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
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k3486m.image.f526.langFR 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: https://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TruchetTiles/.
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: 
2023
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: http://mazeletter.xyz/Mazeletter.pdf.
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 😉

Gimp Update for Mac 3_more on color separations

The latest version Gimp Download site
I am self-taught. As I learn new tools, my workarounds may be convoluted and more complicated than they need to be, evolving over time. I do not delete older posts or their content, but do occasionally add links to later posts or dated notes.
I began designing and charting in the days of having to draw on graph paper and cutting up results to see if the repeats would tile properly when knit, or to place them for alignment variations such as half drop or brick.
Scanning amounted to tracing with a marker onto blank sheets of acetate or tracing paper.
The availability of commercial acetates for purchase at seminars, printed in pairs of matching horizontally striped sheets in lines separated in a variety of widths, offered an advance in scaling designs to a knit aspect ratio. Copy machines became useful friends.
DBJ designs in the punchcard studio when I began teaching were accomplished at first with the use of cards themselves as templates and overlays, involving a series of time-consuming methods for each type of separation ie.  So many such processes are now nearly instantaneous by comparison.
Earlier this year the post Using Layers in Gimp for color separations explored several fabrics beginning with B/W motifs.
Sometimes lightbulbs go off leading to other ideas for achieving results in quicker or easier ways.
This color separation method for mosaics continues to use Layers but in a different approach.
A spreadsheet may still be used if preferred to draw the initial draft of the design, working in black and white only would be fine, and the import could then be processed in Gimp.
Mosaics and Mazes are generally knit with color changes every 2 rows using either the slip stitch or tuck carriage setting in both directions. Beginning with any DIY or published design, in order to knit the motif using the tuck setting, there are basic rules to remember.
This illustrates possibilities using a random 6-stitch repeat, A.
If the plan is to set the knit carriage set to tuck in both directions, the design would need to be color-reversed to BThe white cells in B represent loops held on corresponding knitting machine needles, the limit in Japanese standard machines is often 4. Black cells represent knit stitches, generally seen in groups or on either side of tuck stitches/ white cells, to anchor the loops down for proper stitch formation. There are some infrequent exceptions to that rule.
When uncertain as to results in developing DIY designs, begin with a published repeat to build up confidence. This is a hand-knitting resource for endless inspiration, no separations are provided in the book text.  There are always many ways to achieve the same task depending on the specific program used, one’s level of skill, and individual thought process.
This method uses multiple windows in progression.
When starting out, save the result in each step for added practice or in case any step is accidentally deleted.
This is by Kathleen Kinder, published in Floatless Fair Isle, p. 87 Though the final designs are saved as black and white pngs or bmps, to work using colors in separations, the mode needs to be set to RGB. For very small repeats, use view, show grid,
magnify 1800X, type in a number for a preferred value,  or use the command key in Mac and the scroll wheel of your mouse to do so. Using the pencil tool draw the repeat in black and white Selecting file, new, open a canvas in the same size and magnification, with each step a new icon appears at the top left of the Gimp window to select any file, simply click on the corresponding icon, use Edit Copy or command C, and then edit, paste or command V to place files onto new selections.
Copy and paste the first image onto the blank canvas and colors-invert the result  To draw straight lines on a Mac, use the pencil tool to place the starting pixel. Hold and drag the mouse to the desired endpoint. As this is done, a guiding line will appear. When the endpoint is reached and the mouse is released, that line disappears and the selected area will fill with the chosen color.
When using the 2-pixel brush, the mouse must be placed slightly into the second row of cells prior to dragging it for the line to remain straight and in the proper rows. If an error is made, choose Edit, Undo, to eliminate any step.  Continue to work on the color inverted file, and beginning with row 1 fill in every other row with a distinctly different color. To fix any layer before continuing, click on the rectangle select tool, and then again anywhere in the work window.
Getting rid of the red: this will be the immediate appearance of the image in the window, disregard it.
Right-click on Color/white, choose the foreground or background color or left-click on the Color bar, and click again to choose the color from the palette window. Choose rectangle-select cool, click on the result to fix the image, and the color window will disappear. The result: Copy and paste the file onto the initial image, there will be dotted lines upon the placement,  Click on the rectangle tool again, and then in the work window for the final png repeat. Change the image Mode to Indexed BW if its end use is a download to an electronic machine  Why is it different than the Kinder repeat? It is easier in drawing to color in white squares as opposed to black, so the repeat in the pub is actually the above, color reversed.  Punchcard machine users may mark the black squares and then punch all others.
The last step: if colors are to be changed every 2 rows, remember to use double length or to program/punch the last png double length.  An illustration for the full double-length punchcard repeat. The above, 12X36 repeat was color reversed and tiled twice to meet the 24-stitch width requirement. The 36-row height also meets the minimum height requirement for punchcards to roll in continuous patterning.
Mark the black cells in the image below on the card, and punch all the white ones. These fabrics often are often more interesting using the tuck setting than the slip stitch one.
I have a lifetime supply of copper yarns from my jewelry-making days. This repeat is more a maze than a mosaic. Using a fishing line or wire can sometimes also produce interesting effects.
The blue yarn is composed of 3 strands of 2/48 cashmere/ wool.
The wire is a 32 gauge coated copper magnet wire which tends to flatten the final knit. On the machine, it is hard to recognize repeats due to the very short floats, and the unusual fiber rows can appear to be see-through Using a light color wool rayon as the second color. Using a separated 16X16 repeat from the 2020 post to knit a swatch for Instagram, I noticed a solid 3X3 block in the center of one of the shapes. Because the wire is see-through to some extent, the white stitch floats behind the blocks are noticeable. The copper wire used was 40 gauge, 3 plied. The higher the gauge number the thinner the wire strands, nearly invisible when threaded and while being used. Because the knit tension was as tight as possible, the stitch definition is lost in a few spots.
The original design motif, on the left, was missing a white cell in the location of the red cell. It was quickly converted using only Gimp.  Comparing the old repeat to the new, that problem pixel may easily be located. The corrected file prior to lengthening X2,  double length  Proofing a pattern is best done using comparable weight, familiar yarns. Here thin poly and 4-pound fishing line are used as the second color It takes a bit of squinting to see the match.  Testing the same repeat in more “friendly” and equal-thickness yarns This 24X28 repeat from the earlier post is reworked in this method repeating the process described here, it took longer to render the repeat than to perform the color separation.  The tiled alignment check
The steps are in sequence and produced a result matching that achieved in the previous post. A reminder: step #6 result would need to be doubled in height, whether by altering the file prior to download or by using the built-in functions in the machine after the download. The theoretical color separation in order to knit the mosaic as DBJ where each color knits twice, the repeat single length, 24X56 double length, 24X112

Double jacquard using punchcard machines shared manual methods for including one avoiding the elongation by matching the electronic built-in KRC color separation. Using Layers in Gimp for color separations introduced an approach using only Gimp.
There are times that the 2-color separation for DBJ which knits each color in each design row twice is necessary for the intended knit technique.
When testing new methods, one may begin with files that have already been proofed. This file is created so no elongation is required, beginning with the shape elongated X4.
From the layers post, the double-length separation where each color in each design row knits twice Duplicating the result using layer/ transparency  Longer repeats can become more complicated to separate. Testing the results by necessity requires larger swatches.
Using Stitchworld #548, a 24X40 repeat, as with mosaics1: draw the desired repeat in Gimp
2: when the drawing is completed, tile the repeat to check alignment, save the image if desired, or discard it
3: in the original window, scale the image to double its original height, now 24X80
4: using file, new, open an image on a white ground in the same size and magnification, a minimum of 800X, with grid view, as the first window
color invert
continuing on the same image, changing magnification as needed for ease of visibility ie 1800 X, choose a palette color, and using the pencil tool fill in every other row beginning with design row 1 using it
5. using color to alpha will remove the blue color in this case, and the image will change in appearance, the blue is now transparent. Copy the result.
6: use the second image, and paste it directly onto the one in the first work window.
In order for the repeat to knit successfully as DBJ, the resulting  24X80 file will need to be lengthened X2 to 160 rows in height for accurate patterning to occur. The design lengthened X4, using a 2-pixel pencil beginning on rows 3 and 4,
produces a 24X160 file that requires no elongation.  In this DBJ version, the first preselection row is made toward the color changer, followed by color changes every 2 rows.
My proof of concept is knit with the knit carriage set to slip/slip and the ribber setting left to N/N, creating long stitches.
The height of the design, any bleed-through, elongation, drape, and stretch, are variables influenced by carriage setting changes on either or both knit and ribber carriages.
By default, DBJ knitting requires many more carriage passes than 2 color patterns knit single bed as fair isle.
My swatch does not begin at design row 1 because I forgot to set the knit carriage to slip after the first preselection row and color changing on the left.  Scaling the knit for a sense of the degree of elongation The above separation is the default one in Passap knitting machines.
Japanese electronic knitting machines perform the separation where each color in each design row knits only once automatically by engaging the KRC function.
Punchcard users can achieve the same results for repeats that meet the width constraints using a maximum of 24 stitches or factors of 24 in width.
The separation where each color only knits once from the layers post began with the result where each color in each design row knits twice: My first effort using layer transparency to separate for each design row color knitting only once begins with the double length separation opened in Gimp, not necessary as seen in notes that follow.
Using the pencil tools, marking begins on the second and then even numbered design rows.
When # 5 is color reversed, it matches the separation using layers in the above far right  Using the same concept, the first test began with the separation already completed for the repeat that would knit each color in each row twice.
Toggling magnification helps to make the height of the repeat manageable. Errors are easy to spot and correct if noticed early, a few rows of pencil marks can simply be undone. Save the final png, also 24X160. The separated design is suitable for punchcard machines, my swatch is knit on a 930. Since these separated designs are programmed as fair isle designs, there will not be any color change prompts provided by some machine models.
The first preselection row, as when using the KRC function, is made from left to right. The knit carriage is set to slip both ways. The ribber carriage is also set to slip both ways on an even number of needles, and lili buttons are in use. The visual difference in scale between the two different techniques and color separations.  The simplified method begins with the original design scaled X2 to 24X80. The 2-pixel pencil tool is used to mark the resulting design beginning on rows 2 and 3, skipping the next 2 rows, and repeating the process
Committing to a larger test swatch: The repeat though successful in this case is different from half the first one obtained the long way, the concept merits testing with other motifs.   Years ago I shared the way punchcard knitters may create a DBJ card using a series of templates. The starting 8X8 design was often used in my 2 color DBJ posts. On the right, it is repeated across 24 cells, as it would be in a punch card.  Using layer/Transparency/Alpha the same results can as when using the card templates may be attained in just minutes. Here each color in each row would be knit only once:  In this case, the final result would need to be elongated X2 in order to knit each color in each design row twice. This separation requires no elongation. If the plan is to print a template to aid in marking a card prior to punching, one way to determine the required template size is to measure a punchcard with a ruler in mm.
The width of the card is fixed to a print width of 108 mm since the card will always be 24 cells wide. No calculation is required.
In height, the 60 rows on the factory blank card measure 300mm, 5mm for each cell.
I cropped the chosen image to the top 39 rows and scaled it to 108X195 mm.
(39X5).
When printing on US letter size, with no adjustments other than to the image, the limit appears to be no more than 45 rows per page. I was not able to print directly from Gimp.
The file, exported, opened in Preview, and then printed, is shown with a card superimposed on the printout over a makeshift light box, ready for easy punchcard marking even though the printed cells were not all of the same ink density.   

 

 

 

ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 3

Previously published:
ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 2
ArahPaint meets Gimp in knit design 1

Subsequent posts on using Gimp Layers to process images:
Using Layers in Gimp for color separations
Layer/Transparency/Color to Alpha Gimp Update for Mac 3_more on color separations

Gimp allows one to work on multiple images with only a single window open, left mouse clicking on any one of the images will bring it into view for editing. In the dark theme, it is hard to see the difference, but a lighter border actually surrounds the active image distinguishing it from the others, outlined here in yellow In Arah, multiple windows may be opened at any one time, and left-clicking on any one of them will bring it to the front for editing.   When working using the same file in more than one window, the degree of magnification needs to match in each.
Spreadsheets and paint programs may be used to achieve color separations for designs intended for specialty fabrics, many worked on the double bed.
Two places to begin exploring them here are for knitting single-bed mosaics and double-bed jacquard in its form where each color in each design row knits twice.
It is unlikely to happen often in knitting that more than 6 colors are used in any one fabric except perhaps in an elaborate color-changing fair isle.
The palette that appears in Arah when opening a new file is random, as seen here when two new files of the same size are loaded  If one’s preference is to reduce the number of colors, the specific number may be set by choosing from the colors menu, editing the number identified as that for the working palette, changing it to the new value, in this case, 6, and the palette reduction occurs as seen in A. For most knit repeats a black color is handy, any one of the 6 colors or more may be adjusted as described in the previous post, seen in B, where black has been added, replacing the color in position 1. More Gimp information: https://docs.gimp.org/2.10/en/gimp-palette-dialog.html
Some of the related content in brief: the former versions of GIMP had a “Save palette” command. Palettes were stored in a specific folder via the preferences pane. Easy to do and manage. It no longer exists.
To save the palette of an image, indexed or not, you must now import it from the image.
The “Palettes” dialog is dockable: from the Image menu, select Window, Dockable Dialogues, Palettes.
A few dozen more or less randomly chosen palettes are supplied with GIMP.“Import Palette” allows you to create a new palette from the colors in a gradient, image, or palette file.
Right-click in the space to the right of the illustrated palettes to call up the import option, or for palette editing. It is not necessary to index the image, this image was used in RGB mode. A palette name can be assigned, and if previously used, a number will be appended by the program.
The number of colors: the default is 256, you can set the number to any you choose. Gimp will try to create a palette by spacing the number of colors evenly across the range of the gradient or image. Each screengrab in the top row shows the initial selections for gradient or image, and the second row of screengrabs notes other changes made when choices were available and the results. White dots mark selections as seen while using the program.   Using the same image, indexed to 5 colors, the custom palette is rendered in a one-step process. The gradient seen in the first position on the top left was randomly assigned by the program and does not influence the results. The Columns selection number settings only influence the way the palette is displayed and have no effect on the way the palette is used. The lower the number, the larger the display size of each color unit.
Double-clicking on any palette color will magnify the palette view on the theme color background. Left-clicking on any color makes it available for drawing, the selection will have a dotted bounding line and the selected color will be assigned to the foreground position,  Right-clicking on a color results in these options.  The imported palette will be added to the Palettes dialog and is automatically saved in your personal palettes folder when you quit GIMP so that it will be available in future sessions.
In Arah, the color palette will always display the colors of the active layer. The working image contains colors intended for use in my designs.  In addition, please see the note from the developer in the comment at the end of the post.  The palette tools: A: if you press this icon the program will underline the colors actually used in the image, since all colors are used in this case, each color is underlined in either white or black in this instance  D: adds color(s) to the palette  B: removes unused colors in the above palette, it would restore the original colors
C: removes duplicate colors, not applicable in this instance
E: removes the last unused color, will not work if all colors are used.
Changing color positions in the palette: to switch the position of two colors in the palette, click the chosen color in the palette, move the cursor to the color you want to switch the position with, and press the left mouse button while holding the Ctrl key on the keyboard. In this instance, the color was duplicated in the new position.  Knitters designing for dbj are likely to work with a limited range of colors, often 3 or 4 max, in specific palette ranges to ready images for download.
If color separations for 3 or more colors are done in shades of grey in terms of technical details, you need a pattern image that is 8-bit greyscale, with each color in a range of the 8bit values. So for 4 colors, it would be 0-63 color 1; 64-127 color 2; 128-195 color 3; 196-255 color 4.
Binary images have only 2 possible intensity values, normally displayed as black and white with values of either 1 or 255 for white, and often 0 for black.
That convention may have led to the selection of white as color 1 in automatic separations such as the KRC Japanese one, where white is selected first. In a greyscale or color image, a pixel can take on any value between 0 and 255. Designing for fair isle, or when attempting to visualize and illustrate slip and tuck fabrics with frequent color changes, more colors may be required even though the final download will be in black and white. There is a quick way to add random colors assigned by the program and based on the initial palette: The magic wand tool allows you to work on consistently colored areas without having to select and outline each.
To alter a single color using the bucket tool, click on the wand, then on the color single color area you wish to change, it will become outlined by bounding lines.
Click on one of the colors in the expanded palette, and it will automatically appear in the foreground color position, and it may then be used to bucket fill the chosen area. Flatten the image using the merge down tool.
If the foreground color, in this case, white/0, needs to be changed, in order 
to choose all pixels in the foreground color, click on the wand, and use Tools > Select by color or Shift+W. This function works only on 8-bits per pixel images. Click on the color you wish to use to replace the ground, and bucket fill with the newly selected color. Flatten the image using the merge down tool.
Changing multiple color blocks in the same color could be selected by the tool, but filling each of them one at a time was required.  In Gimp a similar tool is the fuzzy select, which also allows for changing the color in a selected area or for selecting and changing all pixels in that color. Selected areas will also be outlined in dashed bounding lines. Bucket fill may then be used to replace color(s). The option is offered to choose either foreground or background for the fill.  Click on the rectangle select tool and then on any spot in the work area or on the image to set the image. The dashed lines will disappear.
In terms of saving the palette in Arah for future use, I saw no specific directions in the manual.
The color palette displayed is always the one used in the active layer. As a workaround: open the image, and the associated palette will be displayed. The repeat begins drawn 24 pixels in width, by 24 in height.
Select clear from the edit menu, or bucket fill area with white
If the size of your intended drawing area is different, choose the option Resize Image from the Image menu. With the chain link intact, the new canvases are created keeping the aspect ratio. Enter a new value for width/height, hit return, or move the cursor to the alternate value, and its number will automatically change to a matching one. Click OK to use the new canvas, or reset if you wish to return to the original 24 by 24 pixel one for a different edit.
With a broken chain link as one of the two values is altered, a preview is available. If both values are to be changed, break the chain link, enter the two values in turn, and a preview appears for each step. Ok is used again prior to saving, or choose reset to return to the previously used setting. Color separations can make specialty fabrics possible to knit which are outside the possibility of doing so simply by changing cam settings. Two instances are mosaics and DBJ where each color in each design row knits twice. Separating each may be done in two ways. The first method, convenient for longer repeats, requires that the result be elongated X 2, whether in the repeat design software or after download to the machine or using the elongation X2 function in the punchcard models. For illustration purposes here I will be working to create files that do not require elongation.
Mosaics and Mazes are constructed in similar ways and are sometimes referred to as floatless fair-isle even though technically speaking usually 2 stitch floats do appear on the purl side in the alternate color used with each color change.
Many such repeats may be knit using both the slip and tuck settings, the latter is the more interesting of the two on the purl side.
When learning structures it may be worth beginning with a published design.
Kathleen Kinder decades ago published two books, one with 24 stitch repeats, the other with 40 stitch repeats, with the separations included as well This, by Barbra Walker and intended for hand knitting, offers a huge library of designs for inspiration and conversion Following specific rules it is also possible to develop DIY repeats from scratch. That said, the repeat used in this blog post happens to have a known value of 12 pixels by 12Magnification in Gimp is achieved by selecting or typing in new percentages at the bottom of the window.
Entering and exiting the full screen may be controlled via the view menu To exit, it right-click at the very top of the window to expose menu options and select deselect full screen.  In Arah, if you press any number from 0-9 on the keyboard, you will change the zoom directly to that level (1 means 100%, 6 means 600%, 0 means 1000%). The plus + and minus keys- as well as the magnifying lens icons, will zoom in and out To use the entire space available in the window, choose Fit to Window from the view menu or select Ctrl+zero.
If working in more than one window this option makes repeats the most visible, scaling back can be done by counting the number of selections, helping to match the new picture magnification to the first.
Press the escape key on the keyboard to return to the original 100% view.
To work using the full screen, select the option from the view menu. To exit, right-click at the very top of the window to expose menu options, and select exit full screen Separating the design: ultimately the planned final graphic repeat would be a BW png used for electronic download, programmed as a fair isle one, but knit using tuck or slip settings, it may be drawn initially using only in those 2 colors. Black may need to be added to the palette selections.
One may always draw on a large canvas and then crop as needed, but as a starting point, it may be easier to simply match canvas size to the published repeat being used.
It is handy to have an extra column to help track image processing during the separation, the repeat above is identified as being composed of 12X12 pixels, one could begin with a 13X12 canvas.
A second way to provide the 13th column is to work using 2 windows, matching magnification,  and the second with a different, larger pixel measurement than the first. Copy the contents of the original work area and paste them into the larger canvas in the other window. Crop to new size if necessary.
To illustrate the two-window process, here the original BW repeat has already been drawn and elongated X2
A. Use the rectangle-select tool to capture the whole image in the first window, bounding lines in the colors of the palette in use will outline the selected area
B. Use the edit menu or command C to copy the selection, edit paste, or command V in the new window to place it.
When pasting on a different size ground, the bounding lines will also appear in the new image, the contents remain moveable,
C. Place the selection where desired on the new canvas,  when satisfied use the X, merge down tool to flatten it.
The quicker method begins with a canvas one pixel wider than the repeat, 13X12.
Adjust magnification, for comfortable viewing in the editing process.
View: show grid 2
Colors: set the number of colors to 6, and adjust the #1 color to black, white is in position 0 in the palette by default
Activate the pencil tool, and draw a vertical line on the far right in an easy-to-see color choice other than white or black
Using black, fill in pixels for your first draft of the pattern repeat
Image multiply YX2, resulting in 13X24
Using the pencil tool fill in the first 2 design rows followed by every other pair with white. Magnify image A to a comfortable work viewing size.
B and C: using the rectangle select tool, with the left mouse button, place the pointer on the purple pixel, drag the mouse across each pair of marked rows, release the mouse, and use Command I to color invert, and merge down to eliminate the bounding box.
The purple pixels will change color as well, making it easier to track what rows have been altered already.
D: crop the image, removing the row with colored cells for the final repeat
If for some reason you are processing an image that is color reversed, the steps are identical, but tuck or slip stitch fabrics, black pixels or punched holes knit, white pixels or unpunched squares tuck or slip. For this reason, the cropped final result would need to be color inverted prior to knitting or punching holes. This separation for 2-color DBJ results in its potential use in many fabrics other than DBJ and may be performed by some programs used to download multiple color patterns to the machines prior to knitting the fabric. One such fabric is drop-stitch lace.
Punchcard machine users would need to separate the colors manually, or if Dak is available, the separation may be done using the program and a corresponding template may be printed as a guide to punching holes.
This method is the automatic default one for any 2-color DBJ knit on the Passap.
Each color in each design row will be knit with each pair of consecutive color passes. Completing one design row containing 3 colors will require 6 carriage passes, 4 colors 8, and so on.
The built-in color separation in electronic machines wherein each of only 2 colors in each design row knits only once does not apply when using more than two colors,  though it is possible using Dak or by downloading a special card reader technique to program separately from the design when using the Passap E6000 in addition to the pattern repeat.
This separation of a 2 color pattern results in an elongated version of the design regardless of any dbj backing used.
Begin with a 2 color image,  an extra column of pixels is added here as well:
A: multiply YX4 to 13X48
B: mark alternating pairs of rows in the extra column with a contrasting color
C: following the color cues on the far right column, on rows with no added color use the pencil tool to replace black pixels with white, leaving only the orange cells
D: on rows marked with the third color replace the orange pixels with white, leaving only the black pixels
E: crop the image eliminating the extra column
adjust the remaining orange color to black
index the result to B/W, and the image is ready to save and use The difference between single repeats for each type of fabric, no further elongation is required. A: mosaic, B: DBJUsing layers in Gimp opens up the possibility of several color separations for fabrics using only 2 colors.

Both img2track and Ayab are capable of opening 2 color images.
In img2track this is what would appear, after the download the KRC function needs to be activated in the knitting machine.  Ayab: the repeat should be programmed in width equal to the number of needles planned to be in use. The color change happens as the file is loaded into the program, the ribber classic option is used to render results that would match the KRC knitting machine selection after an img2track download. Here the repeat is also tiled in height.  My personal preference is to work with images designed in black and white. With the 910 presently stored, my blog swatches are knit on a 930 using img2track.

A note for Mac users like myself using desktops with the M1 chip and Mac OS Monterey. Img2 track requires an FTDI driver for its download cable, on June 6 finally released a beta version of a more recent driver, I do not plan to install it at this moment, function in the upcoming Ventura OS would be unknown.   Ayab does not launch automatically. These are the steps necessary to run the program, following suggestions by Adrienne Hunter via the Ayab FB group:
open a Terminal window (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type these two lines:
cd /Applications/AYAB.app
./Contents/MacOS/AYAB
The app may also be found and then opened via using Spotlight search if you prefer  Once the program is quit unless you choose to keep the terminal icon
in your dock, it will disappear and the above process will need to be repeated. Once the text has been entered, and Ayab has been launched, a message similar to this will appear, showing your last log in. To launch Ayab again, simply use the up arrow key and hit return to repeat the command  Creating an AYAB desktop shortcut for Mac that will work without opening the terminal each time
Using Finder, open Applications and find AYAB. Right-click on AYAB and select “Show Package Contents”.

Locate “AYAB” under MacOS. While holding down the command and option buttons, click and drag that icon to the desktop. This will create an ayab shortcut that does the terminal stuff for you you can change the icon by copying and pasting the icon image in “get info” but it works fine without it. These icons will appear in your dock after double clicking on the icon   The ayab window opens with only the load image option highlighted Click on the load image file to open an image, and the remaining features of the program will now be available If you quit ayab, the terminal window remains active Quitting terminal called up this window for me only the first time I did so.

ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 2

My previous post, ArahPaint meets Gimp in knit design 1, provided some information based on the assumption the reader had previous experience with a paint program, more specifically, Gimp, and an understanding of the development of knit repeats for various stitch types and techniques. At the time I had planned on expanding it. The information included some points on the following topics:
Magnification
Grids

Drawing in repeat
Image duplicate X
Drawing lines
Color exchange
Image scaling
Fill with custom brush repeat
Designing a tuck and a lace mesh repeat
Dividing large images
Returning to the topic now, I am including more information on designing repeats for knits that are by necessity limited in size and resolution, and am exploring some of the new features.
The updated program may be downloaded from https://www.arahne.si
The company provides a thorough manual that has been amended with the addition of 14 pages to include recently added features/ changes  https://www.arahne.eu/pdf/apaint4-EN.pdf
The present menu options in Arah:    Examining the toolboxWhen positioning the mouse pointer over any tool and a brief period of hovering over it, the information on the tool becomes visible as a brightly colored rectangle. The name of the tool appears below its pointer, its keyboard shortcut is also displayed to its right.  Selecting the tool changes the color of the box containing it to a darker grey as seen here for the draw circle tool on the left The “empty” shapes may also be used to highlight specific spots in pre-drawn charts or images while controlling the size of the line, seen here over the square tool.   Double-clicking on the shape drawing tools will fill shapes with color, enabling drawing each of them with color or fill The foreground color in both programs determines the color used to draw. In Arah, the foreground color (black) is drawn with the left mouse button, and the background color is drawn with the right mouse button (white), making it possible to work with any chosen pair of colors without the need to constantly change the drawing color positions. There are other operations in the manual where the use of middle mouse clicks is suggested. In the magic mouse, Apple has eliminated it. There are some third-party downloads available for anyone wishing to restore it. 
Options for tool
s appear below the toolbox once a specific tool is chosen, they may apply to only one tool or to several.
Rectangle select in Arah will have a moving dashed colored lines bounding box formed around the selected area.   Placing the pointer inside the area will move the selection. Moving the pointer to a corner using the left mouse button on the dotted lines of the dashed rectangle will resize it.
Clicking on the merge down/drop selection tool will remove the dashed outline. In the drawing mode, the default for standard drawing is indicated by a pencil. Clicking on it with the size set to one pixel brings up options shown in A. If you set the width of a line to be more than 1 pixel, then you can choose the shape of the pen, which influences the look of the starting and ending points of the line and the shape of a single-click drawn object.
Line width sets the width of lines, rectangles/squares, ellipses/circles, arcs, polygons, and brushes, B.
The options appear when a number greater than one is entered. If you break the chain’s link by clicking on the chain icon, you can set the width in the x and y direction independently, C.

Gimp still fails to create square pencil brushes accurately in consistent increments in size, leaving the only option for using the desired shapes to be saved in preference folders for repeated use or to work temporarily from the clipboard.
The built-in circle brush may be used, with the following results for values entered from one to eight Other small shapes can be drawn by filling in individual pixels. Using the rectangle tool, and a variety of other means, patterns are saved for future use or from the clipboard (until one quits the program), or in the preferences pattern folder, becoming a handy feature for filling in backgrounds or pattern segments for specialty fabrics.
Both programs share chain links that may be kept closed to preserve aspect ratio in the designs, or broken to allow for disparate pixel settings.
In Arah, a personal brush library of pngs may be saved in a personal folder for repeated use.
Drawing in repeat makes for easy creation of a filled canvas including pattern shifts, for example, the punchcard repeats are a fixed 24 stitches wide and a minimum of 32 rows for the card to rotate continuously. An even number of repeats in height will produce a correct brick punchcard configuration.  For any DIY pattern design, it is helpful to understand some of the rules for the specific knit fabric and how smaller repeats need to align in width and height.  
Users of electronic knitting machines can isolate the smallest repeat, use that, or tile it for use on a specific number of needles in work.
Line drawing may be set to preferred widths. The options associated with the chain link next to the line field allow for changing horizontal and vertical directions independently by breaking the chain link and typing in desired X and Y values.
Each drawing tool can use the additional modes displayed for the pencil icon. The brush menu uses gradients in the direction of the gradient effect, which may be used to produce pixelated lines or borders, or set to apply to the whole image, here the polygon tool is used. It creates a series of straight lines that are connected. If solid-color pencils are used, coloring the shape will not leak out into the ground.  To start and end lines, click the left mouse button, to end them release the mouse button, and press the right mouse button to stop drawing connected lines. The width is set at 5   
At any point pattern fill may also be added in variable patterns, here using the stitch tool set at variable lengths Easy and fast dithering effects to part of an image or all of it, here an 80X80 pixel canvas is used along with gradient fill on what begins as a square filled with a solid colored ground
Freehand drawing is achieved by activating the pencil tool.
Rectangles, squares, and ellipses may be drawn from outlined to filled.
Double-clicking on the icon will activate the fill function, doing so again will return it to empty shapes, and one may easily toggle between them in the same design. Wider lines or filled shapes may be set to be solid or gradient fill. The process is easy and quick.
Keep in mind while having fun drawing that especially when you enter the territory of multiple colors per row in machine knitting the color separations for programming them in any machine become more complex, and are far easier in electronic machines if software such as Ayab, img2track (my preferred), or DAK with their respective cable connections for download are available. Dak allows for a print template of the separations which may be saved and in turn be pixel-redrawn or punched for use outside its universe.
This is an 80-stitch design, committing to it for knitting a scarf, 80 stitches are likely if knit on a 4.5 mm machine to yield somewhere between 7 and 10 inches in width. Tiling in Gimp, or drawing in repeat in Arah helps visualize the full piece and estimate the minimal number of rows to be knit based on the gauge while remembering that 6 carriage passes will be used to complete each design row unless using the heart of Pluto separation in Ayab or separation B in Dak are used. Here 800 design rows are represented. Changing colors in the image further helps one decide whether it is worth committing to knitting it.
The new color test image, also 80 pixels by 80: The paint bucket tool Gimp in the latest update no longer works on specific areas of the design, but rather, fills the whole canvas. The fuzzy select tool is now used to fill in isolated areas or switched to select by color to fill all areas drawn in that specific color. Selections will be outlined with a bounding line A, bucket fill is used to alter the selection B. Click on the rectangle tool and then in the working window outside the image to remove them and set the results prior to exporting them. Selections are filled with the foreground color.
Selecting and replacing all the red will also fill in individual, unconnected pixels in that color, which in the past may have required manual “cleanup” In Arah simply click on each area to be filled in with the new color sequentially. There are, in addition, other fill options in Arah: 
Fill to border fills in all pixels in each area selected no matter which color they are until the background color is reached, in this case, white
The whole image option works on foreground color selection including in those pixelated areas where pixels are not connected here as well. For 2 color knitting and downloading to knitting machines, depending on the software, the best files may be those created in BW indexed mode. Here a square is filled with a gradient to start with, and then the fill option is used again, taking the dither to the border of the image resulting in different densities. Note that threshold and fill % can be individually set to vary the results.  

Changing single colors globally is easily done by adjusting the palette for the specific color. Double-clicking on either foreground or in this illustration the background color will load a palette window including it. There are 2 ways to alter the shade, one is by moving the cross-hair, outlined by a circle, and the second by using the slider, pointed to by an arrow. The new color is then changed after clicking OK, in this case altering the foreground color, no need for using the paint bucket.  The spray tool, on the left, may appear similar in appearance to the color picker in Gimp, shown on the right, but functions very differently, creating a spray in the foreground color. The shapes of the pixels and their size may be set in varied values, but the function is of limited use in small repeats.  The way to activate the color picker in Arah is to press the Shift key, the mouse pointer will change to the familiar dropper and then click on the pixel in the desired color to select it.

The stitch-tool is an interesting new addition, is useful in drawing points to break up long floats, ie in fair isle knitting, where floats longer than 5 stitches are not recommended. The provided repeat, intended for plain weave, is fixed in size, 2 stitches wide, and familiar to machine knitters as the one found in basic punchcards provided by manufacturers, with the card often numbered one in the packet. The repeat filled the card, with no breaks in the pattern. There was a whole publication on using CARD 1 in 100 fabric variations by Kate Armitage.
Using the tool:  changing the pencil size or leaving it at 1 does not have any effect on the results, the pattern is a fixed alternating 1X1.
The arrows determine in which direction the stitch line will follow the shape. The length is set to the distance between the two points in any direction.
To enable the tool, click on the box to the left of its icon. The resulting effect depends on the base image size and may be used on more than one color. Here the effect was used on filled circles Using the options on full square canvases yields results that can easily be translated into knitting patterns. Note that the effect, however, does not extend to borders in all directions. The saved “stitched” image can in turn be cropped to meet knitting repeat needs.
Some effects: without enabling the plain weave repeat Engaging the repeat: the intermittent stripes may also be easily rotated If no direction is highlighted, the bands form horizontally by default. After spaced bands are drawn, clicking in the horizontal spaces between them will form secondary motifs.  Square grids can appear to be suitable for tuck or slip stitch patterns,  but the individual repeat would need to be isolated, and those horizontal lines would need to be converted to solid color as well, representing all-knit rows.
A workable reduced repeat:  Testing its alignment may be achieved by tiling in Gimp and drawing in repeat in Arah. There is another quick preview for doing so, the drawback is only that any repeat appears to be multiplied by a fixed X10 in height and width. Here the 4X5 original is repeated to 40X50 pixels an 8X5 design repeats to 80X50 pixels If you prefer to work with colored shapes rather than black and white ones, whether intending to print punchcard repeats in black and white or to use the file for download to electronic machines as a BW png, the easiest way to create the repeat is to begin to do so using a single color on a white ground or the reverse, and then to use the select by color tool in Gimp to bucket fill the color with black, or adjusting the color palette in Arah.
Large image color reductions or steps for color separations for more advanced fabrics aside from the size of the repeat require their own post.
A beginning idea for future discussions on methods for performing them and the question as to whether the presence of white or specific hues in pattern palettes matter in downloads

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

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

DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 3

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

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

Multiple color drop stitch lace using img2track and more

WORK IN PROGRESS

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

16X32

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

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

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

Using Layers in Gimp for color separations

In December 2022 I began to experiment with layer transparency please see the post Gimp Update for Mac 3.  Over the years I have developed personal methods for creating color separations for many types of knit fabrics, born from lots of experimentation when published resources were absent or extremely limited.
I continued to share methods as they evolved from increasing familiarity with specific programs or as I was introduced to new ones.
Since I began to use paint programs including Gimp I had very limited experience using layers and did not consider how they might be used in color separations for BW knit repeats.
In my last post on fantasy fair isle ribber fabrics, Claudia Scarpa shared her layers method and subsequently published a Youtube video for obtaining a separation for a very similar fabric to the one I developed beginning with a large design motif that in her instance was also placed specifically on a larger ground.
Her method for separations in 2 color work sparked my interest in using the steps to yield knitting patterns for varied textures and stitch types, beginning with dbj.
Using
will display layer options in my Mac on the bottom right side of the screen A simple geometric shape is scaled in Gimp to twice its height, check that Quality Interpolation is set to None. I have sometimes had issues with scaling in Gimp, particularly when working with small repeats. The cause appears to have been that the Quality, Interpolation, needs to be set to None and may randomly change while working through several steps in processing any image or after a program restart. Arahpaint scaling is still an excellent option for knitters who have it available.
the white ground of the resulting image is rendered transparent by using Color to Alpha and will constitute the first layer for the separation process Select New Layer from the Layers menu (see chart), choosing the background or foreground color so as to have a white screen. It will share properties with the alpha repeat such as pixel count, magnification, and the grid view if used.
Use the pencil tool to draw a repeat that will be used to fill the new layer, followed by using the rectangle tool to select what will become the pattern used to bucket fill the whole layer.
The latter may be the smallest possible selection or even that of complete rows as in my chart. Copy the selection, it will be saved to the clipboard and remain available for filling from pattern unless the program is quit unless it is saved as a pattern for future use.
After using the rectangle select tool, remember to click in the window outside the image to set the layer prior to using the bucket fill tool in the pattern fill setting or the whole layer will simply fill in with a single color. In the layers dialogue, use the mouse to drag and drop the alpha image icon for the triangle layer onto the newly created one. The selected icon will appear surrounded by a border when chosen, a new icon will appear during the step.  Both layers measure the same pixel dimensions, no placement adjustments are necessary. The mode, highlighted here is changed in a later step.  Color invert the new image  Click on the downward pointer to the right of Normal and select Difference. The result is a repeat that may then be saved and used doubled in height to knit DBJ in a variety of settings.
Elongation after download can be avoided by working with the same initial image scaled in height X4 and following the same process, saving and using the repeat on the far right. The same separation was achieved using other methods in the post on fantasy fair isle.
Possible DBJ settings on Brother machines using the elongated final repeat are shown in this grab, part of the postEOR refers to a repeat that would require double length after the download, the same machine settings apply to any image created in a double-length format prior to download. Are punchcard knitters left out? In the post on the color separation used for the KRC equivalent separation for a punchcard two results were presented, the full card and the starting design shown with the color reversed repeat of the above. The process begins with obtaining the double-length separation after saving the last file on the right as png discard any files still open. Open the saved png and process it the same way, changing the ground Save the last file as png. Punchcard knitters would need to tile the fileX4 in width and in height X2 but the final repeat appears different than that in the punchcard post, the proof of success or failure is in the knitting. If the swatch is knit on electronic models, the first preselection row is made from left to right, as it would be if using the built-in color separation. The main bed for this fabric after the preselection row is set to slip in both directions, the ribber, using an even number of needles, is also set to slip in both directions with lili buttons. The 8X32 png The result from repeating it twice indicates the separation indeed works. When a color separation is downloaded it is used as one would a fair isle. If the motif is representational and direction on the knit side matters, any repeats may have to be mirrored horizontally if they are automatically reversed by either your software prior to download or your machine model after it.

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