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 as described here is not an option. Some Studio information from manuals on tuck knitting including settings for “English rib and Double English rib”:  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), the 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 is 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 bedTuck 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, the repeat is 24 X 84.   A proof of concept swatch: Planning for all over the brick layout of corrected repeat: The tiled repeat .png, 96 X 336, the single 24 X 168. More detailed charts of the 2 repeats, suitable for punchcard machines. Ayab knitters need to repeat the final motif across the width of the download in order 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.

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: the 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 on 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 their 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 on a 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 in both directions 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 in both directons, 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 the new repeat segment, and 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 the 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 setup 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 an uneven number of rows, and the 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 studying how the image might appear if the 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 its center 80 stitches

9/16/18 I received an orphan 930 which when first arrived 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 on both single and double beds 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 in both directions/ slip in both directions. 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

A complex published transfer lace to electronic repeat for download/ GIMP editing


Lace on the machine can render beautiful fabrics that closely resemble hand knitting, but programming very long repeats is a challenge both in placing every hole in the correct square in a punchcard and in programming individual pixels on a mylar or as pixels for download correctly. I found the “leaf lace” repeat below shared frequently on Pinterest and thought I would test the approach discussed in the post on using numbers and gimp to create images for electronic downloads. Because it is 16 stitches wide, it is not suitable for punchcard knitting, which requires a factor of (4, 6, 8, 12) and up to a 24 stitch maximum width.

The published pattern on the left is shown as shared on Pinterest. In turn, in was captured, opened in Gimp, and magnified. After a threshold adjustment, it was converted to a BW indexed, scaled to its 16X96 original stitch and row count, and then saved in 100% magnification result for the possible electronic download.

On the far left below is the first BW processed single repeat isolated from its source. To its right, it has been adjusted so the first row is a preselection row for the lace pattern, and the full repeat ends with blank rows (Brother KM characteristic). The latter in turn was saved as an image for download. Since the leaves change direction in the way they lean, the spacing between each pattern swing in the repeat is actually 3 all blank rows, not the “standard” 2, including at the top. The bottom half begins with the first row resulting in transfers to the left, while after the first 3 knit rows the transfers will begin to the right.  The plan was for me to use Ayab for knitting a proof of concept swatch.  In order to achieve that, the full repeat is first flipped horizontally (ayab will auto mirror it,  so starting with it this way it will be in the correct orientation when knitting). The mirrored repeat may be used in unaltered machines as is with LC operating from the right, KC operating from the left (not possible in ayab without adjustments). The full repeat consists of 16+14+18+16+14+18= 96 passes of the lace carriage, for every 12 rows knit. My sample was programmed horizontally for 3 full repeats, the width of my planned swatch. I added one additional needle in work on each side, with the LC end needle selection canceled, allowing for the full pattern as programmed with a single stitch all knit border on either side A tightly twisted cotton yarn did best in terms of handling the multiple transfers and not resulting in split stitches or breaking. I had occasional selection errors, seen in the center panel at the top of each repeat (my common experience with the interface), but the repeat itself appears to be sound. Lace repeats that have even numbers of rows for both and LC transfer and knit ones are easy to follow. Punchcards are also easily annotated and if knitting is interrupted needle selection is easy to return to or restore if necessary. In electronics, there may not be any memo to indicate row #  location for each carriage pass in the pattern, or when to switch carriages. Because in this instance there are so many transfers (some of multiple stitches) between knit rows and dropped stitches are best corrected as noticed during knitting if possible, I created a “cheat sheet” of sorts to help keep track of actions. Each block outlined in red here represents one full repeat, read from their bottom-up, with blue borders at the center and red at the end of each half sequence. A visual check at the end of each segment’s # of rows in the series is well worth it to prevent unnoticed runaway dropped stitches and large holes. A check-in box next to # could indicate the completion of transfers. and a number added manually in that same row for that sequence, record the row on which knitting was interrupted ie. stopping on row 8 out of 16 to fix dropped stitches would be a reminder 8 more LC passes are required before the next visual check. 

9/23/18 In now have been experimenting on a 930, where each pass of the LC is actually tracked, akin to following numbers on a punchcard.  Built-in patterns also offer a memo window, which will alert the knitter as to when knit rows are due In testing the pattern with img2track I found the LC passes are still counted, but the memo window is absent upon download. I generated a chart in Mac Numbers, reads from the top-down, expanding on the one above. It illustrates the number of LC passes (left column) required to produce any significant length of fabric.  Patterns such as these are not for the faint of heart and require a friendly yarn. 2168 passes of the LC (33 full repeats, outlined in green; red line separates half repeats) are accompanied by 396 rows of “actual” knitting. In actual knitting, the pattern advances from row 1 to 96, and back to 1 again. A check-off list can be much simpler if one is desired. The numbers on left appear in the LC window in a 930, when reached 2 rows are knit with the KC. The numbers at the top reflect completed repeats. Boxes can be checked moving to the right as those rows are completed Another option is to download the pattern in img2track, and then enter memo information prior to knitting it. Two youtube videos that show how to enter memos in machine models that allow it, 930 included  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0tXNT76v10    and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR8MheT5Bao. The number 2 may be entered after numbers on left appear in the LC passes count window, and provide an easy guideline to follow. And this is what testing lace patterns can look like. In this instance, a tighter stitch tension, a bit of change in weight, and visually checking after each row of transfers brought me some success. This is not a stitch pattern that lends itself to easy “repairs”. 

 

Pretend_ mock cables 3

A Facebook group query brought up the possibility of creating cables in an “easier, quicker” way than by crossing stitches by hand. Over the years different authors have suggested a “sewn” method for pulling stocking stitch columns together in order to achieve the cabled effect. The illustrations are usually of the work done on a ribbed fabric, but it also may be achieved in simple stocking stitch, with ladders marking the edges of the mock cable, and providing a visual line to follow and count spaces when smocking the fabric up. The width of each column, the yarn fiber content, and personal preferences will determine the success” of the results.

I was reminded of “magic cables”, a technique made popular years ago in a copyrighted pattern series by Ricky Mundstock, ie this one from 1969 (illustrated online). The concept originated in a Japanese publication years before, relies on hooking up tuck loops to create the cable-like effects. I tend not to knit from published patterns, set out to understand what makes the fabric work in theory, and then sort out whether I have other preferences of my own for creating it. I began to experiment with a totally random tuck card. Tuck is chosen for the background because it is short and fat, giving the taller all knit rows for the “cables” the possibility of an additional gather, adding to their depth. I chose a purely random repeat, which is a good way to start for DIY if hesitant about the process. White squares will not be selected, will tuck for 2 rows, have a knit stitch (black dot in card) on each side of them. Max on Brother, unless using very thing yarn would be white bars single square in width, 4 rows in height (yes, there can be exceptions on rare occasions)
The card is cropped to the 24 X 44 stitch in width and height for the repeat to be worked in electronics. The area colored blue on the far right indicates possible all knit rows for hooking up “cables” during knitting, mustard color indicates ladders created by an out of work needle on each side of the central, all knit column. The ladders make it easier to identify each all knit column. The tape over holes idea does not work for masking a punchcard since that blue area would need to be all punched holes. The tape over would result in “unpunched” ones.

This takes the revised card single repeat and indicates some quick possibilities for altering it I added 2 more stitches to establish a slightly different pattern. The grab form my work in Numbers was then opened in gimp and scaled to 26X44 for the possible knitting pattern. If working with black and white squares, the image will need to be colored reverse for knitting. I abandoned this repeat for my final swatches in favor of keeping markers for hooking stitches up along the all knit column inside the ladders as opposed to the knit body of the remaining shapes. Here the non-selected needles are placed along the knit column itself, on alternating sides. The final repeat after correcting a pixel error I discovered while knitting: Ayab does not repeat across the horizontal row, each stitch in the width you are planning to knit needs to be programmed. For a test swatch, I decided to work with programmed 72 stitches (knit on fewer). This would be the downloadable file

magnified and gridded to visually check again prior to knitting it This is what is seen by the knitter when the image is loaded, but any image loaded is automatically flipped/ mirrored horizontally by the software. Direction may not matter in the overall pattern, but here we have needles out of work, which if selected on the basis of what is seen as opposed to what is knit, would be in the wrong location. The first preselection row is also only possible from left to right. The easiest way to empty the proper needles is to do transfers after that row, to either side, restoring needle selection prior to continuing to knit. Also, since there are needles out of work, end needle selection is canceled (KCII).

In my first swatch, I tried the idea of hooking up stitches in opposite directions, but was not pleased with the result, wanted to reduce the amount of hand manipulation involved. In the later swatch, I hooked up every other selection onto the same side. Arrows here indicate the direction, not the proper needle position.

Alternating side hooking up with some yarn and needle change issues. Hooking up to one side only was quicker to execute and appeared more pleasing to me. Both swatches had blips from an errant pixel. Steps in knitting the above fabric. The actual knitting will happen with what is shown as the repeat with white pixels on the dark ground, seen looking at the center vertical all knit column of the repeat when knitting the fabric. Allow the non-selected needle on the left side of the column to tuck, providing a marking row for picking up stitches, knit until the needle on the right side of the column is not selected. Prior to knitting across that row pick up the tucked loop and stitch on the left side
Lift both loops up onto the non selected needle on the right side of the column, bring that needle all the way out to hold (three yarn loops in the hook) 

Continue knitting until the next non-selected needle in the column appears once again on the right, pick up from below the left marking spot, and repeat. For DIY insert all knit columns on your chosen repeat and proceed as above.
Visualizing possibilities: chart for side by side columns actions on the purl side is shown. The black columns with arrows coupled with photos show the direction of the hook-ups in the back, purl side of the fabric, and potential “cables” as seen on the knit side using the column repeat illustrated above. This is a garter stitch version found on Pinterest

Ayab: short rows automated with slipstitch

I have recently been reviewing some of my ideas for using slip stitch to achieve fabrics normally created by hand pulling needles for short rows. The samples for most charts below are found in previous posts on the topic. My hacked machine is presently being put to bed for a while as I work on some production pieces on KMs that allow me to produce predictable lengths of knitting. I will not be providing proof of concept swatches for every chart.

A bit on defining short rows https://alessandrina.com/2013/12/18/holding-stitches-short-rows/

https://alessandrina.com/2014/02/20/wisteria-cousin-revisited-holding-using-slip-stitch/

The carriage movements are partially illustrated below, beginning with the first-row pre-selection from left to right (red line/ arrow), which happens to be the only option when using ayab. Ayab also mirrors automatically, so either mirroring the rendered repeat or using the action mirror in software is required for the holding sequence to be correct. The lines indicate the direction of the carriage movement on each design row. Blocks need to be even numbers in height and may be adjusted in width. The full swing of the fabric in each direction needs to be programmed.

https://alessandrina.com/2013/12/28/short-rows_-balls-tams-3d-rounds/
here the holding sequence works toward the center