knit for end release.
This swatch is only 24 stitches wide, it was a start in an attempt to place a better-defined geometric shape on a striped ground, with spaces where not every color is represented in every row between repeats. Its dbj version has some interesting surface texture on the reverse It is only part of the finished piece. The same yarns and tensions as in the previous samples. Two of the problems with end release reared their heads: the color changer side formed too short floats producing a side edge a different length than the other, and several stitches were difficult to drop from the top to the bottom of the knit, with the yarn even breaking in some spots. 

Working with only 2 colors makes the process for me far more predictable and manageable.

Previously published related posts:
Revisiting drop/release stitch lace 1  11/17
Drop stitch lace using Ayab software 2/ HOP 2/20
Drop stitch lace using Ayab software 1/18
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 3, end release  6/15
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 2, Brother KM  6/15
Geometric shapes in drop stitch lace 1, Brother KM  6/15
Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Passap KM 10/13
Drop stitch lace, 2 colors per row, Japanese machines  10/13
Revisiting knit “bubbles” brother KM 10/17
A bubbles cousin 9/13
More knit bubbles  9/13
Knit bubbles and “stitch ditchers/dumpers”  9/12
Working out the kinks in my drop stitch lace saga  9/12

Using Layers in Gimp for color separations


WORK IN PROGRESS 

Over the years I have developed personal methods for creating color separations for many types of knit fabrics, born from lots of experimentation when published resources were absent or extremely limited.
I continued to share methods as they evolved from increasing familiarity with specific programs or as I was introduced to new ones.
Since I began to use paint programs including Gimp I have never been able to wrap my mind around layers and how they might be used in color separations for BW knit repeats.
In my last post on fantasy fair isle ribber fabrics, Claudia Scarpa shared her layers method and subsequently published a Youtube video for obtaining a separation for a very similar fabric to the one I developed beginning with a large design motif that in her instance was also placed specifically on a larger ground.
Her method for separations in 2 color work sparked my interest in using the steps to yield knitting patterns for varied textures and stitch types, beginning with dbj.
Using
will display layer options in my Mac on the bottom right side of the screen A simple geometric shape is scaled in Gimp to twice its height, check that Quality Interpolation is set to None. I have sometimes had issues with scaling in Gimp, particularly when working with small repeats. The cause appears to have been that the Quality, Interpolation, needs to be set to None and may randomly change while working through several steps in processing any image. Arahpaint scaling is still an excellent option for knitters who have it available.
the white ground of the resulting image is rendered transparent by using Color to Alpha and will constitute the first layer for the separation process Select New Layer from the Layers menu (see chart), choosing the background or foreground color so as to have a white screen. It will share properties with the alpha repeat such as pixel count, magnification, and the grid view if used.
Use the pencil tool to draw a repeat that will be used to fill the new layer, followed by using the rectangle tool to select what will become the pattern used to bucket fill the whole layer.
The latter may be the smallest possible selection or even that of complete rows as in my chart. Copy the selection, it will be saved to the clipboard and remain available for filling from pattern unless the program is quit unless it is saved as a pattern for future use.
After using the rectangle select tool, remember to click in the window outside the image to set the layer prior to using the bucket fill tool in the pattern fill setting or the whole layer will simply fill in with a single color. In the layers dialogue, use the mouse to drag and drop the alpha image icon for the triangle layer onto the newly created one. The selected icon will appear surrounded by a border when chosen, a new icon will appear during the step.  Both layers measure the same pixel dimensions, no placement adjustments are necessary. The mode, highlighted here is changed in a later step.  Color invert the new image  Click on the downward pointer to the right of Normal and select Difference. The result is a repeat that may then be saved and used doubled in height to knit DBJ in a variety of settings.
Elongation after download can be avoided by working with the same initial image scaled in height X4 and following the same process, saving and using the repeat on the far right. The same separation was achieved using other methods in the post on fantasy fair isle.
Possible DBJ settings on Brother machines using the elongated final repeat are shown in this grab, part of the postEOR refers to a repeat that would require double length after the download, the same machine settings apply to any image created in a double-length format prior to download. Are punchcard knitters left out? In the post on the color separation used for the KRC equivalent separation for a punchcard two results were presented, the full card and the starting design shown with the color reversed repeat of the above. The process begins with obtaining the double-length separation after saving the last file on the right as png discard any files still open. Open the saved png and process it the same way, changing the ground Save the last file as png. Punchcard knitters would need to tile the fileX4 in width and in height X2 but the final repeat appears different than that in the punchcard post, the proof of success or failure is in the knitting. If the swatch is knit on electronic, the first preselection row is made from left to right, as it would be if using the built-in color separation. The main bed for this fabric after the preselection row is set to slip in both directions, the ribber, using an even number of needles, is also set to slip in both directions with lili buttons. The 8X32 png The result from repeating it twice indicates the separation indeed works. When a color separation is downloaded it is used as one would a fair isle. If the motif is representational and direction on the knit side matters, any repeats may have to be mirrored horizontally if they are automatically reversed by either your software prior to download or your machine model after it.

There has been renewed interest in the MK FB group on drop stitch lace recently. I plan to address using this repeat in a future post on knitting the fabric using img2track. The 16X72 double-length png A quicker matching result:
begin with the motif lengthened X4
open a new layer, bucket fill a striped ground, use transparency to change the white in the result to alpha. The layers are immediately combined into a new image
color invert the resulting file
change layer mode by selecting difference from the menu, save the resulting png
Tiling to visualize alternative repeats, beginning with the 24X72 pixel fileThe file for the image in the center, modified to 24X144 pixelsThe file for the image on right, modified to 48X144 pixelsRemoving the color on every other row for use in specialty fabrics ie drop stitch lace using a modified stitch dropping tool with a now edited 24 stitch repeat, suitable for punchcard models:  The image is processed as for the previous separation, the final png is exported. Open the saved in Gimp.
From the Layer menu choose new.
Create a pattern for bucket-fill in pattern using color, in this case, blue.
A new image immediately appears, export it as a png.
Open the saved 3 color png.
In the tools menu choose the second option for fuzzy select by color, the icon will change. Using the rectangle tool, select a single blue row, after the selection, press and hold down the shift key and repeat selections of multiple rows in the same color. Each selection will be bordered by a dotted line. Release the shift key. Click on the rectangle select tool and then again in the work window outside the image to set it. Dotted lines will disappear. The same action is repeated if working on segments of the full file at a time.
Export the fully altered file as png ready for download, or print a gridded version to follow in punching a card. The 24X72 new png MOSAICS: For proof of concept, I intend to use separations for fabrics accompanied by knit samples in previous posts,  beginning with a mosaic one, achieved in the post. The images are shown for the final repeat as separated there are shown at the top of this new image. Below comparisons are made between the original download file and its companion elongated repeat alongside the same developed using LayersBoth results require scaling X2 prior to knitting, whether by button setting changes in the repeat after download or in Gimp prior to. After reaching the step where the layer mode is changed to Difference (or Exclusion), stop and save the png, using color reverse at this point will revert to previous a previous layers view open the saved png in Gimp, use color reverse, then scale the result doubling its height, save the png for download and knitting without changes in any machine settings. Testing another image separated in a previous post: the original charted image is now rendered in black and white the repeat as png tile check The process in LayersThe very last file on the right is saved as a png. In turn, it is opened again in Gimp, scaled to twice its height The non-elongated repeat actually matches that in the punchcard, which was knit with the machine set to double length Exclusion is the alternative Layer mode which when following the same process yields identical results. A block slip stitch design from the post requires color inversion and doubling the length. A: design motif
B: lengthen X 4
C: color reverse
D: new layer filled with pattern
E: color to alpha immediately results in F
F: save png for download

More shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck patterning, fantasy fair isle

Fantasy fair isle is the term often used to refer to dbj fabrics created using tuck settings on either or both beds. Typically in the required color separation used each design row in the repeat is expanded into 4 rows, with the same selection occurring for each color pair of consecutive rows. A tuck/plain combination is used here, with the backing essentially being a striper one, where each color knitting every stitch on the ribber on every row.
In this illustration, the blue symbols represent knit stitches on either bed, the red, the tucked stitches on the top bed. The chart represents a single design row expanded into 4, the results would, in turn, be rendered double length in knitting the final fabric.  The last post related to this topic: 2021/09/07/geometric-shapes-on-ribber-fabrics-with-tuck-stitches-3/
Recently a friend shared images of a punchcard skull pattern she was using in a hat and followed with a query as to the possibility of using the pattern on a mesh grid. The inspiration for the conversation began with this image, the work of Claudia Scarpa. The possibility of adding images on a true mesh transfer lace or mesh-like thread lace images may be found in 2021/12/14/to-mesh-or-not-to-mesh-9-more-on-mock-filet-design/
My DIY skull image in a potential thread lace pattern, in a 100X92 pixel png.  Concurrently the topic of illusion knits on the machine has also resurfaced in FB with some spectacular panels executed using the Garter carriage and changing colors every 2 rows. Some small geometric shapes begin to have a somewhat “similar” appearance using this technique, but as with beauty, the success in the imitation is in the eye of the beholder.
The techniques involved: my proof of concept was knit using img2track on a 930. Traditionally two-color designs may be opened and then downloaded, using the standard dbj built-in KRC function for the color separation, not suitable for this dbj version, while for designs in 3 or more colors the program will separate the repeat in a way that each color for each design row is knit twice, the separation required here.
At this point, the color separation is executed by filling in pixels observing a variety of rules. DAK produces templates of jacquard separations of varied types that may be printed for use outside its universe. The same file may be screengrabbed, traced, and redrawn pixel by pixel for use in a Brother download using other download software.
Passap by default separates knits for 2 color DBJ with each color for each design row knitting twice mode. Tucking on either or both beds is made easier because of the way stitches are formed on the Passap beds, along with the use of strippers which push down on tuck loops with each pass, ensuring that they will knit off properly. The fabric widens considerably when off the machine, requiring loose cast ons and bind-offs. The dbj variant, dubbed fantasy fair isle, is often used to create lap or quilt blankets.
The Passap built-in reader techniques that are often recommended for large knit pieces ie blankets using the same design are 186 for throw size, 187 for lap blankets, 183 for crib quilts. All three share the fact that the front bed pushers are selected in pattern in the up/knitting position alternating with the down/slip/tuck position alternating every 2 rows, producing the jacquard discussed here.
Slip settings produce narrow, short results, tuck short and wide ones. For non Passap knitters, N is Passapese for plain knit, KX is tuck with patterning on the front/ knit bed, AX for tuck patterning on the back/ribber bed.
Back in 2018, I began another post I meant to return to on traveling between the two brands.
My Passap E6000 manual is filled with scribbled notes from decades ago, expanding on how each technique may be used for a variety of fabrics.  In Fantasy Fairisle knitting using 187 with alternating up and down pushers on the back bed and AX with 2 arrow keys would match Brother ribber knitting with lili buttons used on an even number of needles set to tuck.
Working with the large skull image the setting of knit every row on the ribber and tuck in both directions on the knit bed is used as in technique 186, with a critical difference. Passap knitters may download the original black and white image while for Brother knitting a color separation is required.
The original skull image is 100 pixels wide by 92 high.
Converting the white ground layer behind the skull to alpha produces an image on a clear ground that can be placed exactly where desired on a new file with a white ground using the grid and guides
The alpha double long skull, now 100 by 184 pixels For the 1-pixel grid in Gimp to be visible on an editable image, a magnification of at least 800 is required. The options offered by default
can be changed to suit by simply typing in a new number.
As described in other posts including in Gimp update for Mac2, I chose to mark every other row with a red pixel, making it easier to track color inverting every other row.  This is achieved by selecting the rows with red dots using the rectangle tool one row at a time and choosing Invert from the colors menu. The red dot will also change color, making it easy to locate converted rows in more complex patterns. The dotted blue line is a guide for placement. in progress   the processed image the trimmed 98X182 png doubled in length once more to 98X364 Knitting process on a 930 using img2track:
the 930 has a tiny brain, so the image is broken down by the software into multiple tracks of 96, 134, and 134 respectively. One of the critical differences when using this type of DBJ color separation is that the first preselection row is made from right to left toward the color changer rather than from left to right as in KRC separated 2 colors DBJ.
The first and last needles are in work on the ribber to ensure the edge stitch on that bed will knit every row.
The knit carriage is set to KCII, canceling end needle selection.
Once the first row has been preselected and the planned color is chosen, with COL, set the main bed to tuck in both directions, leave the ribber set to knit, and continue knitting changing color every 2 rows.
In my swatch, the dark contrast color was used for the initial black pixel all-knit rows.
The work on the machine: A reminder: in my experience, the Brother cast on combs are usually chrome-colored, Studio grey, and Passap and I believe Superba ones were traditionally green. The first 2, designed for 4.5 mm machines, the latter for 5mm. The different mm spacing does not make the 5 mm combs suitable for casting on on Brother, but they can be poked through the knit in progress. I like to leave the first comb and weights on, insert the new comb closer to the beds, and then move the weight up and then remove the lower position comb.
There are lots of side-by-side stitches tucking on the main bed, made possible by the fact that each is anchored in place by a knit stitch on the opposite bed.
The tension needs to be set so that the stitches will knit off properly while having tuck loops not so loose as to get hung up on gate pegs. It can take a bit of trial and error to find proper settings and they, in turn, may need to be adjusted again when moving from small swatches into knitting on a far larger number of needles.
The finished piece measures 25 inches in width by 24 in height.
The appearance on the bed set to N, in this case, the ribber: Those white lines on the right are spots where the color changer picked up both color threads, a problem that does not occur in Passap knitting, where each color is picked up in its own yarn holder. In the Brother model, sometimes the yarn is left in the wrong place below eye level rather than its own individual one corresponding to its button, and both yarns are picked up with the next color change. The more textured knit side of the piece,  a close-up of the texture at an angle  Claudia Scarpa developed a skull variation using only layers in Gimp and has been kind enough to create a Youtube video illustrating the process. The separation is easy and quick as opposed to my more prolonged hack, and I will return to attempt to use it for various fabrics in a follow-up post.
This skull is more compact and better defined than mine. With the double long original image superimposed on alternating pairs of black and white rows, the resulting png can not be lengthened again as tucking would then occur for 4 rows, not likely possible in a Brother machine. The variant is a very interesting cousin to mine.

In DAK using the Method C color separation each color row separates into 2 rows of knitting and when using the result rows do not have to be repeated in pairs but the double-length switch will need to be used in Japanese knitting machines if working within the program. For those intending to use the separation outside the DAK universe, the color separation may be printed, traced/redrawn to create a png or bmp, scaled double length, and used as in the skull swatch. The template for the double long triangle in the post and the associated 24 stitches by 32 rows png, followed by the associated drawn png The png doubled in length, 24 stitches by 64 rows. This is a small repeat, suitable for punchcard machines. The test swatch is knit with the main bed tucking both ways and the ribber knitting every row. It is possible to work some repeats on some machines with the ribber also set to tuck both ways with EON needle selection.
In Brother that is achieved by using lili buttons with an even number of needles in work on the ribber. The first and the last needle would be in work on the top bed, the KCI setting is used for end needle selection to ensure that the first and last needles on each side of the piece will knit. I did not find this method workable and soon had to stop because of a loopy mess. When using the Dak stitch design module, the color separation is automated. Choose any design repeat. This happens to be a 20X20 one, chosen from the thumbnail assortment, so not suitable for punchcard models. “Printing” the template using choosing the option of using dots rather than squares to represent knit stitches makes the resulting print screengrab easier to trace. the 20X20 repeat as a BW png The template was overlayed with a grid in numbers, filling in cells over the dotted areas.
A portion of the work in progress using the generated dbj option C template and tracing it transitioning from template to Numbers, to Gimp:  The result is screengrabbed, opened in Gimp, converted to BW mode, and scaled to the 20X40 expanded design size. Unless the double-length function in the machine is also used, it will need scaling again to double length prior to download.
Illustrations for the generated dbj option C template, tracing it in Numbers, processed in Gimp, The final image double length, showing the difference between the separation using the template, and that using layers as in Claudia’s video, which appears different but is actually the same repeat, color reversed.  Using bucket fill for the ground in the second layer, as described in the video, the captured clipboard image can be very small or stripes any width may be captured, even up to that of the full repeat widthRemember to click on the screen outside the area chosen with the rectangle tool before using the bucket fill in pattern tool.
The result is the same using either brush.
Alternately, the initial design may be scaled X4 to 20 X 80 pixels and it is superimposed on a ground flood-filled with 2 black rows alternating with 2 white rows the steps resulting in a match to the previous elongated version the 20X80 png In the related swatch patterning is used on  40 stitches by 100 rows. The relaxed fabric when off the machine measures 7 inches by 7 inches and the knit side view reflects the elongation of the design one might observe when using the same color separation in standard striper-backed DBJ. On the bottom, the swatch is stretched and the stitches are set with some casual steaming and pressing to 10.5 to 6.75 inches, gaining the familiar texture appearance seen in so many Passap blankets.
The color differences are due to lighting, with the photos being taken at different times of day.  
For a loose cast-on row, I used a racked version at the same tension as the body of the knit. For a loose bind off to accommodate the stretch, I used a version of this method, shown in the video for use on the Passap.
To perform the same on Brother machines: knit the piece, ending with the carriages on the right.
Transfer all the stitches up to the top bed, bring the ribber needles up into work between them set the ribber to a looser tension number, here it was increased from 4 to 7. Knit one row from right to left, picking up loops on the empty ribber needles drop the ribber slightly to elongate the main bed stitches, using a latch tool, go through the center of each stitch, chaining them through each other the last stitch in the completed chained row is secured the beds are returned to the up position, and loops and stitches are dropped off the needles.
An attempt at a more detailed look at the bound-off edge

Visualizing knit cables 3_ using Numbers and Gimp

As our knitting experience grows, there are likely to be some techniques that engage us and others we choose to avoid completely if possible. Cables are in the latter category for me. I have hand-knit complicated pieces using them but dislike knitting them on the machine immensely. That said, I am periodically drawn to revisiting the topic in my blog, the resulting swatches are as proof of concept.
Small crossings may be used in sequence to create more complex appearing cables,  charts illustrating them may be simplified, using little or even no added color. The repeat is 8X8 and illustrates in the purl view. Ladders and knit columns between vertical sets of cables make the process easier to track, one needs to be alert to accidentally bringing the ladder back into work resulting in knit stitches, seen in the bottom left of the knit side swatch.      A table may be created to help with tracking multiple series of cables across a knit and their direction. It can contain as little or as much information as one wishes. Included here: the RC for possible crossings, their direction on the purl side for machine knitting (reversed for hand knitting). Columns may be added for including how many needles are left in or out of work between cable knit spaces or other info. It is also possible to print a custom needle tape to place underneath the involved groups of needles instead of marking the needle tape or the knit beds.  On a standard km, the needles are 4.5mm apart. A conversion reference for needle spacing point values Four needles X 12.75 =51 points, the width of the table cells, which in this instance are all equal in size. Colors and any other info may be added within each cell. Print in landscape orientation, making certain the image is not set to fit the page, but at 100%.
A narrower series of twists are made after every 2 rows knit,  the chart shows crossings on the purl side on the left, as opposed as to how they would appear on the knit side on the right Which leads to the topic of creating shapes by combining the repeats A brief effort containing at least 5 errors leads me to wonder about programming needle selection to help track crossings more easily and avoid mistakes. The center ladder here was latched up during knitting.  Adding the ribber: the simplest knits using the ribber are made with transfers to the ribber of single or multiple stitches to create what is sometimes called trailing stitches, with cables occurring at determined distances and appearing as knit stitches on a purl ground. Some samples of elongated ribber stitches with crossings on a striped ground may be found in the post on Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed, the technique may be executed in a single color, or as shown here with color changes every 2 rows.  If only the knit stitches or purl stitches are crossed on one the same bed when knitting ribs, they will appear so on one side only. One example If the start is on the top bed, stitches on the ribber may be created by picking up bars from the top bed the yarn above was a 2/8 wool, which refused to cable on the ribber, and having the crossing was preferred to not changing to a thinner wool-silk solved the problem.  Using a punchcard or electronic program to track movements and cabling on the knit bed, each stitch in each pair of punched holes or pixels is crossed over or under the other. This is a very time-consuming fabric, not friendly to distractions or interruptions. Any crossing mistakes in the swatch were due to “operator error”. In reviewing the post after linking to it here I realized the now marked punchcard error at its top. The amended longer chart reworked in Numbers is also added to the older post. It is shown here aside from its tiled chart, checking for alignment, a habit developed as my skill and comfort in using spreadsheets grew, A png of the repeat, 24 stitches wide by 72 rows Tiled for alignment in Gimp as well.
It is possible to use the repeat working 1 X 2 stitch crossings for a very different look.
A large swatch is worth doing before committing to a large piece.
Correcting crossing errors (purple arrows) after the fact will be harder than doing so in some other instances or in a bulkier knit.
Keeping the fabric visible as opposed to between the beds begins to show a pattern on the reverse, which can also guide the direction of movements.
There are spots in this repeat where the center larger cables are not possible because of cables in opposite directions already occurring on either side of the group of selected needles (red arrows).
Transfers occur by bringing single needles forward and crossing pairs of stitches behind them, moving away from the center of the triangular half of the diamond as it is formed. The sequence is retained until after the wider cabled segments occur (black arrow and line), where there is no other needle selection aside from stitches to be crossed.
The number of plain knit stitches between crossings is always even.
The cabled knit areas have a depth that makes them project out and appear almost beaded in texture. Assigning colors to crossings in a chart may be helpful or too much info depending on one’s perspective, the bottom of the repeat is on the right.

Periodically, the topic of reversible cables turns up in discussions for both hand and machine knitting. They are possible when working in ribbing on the knitting machine.
Keep in mind that ribs narrow when off the machine, cables do as well, so a looser tension is generally required, and the basic fact that knit stitches are purl stitches on the other side and vice versa.
Cable crossings are made over purl stitches that separate them or the reverse. Changing rib needle arrangements will result in fabrics that may not always “match”, appearing different on one side from the other.
Using the half-pitch position before any transfer rows brings needles closer together, G carriages may be a boon but may have a hard time knitting the row immediately following the cable crossings and even jam.
On the machines, a 3X3 crossing is likely to be the limit. A general starting guide when trying out repeats is to knit the same number of rows between crossings as there are stitches in the cross, so 6 rows knit before a 3X3 cable.
A published illustration of bringing the ribber into play. Creating extra slack if possible on the row before stitches are moved is helpful here as well as when working on the single bed.
Stitches may be crossed on either or both beds. If trying that out, crossing on one bed, knitting a row, then crossing on the other is another thing to try. As with any ribber fabric, the view of results is limited, dropped stitches may be easily missed.
A straightforward idea to test: in a wide vertical rib make cables on both beds, testing whether it is necessary to reverse the direction of the crosses or not, the number of rows to knit plain, etc. The chart shows a staggered arrangement. The number of rows between crossings can be changed to suit. In my first test crossings occur on both beds and on the same row. Even using the thinner blue yarn at maximum tension the transfers were hard to execute. I had more success when I added 2 empty needles between the vertical ribs and brought one on each side of each rib into work on the top bed prior to knitting the last row between transfers, creating a bit of extra yarn to ease the crossings.
After the row is knit the same needles are pushed back to A position, dropping the yarn, and crossings are made before continuing to knit.
Results vary depending on the yarn, tension, machine model, and operator patience. The arrows mark the location of what appears to be a damaged needle, the tuck stitches were not deliberately planned.  Here the repeats are staggered, the edge with the ladder close to the end stitch is shown again to be far less stable than the one with more knit stitches. Spacing is varied, exploring the tolerance for the yarn to be crossed. The setup while working: If transfers are made after every 5 rows knit, crossings on multiples of 10 could be assigned to one bed, while row counts containing the number 5 could be made in the other. Sporadically pairs of transfers on the same bed may provide more surface interest.
The set up after transfers to top bed prior to binding off Trying out a simple repeat in smaller rib configurations will provide some idea as to whether the technique falls into the love of or not something to do simply because one can.
Charting can happen using the same method as in illustrating crossings in color, with some alterations, sometimes less information is more or enough.
The first repeats were knit with most stitches on the main bed, and a 2 stitch ladder on either side of the ribs involved in cabling to help visually with keeping the stitch location constant. The grey, purl cell blocks are as viewed from the back, the white cells represent stitches on the ribber.  A: the set up single bed, with needles out of work on each side of the planned cable space, tension is tested and 3X3 crossings every 6 rows are made first only on the single bed
B. the ribber needle configuration is set up
C. the cables are made after transferring ribber stitches up to the top bed, and then the same stitches are returned back down to the ribber before continuing to knit
D. the ribber stitches are transferred up to the top bed, and the swatch was bound off. Note the difference in width in areas where no crossings are made.
The step-by-step instructions apply to both instances: the chart shows 4 rows knit between crossings, instead, here 6 rows are knit in both tests.
The photos documenting the 2X2 rib: the single bed starting point
the rib configuration set up 1.  after 5 rows knit, bring an extra needle in work on the top bed to pick up extra yarn for the cross 2.  drop the extra loop, make certain the empty needle returns to A position 3.  transfer all cable ribber needles to top bed 4.  cross the stitches with two three-prong tools 5.  transfer stitches back down to the ribber knit 5 rows, repeat steps 1 to 5.
The appearance of each side of the fabric differs
A: the knit was begun on the single bed
B: the ribber configuration was set up
C: cable crossings were made as shown above
D: stitches were transferred to the top bed and bound off  An attempt at a larger swatch using 1X1 ribs:
the intended concept a custom needle tape rib set up for the yellow yarn the cable crossings using it were impossible, starting over with a thinner yarn at the same tension the ribber may be dropped after transfers up to the main bed, keeping stitches and crossings visible, making it possible to make corrections in any cables if they are needed before re-engaging the ribber and transferring stitches back down The concept is an interesting one and many arrangements based on the idea are possible. In the above swatches, when any transfers were made to the top bed, after crossings, a row was knit before returning stitches to the ribber. The extra row may or may not be noticeable, depending on the yarn and colors used.
More variants, analyzing columns in color using a crossing over single center stitch first and eliminating the extra knit row, and transferring stitches back down to the ribber immediately after making the cables. The rib will have a tendency to spring back when relaxed and off the machine, so the texture may be hard to see. Using a fiber that allows for some spreading out with some blocking helps to make the work more visible. A reference chart can be developed ahead of time for repeat variations. The number of rows between crossings can vary. When the crossing row is reached:
A: stitches are moved up from the ribber to the main bed
B: cable crossings are made
C: stitches that had been moved up are returned back to the ribber, keeping the original ribber needle configurationAssigning colors to columns reveals that stitches are not moved onto the same stitch type when moved over a single, undisturbed, fixed center stitch. Shifting the needle arrangements when cabling, moving across a center column of two stitches that remain fixed on the main bed, the cable direction as it would appear on the purl side on the left, the knit side on the right is straightforward here: I found the above impossible to knit, even with ladders for extra slack, and the swatch stopped when the yarn broke Returning to 1X1 rib, looking at the column alignment in color  There appears to be enough slack produced in the formation of stitches between beds to make the planned crossings possible.
A: the needles transferred to the top bed
B: crossings are made over the 2 center stitches
C: the stitches that had been moved up to the main bed are now returned to the ribber. Bringing cable stitches out and or up to the hold position helps ensure that they will knit properly on the next carriage passes.
The similarity between both sides of the fabric is increased
From a Brother pub, small crossings for a smocked effect The same approach may be used to create fabrics in tubular tuck patterns, easy to execute in one color. Once yarn, possible crossings, and their minimum frequency have been determined, the start of far more complex shapes can be explored using colors to represent the necessary direction of movements before any decisions are made has to how frequently to cross the cables and to get some idea of negative spaces created between traveling stitches. In hand knitting, a purl ground is easier to plan and maintain. Adding and removing rows in the tables or even changing colors is easy and quick in a spreadsheet, tiling in repeat with scaled screengrabs provides a quick reference for possible improvements/corrections before any actual knitting takes place

Visualizing knit cables in color 2_ using Numbers and Gimp

Though this post presents cable movements in colors using multiple stitches, the resulting repeats may be knit by hand or at times on the machines in single color textures and the number of stitches in any column may be reduced or expanded, keeping the direction of the cable crossings the same.
Though DIY charting may not be your goal, perhaps the charts themselves will inspire similar stitch movements. Segments of any of the charts may be clipped, saved, and manipulated for easy versions of other options.
My first published experiment with cables created in vertical columns of alternating colors was in 2012A quick way to imagine variations of the same pattern is to choose segments of the swatch photo and alter their direction and/or placement Using the spreadsheet, shifting crossings are imagined, adding a half-drop variation, creating secondary shapes. A variation doubling the width of the cable crossing in a half-drop repeat In machine knitting, one is looking at the purl side, and the ability to move stitches is often limited by the fact that their placement on a metal bed is fixed distances apart. Simpler repeats can be executed as isolated vertical bands on solid color or striped or even FI grounds, adding the ribber for even more complexity in execution.
Hand knitting makes moving crossing multiple stitches possible more easily, and because the crossings are usually made with the knit side facing, it remains easier to keep track of directions in which to move the stitches.
There are other choices in charting for either, cable crossings happen as a row progresses in hand-knit, in machine knitting, knitting stops and crossings are made before continuing with the next row. If color changes are planned every two rows then cables need to have multiples of 4 rows between each set of crossings. Hand-knit possibility on the left, with expanded charting for machine knitting I continue to be fond of visualizing results in color in a spreadsheet prior to knitting swatches. As usual, as the sample charts multiply, the techniques often evolve as well for creating them.
Without access to Excel, I am presently using Numbers 11.2 in macOS Monterey 12.0.1, a version with several changes from the previous. Working with shapes does not remain my preferred method, but shapes are useful and worth considering in drafts of charts for many stitch patterns outside this topic.
Notes on my process: to start with,  a table is created with enough cells to accommodate more than one repeat of the planned cable crossings in both height and width. I prefer working on a cell size of 20X20 pixels and using magnification if needed to make work details more visible, decreasing it prior to screengrabs for illustrations here.
The choices for cell border styles may be made both in terms of colors and line quality or eliminated altogether  To add a shape, in the toolbar, search for shapes and select a category on the left, then click on the shape or drag one onto the sheet to add it.
To browse all shapes move the pointer over the shapes pane and scroll down.
It is possible to create and save custom shapes.
To make a shape editable
1: click on a shape to select it
2: choose Format, Shapes and Lines, Make Editable from the format menu at the top of your screen, handles will appear. In this case, a red square in each corner, a small circle on the left side  3: double click a white handle to change the line from curved to straight, handles represent different types of lines
Squares with a red outline: lines that connect to this point are straight
Circles with a red outline: lines that connect to this point are curved
4: click outside the edge of the shape when done editing it
Saving custom shapes
1: Click a custom shape to select it, then choose Format, Shapes and Lines, Save to My Shapes (from the Format menu at the top of your screen). The shape is saved in the My Shapes category of the shapes library, which appears only when you have custom shapes. Shapes appear in the library in the order you create them, this order cannot be changed.
2. Type a name for the shape in the field that appears below it, or click the name to change it.
To delete a custom shape, Control-click it in the shapes library, then choose Delete Shape.
Color choices are the same as for any work with colored cells, for the default palette, left-click on marked area, choose from current fill selections Choosing custom colors: left click on fill, then on the colored globe, new selections appear, click on any one of the pencils to select the new color, it will move up from other selections, the change will be reflected, can be undone and repeated several times Creating the first cable crossing shape: choose the square from the basic shapes, if the first plan is to work across 3 cells, change its size to the width of 60 pixels, 20X3, and single height of 20 pixels, also changing colors if desired. To do so, left-click on it, uncheck constrain proportions, and change values to desired ones Change its color It is a good idea to copy and paste a few shapes outside the table in case they are needed
A: place the shape on the cell grid
B: make shape editable
C: click on the left upper corner of the shape on the small white square, it will turn red, drag, and place it where desired, release it
D: repeat with the small white square in the lower right corner, release
E: check image size, adjust to 60 pixels wide, 20 high, make editable again if tweaking is needed,
F: the first crossing shape is completed Right-click on the final shape, copy it,  and paste it several times on the sheet away from the table.
Copying and pasting shapes on a single cell will fit any image within its borders, to remove it choose the cell, color fill, no fill, from the format menu To use the shape, left-click on it, drag it into the desired position.
Cable crossings are usually in pairs, so a companion shape will be needed, 60 pixels wide by 20 high, in a contrasting color, the results of making the larger image editable

The combined images may be created in a paint program such as Gimp and the resulting file, in turn, may be used in a spreadsheet. Pngs can be custom filled with any color of your choice in Gimp or its equivalent To draw a straight line in Gimp when applicable, select your preferred brush tool, click the point that begins your line, hold the Shift and Command keys in a Mac, drag the cursor to where you want the line to end. Click the endpoint, this creates a straight line between the two points with your selected brush. After the line is drawn, release the Shift and Command keys.
When charts are for personal use only, individual preference guides visualization methods, considerations for publishing may be different.
Yarn colors may be used in the charts, moving wider columns of stitches may be difficult if not impossible on a machine, but hand knitting opens a different world of opportunities for pattern use.
Working in a spreadsheet is easier for me than only using Gimp.
Seeking out a method for better definition of cable stitches to facilitate following crossings visually, cable crossing rows here are now double-height for added clarity; other choices include showing grid or not, and using BW for stitches crossed to the front in any direction.
Disregarding the grid, each column of color could be any number of stitches wide, while having the grid allows for easy counting of rows. Any chart may be used in knitting using a single color as well. Fair isle repeats: when working cables in FI, in addition to tracking cable directions, the needles must be placed in the proper needle positions B and D for correct patterning to continue.
A series of cables executed along vertical lines of the same color. The red border surrounds the full repeat.  These illustrations are as they would appear for hand knitting, with crossings made as knitting progresses along the corresponding chart rows on the knit side of the fabric Fair isle on mixed striped ground  Fair isle with repeat changes, expanded further by mirroring An expanded MK illustration A FI sample shared in 2015From Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed   2/21
When using fair isle patterning as a guide to forming cables on the machine, crossing directions matter more since one is no longer simply placing color on like color: this chart transitions from the original idea to the placement of the crossings, a full repeat with their direction reversed based on which color is wanted to travel to the knit side is drawn, and on the far right, the look of the final FI repeat  Adding a third color, possible intarsia knit as all over pattern or isolated as a panel. Even in hand-knit, the latter may be in a contrasting gauge and joined to pieces of the garment after their completion. These repeats may be worked as vertical panels between rows of plain knit or rib Symmetry is not always needed, MK, adding the ribber: one of the things that may lead to confusion is the use of the term every other needle knitting. If one is working on every needle on both beds, the needles on either bed are centered between those on the opposite one, thus patterning occurring on either bed that becomes EON. Colors are used to track the movement of stitches, not colorwork, which happen on the same needles, either bed, the plaiting feeder may be used to produce the illusion of additional colors. Part of an experimental swatch using the ribber and tuck settings In attempting brioche on the machine the color changes happen every 2 rows, so a minimum of 4 rows or a multiple of 4 rows are planned between moving any stitches. Although the same color will be used in the crossings each time, using 2 colors for cable segments may make the chart easier to follow Using the ribber, one of the crossings on striped grounds: Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed.  2/21A range of experiments with associated samples:
Some cables to try, hand-knit  1/15
A hand-knit stitch tale 2: a bit of cables and lace, charting, HK to MK   7/14
Chain cable HK experiment  1/13
Machine knitting cables: single bed, 1    12/14
Machine knitting cables: single bed, introducing the ribber   1/15
Some “real” cables on KM  1/12
Hand to machine, symbols 4: cables  2/13
A simple braided cable (and card)  1/12
Machine knit cables: using patterning as a guide to transfers  2/15
Using punchcards to track cables and twists in pattern 2   12/11
Using punchcards to track small cables in pattern 1   1/12
Holding and “cables”   12/11
Pretend/ mock cables 4: revisiting i-cords   1/13
Pretend/ mock cables 3   7/18
Pretend/ mock cables 2   1/14
Pretend/ mock cables 1: i-cords, holding   1/12
A few i-cords and more to try   1/12
Cables with lace transfers   12/11
Cables in color   2/15
Visualizing knit cables in color_ Excel   1/15
Knit charting in Mac Yosemite; visualizing knit cables   11/14

To mesh or not to mesh 9: more on mock filet design

Previous posts with some related information:
A lace mesh series: using GIMP  8/17
To mesh or not to mesh 1  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 2  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 3  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 4 5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 5 7/17 a collection of mesh design repeats
To mesh or not to mesh 6: chevrons 6/20
Lace knitting tips, to mesh or not to mesh 7  7/20
To mesh or not to mesh 8: more Numbers meet Gimp 5/21
Unconventional uses for punchcards 2: thread lace cards for “filet” mesh  8/17
It is hard for me to imagine a decade or more has passed since I began to blog. My approach to post content has evolved since then as has my shifting familiarity and use of software programs. Periodically topics resurface to my attention. Lace is one that crops up every few years, resurged after my purchase of Dak and my experiments with testing the lace module, and has persisted, so here I am once more looking at superimposing shapes onto a preferred mesh repeat.
There are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from the processes and without spreadsheets, similar planning may be executed on graph paper using colored pencils.
My go-tos now for planning out my charts on a new iMac with M1 chip and OS12 are
Mac Numbers 11.2
Gimp 2.10.24, Rosetta required
ArahPaint 6.0
img2track for download to a 930 to knit swatches, presently from a Windows 10 PC
InSync for file sharing between the Mac and the PC

The final repeats created with any of these methods need to be checked or edited to make certain they observe the rules for placement of punched holes or cells on proper rows for the specific brand and model knitting machine being used.
If the aspect ratio is particularly important, then more cautious planning may be needed.
For an indeterminate reason, the shape for superimposing on a mesh in these experiments is a heart, plotted out here in Gimp for use in a 24 stitch wide limit repeat. It is good to begin on a canvas longer than the estimated motif, magnification to 800-1800X with a 1X1grid and snap to grid make the execution and filling in of small-scale designs easy to plan and view.
In terms of drawing tools, the bucket-fill paint tool may be set to fill with the foreground color, background color, or pattern. The pencil tool normally uses the foreground color. If switching between the two tools, remember to choose the proper tool before continuing to edit repeats.
The heart was plotted out and cropped to 21 stitches by 15 rows, on a 24 stitch grid, and the image was saved, it is deliberately planned for an odd number of rows in width and height.  My chosen lace mesh repeat is 2 stitches by 6 rows. Planning a base mesh in Gimp with the above repeat saved as a pattern and used to bucket fill the canvas: The overall mesh repeat png is saved. Blank areas in every third row in the first and every third row will be skipping transfers in those areas and knitting the stitches composing the shape. The heart shape itself needs to be superimposed onto the mesh base. It is relatively small, with increases and decreases forming it easy to follow, so in the simplest method, red squares for each pattern row are filled in on the grid transfer rows, using the single-pixel pencil tool and working in RGB mode. If satisfied with the placement of the shape, use bucket-fill set to ground or foreground to eliminate red cells by filling them with white, and the mesh design is ready. If working with a card, punch black cells only. This placement is tested and kept in mind in other explorations. Using a spreadsheet: the same sort of chart may easily be created quickly in Numbers. In this instance, my table is still planned for 24 stitches in width, but 54 rows in height. An extra column is added and used on the far left to mark rows to be hidden. Beginning at the bottom left two rows were filled in a different color, the third row is left blank, all 3 cells are selected. When multiple cells are selected, depending on which side of the selection box one hovers over with the mouse, a yellow dot/  handle will appear. The tool acts on the selection. Clicking on it and dragging it with the mouse will, in this instance, repeat the selection until the mouse is released. This may be done in any direction and quickly fills in whole tables. It is not necessary to perform this extra step before hiding rows, but I find having that extra color makes it easier visually, especially when working on long repeats. It also makes for easy return to selection if hiding rows is done in shifts.
Beginning at the top of the table, holding down the command key, select rows marked with yellow cells, in this version of Numbers, table row numbers are green rather than blue,   continue to the bottom of the chart, and under the Table menu, choose to hide 36 rows. With rows hidden the mesh repeat shrinks from 6 rows to 2. A new 4 cell table is created. The 4 interior cells were chosen, copied, and pasted in the lower-left corner of the reduced height table. Once pasted, selecting the repeat again will allow one to use those yellow handles to fill the contents first toward the top, then to the right. The image on the left shows the results, with only the numbers for the unhidden rows shown on the left. In turn, the heart was the pencil tool to draw it using a third color in the chosen location. The unhiding rows function produces the expanded repeat with all knit stitches in red on the mesh grid ground. The column with the yellow cells is deleted before converting the Numbers repeat to an electronic or punchcard, the how-to discussed in other posts. Comparing the hand-drawn heart in Gimp alone on the left, to the spreadsheet results on the right, there appears to be a difference in the starting rows, and in only one other row, two black cells appear that can easily be altered in either repeat. Brother machine knitters would need to shift those 2 blank rows at the bottom of the repeat on the right to its top or to to start lace patterning on row 3.  Keep in mind that lace patterns in particular, with their infrequent markings, even in color reverse, grabbed from a spreadsheet and scaled in Gimp to final repeat size, often require a lot of “clean up. This repeat, intended for use in another post shows the difference between these 2 different programs once more. Superimposing shapes onto the same mesh requires that they be elongated X3. Gimp does not do this well, while ArahPaint does so elegantly. The result using Gimp, with the image Mode converted to 2 colors indexed and scaled in height X3 is shown on the left with marked error areas. The Arah YX3 result on the right is correct, created, and saved More choices exist, continuing to place the heart 3 rows up from the bottom, and not using multiple layers. For the heart to be pasted in place on the mesh, its white background needs to be made clear/ transparent. That is achieved by using Layer, Transparency, Color to Alpha, The layer-to-alpha image may be saved as a png with transparent background for any future use.
Work using 2 windows, A simple copy and paste will fix the image in an arbitrary location. Instead, click on the rectangle select tool, selecting and copying the heart image, paste it on the ground in the second window, where it remains as a floating selection that can be dragged to the desired location and is not anchored until the mouse is released. This may be undone and repeated multiple times.  A, copied and pasted in place on the ground, B, resulting in C
Even easier, working with the full-color, white ground heart repeat placed 3 rows up from the bottom, Aset red as the foreground colorand then use the bucket fill tool B to fill its ground with the mesh pattern, seen in C
Comparing the all in Gimp Drawing to either of the last 2 patterns, two differences appear, an extra row of transfers before removing transfer stitches to start the heart shape, and those 2 extra black pixels/eyelets Committing to the first design, 24X60, Proof of concept for the single repeat: Tiling the repeat before knitting helps one visualize secondary shapes that will be formed by it, here those pairs of extra dots are removed in areas marked with red lines, helping to make the decision about keeping them or not Developing brick repeats or half drop is possible with offset and brushes in Gimp, but, to my mind, easier in Arah. Using the Arah drawing in repeat, the design is now 24 stitches wide by 120 rows high in a brick arrangement offset by 12 stitches. The same heart, in half drop repeat, offset by 30 rows, now double wide, 48X60, suitable only for an electronic machine Changing the background grid for other stitch types: the heart is rescaled for use by 2 or 4 times in height. Again, the differences between Gimp’s incorrect scaling, A, and the Arah drawing in repeat, B The differences between the clear ground heart image dragged and dropped onto the new background or navigating between 2 windows and using the rectangle tool as described to copy and paste. Possible applications This begs the question of working on larger images. For use on a lace mesh, simpler designs apart from overall size are best, but if a mesh base is not your favorite fabric or goal, tuck, slip stitch, thread lace or even fair isle patterns may be created with more overall flexibility, using the same principles on backgrounds.
Thread lace, depending on the yarns and tension used, can provide the illusion of eyelets behind images of any size. The steps: image to alpha selected and pasted onto the ground, color reversed The final png is 129 stitches wide by 172 rows high This is the first attempt at a partial repeat test proof of concept. I have been telling people serger monofilament withstands ironing and light pressing, and periodically I test advice I have given formerly. To start with, the darn monofilament, which I even used in double bed garments, but nearly 2 decades ago, refused to feed properly or at all. Because it is nearly invisible, my knitting started with it pulling too tight, and I wiped out 12 needles out of 72 in different places on the needle bed in a single carriage pass. Determined, I sorted how to hand feed it, got the rhythm, complete a swatch. A marks an error I made in loading the second track in img2track, resulting in an added, wrong pattern row. The holes, B, C, and D were nonexistent until I tried flattening the fabric a bit with an iron, and the monofilament simply melted in various places. Other observations: there is some bubbling in the all knit areas. With ironing, that effect was lost and the areas with more mock holes widened as can be seen at the side edges. In thread lace, the end needle selection is canceled so as to have the paired yarns knit the end stitch, but pattern needles can still be selected, so if end needles are forward in pattern, it is best to push them back to B position by hand. One way to eliminate having to do that, which also reduces knitting time, is to create vertical all-white lines on either side, as in this version of the repeat now 144 X 200 pixels. I had interesting issues with having needle selection visually appear correct throughout, and the pattern itself appearing correct when checked at 1800 magnification. While the smaller sample was accurate until the filament began to melt, here I had 2 needles not knitting the yarns alternately but together, and an odd change in the center that looks as though yarn selection in those areas was reversed. The thicker yarn here is cotton, the thinner rayon. Troubleshooting is required. Unplanned tucking is a sign of damaged needles, but because the second yarn used herd is so thin, the effect was not obvious until the vertical pattern in the same area on the bed became apparent.
I am using a punchcard carriage on an orphaned 930 for the thread lace, and have not knit on more than 90 center needles in the past. Some days both operator and machine need a break. The cam buttons and undercarriage were oiled.  The first selection tests involved programming this as an all-over design. When only using part of the needle bed in a pattern, the center of the needle bed needs to be cleared by the knit carriage for the pattern selections to advance and knit properly. Doing so on part of each side of the center in thread lace and changing the culprit needles eliminated those single stitch issues. Before committing to a large width of fabric in thread lace, perhaps a practical, visible, and easy place to start for checking patterning and needle selection is to knit the ground in this pattern as a fair isle pattern before proceeding with the intended large-scale design. The finished test swatch: because of the disparity between the number of all knit stitches vs patterned ones where one of the colors is slipped on every pattern row for every other stitch, the fabric shrinks dramatically when off the machine. The knit areas pop out a bit, and a lengthwise tug makes enhances the effect  If the goal is a flat fabric panel, then blocking is a necessity. Here the piece is casually pressed, no pins, letters point out issues:
A: knit rows before any pattern selection
B: an attempt to knit stitches with a cast on comb, and no weights, lots of uneven float loops on the reverse
C: changing the amount of weight; if knitting in multiple tracks using img2track, remember to be outside the set mark with the knit carriages before selecting the next pattern row to avoid selection errors
D, E: there are occasional improperly formed tuck stitches
F: “My piece is almost finished, the weights are touching the floor but I have just a few rows left, too lazy to move the weight”, the price: some messy loops on the reverse again to match the start
G: all knit rows again, the latch tool bind off around single gate pegs was a bit snug The mesh effect was noticeable after resting, the piece measures 25 inches in width by 25 inches in height.
When moving weights up, using a ribber cast on comb carefully poked through the knit may cause less snagging and issues than using the single bed cast on comb.
This fabric evolved because of a discussion that began with a knitter who is working on sculptural shapes emerging from textured backgrounds.
I see thread lace as having potential for developing all sorts of blistered, 3D elements that have nothing to do with flowers or wearables and am planning follow-up posts using the technique for texture rather than mock lace. To be rendered usable, this piece would definitely need blocking, maybe even starching in order to be stable enough to hold its shape over time.
I have blocking wires, but over my decades of knitting have maybe used them twice, my blocking has been far more casual.

Friends lately have asked about skulls over thread lace mesh, this is an electronic repeat with room for resizing or border additions, keeping in mind that in thread lace the white areas knit both yarns, the dotted areas create the illusion of holes. The design was initially created working in black and white, with an alpha channel added a new file was opened, bucket-filled with the ground 2X2 pattern, the above was copied and pasted in the chosen position, resulting in this
The 100X92 png which in turn needs to be color reversed for use as a thread lace pattern

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
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.