Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 2

From Chris Burdge, a video tutorial on using HOP following program prompts and default color placement. The pattern used, available for download from the author, is quite different from my tests in that it is completely surrounded by a white border, the default first color choice in the separation The ABC color changer markings in letters reflecting yarn positions and color-changing sequences were used in the Studio brand, as opposed to numbers, in the reverse sequence, used in Brother. The Ayab lettering as opposed to numbers move from right to left. The manual states that the color separation order is: white C, grey B, black A with their sequence = C (3), B (2), A(1). If the prompts for changing colors as given are followed it provides a very valuable in tracking them,  but if out of habit one knits in the usual 1,2,3 sequence, the color placement occurs in an unexpected order and may result in errors. The on-screen letter prompt corresponding to the anticipated color change sometimes occurs with the knit carriage on the right, sometimes as it approaches the changer, and the size of the font was hard for me to see since the screen was not close enough for easy visibility.

It has been nearly a year since my last post, Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 1. I previously also shared information on using HOP for drop stitch lace.
Last week I tried a 3 color HOP pattern, which failed because my mid-tone grey was not within the proper palette range. I work on a Mac and found that with the latest Gimp update several details have changed, and formerly saved palettes were lost. Regrouping, working with colors, and intending color change selection sequences in the familiar right to left, 1, 2, 3 methods, this png includes the grey shade that worked for me If the png is copied from the post it is likely to appear in RGB mode and it will require conversion to 3 color bitmapped. Its grey color map entry is seen below The small file makes for a quick test of proper color selection for each of the three colors used It is not necessary to have images in greyscale to load them into Ayab for separation, but having the repeat shown that way can help with placement of the yarns in the changer.
I like to have as many factors predictable as possible prior to importing into download programs. Importing color images depends on the placement of individual colors in the palettes. An explanation found online is that Ayab needs a pattern image which is 8-bit greyscale. Each color is coded in a range of the 8-bit values. For 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color A; 64-127 color B; 128-195 color C; 196-255 color D. It seems to be OK to give the image some color, so long as the gray component of the colors divides up as given. I began to explore a pattern using 3 colors,  with one of the three colors absent in some rows Having some idea of stitch counts for each color in the design in the first few rows can help identify proper, planned color placement errors To achieve this an easy count of the blue and red can happen watching preselection on for the first couple of rows ie blue knits 4 stitches, while red has counts of 7 except at the sides My first swatch using the heart of Pluto separation and a greyscale motif  I like to work out color placement as well as repeat scaling adjustments if needed. This png in, indexed to 3 colors, was opened in Gimp, my primary design tool, and imported and saved as a palette A different color placement, using the saved pattern colors. With no white in the first couple of design rows, the lighter color is selected first. The actual 11 X 10 motif, can be opened in Ayab. Action R can repeat the image in height if desired, but a must is to repeat it in width that is equal to or greater than the number of needles in work on the needle bed, here it is repeated 3 times in both height and width
My tested color change sequence is #1, #2, #3 colors throughout, I disregarded the prompts for color changes at the bottom of the Ayab screen. Some things to ponder: in pieces that require color changes, starting with waste knitting in the same colors can help assess the best tension, whether each color will be picked up properly, and if the colors work well together. Looking at these 3 small tests, it appears that a choice should be made when casting on about using color 1 or 2 for the preselection and cast on rows.  If the setting to slip is forgotten for the first move to the left, the color in the feeder will knit every stitch rather than a pattern selection. Always check settings when on the right, making certain lili buttons are set as well. This pattern does not contain 3 colors on every row. In addition to that, when working  DBJ with other color separations one is likely used to seeing knit bed needle selections on every row. That is not true here, is a function of the technique, not a patterning error. On rows that have colors missing, when that color is in use, the main bed slips, the ribber works every other needle, first in one direction, then the other, adding to the row count on the purl side of the knit. In a test with marked color placement, the arrow marks the spot where 2 color threads were picked up together so that the white was carried across the row along with the green repeating the color placement test following 1/light, 2/medium, 3/darkThe mess at the bottom was due to the green yarn getting caught on the needle bed and not knitting the necessary stitches on the ribber, so dropped stitches were formed The assumption is that if the C, B, A rotation and prompts are to be followed, the middle color 2 can stay in place, and the placement of 1 and 3 can be exchanged.

The difference between the same design knit with a color separation where each color in each design row knits twice elongating the shapes, and its  HOP version, both with birdseye backing  

Gimp to create text for knitting

Recently there have been many questions in FB forums about incorporating text in knits. The techniques can vary depending on available tools. The most basic method is entering vowel and consonant shapes dot by dot in paint programs, with each dot becoming a pixel or punched hole in the final image. There are some many free downloadable fonts for personal use that produce images that can fairly easily be translated this way, among them:
https://www.fontspace.com/munro-font-f14903
https://www.1001fonts.com/subway-ticker-font.html
https://www.1001fonts.com/01-digit-font.html
https://www.1001fonts.com/loud-noise-font.html
https://www.1001fonts.com/arcade-font.html
https://www.1001fonts.com/mobile-font-font.html
Knit stitch shaped units 
https://www.fontspace.com/xmas-sweater-stitch-font-f28134https://www.fontspace.com/christmas-jumper-font-f21275
https://www.fontspace.com/knitfont-font-f6001

Notes on using GIMP update for Mac 2019

I had a quick FB share for a first exploration using Gimp:
“I have not previously put much effort into using text in gimp. A quick start: image 200X200,1800 magnification 
view grid, snap to grid, work in RGB mode, not indexed, 
turn off anti-aliasing, it wants to smooth edges. Caution should be exercised when using antialiasing on images that are not in RGB color space. In this instance, ultimately working in lo-res black and white for downloads, you want to keep the jaggies, not average them out. I believe Passap actually has a built-in command to “smooth edges” in images downloaded into it. I have always preferred manipulating the images myself rather than relying on software to do it for me.
start with font size at 12 in the chosen font, increase the font size if letters are too close together, the result is easily changed to black to make it ready for downloads, obviously not an answer for tiny letters. My capitals are font size 12, the other 3 words size 16 to maintain spacing between the letters”Getting a bit more methodical, info from the Gimp manual
Text management, Text tool
There are good online videos on this topic, but they are intended for use in much larger canvases, often using 150-200 as the font size, whereas in knitting that is likely the limit of our canvas size when planning for programming the full needle bed.
I am working on a Mac. From Windows tutorials found on Youtube, it appears there still are differences in some of the content and optics between the two platforms. Gimp is the only program in which I personally prefer and use dark mode. To change the app’s appearance, the selections for dark, gray, or light themes may be made by choosing system preferences, then clicking on theme, and selecting from options available on the right a partial illustration of changes in the grey and light themesText may be activated by choosing text in the image/ tools menu by clicking on the tool icon A in the toolbox or by using t as the keyboard shortcut, then clicking anywhere on the canvas.
Click on the fonts button Aa to open the font selector
or type in the name of the font you wish to use, choosing from installed fonts. Text editing can happen by selecting buttons here or with direct on canvas editing by making the changes within the semi-transparent floating toolbox on the canvas itself.
If you prefer to work with dockable dialogues go to and choose Windows, Dockable Dialogs, Fonts, and options will appear on the rightAs long as a text box is active, making another selection from the fonts menu will instantly change the box content, creating a preview each time.
As mentioned, Antialiasing is best turned off when not in RGB color mode
Hinting
Uses the index of adjustment of the font to modify characters in order to produce clear letters in small font sizes” is helpful in lo-res text intended for knitting Color default is black, click in the box beside Color selection and a dialogue selection box appears for changing it The choices listed at Gimp.org for text directions include the standard right to left, left to right as in most languages, and the following for vertical text  After the text is entered on the canvas, right-click on the inside of the text box to change text direction It is not necessary to work with the layers menu to start with. It is possible to “wing it” to get a starting sense of the process. Scaling and transformations are available, starting on a canvas size less than 200X200 based on needle counts on a standard km provides an ample field on which to play. If the intent is to change the direction of all the entered text, Image/transform may be used. Entering the same text in the same font size in an altered direction can change the overall pixel counts After the chosen text is placed change its mode from RGB to B/W indexed, then crop the image to your chosen size. Export.bmp, the result loaded into img2track and Ayab For a different way to edit, choose Image/Flatten and individual components may be reconfigured on a new canvas to a very different size. This file is now 68 stitches wide, rather than 144 The usual text alignment rules apply in text boxes as well,  left to right using the return key, double-clicking in the box will highlight each letter  activate view grid should you wish to count pixels in each Text center-aligned
Getting more control of the process: after the text tool is highlighted and clicking anywhere on your canvas two things appear automatically. The four little boxes represent the text box, which is dynamic by default, grows in size to accommodate typed text. Anytime you click on the canvas a new text box is created.
To change the size of the text box and you want the text to fit in a specific area, click and drag on one of the lower, small exterior boxes, and release. The box then becomes fixed, the text will move automatically to the next line and is placed according to alignment settings. If the bottom of the text is cut off, click and drag on that small square on the bottom corner or the bottom line of the text box shape to expand its size to include it in full.
Double click on a line of text to reveal those outlines around each letter or click and drag right or left on full words for editing. Click on a single letter space to delete it. Repeat if needed, type in the new letter(s) for a spelling correction or word change.
If following Windows instructions, it is helpful to know the comparable Mac commands pictured here on the bottom left of the Mac onscreen keyboard Use the option key and click on the canvas, and drag to place the text box on any specific area, or also to move all content in an existing text box, choose the move tool then click on any letter within the text box and drag and place. Random placement in the text box will move the whole layer The spacing between the lines and between the letters may be adjusted as well. Clicking on the arrows to change the values here is one option, negative or positive numbers may be used or what appeared easier to me,  the same may be done here A sample of adjustments in line spacing Very small fonts are likely not to have any room for decreased spacing in the between letters in strings of text.

A reminder before converting to .png for download
flatten image
convert mode to indexed B/W
crop content to the desired size
export as .png

Font: mazeletter
final image loaded into img2track and Ayab 

 

A return to Ayab knitting

1/2021 For a variety of reasons it has been nearly a year since I attempted any swatch tests in significant lengths using Ayab. I am interested in exploring long repeats created with small stitch units, and the possible illusion of color variations if any created by the fabric movement. My first design was a dbj heart of Pluto fail because of a problem between the monitor and the chair, the middle value was too close to one of the 2 other colors in the palette, so it did not get knit on the top bed, I did not pay attention, kept on going,  the patterning for only 2 colors appeared correct over more than 200 rows. The second test was of a different repeat in 2 colors. It was knit in single bed FI for the first run and here I am again with the issue I have had in the past with patterning errors in longer knit pieces. The fabric begins to do what I intended, the effect may be more marked if knit at a tighter tension. This is the working repeat, 34 X140 pixels, check if downloaded that the mode does not get switched back to RBC,  here repeated X2 in width, with a 2 stitch border in black on either side (72 X 140), suitable width for a scarf in DBJ. DBJ is a better choice for long pieces since fair isle has a tendency to not stay flat, rolling toward the purl side. The side border is a personal preference of mine. Now that Ayab allows for repeating the patterns both in width and height, such border additions, whether for a single color vertical line or to produce all knit stitches aside tuck or slip center areas are still not possible additions within the program itself There have previous posts on automated lace edging on Brother machines, ie 1, and 2. For anyone wishing to try them, this shows the proper Ayab orientation for the repeat, along with selection errors on my 910 The first preselection row is as always from left to right, the knit carriage, set to slip in both directions when on the right knits 2 rows, preselects for the first row of transfers as it moves from left to right, and lace patterning and selection begins from the opposite side. Extension rails are a must on both sides since both carriages are now selecting needles and each needs to be off the belt while the opposite carriage is in use

After absences from topics, I find it necessary to review them and their categories. This list, for now, catalogs my previous shares on Ayab use specifically, all are subject to future editing
Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ  1/20
Ayab: short rows automated with slipstitch  5/18
Revisiting knitting with 2 carriages single bed, 910 vs Ayab so far  4/18
A Brother 910/ Ayab diary/ EMS kit 3/18
Quilting using Ayab software  2/18
Drop stitch lace using Ayab software  1/18
Lace punchcards meet Ayab 1/18

Although my swatches this past year were often knit using another interface I have added mentions of ayab repeats which will turn up in searches. Other times I have added them to earlier posts such as this one combining KC patterning with racking 2017/12/20

 

Drop stitch lace using Ayab software 2/ HOP

At the start of 2018, I wrote a long post on creating drop stitch lace using ayab software and some of the techniques required to produce the fabric. Since then the software has been updated including several new features and among them the heart of pluto HoP color separation for executing multiple colors per row dbj, and revisited the topic providing links to all the previous related posts.  It occurred to me I might be able to use it to make drop stitch lace without having to manually perform the color separation and then entering it as a single bed pattern. This was my first proof of concept effort, dropping each of the 2 colors in turn. Making things work: my first desired repeat was what I expected would produce a circular shape, it measured 33 stitches by 23 rows. Increments in height need to happen at sequences of 2 rows each, so the design was then doubled in height, resulting in a scaled image now 33 stitches by 46 rows in height, with a planned horizontal repeat X2 = 66. Note: the sidebar offers start and end needles are given for pattern placement on the needle bed. Sampling may occur on fewer stitches than that. Since the number of repeats programmed to add up to an even number and center alignment is chosen, the number of needles is even on each side of 0. In my second series of swatches, I decided to try for a smaller “circular” shape, with the repeat now measuring 15 wide by 20 high, and a planned horizontal repeat X3 = 45. If centered, the software places the odd number of needles on the right-hand side of 0. As with any pattern using Ayab, the starting side is with COL. The critical difference is that all needles are in work on the ribber, all needles on the main bed start in work but empty. White squares select first. The main bed is set to slip both ways throughout, the ribber for this fabric is set to knit every needle, every row. The choice then needs to be made as to whether both colors or only one is to be dropped. The software does the work involved in the separation, but the knitter needs to manually cancel needle preselection on the main bed on a regular basis as well as drop stitches formed there. This is best achieved by using a ribber cast on comb or a similar tool. A modified stitch dropping tool does not work unless all needles in work are in B position, so if they are pushed back it will work here as well but I found the cast on comb made the process faster. I will refer to colors as black and white, as they would appear in the design in black and white pixels. Begin with base rows in white. Whether dropping one or both colors, the first preselected row is disregarded on the main bed in both fabrics.
Begin COL: main bed set to slip <– –> (remains there throughout). As the carriage moves to the right, the first row of white pixels is preselected, the ribber only knits.
COR: for both fabrics, use the chosen tool to push preselected needles back to the B position. As you move to the left side and the color changer, the needles for the first row of stitches to be dropped in the next color (black pixels) will be preselected
For dropping both colors 
*COL: pick up the color to be used for black squares, loops will be formed on the main bed as you knit one row to the right
COR: push all needles forward so stitches on the main bed move behind the latches, I tend to do so all the way to E. As needles are returned to the B position the loops formed on the previous pass will drop, creating long stitches on the ribber bed. As you return to the left nothing happens on the main bed (needles in B position are not worked in slip stitch), but the next row of white pixels will preselect
COL: pick up the color to be used for white squares, loops will be picked up on the main bed as you knit one row to the right
COR: push all needles forward to drop stitches on the main be, push all needles back to B, knit one row to the left side, as you do so next row of black pixels will preselect**
COL: repeat * to**
I knit until the green yarn broke for some unknown reason For dropping only one color of the two, I chose color 2, “black squares” after preselection starting row
COL: main bed set to slip <– –>. As the carriage moves to the right, the first row of white pixels is preselected, the ribber only knits.
COR: use the chosen tool to push preselected needles back to the B position. As you move to the left side and the color changer, the needles for the first row of stitches to be dropped in the next color (black pixels) will be preselected
*COL: pick up the color to be used for black pixels, loops will be picked up on the main bed as you knit one row to the right
COR: push all needles forward to drop stitches on the main bed, and then push all needles back to B. Knit one row to the left side, as you do so next row of black pixels will preselect
COL: now working with “white”. No loops are wanted on the main bed, so the last preselected row of needles needs to be pushed back to B before returning to the right, knit one row
COR: cancel needle selection again,
as you return to left the next row of black squares will preselect**
COL: change colors, repeating * to **End with some rows on the ribber in “white” to match the number used at the start of the piece.
Casting on and binding off both need to be loose since the fabric stretches considerably when off the machine.  I like to start in waste yarn, make certain my colors change properly, pull down a long yarn end, and begin the final piece on open stitches. At the top, I bind off on the main bed, either transferring stitches up to the main bed from the ribber or taking them off on waste and rehanging them there. A latch tool bind off may then be done around two gate pegs or even more to provide stretch at the top. The bottom of the piece can then be rehung and the same bind off can be executed so the top and bottom edges will match in stretch and width.

Sometimes things are not necessarily worth doing because you can. I was curious as to whether an all one color drop stitch could also be executed using this separation. It is but involves pushing needles back to B multiple times in each sequence. I started with a shape, scaled it twice as long, erased every other row, tiled it X3 horizontally, The wider horizontal band of all knit stitches was due to operator error, happened when I pushed back preselection an extra time, resulting in the ribber only knitting extra rows. For the sake of added clarity, I have added color to the chart below, assigning yellow and grey to all-white design areas in the pattern. The black squares are what I choose to drop. For illustration purposes, this is only a segment of the repeat. The process: begin with COL: main bed set to slip <– –>. As the carriage moves to the right, the first row of white squares/ pixels (yellow) is preselected, the ribber only knits.
*COR: cancel any needle preselection for white (yellow) squares, all needles are pushed back to Bas the carriages move to the left, the black squares will preselect COL: knit to the right in order to form loops on the main bed,  they will be dropped to form long stitches
COR: loops have been formed drop the loops, return needles to B position. At this point, since all needles are in B a modified stitch ditcher may be used for 2 passes, dropping the loops on the first pass and returning the whole series back to B on the second. As you move back to the left, all the needles will be preselected for the all-white row (grey squares), COL: push all preselected needles back to B, as you knit back to the right the next group of white squares (yellow) in the next design row will be preselected*COR: push selected needles back to B as you move toward the left the next row of black squares will be preselected selectedCOL: knit to the right in order to form loops on the main bed, continue for the desired number of repeats and end as suggested for the two-color version.

Previously knit, not using this method, a sample with the ground behind the shape dropping stitches and one in 2-color with shapeshifts For a while, Camino bubbles were a popular topic and created with dropped stitches, for the series on the topic search 

 

 

Revisiting Ayab_multiple colors per row DBJ 1

A new Ayab release has been available for download for a while, though I have not had the opportunity to explore it.
Along with several new software features, a manual is now also available including a wealth of information on developing designs for download with various software and executing them in a variety of techniques on both the single and double beds. Kudos to the contributors to the project.
My tendency is to explore basics first, looking for any differences in how menus or techniques might differ from any experience with the software or knitting techniques in the past. There is some exploration of the design that can happen prior to turning the power on, which is required for configuring and knitting the project. Since houndstooth designs turned up again in the Facebook machine knitting group today, I thought I would begin with a simple hound design. Red squares mark the black ground in the repeat to help identify changes in rotation. These charts reflect some of the mirroring and rotation of original image possible within a design program (GIMP)while here the original image is altered in turn within the Ayab program The horizontal repeat option has eliminated the requirement for tiling it in a width matching the number of needles one wished to repeat on the needle bed, though that can certainly remain an option if one wishes to add borders bands or knit intermittent vertical design stripes in the body of a wider knit. It should not be necessary to download the repeat tiled vertically as well as horizontally since infinite repeat is still available in the configure menu, but tiling in both directions allows one who may not have attempted doing so in the design software to visualize how the groups of repeats might align in the body of the knit thus allowing the opportunity of noticing potential errors prior to any knitting.
My initial test swatches were knit programming the 16X16 repeat X3 but using fewer needles than that. I am still finding the configuration process seems to take an extended period of time as compared to mylar sheets or img2track downloads. If new to the program, there are plenty of opportunities to double-check entries ie. here my first swatch was planned as fair isle

I have been told “Regarding the slow startup, try clicking the Knit button anyway, even though it’s still gray. You’ll find that it’s actually ready for action within seconds of clicking Configure“. With further testing I found this to be true indeed.
The repeat above accounts for 16 stitches in width, not 48 as I was planning, the full download count is reflected below

The FI results are shown on the left, the first dbj test with lili buttons engaged and both carriages set to slip in both directions appear to the right. Note the difference in width and height of the resulting knit. The floats in FI are overlong, and there are some separation and lengthening of the stitches along the diagonal edges of the houndstooth shape The program does provide prompts as to which color should be picked up next, and clues as to where one is in the repeat, they are found at the bottom of the Ayab window. I happened to grab content with color B upcoming both times. An observation: while the sinker plate is technically labeled with A and B for 2 colors used in techniques utilizing the MC or thread lace buttons, the color changer is numbered in numeric sequence 1 to 4 from right to left as opposed to an alphabetical one, but Ayab assigns letters A to D to color positions.The Brother single bed color changer is the only one I know of that holds each yarn in place as opposed to releasing it for travel with the carriages. The double bed one does release the yarn. Set up, images, and more information on the color changer may be found in my post.
Using the same image and altering it for use with 3 color dbj options: my preferred software for designing is Gimp, using a magnification of 1200, with grid view and snap to grid options in use, and a pencil 1 pixel in width and height. In circumstances such as below, when a large area of the design is in black and one wishes to count pixels, the configure grid in the image menu will allow for changes to that which will help make the repeat clearer to analyze.  When preparing images for download, they should be indexed to 3 colors If a 3 color image is loaded into ayab, the colors on the screen change. It takes a while when knitting double bed knits before one can assess whether the results are correct in terms of patterning since the knit is hidden for some length as it drops between the beds. Because the Ayab prompts for color changes were altered sometimes when the carriage on the right, sometimes on the left, I dropped the first sample off after slightly more than one repeat, found its patterning to be correct, and that the prompts when on the color changer side for the following row to be knit from left to right were reliable, as shown in the knit swatches. In turn, I  used an indexed greyscale image. The lettering on the right indicates where colors were placed following the give instructions, rather than where they were assigned in the original design. The manual states that the color sequence for the separation is: white, grey, black, gray, however, if the prompts for changing colors as given are followed, which is very valuable in tracking them, the knitting occurs in reverse orderKnitting mode options for DBJ are listed below the single bed one, The main bed is set to slip in both directions, the ribber as well, with lili buttons engaged.  The number of colors is not altered automatically by Ayab, the change needs to be made manually. My first attempt was at knitting with the middle colors selected twice=C, B, A, B, C, B, A, B, B The backing looks different than standard birdseye because of that change in the placement of the middle color in the changing sequences. I followed that with testing the heart of Pluto variation C, B, A, C, B, A, C There is an extra pair of all charcoal rows at the bottom due to the fact I had forgotten to set the knit carriage to slip, so all stitches knit in that color for those 2 rows. Both repeat series measured literally equal, give or take by a millimeter or 2 depending on whether I tugged at either of them in any way.
Both methods will knit each color for each design row only once, a unique option, thus motif elongation is minimal.
In terms of scale change when knitting the extra rows required by 3 colorwork, here is a side by side for comparison 
If pixel colors in greyscale are selected with C (3) being white pixels, B (2) the middle-value grey, and A (1) the black squares, placement of yarn in color changer can be planned to match other variations for the design. The visual shift can be quite interesting, the red here is swapped for grey for added contrast, the results can easily be guesstimated in the paint programs used. More houndstooth designs for use either single or double bed hounds-tooth-fi-variations/, and one for fun, with not every color represented in each design row I thought I would return to the repeat that began my whole series on 3 colors per row slipstitch. Here again, colors are represented on every row. Though the working repeat is in multiple colors, I chose to change it to greyscale (3 colors, indexed) in order to plan the location of the yarn in the color changer so that the Ayab prompts as to which color should be used next can serve as a tracking device. This was the set up in the color changer No matter what stitch type is being created, one must remember to program the repeats over the number of needles used. There is a choice regarding its position placement on the needle bed, and numbers are provided as to the start and stop needles for the pattern. Here for a 30 stitch repeat (15 either side max), I used fewer stitches on the left (OK), more stitches on the right resulting in a band of single-color knitting with some issues with dropped stitches. If a border was desired, it is best added as a planned color in the overall tiled motif. The resulting swatch using the middle color twice ribber option and the above needle arrangement.  Here it is compared to the swatch knit using img2track and my hand separated repeat, which happened to be also knit at a far looser tension. In both, each color in each row is represented only once, resulting in combination with the lili slip setting on the ribber in the least elongation possible of the original Recently a video was shared on Facebook, it was created by Chris Burge and shows 3 color knitting using Ayab with in addition, a very clever “hack” for knitting DBJ without the use of a color changer, can be found on  youtube

 

Revisiting use of lace patterns Studio vs Brother machines

2011: There are several brand KMs still around and in use, most are no longer being manufactured. Questions often come up on how to use one KM brand pattern card on another. Card readers inside the machine are below eye level, so exterior number/other markings on cards or mylars reflect that, providing the knitter with a visual cue as to where they are in the repeat. If machines pre-select, the needle selection may not bear any relationship to the actual design row on the punched card or mylar as opposed to what one sees. In addition to this variable in lace one often has 2 carriages in use. It is possible to develop cards etc. from lace hand knitting graphs, but there is enough going on so a good place where to start experimenting is with pre-drawn ones. Lace preselection on any single row may have no obvious relationship to where the lace hole will ultimately end up.
Here are some random facts gathered from both sources and experience, they are applicable only if the knit carriage is set for plain knitting and no other function ie. slip or tuck is involved; plain knit rows do not advance the card reading mechanisms. In mixed structure fabrics, the rules change.
The Brother and Toyota lace cards can be used on studio punchcard machines as long as they are patterns which have 2 blank rows after each transfer sequence
Brother and Toyota have u shaped arrows to identify when to knit with the knit carriage, both brands read cards 7 rows down
The first row on Brother is transferred from right to left, while on Toyota it is transferred from left to right; Brother and Toyota cards are interchangeable provided the card is mirrored vertically (or a simple cheat: use carriages on opposite sides of usual)
For Studio knitting find the row number of the U shaped arrow and circle the 2nd and 3d row below that row that number to identify rows in which carriage is changed/set to knit
Brother knitting ends with 2 blank rows
Studio starts with 2 blank rows
on Studio begin brother card by locking card 4 rows before row 1, on row 3
Brother/Knitking lace carriage does not carry yarn, does not knit or trip the row counter; the stitches get transferred in the direction that the lace carriage is being pushed
Studio/Singer has a lace carriage available that transfers as it knits; on more complex laces one is sometimes instructed to set the carriage not to knit for a specified number of rows, the yarn may be removed, other adjustments are often required
though Studio and Brother lace cards are not directly interchangeable; aside from the numbering issue the transfer method is different, so a studio lace card working on a Brother or vice versa is a happy accident and likely to result in different fabric
Brother information is applicable to its new clone, Taitexma
A few references :
Machine Knitting: the Technique of Lace by Kathleen Kinder
Knitting Lace and A Machine Knitter’s guide to Creating Fabrics by Susanna Lewis
Machine Knitting: the Technique of Pattern Card Design by Denise Musk
John Allen’s Treasury of Machine Knitting Stitches
The Harmony Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches (their Colorful Guide to Machine Knitting Stitches does not include lace)
322 Machine Knitting Stitches (Sterling Publishing,1988)

2013 In this instance I am exploring the use of punchcards that are designed for transferring and knitting at the same time as seen in Studio simple lace in machines such as Brother, where the operation is the result of using 2 different carriages.

the Studio card used the resulting fabric The method: both carriages are used to select needles, use lace extension rails on both sides of the machine. Cancel end needle selection on knit carriage underside if possible, or push end needles back manually if needed to avoid their corresponding stitches being transferred throughout the piece. Set up for knitting the pattern as usual, punchcard row 3 (marked in pencil) becomes row 1 of the design when the above card is used in the Brother machine. The arrows always indicate the direction the lace carriage will move across the knit to make transfers in the direction of that same arrow.

  1. begin pattern knitting with COR, card locked, change knob on KC, no cam buttons in use. This will result in needle selection, but the fabric produced is in stocking stitch. The lace carriage is engaged o the opposite side, moves toward the knit carriage to make the transfers, as it travels across the bed the now empty needles will once again be in the B position.
    2. (lace carriage) travels back to right and is released off the machine (same needle selection appears, but those needles are now emptied of yarn)
    3. COL: KC moves left to right, knitting the single row, all needle hooks now are now full, new needle selection occurs
    4. LCOL: makes transfers toward the knit carriage, and then makes a second pass to return to the opposite side and is released.
    These 4 steps are repeated throughout the knitting, with the knit carriage knitting and selecting, the lace carriage following its selection to make the required transfers. Not every transfer row will match the direction of the arrows as marked on the studio punchcard.
    If there is no pattern needle selection with the KC pass on any row(s), continue to knit until there is needle selection, and begin the process using lace carriage to transfer toward the knit carriage from the opposite side and once again releasing it after its second pass.
    A caution: hesitation and reversal in movement of carriages in Brother machines advances the card in the reader, and results in mistakes in patterning; if errors are to be corrected or such movements need be made for any reason, it is worth locking the card, checking row numbers, remembering to release the card before continuing, and visually checking pattern after the next knit row.

2013: While working out yet another HK to MK lace pattern, I sorted out the following method for using Studio simple lace on the electronic KM. It is a method that does not work on the Brother punchcard to produce the same fabric, however; on punchcard machines as either carriage is moved to select from the opposite side of the bed, the card will not advance on the first pass, interrupting selection. I tried a swatch and got a very different lace design; depending on the starting pattern the results may be interesting (do not use elongation), but not the ones intended to match any original.
The knitting samples shown below were knit on a Brother 910. On electronic machines, as seen in previous posts on knitting with 2 carriages, the mylar (or otherwise programmed) repeat advances a row with each pass of the carriage, no matter on which side of the bed the pass originates. Dropped stitches are harder to repair in these fabrics than in patterns for multiple transfer lace (there knitting can be unraveled to the start of a sequence where 2 or more knit rows usually occur), so checking transfers, gate pegs, and adjusting stitch size and weights matter even more. There is no need to mirror the image horizontally; draw repeat as is on punchcard onto mylar, all variation buttons down
start knitting with KC (knit carriage) on left, Lace Carriage (LC) on Right program pattern double length
on the first row the LC selects, the next row it will transfer; LC always makes 2 passes first toward the KC, then away from it, even if those 2 rows in repeat have no needle selection. It is then removed from the bed to be returned to the bed on the opposite side after the knit row with KC that follows. In summary:
KC knits a single row to the opposite side
*LC is placed back onto machine opposite the KC to make 2 passes, is removed.
KC follows with a single knit row to the opposite side*.  * to* steps are repeated
3 total carriage passes complete one row of knitting. The chart below shows actions and placement of carriages  This sample was knit beginning with lace carriage on left, as can be seen in marked areas, the alternating repeats have a different quality in the sets of transfers marked red vs green 
The successful swatch knit beginning with KC on left, LC on right in the method described above

April 2019 I attempted the same repeat on the 930 with img2track. I flipped the repeat horizontally and elongated it X 2 prior to knitting it. The arrows in the chart indicate the movement of the lace carriage, beginning with the first preselection row from the left I had issues with the proper needles being selected (proofed also in fair isle), but with random stitches not being transferred. A switch in lace carriages, needle retainer bar, yarn, did not eliminate the problem. I finally had to perform some of the transfers by hand. This swatch also shows the joy of missed dropped stitches in lace knitting, the yarn used is a thin acrylicDecember 7 2018: an interesting method using 2  electronic lace carriages found on youtube. The repeat used in the video is a variation of the one used in my sample above, programmed using img2track. The repeat is mirrored prior to knitting, there are extra knit rows to allow LCs to continue the pattern from alternate sides. The machine being used appears to be a 930. The requirement for mirroring of any pattern may depend on the model of electronic KM used to knit the lace and whether the download appears as drawn on the purl or the knit side of the piece  A comparison of my repeat using a single LC and the Knitlabo pattern expansion  including memo options for use with 2 lace carriages

2011: Studio transfer lace on Brother bulky and standard machines 

Studio multi transfer lace punchcard use on Brother punchcard machines

112

Studio multiple transfer lace with single rows knit between repeats on 910
This image shows the published inspiration used in the post (bottom), and a studio punchcard book version found at a later date for the same repeat. At this point in time, my image editing has evolved. Both repeats below were obtained by processing and scaling the original image in Gimp, for process please see posts 1, and 2  on 930 with img2track use # 1 variation key with the pattern repeat as shown, or flip horizontally prior to download. Ayab knitters pre latest software release: mirror repeat, tile repeat width across the number of stitches to match the number of needles to be used in your final piece. There will be no needle selection at the end of each sequence, signaling the need to release the LC, knit one row, and continue with LC brought to the opposite side. This is a very fussy knit. At several points, it is loops formed on previously empty needles that get transferred rather than full stitches. They love to get hung up on gate pegs. It took a significant amount of time to produce a proof of concept swatch. It is a lovely lace. Knitting it on a punchcard would give one the luxury of frequent pauses and markings to make for additional clues
LCOL  9 passes, release
KCOR knit one row to left
LCOR 7 passes, release
KCOL knit one row to the right
LCOL 5 passes, release
KCOR one row to left
LCOR 3 passes. release
KCOL knit one row to the right
Mesh experiments using thread lace punchcards. This image also illustrates the yarn lines created in the eyelet spaces: a single thread for when single rows are knit between repeats, twisted double threads when 2 rows knit between transfers.

Geometric shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck stitches 1

The previous post elicited a facebook query as to whether it might be possible to create solid shapes within the field of brioche vertical stripes. The inspiration for the query was a hand knit pattern published in ravelry 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pariss-brioche-scarf

Many terms are used in instruction manuals and published directions. In my notes I will refer to fabric with tucking on both beds as full fisherman rib, tucking on one bed only as half fisherman. These were my first attempts at exploring the inspiration idea, the fabric has inherent differences as it requires both slip and tuck stitch settings, so technically it is neither fisherman. Knitting happened on a random drop stitch day, which explains the patterning interruption errors.When attempting to knit isolated geometric areas on a field of frequently tucking stitches, automating the task when possible makes the process easier and faster. This was my first “diamond” pattern repeat, suitable for a punchcard machine as well. The design is illustrated on the left, converted to punched holes/black squares/pixels on the rightThe knit carriage is set to tuck throughout. The programmed repeat will alternate the knit/ tuck functions across the bed based on black squares, punched holes, or pixels.For full fisherman rib (top swatch) the ribber needs to tuck in one direction only, opposite to the action taking place on the main bed. A choice needs to be made on either of these 2 setting directions based on needle selection on the main bed and stays fixed throughout knitting. The ribber is set to knit on even numbered design rows on the card, to tuck on odd. Row count numbers may be different than design row ones depending on row counter settings by the operator or built KM ones. Below are tuck settings for to the right on top, to the left on the bottom.

For half fisherman rib (middle swatch), the ribber is set to knit with every pass.

Note the half fisherman fabric is narrower than the full. Also, I am not used to my 930, overlooked that the machine was set for isolation, so its bottom diamond shaped repeats are incomplete.

In the bottom swatch, I tried to produce a more distinct shape on tubular tuck created with only knit stitches on both sides of the fabric. Hand selection on the alternate beds on all tuck rows produced knit stitches in the desired area. A needle out of work made it easy for me to find a proper location on the needle bed.

Getting back to automating at least part of the process for such shapes: the repeat needs to be altered main bed will be knitting the black squares in the chart on the right on every row, tucking the white ones. When the ribber carriage is on the side appropriate for it to tuck the following row and no needles are selected in design segments on the top bed (odd numbered design rows, ones with majority of black squares, tuck may not be used in those locations because then the resulting stitches would be tucking on both beds with nothing holding the tuck loops down.

bring all needles between selected main bed needles up to hold on the ribber so that they will knit while the remaining needles tuck on the next pass of the carriages.

In my sampling, the ribber was set to tuck when moving from right to left. Below is the resulting swatch, shown on both sides. Part of one diamond shape is missing due to the fact I was concentrating on moving needles around and missed the change in selection on one side of the machine.Back to the original the method used in the previous post where ribber settings are changed from knit to tuck <– –> every 2 rows along with color changes. I chose a design that would make it easy to identify the location of non selected needles on the main bed on rows where ribber will be set to tuck in both directions. The result is interesting, but the solid areas, narrower than the remaining knit, are in the opposite color to the dominant one on each side, the reverse of the inspiration fabric.
When needles are not selected on the main bed, interrupting the every needle selection bring all needles on the ribber between selected needles up to hold on each of the 2 passes from left to right, and right to left. Stitches on those needles will knit rather than tuckresulting in this fabric The first swatch at the top of this post was achieved going a very different route. Two knit carriages were used to select and knit from opposite sides of the machine. Each carried one of the two colors. When working with the first color and coupled carriages the main bed is set to tuck <– –>, the ribber to knit <– –>. The second color is knit using the main bed knit carriage only, set to slip <– –>. A knit sinker plate may be altered and used so as to knit on main bed only rows, adjustments to it are shown in post https://alessandrina.com/2018/04/15/ribber-fabrics-produced-with-2-knit-carriages-selecting-needles/. The chart for my working repeat with a multiple of 4 rows in each pattern segment, color changes every 2 rows indicated on right trying to produce a diamond shape using this technique, my first repeat had arbitrarily placed pixels:the cam settings on the right of the swatch images correspond to those used in each swatch segment. Colors were changed every 2 rows throughout. First 2 rows in the pattern were knit in tuck setting, followed by 2 rows knit in slip. In segment B when no needles were selected on the top bed, all those needles were brought out to hold before knitting to the opposite side. Because every row is now knitting in the corresponding color changes the result is a striped pattern. Segment C is knit with both carriages set for 2 rows as in C1 alternating with knit carriage only set as in C2. At that point the color being carried knits only on the ribber, skipping non selected needles on the top bed, avoiding the striped result. A float is created between the beds in areas where no needles are selected that will be “hidden” as one returns to knitting in rib with 2 carriages. The arrow in the chart points to an area where two colors were picked up with the color swap rather than one. The resulting swatch samples

Analyzing the result in section C: the diamond is the same color on both sides, whereas the initial rectangular shape experiment reverses the colors. Reworking the diamond repeat in segments that are each a multiple of 4 rows:Other considerations in DIY designs. The background-repeat for this pattern is actually composed of units 2 wide by 4 rows high. If the pattern is intended to be repeated across a larger number of stitches on the machine bed than that in the chart, it is always worth tiling the image to pick up any errors (sometimes happy design features). Tiling in width readily shows an errortiling in height as well proofs row intersections as welltiling the corrected width repeat, now 42 stitches wide by 72 rows high sometimes tend not to keep immediate notes when I test ideas, which often comes with a price. I knit my first swatch using this repeat beginning the pattern with 2 rows of tuck, resulting in this fabric (and some randomly dropped stitches once more) with the same color diamond on both sides:Beginning the pattern with 2 rows of slip stitch on the main bed only mirrors the swatch at the start of this post. Where no needles are selected on the main bed, with passes of the combined carriages, two rows of tuck will now be produced, resulting in the wider geometric shapes and the increased bleed throughThe tuck loops created by the white in this instance have the elongated slip stitches in the alternate color (blue) partially covering them, creating the darker geometric shape in the top detail photo. The blue is thinner than the white, the effect will vary depending on yarn weight and tension used for the main bed yarn. One can begin to observe the change in width in areas with more stitches tucking. 

If the aim is to have a tighter, more clearly defined diamond, after the swatches rested, the swatch that began in slip stitch setting appeared to “work” better to my eye, even with the single color geometric shape on both sides taken into account. Ultimately the choice is a personal one. The wider vertical stripes created in the white yarn in the slip combination fabric happen because of the 2 stitch wide repeat on the top bed as opposed to a single needle one in a true fisherman knit. Because of the slip setting the results will be narrower in width from it as well.

Ayab knitters will need to program any repeat across the width of the intended number of stitches, and use the single setting. Electronic knitters can enlarge the background pattern field easily, or create brickwork, extended repeats.

Arah-paint offers a free program that allows drawing repeats in different orientations with a few mouse clicks. Shifting this pattern must also be in pairs of pixels/black squares in this instance because of the 2X4 stitch background unit. The 21 (half) pixel shift shows an error in its continuity 22 stitch shift results in a “correct” all over repeat

Quite some time ago I experimented with shadow knits including in posts

2013: DIY design2017 crochet

It occurred to me the same design might work in a tuck rib version. The original repeat was 24 stitches wide, 28 rows highscaled to double length, 24 stitches wide by 56 rows higha tile test of new pattern Knit tests: the red yarn was a very strong cotton, hard to knit smoothly, the blue encountered some stitches not being picked up on the main bed as well, but the concept may be worth exploring further. The main bed is set to tuck in both directions, the ribber to knit throughout. The red and white fabric is considerably wider because of the tension required to get the red cotton to knit. Better stitch formation results with the different yarn used for the second color

And lastly, a first quick adaptation of a design previously used for drop stitch lace, which requires some further clean up the yellow squares indicate loops tucking on both beds at the same time, the repeat on the far right is the one tested after eliminating those problem areas. It is 14 stitches wide by 80 rows highan “improved” version, the choice remaining as to whether to make all the blue shapes pointed at top and bottom or “flat” this is my repeat, tiled. It is 14 stitches by 84 rows

2 color ribbed brioche stitch on Brother knitting machine 1

After a complicated nearly 3 months I am returning to some knitting, and am sharing some of my results once again.

I have always found 2 or more color patterned brioche stitches executed in hand knitting as inspiring and complex challenges to admire, but am not tempted to actually attempt to execute them in any way.

I have not knit on a Studio KM in more than a decade. I have been asked whether this fabric is possible to produce on Studio/Knitmaster. The most crucial difference IMO between the 2 brands (Passap has its own universe) is the fact that Studio selects and knits with each pass. Needle pre-selection for clues is not an option. I have gathered some information from manuals on tuck knitting including “English rib and Double English rib” as clues to anyone who wants to work out the technique sorting out their own Studio settings tuck on studio km

This was my first Brother machine knit swatch result:

Each of the 2 colors tucks for 2 rows and in turn, knits for 2 rows alternately. Settings are changed manually as shown below after every 2 rows knit, following each color change on the left. Making things a little easier: the top bed may be programmed on any machine, including punchcard models to avoid cam button changes in the knit carriage every 2 rows. With the main bed set to tuck <– —> throughout, black squares will knit for 2 rows, white squares will tuck. The first preselection row is toward the color changer. When no needles are selected on the top bed (white squares), ribber is set to knit. The top bed will tuck every needle.

When needles are selected on the top bed (black squares), the ribber is set to tuck in both directions. The ribber will tuck on every needle.

Proof of concept: blue yarn is used on rows where main bed needles are selected (black squares). The crossed stitches at the top right begin to represent an effort to create surface shapes or designs on the fabric. They are created by cabling 1X1, making certain the stitch creating the “shape” is carried to the front side of the fabric, the opposite stitch crossed so it is facing the knitter. I used KCI in this instance, the first needle on left in work on the ribber bed, last needle on right in work on the top bed. A border is created on the knit’s edges on the far right and left. The reverse side of the fabric:

Using a blank square on a knit row to help track 1X1 transfer patterns Working the 24 stitch repeat using KCI; both first and last needles in work on the ribber bed. Due to operator error and forgetting to change ribber settings after transfer row, I chose to stop knitting rather than attempt a pattern correction

Another attempt at cabling, 1X1 and 2X2. That white line in the bottom image on the right was caused by the color changer picking up and knitting both colors for part of the row before my noticing it. I got rid of the “wrong” color from the feeder and continued on. The wider 2X2 cables require “special handling” and eyelets are formed on columns aside from them after transfers are made. Before attempting to knit crossed stitches such as the above in every needle rib, it is worth exploring cables crossed in vertical stripe color patterns single bed. This is a hand-knit inspiration series of patterns, better left to hand knitting

one of my ancient machine knit demo swatches:

On any knitting machine with every other punched hole, black squares, or pixels locked on a single row, if the pattern is knit in FI, continuous columns of vertical color are created. 

If the goal in creating the continuous and unbroken vertical stripe 2 color pattern, one must place like color on like color. Because FI is essentially a slip stitch the fabric will be tighter, narrower, and shorter than that produced knitting either yarn in stocking stitch. Cables on the machine need to be transferred across fixed widths between needles, so there are distinct limits as to how far stitches will allow their movement in groups in either direction. Loosening the tension can often help. Sometimes it is possible to create extra slack by a variety of means, making moving the stitches easier. I have found my own limit for this fabric was working with a 2X2 cross (it is possible to work moving single needles as well). Adding to the complexity of single bed: proper needle selection for the next row knit needs to be restored prior to knitting it when using the FI setting, movement of stitches is mirrored on the knit side in the opposite direction of that viewed on the purl. Visualizing some possibilities as worked on the purl side to consider the knit side appearance mirroring is not enough the direction and appearance of the crossed stitches on the knit surface is reversed from that on the purl as well 

When working every needle rib it will take 4 rows of knitting with 2 color changes to produce the striping. R represents stitches on the ribber, K the stitches on the knit bed

Tuck stitches widen the fabric. As a result, the tucked knitting in this chart on the ribber (represented by the color yellow), forces the space between the knit stitches produced on the main bed (represented by the color green) apart, while stitches tucked on the ribber will create the gap between the stitches knit on the ribber, appearing on the reverse side of the fabric. The combinations create the appearance of single stitch vertical stripes.

This is an illustration of one possibility for programming reminders for tracking the location of cable crossings 

Every needle ribs are generally knit at tighter tensions than when the same yarn is knit single bed. Too loose a tension in any tuck fabric causes problems with loops forming or knitting off properly, too tight will produce stitches that do not knit off properly. One limitation of crossing stitches here is the actual stitch size, which needs to be constrained to produce the fabric. Tiny stitches need to travel across fixed space. One by one crossing is manageable, 2 by 2 requires extra slack to make the transfers possible.

Adding some “give” to crossed stitches
1: the carriage has moved from left to right after the color change. All needles except for the four white squares in my design were preselected prior to the next row of knitting. The carriage now stays on the right
2: take note of the white tuck loops formed on the ribber on the previous pass from left to right
3: white tuck loops ( I chose center 3) are lifted up and off their respective needles and allowed to drop between the beds. This will allow the 4 white cable crossing stitches to have more slack. 
4: cross your cable in the intended direction
5: push cable stitch needles out to E
Knit from right to left, change color, continue in pattern 

With some planning on longer pattern repeats it is possible to plan added clues to tracking rows on which the cables occur, and their location on the needle bed. Repeats with very few marked areas merit testing in tile as any other repeat. The repeat on the left when tiled shows the area of a patterning error, on the right with the missing blank rows added the problem is shown to be resolved.A proof of concept swatch: Planning for all over the brick layout of corrected repeat: More detailed charts of the 2 repeats, suitable for punchcard machines, editable further for use in electronics. Ayab knitters need to repeat the final motif across the width of the download to match the number of pixels to the number of stitches in use across the needle bed, use the single setting.

 

Two color dbj, non repetitive images, electronic kms.

This post is another work in progress one, subject to future editing. I will add information as I have time to experiment, think, and my assumptions meet my expectations or not. Additional information may be found in previous posts on ribber adjustments and color changers

Recently I began to be curious as to how long, non-repetitive images might be handled when knitting on both Brother and Passap. The subject is not out of reach for punchcard knitters. In the early art to wear days when the options were for 24 or 40 stitch repeats, many artists joined punchcards in length to the desired height, and knit them in width + seam allowances, joining long panels together to form the large images, or hanging them as panels in tapestry format. One such artist was Nicky Hitz Edson. I have avoided working with such images since my bit knitter knit from screen days eons ago. Also, I always preferred DBJ variations on the Passap. I used the KRC function only in my very early Studio Electronic days, prior to acquiring the Passap or any of my Brother machines. Tools and machines available to me at present: 910 with EMS kit and Ayab software, old fashioned mylars also for the 910, an unknown capacity for accurate knitting “rehabilitated” 930 accompanied by img2track consultations for the moment with Tanya Cunningham, and Passap E6000 using technique 179.

Reviewing some basics: the KRC function built into the 910 performs this separation automatically. It is the default dbj separation in Ayab, uses the built-in KRC button with img2track on the 930. Repeats must be an even number of rows in height.
Here the simple shape illustrated in some of my previous is shown in color and repeating twice vertically. Note: first color used knits only once, toward the color changerThis means the first preselection row needs to happen from left to right, with color knitting beginning from right to left, and subsequently every 2 rows. Pertinent reminders from the 910 manual: in any pattern knitting

and when knitting DBJ with factory mylar (or self-drawn patterns)White pixels knit first when images are drawn in black and white squares 

KC I or II may be used, needle arrangements can vary depending on the look one prefers on the edges. The 930_940 directions get a bit more elaborate, and show usage of an accessory “latch opening tool” (I have never used it on my 910, may have to give it a test in the future); img2track downloads to the machine’s built-in brain, the equivalent of downloading to the Passap console, which will hold the pattern program in memory until altered or erased. In re-reading manuals I noted I have had a chronic habit since I began knitting of referring to the ribber “connecting arm” as its “sinker plate”.

I have several sinker plates. In reference to above, this photo illustrates the location of the #2 when present vs not 

and here the latch opening plate has been secured into place in the connecting arm without the #2 marking, where it makes a noticeable change, bringing the unit closer to needles when on the machine during knitting

A reminder: if the needle presser bar on the ribber (all plastic) is to be removed, it is reinserted back in with ridges facing, and flat side down
When the pattern selector is down, the pattern is centered on green #1 (right of  0). If a pattern is an odd number of stitches and the pattern limits are yellow 12 and green 13, the center is green #1. AYAB color sequence is reversed from the Brother convention of white pixels being color #1, and black pixels being color #2. It chooses black as color #1, white as color #2. The first pass to the right is set up with the “black” yarn. The first pass to the right preselects for the first row of black squares, which will be knit on the first pass from right to left. With an odd number of needles, Ayab places the larger number of needles on the left, its orange (yellow) side.

The closest relative to the KRC button in the PassapE6000 is Technique 179, intended for emulating single bed 2 color FI on Japanese machines, but it may be used with every needle rib and varied back lock settings to produce far less elongated DBJ than its standard built-in DBJ color separations. In single bed knitting GX/LX is used, for DBJ use every needle rib, and set back bed settings and pushers for desired backing (GX is the Passap equivalent of a free pass, with the bed in that setting not knitting any stitches, whether or not any needles are in use or holding yarn). The repeat must be an even number of rows in height. The instructions in the company publications are that color reverse must be used, swapping the background and motif colors. The color-changing sequence is the usual one. Both KRC and 179/ col rev knit white pixels first. When knitting a row in Brother machines the K carriage must pass the center of the needle bed, or the pattern will not advance properly. In Passap, programmed end needles for the pattern on each side must be cleared or error messages will be received, and a pattern “correction” will be required before continuing.

I am planning to begin by using a 2 color, large repeat factory mylar scanned and reduced to a downloadable image, details in how to in a previous post. The goal is to knit segments that are part of a continuous, “longer” image. My ultimate goal: to knit scarves that are 70-84 stitches wide, with nonrepeating patterns for 12-1400 rows. My understanding that such an image in img2track would be broken into tracks by the software, with each track programmed in turn as separate segments, and the software warning one when the last row for each track is reached. In Passap the segments will be entered as patterns A, B, and C, with no warnings at repeat ends, they are calculated based on math. Segments will be 30 pixels in height as  “pretend” longer file components, for the sake of knitting speed.

That row back to the color changer knitting row one again would show up as an error/ extra row below row 1 color 1 of the subsequent pattern. Looking at it in terms of black and white squares, what happens the same repeats when stack continuously above each other

The problem comes at the intersection of the 2 different patterns; the assumption with the KRC separation is that you start with one row of color 1 opposite the color changer and if you are knitting a continuous, “looping/repeating” pattern,  knit the last row of color 1 away from the color changer (B), and will start with row 1 color one again toward the color changer on the left in Brother (C). One approach is to stop knitting in pattern opposite the color changer, (red line), program the second piece of the “longer” design, and start to knit the first row of color 1 again for that pattern segment, going from right to left/ toward the color changer(C). Color changing then follows every 2 rows until the top of the second pattern piece is reached, repeating as needed.

The full mylar repeat scanned and processed for use as images to be eventually downloaded via cable is shown in the top image. Below it segments 1-40 stitches, rows 1-30, 41-60, 61-90 are shown as selected, cropped in turn, with corresponding .bmps saved for cable download. AYAB users can work with image software like paint, gimp, etc. to process and save them as b/w bitmap, png, etc. Img2track accepts common image formats (jpg, gif, png, .bmp, tiff). Both software programs may be used in PCs and Macs. Wincrea Win_Crea can open files in .cut (Passap), .bmp, or .wmf formats. It can save in .cut and .bmp. Passap and the 930s hold the segments in their own memory, while ayab knits from the screen. Stitch painter (2.0) prior to the latest release used to have limited import and export formats, including .cut. There now is a new website for the program, a new release, and I could not find info on exports beyond “There are now numerous export file formats including PDF, JPG, TIF, PNG, and other popular formats.”

The full mylar three segments, selected from its bottom left 

Proof of concept swatch on 910 using the mylar, programmed consistently in width on needles 1-40, with height for each segment 1-30, 31-60, 61-90. I was knit in a throw-away yarn, in unfamiliar DBJ tension settings, so I had some dropped stitches seen in the left, the bottom of the swatch image that were resolved with adjustments in settings. Note the image is reversed vertically by the program automatically with all variation levers down with the exception of the KRC one

One develops preferred ways of handling images as knitting experience increases and varies. I have always done my own scaling prior to any actual knitting. Software programs at times offer to adjust the height based on knitting technique and either real or estimated gauge. Passap has a smooth edge feature to decrease stepped effects if the image is enlarged in multiples by the console. In double bed work, sample swatches are often much larger than when working single bed, at least 100 stitches by 100 rows. Because DBJ lengthens the image by default (every single row of design now requires 2 passes of the carriage), a separation for a 30-row design would require 60 rows of knitting on the machine to complete the repeat. Ribber settings can help reduce elongation in addition to any scaling of the motif. One alternative would have the ribber knitting in one direction, slipping in the other. This means that every other row the main bed will create floats for the non-knitting color, get caught between beds on the next pass.

In my test design such floats are quite long in sections of the motif, resulted in problems, so that left me with choosing the lili setting. 

Lili buttons on Brother machines behave like a 1X1 punchcard does on the main bed. There is no free pass with ribber set to slip <– –> if lili buttons are engaged. It is the equivalent of making such a pass on the main bed with every other needle selected, where any stitches on selected needles would be dropped if there is no yarn in use. Also, one may not slip on the same needles continually, so needles in use on the ribber must total an even number, in pairs of what I refer to as dash and blank or blank and dash markings on the needle tape. The pusher selection on the Passap selections operates differently, so an even vs odd total # rule doesn’t apply.

These photos illustrate needle selection on ribber, first beginning with a dash on left, ending with blank on right, the second beginning with blank on left, ending with a dash on right. It is the second needle on the carriage side that gets selected in each direction, regardless of the starting mark for needle pairs. Here the blank knits to right, the dash knits to left

and its reverse, with dash knitting to right, blank knitting to left. There is no way without operator intervention to get that first needle to be the one knitting (such adjustments are made to achieve striper backing as opposed to birdseye, a different topic altogether

I programmed my first repeat segment after casting on, ending with dark color, both carriages on the left side. The white squares (in this case knit in white yarn) need to knit the first row from right to left. Either remove the ribber carriage and move to the opposite side or tilt it forward and move it to the right, being careful not to engage any needles. After it is in place, set it for birds-eye backing

The knit carriage is now brought to the left, set to slip <– –>, KCI or II, in proper placement outside the turn mark for the first preselection row to right. Make a free pass to the right, needles will be selected in pattern for the first single row of white squares (needles on the main bed after cast on are already only in B position). Place the yarn properly in the feeder, couple the carriages, knit right to left, change color every 2 rows.

At the row before the last row of the pattern (top row, color 1), the card is automatically returned to the starting position of the pattern. When the machine buzzer alerts with its sound that the end of the repeat is being reached, the contrast color 2 (black squares) will be on the right side. In my initial attempts, I used the approach: knit to left, change to white (color 1), knit a single color 1 row left to right, and stop. Do not cut the yarn. The next pass to the left needs to knit the first white squares row in the next segment. The ribber carriage remains on the right, the bird’s eye pattern on the back will not be interrupted. I took the knit carriage off on the right, moved it back to the left side, it will not be holding any yarn. Prepare for knitting the second segment. There will still be needles selected (they would have knit the first white row when moving from right to left if the repeat were a continuing one). They need to be manually pushed back to B or those stitches will be dropped on the free pass to the right. Program, as usual, pre-select to right, place white yarn back in the proper position in the feeder, engage both carriages, and knit repeating the process until once again, a first, single row of the white is knit at the top of the second segment. The machine sounds serve as reminders when you have reached the point where things require attention. The process is repeated until all necessary pieces have been knit, composing the much longer image. As I worked further, I believe the same method may be used as seen below with the mylar in place. Knit the last row with the ground color to the left, preselection for the white squares is made on the way. Do not disturb needle selection on the bed or settings on either carriage. COL. Program the next segment, begin on far left outside the turn mark, change color to color 1 (white squares). As the carriages move to the right, the last row of segment one knits, and the first row of segment 2 is preselected. As the carriages return to the left to begin color changing sequence every 2 rows, row 1 color 1 segment next will knit, while the first row of the ground (black squares) will preselect. 

I recently received a second EMS Ayab kit I am just now beginning to use. Here the same image, bottom segment only, is tested. Knowing Ayab selects black squares first in its ribber setting I used the action invert available in the program itself to color reverse (middle image) so white would knit first. The process remains essentially the same in terms of ribber and other settings prior to knitting color 1 design row 1. The difference here as compared to the sample knit with the built-in KRC, all other buttons down, is that the native 910 KRC image is reversed on the knit side, it is knit as it would appear on the purl side. The Ayab version automatically mirrors the motif to have the original appear on the knit side as drawn. I did attempt to load the 3 segments into the program, knit them using the single setting (left), and the infinite one (right). The single setting gives one alert when the top of the repeat is reached akin to the native buzzer, the infinite relies on the operator on knowing to stop. I had problems with the yarn I was using and dropping stitches after out of curiosity I decided to add the latch opening plate to my ribber carriage. They went away when I removed it in subsequent swatches. I was not successful again using the single setting. The arrows mark what appears to be needle selection errors in both series.  9/18/18 Because of space restrictions at the moment my ayab and 910 are in “storage”. As I keep working, it occurred to me this method might be the way to go when using Ayab as well, at present it is untested 

Here I attempted proof of concept with img2track on my 930 which is nice enough to track rows knit. As the top of the first segment was reached and the carriage began to reverse direction from the right, the machine made a warning sound, alerting me to the fact that the second row for row 30 of color 2 was about to be knit as the carriage moved back toward the color changer selection was made for the last row of color 1making certain I did not disturb the needle selection in that row, I took the carriages to the far left, programmed the second segment in the repeat, with no other changes to carriage settings, changed to color 1. The above row knit on the first pass to the right with color 1, while the preselecting row 1 for color 1 in the new segment and knitting it on the return to the color changer. The idea appeared sound, but then I ran into this: random dropped stitches. At first, I thought it might be a yarn issue (different fiber content and weight). After a break, I took the time to check all ribber adjustments, since this deconstruction was not part of the plan. Adjustments in ribber height (dropped a bit on each side) appeared to solve the problem. I began the swatch intentionally with plain knit stripes as an initial check, switched color 2 to the other yarn to test any different behavior there as well. I had actually moved my ribber from my 910 to the 930 without checking alignment and spacing after doing so, lesson learned.

A theoretical design as a starting point for more discussion in Facebook 

I cannot speak for img2track from personal experience. When I posed the question to the FB group as to how the program might handle a long, non-repetitive image, I supplied the image above. It is not knittable as is, 103X841(odd#) rows, from a random illustration, found online that would need a lot of “clean up”. Assuming it was knit ready, an even number of rows and other DBJ set up requirements are met does the 2 color separation work for the whole image length or must the image be divided into segments that are in turn knit and color separated separately? Tanya Cunningham, the creator of the group, was kind enough to respond in the forum, and I have her permission to share her response here. “Img2track creates a B&W pattern of the full length of the image. THAT file is useable in other applications. Many people create an image file with img2track, then load that image file into DAK to knit. Img2track does NOT create separate image files for the various tracks into which it breaks larger images. That happens when you request the pattern from the machine console. When img2track receives the request from the KM, it offers all tracks, and you select which one you wish to load. This image is already in a format such that it will not be altered by img2track (.bmp) (unless you restrict the width.) I selected it with img2track, and the resulting “pattern” was basically the identical image, just converted to a png.
The image was at first loaded in the uneven number of rows, and software gave the warning “It will not end well!”

“As you knit the last row of each track (left to right) you will be selecting the needles for the first row of the next track. Thus, when you arrive at COR with color 1, you will be all set up for knitting the first row of the new track. Insofar as dividing up the pattern goes, that is done completely automatically by the software. You still have to load the successive tracks (and go outside the turn mark and select KRC). You just have to keep track of which tracks you’ve knitted. I write it down on a piece of paper each time I load a track, and how many rows it is. You can scroll back in the img2track window to see what was the last track knitted, unless img2track gets closed, and restarted, then it won’t show your previous activity unless you go to the img2track log..”

I put the same query to participants in the Facebook Ayab group. Ayab knits from the screen, so providing there is no interruption in power it appears some users are able to knit long, non-repetitive images without any subdivisions of the original pattern. Adrienne Hunter, an expert user, and great resource offered the following information: “there is effectively no length limitation in AYAB; the Arduino requests the next row as soon as it has finished selecting the current row, and the computer keeps sending the next row (color-separated as needed) until it reaches the top of the file. The pattern is in your computer’s memory which can be considered to be infinite; unlike a download to a 1980s self-contained knitting machine with very limited on-board memory. As you say, the computer must be set to stay awake, and as always you need to consciously wait for the beep on the right; the time it takes to do the color change is generally enough to cover the delay on the left.
I see occasional patterning errors in long narrow fair isle pieces too, but not in DBJ. That is because the errors can be prevented by crossing a turn mark every now and again, and with DBJ you cross a turn mark every two rows when you enter the color changer.
You will see the annoying UI bug where the display jumps back to the beginning of a long item so it isn’t showing you the section where it’s actually working. The knitting is doing the right thing, just not scrolling the display correctly to show it to you.” If accurate for the full image, this appears to be the ideal method to me.

Paint programs allow for easy manipulation of images that make it a bit easier to imagine the finished product. With the assumption I wish to knit a scarf no longer than 1200 rows using the above design, the first task is to reduce the repeat to a workable, even number of rows in height, no more than 600 rows. So I cropped the image to 94X536. It is well worth to study how the image might appear if color reverse is used, as well as what effect mirroring it may have (especially if direction matters in your design). Pairs of mirrored images may produce interesting, far wider pattern variations. Know whether the program works first with black or white squares, and you can simply choose that color when color 1 row one begins to knit from the right. The color reverse option is built into most software and electronics. I prefer to save images as I want to knit them. Notes to self-using ayab with images such as above: black squares knit first, so if I want the white to knit first, matching any Japanese pattern knit using KRC style separation use color reverse. If direction matters, remember that the image will be flipped vertically by the program so that it will appear on the knit side as drawn. Though technically I have no plan to knit the whole piece, I decided to test a portion of it with my new ayab board. I programmed the image on the left, wishing to get the effect noted on the right. Began on the right with color 1 = white for design row 1. I am not used to working in this scale. That said, the pattern was accurate up to the point I decided to stop because of time factors. Though the design is 94 wide, I knit only on it center 80 stitches

9/16/18 I received an orphan 930 which when first received had no movable parts related to patterning. The belt was frozen in place, and when that got liberated after cleaning and lubricating as much as I dared take apart at the time, after some initial errors the built-in patterns from several groups including lace knit perfectly, with only a slight squeak. After being stored again for a while, I tried built-in FI patterns again, and they displayed errors. I heard a new noise coming from the needle selector, exposed that, cleaned, and lubricated it, and it lost the added noise during operation. Tried built in FI with resulting patterning errors once more. That said, test patterns in the service manual 881, 882, 884 knit perfectly. After another break for both of us, I got some built-in patterns to work again both single and double bed, and put working with them to rest. I began to work with img2track. I have not yet purchased a key. These were my first self-drawn single bed and dbj tests, none intended for any final piece. 

Here a quickly drafted long, narrow test design is shown with the first track self-repeating on the bottom, then with the second track programmed, and continuing on after the first (thanks to help and feedback in the FB group; long stitch striper backing and dropped stitches = extra “design features”. The program makes a sound when the last row of ground (black squares) is reached. The carriage is then moved to the left, knitting that last row of ground while selecting the last row of color 1 for that specific track. When on left, begin outside the turn mark, program the next track, change to color one, remember to set for KRC, knit to right (Cam button will already be set for KCI orII). As you do so, the last row of color 1 is knit, the first row of the next track for color 1 will be selected. The latter will knit on the way back to the color changer. Continue in pattern, changing colors every 2 rows. Knitting is uninterrupted by having to change carriage settings on either bed, the backing pattern is also uninterrupted. 

as described in the user guide: to download, launch program and select

“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.” “If your pattern was divided into more than one track, you will have to load successive tracks when completing the previous track. Listen for the beep from the knitting machine, indicating that the carriage is about to knit the next to the last row of the track, selecting needles for the last row of the track. Knit this second to the last row, and then STOP. (If you simply continue knitting at this point, the knitting machine will knit the last row of the track and select needles for the first row of the same track). To load the second track of the pattern, enter CE 551 STEP, and then 2 STEP prior to knitting the last row of the current track. (If your computer goes to sleep while you are knitting, you will be unable to load additional tracks. Be sure to check that your computer is not asleep before attempting to load successive tracks.) Before you begin to knit the last row and select needles for the first row of the next track, be sure that the carriage passes outside of the turn mark. The knitting machine will retain the loaded track in its memory until you alter it. You can turn it off, and later turn it on and resume where you left off.”So what about Passap and using it for emulating the KRC 2 color DBJ? Passap color changer to start with is on the right side rather than the left. All preselection of pushers (they will, in turn, drive the needles to move into work or not) always starts from the left. The first pass to the left after casting on and the pattern is programmed brings them all in to work in a flat line, the first preselection row is left to right, with color changes following every 2 rows. Settings for those 2 rows can vary, the console guides you through supposed 2 free passes with settings at SX/GX, the equivalent of Brother slip <– –>/ slip <– –>. The technique 179 is intended for simulating single bed FI in Japanese machines, the manual recommends color reverse. In DBJ that would line up with KRC selecting white squares first. I like thinking of my black squares as my pattern ones, so I tend not to use the color reverse, choose my contrast color accordingly. I decided to program the same built-in pattern twice, as A and B, each using tech 179, a repeat in which I thought it might see easily what happens when the “2 separate segments” intersect. Below is the pattern is seen in B/W, tiled, and knit. Notice in the knit swatch the first row in each sequence repeats twice. What appears to be happening, is that only that very first row is repeated twice for one time in the color separation at the very beginning of the knit. The arrows on the right indicate movements of the locks to and from the color changer, knitting my black squares. If row one is knit in that color twice only once, and the pattern subsequently is kept continuous, rolling back to row one for only a single pass, the 2-row color rotation can be maintained. The bold, green border outlines the single, full repeat. The separation is only for illustration of placement for the one color.

Swatching again with an attempt to produce it as 2 separate but continuous segments: I do not use color reverse, choose my color to match black squares, and that would be color 2 on the console prompt. In my first attempt, I followed other usual console prompts, but used SX/GX settings for three rows rather than 2. The first pass will lift all pushers into work. The second pass preselects pushers for the first row of pattern to right. The third pass would normally knit the first row of the pattern, preselect for the second row to be knit from left to right, and so on. After the third SX/GX pass the locks are on the left side(LOL), I changed settings for pattern knitting (LX/BX). On the right, made certain the empty yarn holder is up for the next color. On the left place yarn into an eyelet, making certain it was positioned so it would not be crossing other color yarn on travel back to the color changer. Knit single row to the right, changed color, continued knitting in pattern unit the top of the segment was reached (row countX2, in this instance = 32). The design color knit its last pass, locks are on right (LOR) Programmed second segment, repeated 3 rows of SX/GX. On left, yarn in the feeder, proceed as above. This gave me correct continuous segments on the knit side of the fabric, but the bird’s eye backing was disrupted. On the bottom because of operator error in lock setting, and the top because birds-eye normally knits EON for 2 rows, creating a bit jaggy, a single line of color after knitting on all needles when the second pass is knit, while here it EON for one row only, missing that second pass. Note yarn ends, the yarn would need to be cut to position it for those single row passes from left.

It is really helpful to use colors that are in high contrast when testing patterns. Here color positions are reversed, the red is now my ground (white squares with no color reverse), and the blue at the segment change muddies things considerably to my eye. Maintaining the Birdseye selection is now sorted out and actually makes for easier knitting