Seasonal knits inspired by published repeats 2_hearts

Charts are included for repeats suitable for punchcards, where the designs must repeat in height to a minimum of 36 rows.
Some reminders: the BW pngs here are intended for import into a paint program or image processor where they can be magnified to suit, with a grid view for counting cells to consider the width of floats if used in single bed fair isle, adjust the design in DIY variations, or import into download programs as provided.
The tiled repeats help to visualize how the final appearance on the knit side.
While the pngs are shared in BW indexed mode, when dragged to desktops or otherwise copied and are opened in image processors, they may change to RGB mode by default and will need to be converted back to BW indexed mode prior to use for import and download to knitting machines.
Some machine models will automatically mirror the image horizontally, depending on brand and model year as does Ayab software.
When direction matters, ie in representational designs or transfer lace, the mirroring may be performed on the image provided before using it, or by using the appropriate button or command after downloading to electronic machines.
Punchcard users can mirror after the fact by simply turning the card over before inserting it, after marking and numbering at least the starting row on its reverse.
To retain symmetry in developing half-drop or brick repeats, it is useful to have an even number of stitches and rows in the original design. Some designs are broken up in ways that are subject to use based on personal visual preferences.
If used for blankets, the repeats can be tiled to dimensions leaving room for coordinated borders.
12X10 12X10 to 12X20 brick

12X10 to 24X10 half drop

24X24 24X28 32X32 34X34 43X43 adjusted to 44X44, an all symmetrical suitable as a single motif or in larger formats brick 44X88 brick tile half drop tile 84X44

3 color 14X3, requires a different color separation than KRC, each color in each row needs to be knit twice the 2-color version   From weaving drafts: a mosaic-like design the 68X58 png cropped to 67X58 to avoid double stitches
its half drop repeat 134X68  the source for a much smaller repeat the 14X20 png When all you need is a border, repeats that may be used vertically or horizontally, presented in punchcard configuration, 24X21: 24X20, rotated for horizontal use would become usable on electronic models only  
From To mesh or not to mesh 9: more on mock filet design See the post for additional repeats and my method of developing the design.
I could not find the source for this Pinterest find on the upper left, which results in a combination of large mesh and single transfers to create the heart shape.
The initial 24X44 png brick repeat, 24X88

with more knit stitches between shapes, 36X88 the knit rows separating the stripes of heart motifs are highlighted in red.
On Brother machines the KC does advance the repeat in standard lace, so each of those red stripes is reduced to two rows of blank cells, resulting in the 36X88 repeat charted on the far right A small proof of concept knit in 2/18 wool A Studio 560 was my first electronic model machine, owned decades ago. Among the mylars saved even though the machine was sold many years ago, I found this repeat, 24X47 cells, the last offered in this series. Studio mylar sheets were marked in 6X5 blocks as opposed to Brother’s 5X5. The punchcard repeat chart here is outlined in 6X6 blocks of cells, the convention in Brother punchcards. the png

A series also shared in the post Seasonal knits inspired by published repeats 1
two from the various groupings

Small to large repeat figurative designs inspired by filet crochet charts

Reducing figurative designs to repeats for knitting on a low needle counts results in loss of definition.
Filet crochet charts can serve as a starting point for repeats, but usually are planned on  more than equivalent 24 stitch counts, so results of adapting them are often usable on electronic machine models only.
The knitting technique used to execute the design determines whether the lengthwise aspect ratio is affected or not.
1: the source image
2: processed using Mac Numbers
3: opened in Gimp
4: the grid color can be altered to view and match stitch counts
5: the color reversed image to visualize the possible appearance of doing so in the knit
6: a small border frame is added, bringing the figure color to the edges of the knit piece, and the figure is mirrored, helping to make a choice about its orientation on the the knit side  Depending on the model machine used, the motif may appear as drawn on the purl or on the knit side, mirroring it when direction matters may be done using machine settings or mirroring before download.
On my 930 mirroring was not necessary, the swatch was knit on 40 stitches, with the added frame.
The figure alone, 35X72 pixels shown on 6X6 grid blocksA DBJ swatch with birdseye backing  A sitting companion, inspired by random Pinterest find, processed using ArahPaint, not knit tested, 49X65 pixels   shown on a 5X5 pixel grid  Graduating to pillow or blanket size, a bit of romance in advance of February, from a Priscilla Filet Crochet book, the original was in a nearly oval format.
A border was added to complete the original to full oval shape,
black pixels were added to complete the inner shape, and the BW image was extracted and saved.
Working in RGB mode, the border needs to be adjusted for symmetry, not fully complete here, and bucket pattern fill may be used to customize it or any frame the 117X154 modified oval chart and png color inverted 107X154 for DIY modifications to other shapes  A 137X184 RGB version with editable border  Mythological inspiration from a Priscilla source
A: the original
B: processed with GIMP
C: processed with Arah the final png chart, with some pixels removed  and the 118X54 png  A 142X81 pixel version that includes a border From previous posts:
74X54 Celtic design
43X53 squirrel  This image is not from a filet crochet chart but from one of my Studio 560 mylar sheets dating back decades. It is used to illustrate the possibility of mirroring in different directions to produce far larger designs ie wall hanging or blankets.
Alone it could serve as a scarf, with the image rotated and perhaps even mirrored at the opposite end of the scarf to match directions when draped around the neck The 60X50 cell repeat It takes a few clicks of a mouse and a couple of program windows nowadays to make the addition of single cells at the top, bottom, or sides of such large designs that avoid tiling intersections with double cells if that is the goal.
It is also easy to manipulate the chosen designs to visualize the appearance of a final piece. Printing the pixelated results in a larger format can aid informed choices before any actual knitting.
Adding a single cell blank column on the right, and one with a few pixels on the bottom a blank row on the top, 61X52 in a 122X104 repeat that with coordinated borders could approach the use of most of the needle bed with the initial shape mirrored horizontally and then drawn in repeat a column with double pixels appears again at the center of the design staying with that, but making shapes go around

Seasonal knits inspired by published repeats 1

In previous posts, ie Numbers and GIMP: online punchcard patterns to electronics 2, I shared some ways of converting online images from varied published sources.
This series was edited using primarily ArahPaint and some Gimp, both are available for free.
DAK users have the ability to achieve similar results in that universe, producing stp proprietary files. There is no export (or import) available to other formats ie png or bmp possible.
Fair isle is not in my preferred wheelhouse, especially in season specific designs, but that said, I have been sharing these repeats in the FB machine knitting forum  and thought I might make them available to others here as well.
The pngs are editable for further DIY modifications.
24X18924X94 24X85    cropping given repeats for desired tiling, # 1068 the original 24X119 png  cropped to 24X105 My first encounter with “naughty reindeer” was during a Brother dealer-sponsored small machine knitting club meeting.  A present update, using a Pinterest find as the source the original 24X60 with 2 rows added to 24X62in brick repeat, 24X124

A 40 stitch Madag design  40X68_1 40X68_2 A 24 stitch version, with the moose, and without the original, 24X152  cropped to 24X118 with the moose edited out, 24X84 Snowmen and trees
24X12024X50_1   24X50_2 testing tiling prior to knitting, editing out unwanted symbols the original 24X99 the edited 24X74 As a 24 stitch repeat, this is suitable only for single motifs, since repeating them horizontally would join the darker ball shapes. Adding a blank pixel column on the far right changes the horizontal alignment. A few pixels added at the top of the motif form an unbroken join vertically, the final 25X146 shown on the right  This Santa was identified as being attributable to Knittery, a company long defunct that offered pre-punched cards for purchase. Images where the background is punched out make it possible to introduce striping it with the color changer or using the chart for duplicate stitch embroidery on a knit ground.   the original, 24X38 in half drop, 48X38  and in  brick repeat, 24X76

the original, 24X185 with the elimination of some rows, first at the very top and then just above the snowman’s hat the final 24X182 png The question as to how to adjust repeats for use on 12 stitch knitting machines often comes up in forums.
Continuing in the seasonal vein, the easiest method is to begin with a 12-stitch repeat that occupies only half of the card vertically and twice in width. Here the original “half” is 12 stitches wide, 46 rows tall.
One method for the conversion is to work on a spreadsheet:
Begin with a table 24 cells wide, adding enough rows to the expected planned height to repeat the snowflake border, 46 cells in total
configure the cell borders for easy viewing, ie with a 3 pt red lines
hide 12 columns beginning with the second from the left
fill in black cells matching the original design or the DIY version
unhide all 12 columns for the final repeat  When converting the screen grab from a spreadsheet to png in Gimp, before scaling to final size, a first scaling may be required to make certain the result is divisible by the expected number of stitches and rows using the broken chain link, and then scaled again with closed chain link, the first png Working in Gimp or any paint program
draw the “original” and save it, mine now has 2 added rows, one above and one below the deer, making it 12X48 pixels scale it to twice the original width configure the grid properties for contrast/easy viewing
fill in every other column with white using a straight line white pencil. To do so, select a pixel with the mouse, hold the shift and command keys down to draw the lines, and release the mouse to stop. The first white pixel may be placed within an easy-to-follow section of black ones and then the mouse may be held and moved up and down to complete each column. Save the result.
Proof that it is always a good idea to draw the initial image in repeat before committing to color separations or any downloads and actual knitting:  Two possible alternatives in adjusting the design to one’s preference are marked in 6X6 grids in ArahPaint to match markings on blank Brother factory blank cards:
the first removes a snowflake border and is reduced to 12X39 pixels, the second adds 4 rows at the top of the second snowflake border, 12X52 the number of rows between motif segments can be varied for planning the introduction of stripes in added colors If only Gimp is available, I have not found a way to vary colors in grid borders in blocks other than to use guides, appearing as dotted blue lines.  A break from reindeer, teddy bears, and hearts follows, perhaps for a baby gift or to save for Valentine’s Day. When there are clear horizontal borders added to motifs the half-drop repeats will produce mixed results.  the pngs:
24X3924X78 48X40 24X6024X30
48X26 Bell motif variations  
24X3024X48 48X24  The last in this series, a nutcracker motif inspired by a larger scale cross stitch design, reduced by me to a workable 24 stitch MK design with varied borders and collaged small motifs in the background  24X101 24X87 24X87 with added background designs  Considerations in choosing a design are guided by its end use, tiling the repeats leaves fewer surprises in any actual knitting.
This might appear in casual observation to be a “snowflake”.
The full 25X25 pixel version can be isolated, with matching fragments around the whole. Magenta lines indicate cropping points depending on end use if double stitches not immediately obvious or planned are to be eliminated. A: the full design as a potential knit border
B: trimmed a one-pixel width column on the right to 24X25 while retaining matching top and bottom rows C: trimmed the single top row  as well to 24X24 for an all-over execution, drawn in repeat for an opportunity to evaluate whether the design as it now appears produces the initial imagined shapes and effect  Then there is the optical effect change that happens with color invert, for which an easy test may be made during knitting by simply switching yarn color positions in the knit carriage sinker plate

Swatches based on adapting random online published repeats

I still surf Pinterest daily and often encounter published punchcard repeats that catch my eye.
Many need some interpretation and editing for use in specific machine models.
The first inspiration: is knit using 4 colors, alternating 2 rows of a base color, then rotating color changes for 4 rows for each of 3 contrasting ones.
Counting up from the bottom of the illustration after the marks for the typical two all-punched rows, it would appear this is a Studio punchcard, but starting row 1 as visible outside the card reader can simply be changed for any other brand knitting machine.
The every other stitch configuration is for an every other needle repeat used in early machines such as the Juki.
A full reference volume   An illustration of the card use  If using thicker yarns on a standard machine that grinds at the loosest tension, this configuration can retain the full design while knitting every other needle/EON.
The adaptation began using Mac Numbers, the repeat was isolated and traced, and the 12 blank columns were then hidden producing a result scaled in indexed B/W mode to 12X36 pixels. The tiled design, checking alignments.  The proof of concept Periodically tuck stitch designs that appear to break the usual rules for the stitch are discussed.
This design is intended for a push-button machine capable of 24 stitch repeats, uses symbols in the associated chart interpreted to mean tuck loops form for 2 rows and knit along with all other stitches every third row.  The working repeat is made up of 8 pixels in width, and 36 pixels in height.    This next design is likely published for use with the Studio color changer, which is marked with letters for each color,   rather than with numbers as in Brother models.
It is intended as a slip-stitch. The bottom swatch relies on color changes every 3 rows, which would need to be performed manually.
In the elongated version, colors are changed using the color changer, every 6 rows.  The design was first tested in thin yarns using the electronic 24X84 elongated PNG  tested for alignment   and displays interesting 3D variations, the purl side is remindful of shadow pleating  Changing colors every odd number of rows is a tad fiddly.
The use of the color changer is not an option.
With the three yarns fed through the yarn masts, it became hard to keep them from twisting around each other. Ultimately, that problem was solved by hand-feeding one of the three colors with the cone on the floor, in front of the machine, as one would place yarns for weaving.
Brother knitters are familiar with yarn placements in the sinker plate.
Position A is for knitting when using only one color or for the ground color in fair isle patterning.  There is a “gate”, which is closed, and the B color/contrast motif color is placed in that front position, knitting the yarn in needles preselected to needle position D on the next carriage pass.
It is tempting to leave the gate open when switching colors by hand frequently, and that may work for a while, providing tension is placed on the yarn manually to keep the yarn back. If at any point the yarn shifts forward (green arrow), with no needles in position D, stitches will be dropped.
Textured stitches can make for more complicated correction of errors or dropped stitches.
Taking the extra seconds to close the gate (red markings) after each color change avoids what became fondly known as “dropitis” in my classes.   The proof of concept: two of the yarns used were acrylic, so steaming to reduce the curling of the swatch flattened the texture.  At one point Studio published a newsletter  with cover art composed of simple drawings, such as this, for #143, which spiked my curiosity, and led to these explorations:
the pattern and symbols refer to tuck stitch, but technically the design is executed using short rows and transfer techniques.
The programmed repeat selects needles, making tracking actions easier.
End needle selection is canceled.
No cam buttons are in use.
The knit carriage is set to hold.
Stitches on the single needles selected on rows, 2, 12, 22, etc, are transferred onto the needle on their left. The empty needle is then pushed back to A position, out of work, creating a ladder.
The groups of 3 preselected needles are pushed out to hold, the D position, before continuing.
After every 2 rows knit, a stitch on the left is pushed back into work, until lastly, the empty needle is returned to the B position.
All needles will then knit for one row filling in the empty needle with a loop and a full knit stitch on the next pass where transfers begin again. A brief summary of stitch manipulations  Images of the work in progress, a small claw weight single claw hung on edge stitch helps keep side edges equal in length:
preselected needles initially manually brought to hold position after the first carriage pass to the right
after the second carriage pass to the left, with the first needle on the left in each group pushed back into work  the second needle on the left in each group is returned to work
one needle in each group remaining in hold pushed back into work  at this point the empty needles have been brought to the B position, single preselected needles have been transferred to the left,  and a pass is made forming loops on the empty needles/ eyelets  The original 18X30 repeat, some machine models and download software may require that it be mirrored horizontally,   repeated to 44X30 with a planned distribution of plain stitches at sides, knit in 2/18 wool blends: Converting random transfer lace designs poses different challenges, and since the time at which the reference post was published, there have been several Gimp updates.
Lace designs contain few black and white pixels and, at times are brand-specific. Multiple transfer lace in Studio models begins with 2 blank rows, while Brother begins with a design row, and ends with 2 blank rows. As given, the inspiration repeat is designed for Studio/Silver Reed.
When using any program, ie Gimp, ArahPaint, or even Dak, the original scanned or screengrabbed design needs to be aligned horizontally and vertically to window borders for accurate conversions.
Before any scaling of images, establish stitch and row counts. In this case, they are published as being 16 stitches X 96 rows.
The process for converting the same lace design using Gimp 2.10.34 on the Mac, beginning work in RGB mode:
1. drawing a straight line to the side of the cropped image reveals a slight lean to the right
2. using Image, Transform, and Arbitrary Rotation -0.30 improves the alignment  3. using the rectangle tool, crop to the borders of the published image.
In this instance, the cropped image measuring 199X938 pixels is at first scaled to multiples of 10 for both width and height, note the broken chain link
4. 160X960 pixels. 5. Image mode is changed to B/W indexed, and the image is scaled once more to 16X96, the size of the expected repeat, note the intact chain link  6. the final repeat, when studied, matches that from the results in the previous post  1: the result using ArahPaints tools, including its guess weave from grid, compared to
2: the Gimp final image and
3. borrowed from the previous post illustrating other considerations before actual knitting,  
which include:
if using the repeat on Brother machines, the first 2 blank rows of the design are shifted to the top.
The 16-stitch design width makes it suitable only for electronic models.
The final PNG is actually downloaded as a fair isle pattern while maintaining the required needle selection for lace, and the knit carriage remains set to knit throughout while the lace carriage selects and transfers.
The machine, depending on the model, may by default mirror the result vertically, so the final PNG can be mirrored and saved as here, prior to knitting on the 930, or the mirror function in the machine may be used after programming.
I prefer to save my files in the orientation required for the actual knitting as a means to avoid confusion or errors.
Working in Arahpaint, rotating an image turns it on its center point. To rotate a layer, selection, or image, from the Image menu, choose Rotate.  Selections can be made at offered angles, or specified degrees can be entered in the degree field, or select an area, move the pointer outside the bounding border, and then drag on any one of the small boxes at each corner while pressing the left mouse button.  To align the image,
1. load the lace inspiration
2. choose Image, select Rotate Image, and draw a line that follows the orientation of the image. The color will be based automatically on the palette being used, and altering the pencil pixel size or color has no effect.
The program then rotates the image and will inform you of the rotation angle, and the drawn line becomes straight.
To confirm alignment, click the OK or Close button in the Rotate Image window.
3. use the rectangle tool to select the content for the full design repeat, and crop the aligned image to the selection. 4.-9. continue with the steps using the tool Guess Weave from Grid, producing the same final PNG. In summary, they are:
4. crop the selected image to size
5. change the color palette to 8-bit, adjust background and foreground colors
6. reduce the number of colors to B/W, adjust the threshold, and set the number of colors to 2
7. the resulting image
. use the guess weave from the grid tool, crop the bounded image to the selection, magnify the results to visually check the repeat, and save the PNG if satisfied
9. the final 16X96 pattern design repeat, matching the Gimp result. The associated swatch  This Pinterest find is credited to Tatiana Demina, and is intended for use on Studio punchcard machine models.  Studio machines are capable of transferring and knitting in single carriage passes. Studying the image of the card, it can be seen that there are no blank rows anywhere, and punched holes on alternate rows indicate transfers alternating first to the left, and then to the right.
The swatch was knit using the same technique described  recently in the post Unconventional uses for punchcards 2: thread lace cards for “filet” mesh
The original 24X56 design was lengthened X2 to, shown here also doubled in width to 48X112   to match the direction of the transfers, the hint offered in the inspiration source can be followed down to indicate the first row of transfers need to be made to the right,    hence the knitting begins with the knit carriage on the left, the lace carriage on the right. As the LC moves to the left it preselects needles, and as it returns to the right it transfers them to the right.
The LC is removed from the knit bed.
The KC knits a single pass to the right and remains there.
The LC is returned to the knit bed on the left, preselects needles on its pass to the right, and transfers them to the left as it returns to that side, and is removed from the bed.
The KC knits one row to the left and stays there.
The LC is returned to the bed on the right and the process is repeated.
Preselection of needles is made by the LC toward the knit carriage, transfers are made away from it.
Whether the repeat needs to be mirrored again may depend on the machine model or the software used to download the file to it.
The direction of the first row of transfers provides the necessary clue, they need to be to the right. If to the left, mirror the pattern horizontally and begin again.
The swatch was knit in a wool-rayon blend, the results point to the difference in appearance and gauge with a change in color and type of yarn used when compared to the inspiration image The context for this can be found in To mesh or not to mesh 8: more Numbers meet Gimp
the 60X74 png  and the proof of concept

Gimp 4, pattern fill, dithered portraits, and more.

The latest version of Gimp for Mac includes many small changes which come with no announcements and take a bit of sorting out to recognize or problem-solve.
There are good collections of Youtube videos intended for use on much larger files, with fewer color restrictions than images used for knitting.
A dock is a container that holds a collection of dialogs.
I work in single-window mode and had an issue a few times recently with the tool dock and dialogue disappearing from the left.
The method that worked for me:
on a Mac, select the link to the Preferences/Settings window found in the GIMP application menu, next to the Apple menu. Scroll down in the left pane until you see the Windows Management entry. Click on it to open the relevant settings pane. Look for the giant button labeled Reset Saved Window Positions to Default Values, seen on the bottom right.  Click on it, and GIMP will pop up a small notification box letting you know that the save will go into effect the next time GIMP loads.
Click OK there, and click OK again in the main Settings window.
Close GIMP and reload it, and familiar settings should be back.
To prevent a reoccurrence of the issue, it is possible to lock the associated tab, permanently fixing the dialogue. To do so, click on the small shape next to the Tool Options Menu text on the top right, then select Lock Tab to Dock.  Tool icons are also changed at times, leading to puzzlement when steps used in the past do not work. An example, The layers menu no longer offers the difference mode used previously in custom color separations.
From the manual: “If you need to stay compatible with older GIMP versions or you need to use the legacy layer modes for other reasons, look for the icon to the right of the layer modes selection.
This drop-down menu will let you choose between Default and Legacy. If you choose the latter, the layer modes list will only show the legacy layer modes and all modes will have “(legacy)” behind their name (the selected mode will use the short version (l). ”
To make the dialog available: click on Legacy to switch mode selections.  My posts are at times generated in response to questions I have received through forums or direct contact via my blog, but most often by my exploring whatever rabbit hole attracts my attention for a period of time before leaping into the next.
A quick way to fill with a design/ drawing in repeat is to choose and open an image, ie this rose, indexed B/W 28X30 pixels Magnify ie to 800X, go to Edit, and Copy Visible to save it to the clipboard as long as the program is open
Choose File, New, in size that is a multiple of the original ie 84X90.
Select the brush tool  In the Windows menu choose Dockable Dialogues and select Symmetry Painting, then Tiling.
After entering the desired values, as you move onto the canvas, a brush icon and crosshair will appear, along with a square bordered with a dotted edge representing the clipboard brush in full size, place it touching the left upper corner for a straightforward tiled repeat, an alternative to the familiar method using Filter, Map, Tile.  Undo and repeat if needed.  
For a brick repeat For easy and quick drawing in any repeat configuration including random, I recommend using ArahPaint.
For other tiling repeats, I have found Gimp offset limiting, offering this as an alternative method for, in this case, a half-drop design.
Work in matching magnifications as steps are advanced.
Begin with the rose, use filter, map, and tile it to twice its height, 28X60 Open a new file, twice its height and width, 56X60 pixels.
Using rulers as guides for the half drop, place a center vertical guide at 28, horizontal guides at 15, and 45 click on the 28X60 selection at the top of the work window, copy and paste it on the file marked with guides first on the left side, click on the rectangle tool to fix the layer
paste it again on the right, placing a full rose in the center square outlined in the column,
paste again and  move the selection above or below to fill in the empty third of the column
select the rectangle tool again to fix the layer, save the 56X60 file,   filter, map, and tile again to test the alignment ie here, 168X80 the icons selections at the top of the work windows change as steps are completed   A visual summary of the 28X60 image placements  A pattern is a small image that fills areas by placing copies side by side, while a brush is used for painting.
In drafting A collection of geometric design blocks built with squares, rectangles, and lines and considering optical design development, Gimp fill with pattern gained my focus once more.
Pattern fill was discussed in Gimp update for Mac 2
In developing pattern-fill libraries, and saving them, using larger pixel group pngs rather than the smallest repeat needed makes identifying them easier.
These suggestions are for drafts on 8X8 pixel grids.
They may be used to pattern fill from the clipboard while the program is open, or exported as .pat files, adding them to a “my pattern” folder through program settings, where they will be available after Gimp is quit and reopened.
Always tile/draw-in-repeats to check alignment prior to saving.
Color-reversed versions are also useful.
Once the basics are tested, one may begin to move towards shapes and more complex repeats, particularly if using electronic machines. A library of circles, some in dimension used in developing truchet tiles, drawn using the built-in Gimp circle brush, from 5 to 24 and 28 pixels in size. Developing dot designs merit a separate thread as well as more on symmetry painting.
The patterns may be saved as color or black-and-white files.
Passap users should know even though they may see this icon from some old company-shared files along with their own .cut ones,  they are not compatible with Gimp software or any other outside the DAK universe that I know of, where they were an earlier format later replaced by the stp format.
There are always many ways to approach DIY, staggered lines of equal size with alternate color starting points can fill in spaces between each other.
Gimp has offset and symmetry drawing functions.
As a long-time repeat builder, if working in Gimp alone, I prefer working with multiple images open to using layers, and visually making the drops or shifts in the repeats manually by copying and pasting on progressive-size canvases.
Starting out with colored squares in RGB mode allows for filling in each color with multiple different BW patterns, for these samples I am using only 2 linear pattern fills, beginning with a 40X40 design  tiled X5 in brick repeat  and in half drop  Introducing other shapes, 16X16 brick configuration, 32X32
half drop, 32X16   Keeping that black outline, but still rendered in B/W Eliminating the outline, retaining a quarter circle, 16X16Using mirroring, and cropping the repeat using several canvases, eliminating double lines in the process, 30X30.  The maximum size in width for large items in a single piece is generally between 180 and 200 stitches on 5 mm and 4.5 mm respectively.
Gimp comes with many built-in assorted patterns which can serve as a starting point. Here a 160X160 canvas is filled with a Gimp pattern, planning a 20 stitch border on all sides.  Convert image mode to greyscale,  using Colors/Curves adjust values to an input of 47, and an output of 203,   and if planning to knit the piece in only 2 colors, convert the result once more to indexed B/W mode To add any desired border, open a new file, in this case, 200 by 200, working in RGB mode, and fill it with any color other than black.
Copy and paste the image above onto it, it will be automatically centered  Choosing another built-in pattern, the red border is pattern filled To eliminate the yellow, use fuzzy select by color, and check that the bucket fill tool is set to fill with the background or foreground color again.
Press the shift key, and replace the yellow with white.
Convert mode to indexed B/W once more, and export as png.
If desired, using a grid view and pencil tool, additional black borders can be added.
The shift command keys on the Mac used in conjunction with the pencil tool help render straight pencil lines. Any of the larger files developed as tiled designs can be cropped to different dimensions depending on preference and end-use.
Decades ago, before software design aids, there was a knitting challenge circling around to include hidden language or undesirable language in a not necessarily easy-to-read format in knitting, beginning with hand-scripted text, which was then mirrored in width and height.
This was my version of DBJ vertical design, with the photo rotated and repeated to visualize what the appearance might be on a larger piece.
There are some really interesting examples of hiding messages in textiles throughout history and even books written on the topic, it is referred to as steganography, which means hidden writing.
When I was teaching there were often as many as 15-20 students knitting in the studio at the same time, and I felt a need for an expletive outside the less civilized 4 letter word that came to mind when multiple emergency yell shouting my name for help occurred at a single time.
Hints on using text: Gimp to create text for knitting
This image, rendered in Gimp with superimposed text and filled with patterns in both the text and in the background illustrates my answer to that problem.   I have often seen illustrations of artworks for sale online using portraits with superimposed all-over patterns.
This concept for a possible knit began with an AI-generated foursome using Midjourney  My chosen image, originally 700X700, with image mode changed from RGB to greyscale, indexed to 3 colors, scaled and trimmed to 181X183selecting a random brush for superimposed pattern, 30X40  file, new, exact dimensions as portrait, white ground, 181X183, fill with pattern, layer, transparency, color white to alpha,    copy and paste on portrait file, fix layer, save .png Image ready for download using img2track  For use on a 930, the design is broken down into multiple tracks by the software, each to be downloaded in sequence as a new pattern.  The same repeat, with a few pixel changes  Using a different punchcard pattern repeat with a different pattern fill, the portrait becomes more hidden A video on achieving a similar effect using Arahpaint   If the goal is only to change the background, there are several options for that as well.
One way to remove a background containing varied shapes, and return to an often-used of my old friend Rocco,
the file, 150X154,  add an Alpha Channel The Free Selection tool, or Lasso, allows for creating a selection by using a pointer.
Since GIMP-2.10.12, selection modes now, in 2.10.34, work differently.
Marching ants/dots come with a continuous line, meaning that the selection is not validated yet and that you can still change the selection shape (the mouse pointer comes with the Move icon) but keyboard commands may no longer work. When satisfied with the changes hit enter/ return key on Mac to validate the selection.  Enlarge the image to make following and marking its outline easier.
Freehand selection can be made in small segments at a time connecting short lines, or long, continuous strokes.
First, create a starting point by clicking on your image.
A yellow dot will appear. As you move along the edge of the image, the colored dot reappears every time you stop, with the previous locations turning into empty circles.
When it is reached, if you click on the endpoint, it turns filled and is accompanied by a moving cross.  Use the return key to pause if needed.
Pressing and releasing the mouse pointer allows you to mix free-hand segments and polygonal segments.
If you click on the endpoint, dragging alters the shape.
When the endpoint is on top of the starting point, click to close the selection.
Double-clicking on the endpoint closes the selection with a straight line.
You can go outside the edge of the image display and come back in if you want to.
Escape cancels all continuous selection segments.
When the lasso selection is completed there will be visible dotted lines around the selection Color invert the result Open a new, white canvas of the same size and magnification, and copy and paste the color inverted one on it  Use color invert once more, Rocco is now on a black ground Using the result in online dithering programs provides a different result than when dithering the full greyscale image. This result is from using  If the result is an instant favorite, and the goal is to fill the ground with a pattern, use the lasso tool again to eliminate the black more carefully than I did, repeat the steps to color invert, copy and paste on red,  Color invert once more,
Fill the background with a chosen pattern, convert image mode to indexed B/W, and export the resulting file
If the image is to be knit using 3 (or more) colors per row, this is one of the myriad possible results using my favorite dithering option, Returning to the greyscale image on the black ground,  the latter can be bucket filled directly with any chosen pattern   To superimpose a pattern on the whole image, fill a white canvas in the same dimensions with the pattern use Layer, transparency, color white to alpha  Copy and paste the result on the original Full greyscale is not knittable.
What about using the AI portrait in B/W or 3-4 color knitting?
172X172ditherlicious 2-color,   and dithermark using the built-in pattern selector for 4-color.   The image will be elongated in actual knitting, this window from img2track on the left is set for 4 colors. Changing selection to 2 colors and opening the same image, it is converted to B/W 3-color with diagonal hatching 2-color
Though visually some images may appear as though more than 2 colors are in use, here is the comparison using img2track between opening the above on the left, and, on the right, after changing the image mode to B/W indexed using Gimp with added cross-hatching followed by image mode to B/W in Gimp simply to note visual differences    
and a different cross-hatch, with a value balance change, in B/W mode


Blistered dbj 3

Names referring to the same knit fabric can vary between machine manuals for specific models and brands or references in books, magazines, and articles depending on the dates they were published.
My earlier share on the topic:
Blistered stitches dbj 1
Blistered DBJ 2 and technique variations on a single repeat, introduced some of the concepts involved.
Beginning with any random published repeat can offer the start of exploring a range of fabrics. This was a Pinterest punchcard share, markings indicate it was intended for Brother machines  Methods for obtaining color separations for specific knits have been discussed in other posts.
Brother models can use the cam buttons to perform a function in one direction only, ie by using only one tuck or slip button, the machine will knit when the carriage reverses movement to the opposite side.
Developing specific color separations makes the files usable on other machine brands and models, makes it easier to return to specific rows in error corrections, and is my personal preference in test swatching and complete pieces.
Drawing the initial design in repeat provides a visualization of the resulting secondary shapes and the number of needles required for tiled variations in finished pieces based on gauge.
The first design is intended for use in every needle rib, with the knit carriage knitting in one direction, and using slip or even tuck in the opposite direction.
The 24X32 design extracted from the inspiration punchcard  A: the rendering scaling the design twice in length
B: making the choice to color invert it in planning slipped stitches on the larger number of white pixels
C: superimposing black lines on every other row beginning with row 2 A quick review of the steps involved in working with Gimp:
begin with magnification for easy viewing, ie. 800X, view grid if preferred
the starting brush can be as small as this 2-pixel   select it and save it to the clipboard by choosing copy visible, making it available to bucket fill images, or export the same design as a .pat file and save it in the appropriate settings folder for future use.  A: the original design repeat rendered in black and white
B: layer, transparency, color white to alpha
C: file, new, white ground, matching size, filled with a pattern of pairs of horizontal all-white pixel rows beginning with white on row one, followed by all-black pixel rows on row 2
D: copy B and paste it on C, and export the file as png The chosen repeat may not be color reversed after programming it using the machine’s built-in electronic functions.
White pixels slip, stitches on the main bed in non-selected areas would not knit off for extended periods ie where red marks occur, and noticeable problems would develop quickly Beginning proofs of concept for this version, 24X64  knit on 60 stitches using it drawn in repeat X3, 72X64, and programmed as a single motif  The result is a very subtle contrast lacey knit The yarn thickness and color were changed. The pattern begins using the slip setting and transitions to tuck, also in only one direction. Because the ribber is knitting every stitch between stitches on the top bed holding side-by-side loops down, tucking on multiple side-by-side needles can be performed,  producing a wider, stretchy knit that also lies flat.  True blisters/pintucks generally knit rows on the top bed alone forming pockets that are eventually sealed by all knit rows.
Slip stitch settings are used.
The design is at first lengthened X5, then every 5th row is filled with black pixels or punched holes.
A begins in smaller groups of gathers, testing for any errors or problems, while B allows for deeper folds. A: the mark shows the stitches on the top bed begin to slip far too many rows
due to using the color reverse option in the 930 before continuing to knit.  With a switch to the blue yarn, all-knit spaces between the pockets now begin to appear gathered. Slip stitch results in narrower knits, noticeable in the ruffled effects on every needle rib above the cast ons B: the extra row of slipped stitches result in a far more textured knit   Developing other layouts for the same design, brick 24X128   half drop 48X64 Eliminating unwanted extra stitches from the original, modified to 24X28 pixels drawn in repeat to 144X168 brick version 24X56 half drop 48X28  adding those all knit rows  Viewing repeat alignments  The 24X112 brick repeat suitable for punchcards, not tested,   and the half drop, 48X56  tested using a 10/2 cotton and lightly steamed and pressed. Knit on 80 stitches, it measures 17 inches in width and 11 in height.
an attempt at a more detailed look  


A collection of geometric design blocks built with squares, rectangles, and lines

I have grown fond of playing with ArahPaint’s functions: guess weave from grid, and drawing in repeat, and am constantly amused by the speed with which most design repeats and color separations can now be drafted when compared to the very first efforts in the days of anyone trying to use Excel spreadsheets to accomplish the same tasks.
Drafts designed for handweaving provide endless inspiration for knit design.
In conjunction with ArahPaint, Gimp remains a frequent go-to as well, along with Numbers for Mac for when spreadsheet tables meet charting or design needs.
The programs are free, there is no need to purchase expensive design programs in order to develop DIY motifs.
Developing tiled repeats suitable for multiple stitch types, including tuck , offered some repeats that began with geometric blocks built with squares, rectangles, and lines, some of which are suitable for punchcard knitting.
Many are included here again to serve as a cumulative collection of possible springboards for use as is or for developing more personal variations.
A reminder: the pngs below were saved as indexed, B/W files.
When downloaded, they may be converted automatically to RGB mode.
Prior to downloading any to machines, check their image mode, and if it is RGB, convert it back to B/W indexed. The pixel dimensions text for designs suitable for punchcard machines are highlighted in a different color.
More repeats are available in the post on Working with diagonal patterning in machine knitting
Larger pngs may be subdivided to change their appearance or alignment of specified numbers of cells.
To begin with, cells may be filled in any color, with mode and color changes to indexed BW if for electronic download
8X8  punchcard full repeat  its png12X12

visualized drawn in repeat X12 and modified using drawing X12 in random repeat for use in electronic machines   introducing dotted squares, another 12X12  19X1918X18, shown tiled X 9 in both width and height and modified using random  A Ravelry query prompted these designs
44X54  66X60
The present series:
35X35 68X68 A visit to a quilting blog led to these explorations, beginning with a 20X20 repeat, rotated in 4 directions to be combined in new 40X40 repeats for different movements.   A first simple 40X40 grouping  tiled X5 in width and height, also color reversed to visualize the result with the potential exchange of the yarn positions in the color-changing sequences  Dividing the repeat in half, color inverting the 20X20 segment on the right, combining it with the left half And with color inverted quarter segments   In the following designs, the meeting points are slightly offset.    and lastly, aiming for more of a diagonal  Varying shapes
12X12  drawn in repeat X13 26X26 drawn in repeat X6 with color inverted quarters drawn in repeat X6 16X16drawn in repeat X10 drawn in repeat selecting random 24X24

Developing related series, stop or continue, choose a preferred design anywhere along the way
47X47 94X94 with segment rotations drawn in repeat X2  a few rows and columns removed, 43X43 86X86
a series beginning with 68X64 pixels  A purposeful effort to create outlines, 22X24 55X59 Alternating outline colors, 50X72
Using pixelated lines to break up blocks
8X28 16X16 drawn in repeat X10 14X14drawn in repeat X11 24X2424X24 with quarter-turned segments
drawn in repeat X7
24X47 cropped to 24X40, for different symmetry  Developing repeats evocative of samplers
48X48  64X64 An electronic repeat with shifting angles, 32X32  magnified 2X2 for a better view  Color inverted quarter segments composing a slightly glitched pattern evocative of tartans, 128X128  112X112
Tiny details, large repeat, 48X98   34X140 74X74 The start of a different potential family, 93X32 Introducing circles or parts of them to the library, 19X20  tiledX10  random variations   36X40

trimmed and redrawn to 36X79

Truchet tiling design inspiration 1

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

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

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



Figurative designs in mosaic knitting

Designs may be developed to incorporate lines and grids by outlining motifs, filling in the results with grids or lines, and even color inverting the results.
From an early 2013 post:
Each number on the grids below represents 2 consecutive rows of knitting. The design may be elongated in the drawing of the final repeat itself prior to punching holes, marking mylar or pixels, or elongated using the built-in setting in the KM used, whether electronic or punchcard.
Color changes are required every 2 rows.
The grids: After a motif has been separated, usually color 1 is represented in row 1, and all odd-numbered rows
color 2 is represented by row 2 and all even-numbered rows
long horizontal lines in mazes usually occur on odd-numbered rows
even-numbered rows typically have no more than 2 black squares marked side by side
on odd-numbered rows, the white cells slip
on even-numbered rows, the black cells slip
odd-numbered rows are knitted in the primary color (black cells)
even rows are knitted in the contrasting color (white squares)
Forming shapes and or text on the vertically symmetrical grid: 
These single-bed knits are ideal when float control is an issue, or when one wishes to reduce the bulk of fair isle techniques. There are, however,  geometric design restrictions and the resulting patterns may be too “busy” for some.
Separated designs interrupted by black or white lines rather than single-cell dots are knit using slip stitch on the single bed, or in every needle rib with the knit carriage set to slip or even tuck in both directions on the top bed, and the ribber set to knit in both directions, a very different fabric.
The basic procedures for drawing figurative repeats may be worked out using graph paper or image processing programs, depending on what tools are available.
Working in Gimp, generate a file in a basic grid, which in turn may be tiled to any dimensions needed. Using the bottom grid is problematic in creating figurative mosaics using the connect-the-dots technique. Attempted vertical lines do not connect cleanly.   Cautious planning is required in executing figurative designs.
Clean-up will often result in solid color surrounding shapes or the addition of some short solid lines.
Doodling with blocks on both grids in a spreadsheet.  Text becomes more complicated if one seeks to emulate favorite fonts or to work on a small scale.
A spreadsheet using multiple colors may make the drawing easier to start with. By necessity, repeats will once more need to be large.
With practice, one develops favorite ways of reaching the chosen goal. Large shapes may be superimposed on either dotted grid for final editing depending on what sort of border one wishes to add in designs for end-use in large pieces such as blankets.   Figurative drawing occurs on rows marked with black pixels on the grid where black dots line up vertically.
White rows remain blank except where the black dots in the shape’s outline need to connect vertically.
After the outline for the motif is created, the filling-in of the shape is executed connecting dots once again.
By necessity, these shapes need to be large.
My first design is 68 stitches wide by 40 high. Processing the image is done on the same design. When color-separating Mosaics the design is not elongated.
Using the steps described in previous posts on a copy of the initial file: color invert, It is interesting to observe that the knitted result matches this image.
The file may begin as black and white indexed, but prior to adding colors the mode needs to be changed to RGB.
Add a third color beginning on every other row beginning on row 1,    using layer, transparency, and color to alpha, the third is removed, leaving black and white.  The alpha file is copied and pasted on the original resulting in a knittable mosaic repeat that requires elongation X2.
Check that the file is in indexed BW mode prior to saving it for knitting, it will need to be elongated X2 if used as is.  The above doubled in height, now 68 stitches wide by 140 high, may be knit as is.  Those solid black areas are OK. On the corresponding design rows, needle selections on nearly every needle will take place, those needles will knit the color in use at the time.
The tuck setting is possible, the final appearance will be quite different. For my swatch, I used the slip setting.
Slip-stitch pieces tend to have vertically straight side edges, while tuck ones tend to have wavy ones.
The floats on the purl side are still only 2 stitches wide.
The all-knit areas are not reduced in height, so they ripple initially and became flattened with blocking in this case, but caused the top and bottom of the horizontally striped segment to curve.
Starting knitting using the light color as opposed to dark will color invert the design.
The blue yarn used here is wool and the yellow is acrylic.
The swatch was steamed and pressed.
The dark color is dominant.  Visualizing the color inverted image using the photograph of the swatch rather than actually knitting it:  A 48X46 heart to play with for DIY Beginning in a spreadsheet followed by transitioning to Gimp can use a similar dot-to-dot design concept. It offers the opportunity to make adjustments before fixing on placement for the final black pixels over other colors. Moving away from dot to dot to “visually pleasant” does not necessarily work.
The flower design chosen and committed to for the moment is 37X32, visualized on possible backgrounds, and placed on a final one drawn with straight diagonal lines in pattern, for the test knitting  Aside from whether accurate tiling is possible for that final repeat, it has far too many white rows uninterrupted by black squares. As in any slip-stitch fabric, a stitch is held in every white cell or unpunched area location until a black cell or punched hole follows it, the result is very elongated single stitches on the knit side: There is a limit as to how big a part of any final mosaic repeat can truly be freeform.
It helps to develop a library of personal grid variations, to be willing to observe some basic rules, and to have an affinity for the overall look of the results.
In terms of the basic grids, the horizontal stripes have already been shown in the fish to produce 2-row all-knit stripes in alternating colors where they are placed in the design.
The vertical stripes create this result when proofed, and it can be recognized in the png for the body of the fish  Developing a DIY background: I find it easier to work on such designs on a large table in Numbers, which allows for placing a variety of colors and in the same document more easily, and then converting the outcome to a BW indexed png in Gimp. The smallest isolated repeat, in this case, is a square, 20X20 Make certain it tiles correctly before proceeding:
The final file doubled in length shows no areas where extended slip stitch rows might be an issue. This step is not necessary as one begins to trust the process. Returning to that flower, on the white-to-alpha ground, a 37X32 saved file, open it in Gimp.
Open a second file, using the background-repeat, and tile it X2 in both height and width to a matching 40X40 size.
Copy and paste the flower onto it in what appears to be a visually pleasing location, clean up the surrounds, and save the png.  Proceed with the now familiar steps: The final repeat must be elongated X2, color inverting may provide a better sense of what cells knit or slip, and it may be used to knit the design.     The working 40X80 repeat: Once again, the completed swatch visually matches the original file, color inverted.
The latter provides a sense for guessing if the knit results are pleasing and it offers a way to explore different colorways or matching yarn colors.
Pursuing the dot-by-dot concept can lead to endless DIY designs. Playing with motif scale in Numbers: Isolating part of the design in Gimp: 42X44  A variation using multiples on an 80X80 canvas.  Loving that DIY background? To create a frame
1. choose a finished canvas size, ie 120X120, and fill it by tiling the DIY background
2. open a second file to, in this case, 80X80, in any color including white. I chose yellow as a way to place black border lines more easily
3. copy and paste the second file onto the first
4. add a solid color border at the inner and outer edges of the frame, outlining the shape at its center.  At this point, any image also 80X80 may be simply opened in Gimp, copied, and pasted over the yellow. Files to play with: the frame with a transparent center to be pasted in place on other graphic files,  Here with a dot-to-dot center to draw on, and the file with central flower motifs to use or edit further.  The final choice then needs to be made as to how to use the final image.
One option is to separate the motif for use as a single bed 2 color slip stitch, and the second is to simply use the built-in KRC color separation in electronic machines to knit it as DBJ.
Motif definition requires large-scale designs limited by patience and imagination.
Autofill, command key and other shortcuts can help execute them more easily and quickly in spreadsheets as a first step.
This start of a hummingbird, inspired by a small segment of a Pinterest find, is already 54X101 pixels, ending my exploration of these knits for the moment.  

When editing or developing large images a series of guides may be useful. To configure them, see pos:t Gimp update for Mac 2

Color separations for larger scale mosaics and mazes

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

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

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

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

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