DAK DBJ color separations, templates, other software

Over the years I have written on an assortment of methods for color separation in knits including DBJ, a summary post with links to previous shares: 2017/10/26/dbj-and-color-separations-some-previous-posts-links/
and in the-start-of-a-blog-index/

A variety of textures and patterns may be used to achieve fabrics that are very different in appearance, using a very simple pattern along with cam button or lock setting changes. The first chart was generated at that time using Intwined Pattern Studio, a program that for a time appeared to be very promising and then moved on to lack of updates for Mac making it useless in 2013, followed by none for Windows as well, with no successful use of it reported in forums in years, but apparently one may still purchase it The manual color separation method for punchcard machines.
The elongated X2 repeat version of the triangle drawn in Gimp As for more than 2 colors per row, performing the color separations may be achieved manually, various software is now available for performing the work in instants. Ayab offers an elegant color separation solution, heart-of-Pluto, that will knit single passes for each color per row on the front of the knit, resulting in 3 color patterns with limited design stretch, and no worries about the placement of one color over any stitches preceding it in the same color on the previous pass. The difference in the same design being knit with the standard, elongated version, allowing for two passes with the same color prior to each color change and the Pluto version.  knit using img2track, the vertical stretch is manually set to X2, A “hack” 2021/01/24/img2track_multiple-colors-per-row-dbj-each-color-knitting-only-once/

There is a Russian punchcard site that will allow entering personal repeats or selecting one from their extensive library, where it is possible to obtain related 2 color dbj separations as well. The punchcard color separation may be created manually, a slow process, while the punchcard templates in Dak are achieved with a few, quick clicks of a mouse. The repeat may be created as a graphic file, in my case a png created with Gimp, the elongation in Arah because Gimp fails to scale small repeats cleanly. The image may then be opened as a graphic file, stitch and row counts should match, save the stp 

if experimenting with changing selections and this window appears it is OK to click on No The separation methods in DAK:
Method C separates each color row into separate rows of knitting, rows do not have to be repeated in pairs, the double-length switch will need to be used in Japanese knitting machines The elongated triangles repeat template is different from what would be produced with the above set at double length, may be used as is to produce a variety of fabrics including quiltingYarn choice and design make a big difference. Here the yarn is really far too thin, and the repeat too narrow in width, but the possible result is illustrated. The main bed is set to slip in both directions throughout. The ribber setting needs to be set to slip in both directions for every other pair of rows. When the ribber slips, the main bed will knit the color that will create the pockets, where there are many single stitches selected here, the KC was set to KC1. When the color is changed and the ribber is set to knit again, stitches in that color will knit on both beds, sealing the fabric in those areas and forming a solid color background on the reverse side. Here the white forms the pockets, the floats after a pair of passes are seen in this photo. Because the yarn is so thin there is a considerable grin through on both sides, the areas marked with arrows indicate where the white pockets were lightly stuffed with yarn ends     For a review of quilting on machines including Passap see 2018/02/15/revisiting-machine-knit-quilting/, and using a second knit carriage with a modified sinker plate for knitting stitches on main bed only, making ribber settings fixed throughout, and allowing for tension adjustments for each color yarn.

Method A works on pairs of rows. If the pattern does not consist of identical pairs of rows there are likely to be yarn error messages. The original triangle elongated to 8X16 If pngs are created outside the program, they may be doubled in length unless the repeat is designed that way. The associated menu options in Dak when the plan is to work in double jacquard How the different jacquard setups process the specific repeats:
Method B creates the same separation as the default built-in KRC one in Japanese electronics. If knitting DBJ it may be used with dak if the pattern is downloaded as fair isle but the machine will then needs to be set for dbj. If additional colors are used, pairs of rows will follow a single pass for color1. The print preview templates, if generated within the stitch count restriction for use on punchcards, may be used as guides for punching the required holes, this would be the card for that 8X8 triangle repeat, a tad shy of the recommended 36 rows, The elongated version template Passap card reader techniques saved from long ago experiments Method D separates each color into a separate reader card and is used to download to the PEI or Passap, appears to use superimposing of layers, and to match method 4 in my post.
Method E is suitable for machines with a color changer on each side, like the Brother CK 35
Method F is a Half Milano separation. Each pattern row is separated into a pair of passes for each color, but the second row for each color has no patterning, so the rubber stitches only knit as the carriage returns to the left side, a possible way of creating repeats for drop stitch lace on Brother machines. The elongated triangle template was split into 2 pages for viewing, they are combined in this image This may be the associate Passap Reader technique, I have no way to test it Processing the template using numbers: a table is created twice the length of the 8X16 triangle repeat, followed by hiding the 32 odd-numbered rows, positioned in front of the scaled punchcard template, stitch markings are traced the rows are then unhidden, the repeat is checked, matched here to the F jacquard separation in DakThe numbers table is processed in Gimp to obtain the png for knitting the now 24X64 pattern  Proof of concept swatches: the long stitch in 2 colors,  and the pattern executed as a tubular FI knit: I had yarn issues, hence the dropped stitches. Both swatches were knit to approximately the same point in the pattern repeats, there are obvious quality differences in width and length. In tubular knits, there are differences in the width and height of the knit on each side. The front is actually a slip stitch with floats, drawing the fabric in, while the ribber knits every stitch every other row. With a good choice of yarn and pattern, loosening the tension on the top bed may ease this problem. As often happens, casting on and binding off need special considerations ie to allow for any fabric stretch when off the machine or in order to leave a tubular knit open at either or both ends if that is the goal. More info on tubular knits including on Passap

DAK lace module 2, template use, other software

I am taking a break from lace, the two posts so far on using the module reflect my own experiences outside the program’s environment. The latter will continue to be the focus of my future posts when exploring the use of the software, with testing specifically aimed at adapting or using any of the Stitch designer features and output on Brother knitting machines.

Almost a decade ago I had a temporary leaf lace obsession, and it appears to have resurfaced. This pattern was offered in a Japanese machine knitting magazine, with no accompanying MK repeat. When transferring stitches by hand it is possible to move multiple stitches within a single row as well as to move stitches in opposite directions within the same row, making the published repeat executable When automating the repeat edits are possible and very easy using the lace module, these first drafts were created in Numbers,  I have to admit the first time I tried to knit both the associated png, mirrored and not, I experienced patterning errors. Whether due to operator fatigue, static, or any other possible cause, on a different day both designs knit successfully, and my appreciation of the module is growing steadily. The results for this, a complex shape, are quick and awesome when compared to the amount of time it would take to draft the pattern outside the program.
The design process, beginning with Dak: in this instance, the lace tool was used with what I will call the drag and stop method, initially on the fabric texture using the smart symbols.  At any time during the drawing process, several image view options are available and may be changed back and forth by deselecting features in this menuAn stp was created, the template is marked 74 rows in height, filled in as the stp was generated, right side facing Numbers and Gimp reduced the template to a png 14 stitches wide by 52 rows long, needed to be mirrored using the number one button on the 930 for successful knitting, matches the original illustration. Dak makes slight modifications very easy. The untested brick repeat, 28X104, developed using Arah followed by its png changing that central shape
The amended design drawn in repeat in dak visualizing the knit, The print preview template: and converted for use on Brother electronics using Numbers and Gimp the resulting png, 14 stitches by 68 rows, also knit using the number one button on the 930 the proof of concept swatch The brick repeat developed in Arah, now 28 stitches by 136 rows,  its png comparing the initial three knit results for differences, the samples were knit using the same yarn at the same tension A test for the second brick repeat, here visualizing results with a screengrab of the stp. The test swatch is for a single repeat width, the initial yarn used ran out, hence the color change, the second yarn was thinner and broke, but there is enough to get a sense as to how the overall alignment of the knit shapes will appear, including that horizontal chevron between the shifting leaves. The png required mirroring when used on the 930. I became curious about reverse engineering from punchcard to an stp file: my first choice was of a “straightforward” but slow to knit pattern, 34 LC passes are made before any knitting rows follow.  Ayab users have access to a huge library of knit-ready pngs, this was one, it also happens to be 24 stitches wide, so suitable for punchcard users. The published repeat as given is shown on the left, mirrored for use on my 930, left and right transfers are then marked in red and green respectively to check transfer placements. The right half of the image is then copied and dropped down a single row reaching the necessary configuration for Dak, allowing for the stp to be created. deselecting yarn colors in Dak provides a clearer view of transfers the 24X36 original png:  A proof of concept swatch: the yarn was too thin for the many transfers and broke, so on the right, there are fewer stitches than initially planned. At the bottom there is a single instance of 2 rows knit after all the transfers, there are 6 rows knit after each transfer series in the remainder of the swatch. Color changes could be added in multiple places to interact with the wavy shapes The template for the stp as first attempted is something quite different but would work if the pairs of blank rows between pairs of transfers are eliminated over its length except at the very top
it would need to be drawn eliminating the pairs of blank rows between transfers to match the original repeat because all those carriage passes are consecutive. Drafts with no blank rows between alternating transfers are not accepted by the program and ruled out in any template preview as well. The complexity of working with a “simple” repeat: over the years I accumulated a notebook full of copies from Japanese magazine pages with what I believed to offer interesting potential, this repeat happened to be one. The markings for the knit rows on the right, and the two blank rows at the bottom identify it as suitable for Studio punchcard machines, and it would appear to be easy to translate for knitting on Brother thanks to those 2 blank rows between transfer cell markings. Developing the Brother repeat in Numbers for beginning with transfers to the left. The repeat is recognizable as a mesh variant, more information for mesh design repeats may be found in the post, the lace carriage is used for 2 passes, and then for 4 passes alternately the repeat on the right was created in Gimp.  The 12X18 png was mirrored for use on my 930, some cables were added. A 1X1 crossing in the thin yarn used in the sample would have been nearly invisible. The placement, in this case, is at the top of the full repeat, after the first knit row before returning to transfers for design row 1, an easy way to track the hand technique. The 2X2 crossing used might need help with definition and placement in a wider vertical knit strip Creating the stp: the size of the png was used to create the image file, which required cropping, in Dak this would be the menu language after activating the proper tools. the stp size is 12X16, The template generated for a Brother punchcard machine illustrates the problems and some of the confusion if the template repeat is used for actual knitting, especially on the punchcard machines. Drawing the eyelet and dragging the mouse one cell to the left is the intuitive way to draw for transfers to the left. The symbols appear to be right-side facing by default and if they are in turn mirrored by the program prior to saving, when the templates are generated, the intent for use of the design would match. The numbers on the left are in the punchcard template, adjusted by cropping the two extra rows in the Brother electronic template by the software, do not reflect the actual design row numbers. The starting row is wrong for the Brother lace carriage operation from the left to produce the first row transfers to the left in actual knitting. As far as determining sequences for knit row placement, that is left up to the punchcard knitter’s experimentation. The minimum repeat for a punchcard to roll continuously is 36 rows, that fact needs to be considered if punching cards. The repeat shift for the first transfers to happen toward the left is illustrated on the right.  As initially given, with the lace carriage starting on the left, the first transfer row would be to the right. In many cases, this may not matter, but in this instance, where the knit rows happen after 2 or 4 LC passes respectively, the template offers another instance of the fact that the knitter using it needs to have previous understanding and experience in creating the particular stitch type. This version does not have an accompanying swatch. Analyzing the electronic template for interactive knitting: it is correct in marking rows for LC operation from the left with the first transfer row made to the right, matching the above chart.  The LC operation is continuous Eliminating the rows marked with red would yield a workable punchcard repeat, with loss of the cues for the proper sequence for LC passes.
In this case, it would be best to redraw the adjusted electronic repeat prior to punching any holes.
Getting that first row to transfer to the left can be achieved by mirroring the first stp draft, using the second selection,  the resulting electronic template yields the repeat with transfers in the direction intended, as seen in the proof of concept swatch and its repeat For good measure, the repeat is also drawn as stitches and produced the punchcard template with a first blank row identical to that generated when using symbols Using the pencil tool to draw the transfers differently resulted in a series of error alerts, so not an option.

For Brother knitters mirroring the self-drawn stp and altering the electronic template may be the way to go. Also, be alert that Brother and Toyota punchcard knitters cannot knit interactively because the interactive knit rows present in the mylars cannot be present in the punchcards, a fact that is acknowledged by the software company nearing the end of the content on the lace module. No mention is made of the fact that for successful knitting the knit carriage on Brother needs to be set to KCI or II for the pattern to advance properly during interactive knitting and that those rows need to be omitted if entering the pattern on a mylar sheet or are using the repeat for download to a machine outside the DAK environment and you prefer not to have the knit carriage selecting needles as well as the lace carriage.
In summary, the information on the tool presented in the manual for the module:

 

DAK lace module 1, template use, other software

Working with lace designs: lace poses interesting challenges in machine knitting. The name is associated with a variety of fabrics, but transfer lace is the specific topic for the moment.
Reminders with respect to transfer lace knitting:
in Studio simple lace the transfers and knitting occur for each row of the design  with each pass of the carriage
transfer lace patterns in Studio km begin with 2 blank rows, end with markings for transfers
Brother transfer lace begins with needle selection markings for transfers, ends with two blank rows. The knit carriage does not advance patterning rows unless the change knob is used to select needles as well.
Hand knitting charts typically illustrate the knit side, while in machine knitting the knitter is working looking at the purl side, so if charting for duplicating the same transfers, the HK pattern requires mirroring
The Brother lace carriages usually operate from the left, Toyota from the right
Some download programs automatically flip patterns horizontally, great if you are working with texts in most cases, but a consideration if you wish to control the direction of other stitch type formations, and lace patterns drawn in the program may need to be flipped as well in order to knit properly on Brother with the lace carriage operating from the left side
When I design, out of habit, I try if possible to work with repeats suitable for punchcard machines as well.

Facebook members who participate in machine knitting forums have access to the information generously shared by members. Sheila West published a video on drawing lace repeats on a DAK knit stitch symbols ground as opposed to the more traditional charting using lace symbols on a blank design grid, and there is also an associated downloadable PDF.

Softbyte support has been responsive and at times helpful in communicating with me, reviewing issues I encountered.

I prefer to download manuals for software when the option is available making it possible to review them when not running the program. In my enthusiasm to do so, it appears I downloaded the manual version offered in the last tab, which happens to be for section 5, graphic design studio, which by default was not helpful in using the lace module. When I initially looked for help, the information that became available was for the wrong module, 5. In using the program on Oct 21 I have not been able to replicate that issue when opening other modules.
When the program is first installed, the manuals are listed in a series of tabs, ending with that for section 5. For Stitch Designer, choose section 3, the manual appears and a way to download the associated PDF is also provided.  There are 5 help files and 5 manual files. They don’t interact at all and work completely independently from each other, can be opened from DesignaKnit or from a file browser window. 
Interactive choices using the help menu: Contents  Manual: When manuals are chosen in any module, there is an option offered to download the associated pdf by clicking on the arrow key specific page numbers based on the index may be entered and jumped to.
Tutorials: Update: The lace module is an extremely attractive solution for speeding up the lace design process whether from published charts or DIY. The left mouse button is used to draw as usual, but the right mouse button is used when drawing shared transfers in fine lace on Brother, or simple lace in Studio km.
My initial experiment and observations:
each time the program opens a new session, the normal drawing pattern appears. Selecting the Lace tool icon in the left menu bar will change the default palette to include the necessary symbols. In working with stitch symbols this is the range of available, It is possible to show any repeat tiled as well. For lace the number of stitches and rows should be close to those required by the design, its overall size may be trimmed if needed when the design is completed.
The left mouse is used to apply the symbols, I have read the right mouse has a different function and is used to draw shared stitches in Brother fine lace or in filling in simple lace designs for Studio machine models.
To select the lace mode simply click on the small icon on the left menu bar, a grey border on its left and the upper edge will indicate it is active, the palette and cursor will change. The designer may enter patterns on this view as well, but I prefer to work with symbols
It is best to begin testing with a small repeat when exploring new techniques, find his format easier to use than drawing on “stitches”. There are several options for the canvas ground color, the default is in blue. As a first step, saved as an stp, Dak opened my saved file as pictured in this view.  Wrong approach: The pencil tool must be active to continue to draw, left mouse click to place symbol, right mouse click to erase, clicking on any symbol in any one row will call up pertinent information on its location in the repeat
Is there another way to draw symbols while working on a lace design file?  use the lace tool, using the pencil tool with each type of lace symbol is not recommendedDAK row numbers do not refer to design rows, they reference row counts as would be seen in any row counter registering carriage passes
Other views for the repeat: as yarn colors and as stitch symbol palette If a symbol is missing from the drawing, the program alerts the knitter to the error.  Here there are no eyelets represented.  There was no warning for the error in the last row of the test stp, where in the last row two stitches were being moved in opposite directions on the same row. If the content is considered accurate, this window will appear, the safe button will be highlighted, click OK I found this lack of warning for some errors in later designs as well, it is a topic under review by the developer. When choosing machine knitting options lace is not offered as one,  fair isle is used To print a template for use on another machine the stp file may not be used for copying to clipboard and converting to stitches in another program. In the print menu, saves are possible for templates akin to graph paper references for working further on both electronic and punchcard machines. For the electronic printout, the choice of the machine appears to need to be set to 950i wrong side facing is chosen for the purl side view.  Stitch pattern print previews, using default settings for layout:
the stitch pattern picture was basically a numbered graph paper image with no content, pattern text, and not particularly useful
other previews:
the suggested electronic repeat: The templates for electronic models have 4 rows between transfer sequences rather than 2 as is usual for Brother. They are needed for interactive knitting where the KC passes are represented onscreen as well, Dak knitters likely set the knit carriage change knob to select needles on KCI or KCII.
For punchcard end-use, change the machine setting for print preview to Brother/Knitking standard punchcard, click ok. When you choose Fair Isle, DAK will reverse your design and that may mean that there will be two eyelets side by side or double stitches transferring because the transfers are being made in the wrong direction. DAK will invert the pattern from left to right if it has the knit method Fair Isle or Wrong Facing. If it has the Right Facing method it won’t be flipped. The knitter still needs to sort out whether right side facing or wrong side facing makes any difference in their particular brand machine outside the Dak environment. The need for added mirroring for correct transfers depends on the download program ie Ayab mirrors any programmed image automatically, or the specific brand machine ie punchcard vs. electronics may behave differently. An easy test is to use the repeat on a small swatch, if side by side empty needles appear on the needle bed, the pattern needs to be reversed. Any lace designs suitable for a punchcard machine, when they are knit on my 930 require mirroring unless the png is saved mirrored horizontally in the paint program used to create it prior to download to the machine.  the repeat:
The numbers on the left correspond to carriage passes, not design rows. While the electronic template represents the interactive kitting repeat and differentiates between rows for use of the LC and KC, leaving the KC rows unlabeled, that distinction is not made for punchcards in any way, and marked numbers are not in sequence. Published Brother punchcards contain additional symbol columns for added guidance on settings and carriage passes.
Assuming the knitter knows whether the programmed repeat will need to be mirrored or not to knit properly on their specific model knitting machine, the 24 stitch punchcard version should work on both model machines.
The numbering on this punchcard template skips 2 numbers for knit rows between transfer repeat segments as seen in the first sample, and in this later repeat, the number sequence interruptions are marked in red. In punching long cards especially, renumbering the whole would make the repeat easier to follow. This stp pattern was also created using the pencil tool in combination with symbols. In the print preview, there were 2 errors in the Dak printouts, the three blank rows rather than 2 in the outlined section between transfers, and transfers in 2 different directions occurring on the same row with the same carriage pass. I have no way to test whether the same issue would occur in interactive knitting using my own stp file. My repeat, drawn in Numbers on the right, is numbered in design rows. When choosing print, the global options allow for editing items out such as company name, date, format by simply clicking in the associated boxes choices can also be made on how to represent stitch units If the plan is to create a punchcard template and the repeat is too wide, an error message appears Paper size measurements in page set up other than US letter

other associated menu choices It is possible to save the template as a bmp of the full image. The size of the file is shown to the right of the pixel count number settings for the clipboard or bmp file, which will vary in proportion to the stitch and row count. Click on the floppy disk icon to save.  My hack for reducing the onscreen size of the templates for screengrabs I could trace in a spreadsheet was to use a 600 mm setting for punchcards, and 350mm for electronics instead of selecting a paper size. The actual printing to scale is not an issue at the moment, but it is possible to print templates to full size, involving a bit of trial and error with individual printer settings and math.
The proof of concept swatch, knit on a Brother 930 KM, mirroring the image was not necessary, the dropped stitch was a surprise design feature when the swatch was very lightly pressed its.png Regrouping after a review of my pencil tool repeat by Softbyte support: the original stp has an error in it on row 11 where yours truly had eyelets being created by having the same stitches moved in opposite directions in the same row. It is interesting that I was able to save the stp without receiving an error message as seen in this instance below when the pattern was being redrawn with transfer symbols on the wrong row, The amended final repeat,   in turn, produced a correct punchcard template using the print preview As an additional lace template test, I repeated the process on a portion of an stp file shared generously shared by a DAK FB group knitter along with photos of a completed, lovely lace sweater using it.  The results are shown sideways because of the repeat length. The 950i template places four rows at the end of each lace sequence, while as seen in the published repeat of a different lace beside it, there should only be 2. The carriage passes made by the KC in traditional lace knitting though they advance the row counter, do not advance the pattern unless it is selecting needles as well, ie in trims that combine lace with the slip stitch setting. Exceptions to the 2 blank rows rule occur when the lace shape reverses direction such as in zig-zags, or when plain knit or pattern rows are planned deliberately to mix and interact with the lace design. Please see the previous post for more on lace charting and explanations for those in-between added pairs of rows variations. Brother knitters outside the dak environment may use the templates as they are, but setting the knit carriage for pattern selection as well on KCI or KCII.

This is another lace stp pattern built using the pencil tool method. The charted symbol diagram was published in a Japanese magazine along with its published punchcard design. There is an intentional extra row at the bottom of the repeat, making it “wrong” if the intended use is on a Brother machine as a test for how the template might handle it in the print preview. Template previews were created using the setting for Brother standard punchcard bulky or Brother 950iFacilitating correct DIY designs, in addition to the warnings if there are missing symbols or any other problems with the design and their respective row locations, the module provides a warning about that extra row, explaining that if the generated pattern is used as is, the bottom row should be moved up or the LC should begin pattern selection from the right. The electronic preview continues to have a series of 4 blank rows between transfer segments. The punchcard template has 2 blank rows between each transfer segment and matches the published pattern with a 3-row exception toward the top of the card. The renderings below begin with the DAK punchcard template on the left with its confused numbering, the extra empty row at the bottom of the repeat was eliminated. The overall repeat is mirrored. It is followed by the published pattern associated with the chart, pixels are then marked for left and right transfers, followed by my amended final repeat, which when knit on the 930 required mirroringLace tool use instructions begin on page 299 of the third module user manual, Stitch designer. From the manual: when the Lace tool is clicked, lace patterns can be created by using the LMB or RMB to click and hold on the stitch cell where the eyelet needs to be, after which the mouse can be dragged in the required transfer direction and let go on the stitch that needs the corresponding decrease. Intermediate transfer stitches will be added automatically where appropriate. If the button is clicked and the stitch pattern has a method that is incompatible with lace, the warning that is shown on the right will be displayed. The Wrong side facing texture is probably the most natural choice because this is generally considered the normal method of knitting on Japanese knitting machines. Sections of Lace and Fair Isle may be used in the same stitch pattern and either Fair Isle or Wrong side facing texture are good choices when working with lace patterns.
If either of the Right / Wrong side facing texture methods is used, and there is only one color per row, it can be transparent or opaque. If there are more colors per row, the opaque color is seen as the real yarn color, while the transparent colors are regarded for memo purposes.
The lace smart symbols have an associated ‘texture’ which is used to see a representation of the finished knitting. This representation is not entirely accurate as decreases have to be shown on a single stitch cell instead of over the two adjacent cells that are affected. However, the bias of the transferred stitches, as well as the lace eyelets are well represented to give a good idea of how the stitch pattern will look when knitted.
The symbols that are specifically used for machine lace knitting are displayed with a light green background in the Symbols Organizer. The same repeat as above was redrawn, with that extra bottom row eliminated  The associated template preview for the punchcard nearly matched the one that was obtained with the pencil tool chart, had some differences: the previous image was mirrored although no dak settings were changed. As in all punchcard template numbering, the knit row numbers are skipped in the sequence on the left, so they will not match design row numbers, the small flower motif is placed differently  This sample was knit using the pattern drawn with the pencil tool, pre mirrored for use on the 930. The convention for lace designs is that they must contain an even number of rows, the one on the right is 47 rows, knits properly, but is suitable only for a border. Here a pair of extra rows were knit, followed by design row 1A wider swatchWhen attempting to use this repeat for a continuous one, unless the total number of rows is an even number, the second repeat will reverse the direction of the transfers, resulting in mispatterning and multiple side-by-side empty needles. Changing the total repeat to 48 rows by adding another blank row places all transfers properly. The 12X48 png
Adding extra knit rows at the top of the repeat ie. 6 or 8 may make the alignment of the 2 shapes to each other more pleasant.
The challenges in DIY lace patterning are many.
The same design was redrawn using only the lace tools. The appearance was the same as in the previous draft, the print preview template was two rows shorter, 46 rows long, no longer mirrored, with the flower shape slightly lower than in the other sample, it is shown here alongside the Gimp png draft for exporting the png used in the samples. Knit in continuous pattern with 6 knit rows added before restarting with pattern row 1 with LC on the left A half drop repeat is also possible. To achieve this test of a repeat drawn in a paint program, I  knit 2 rows after the last “flower” eyelet and had to flip the repeat horizontally before continuing for the top half of the repeat, producing a very different look.  There is a transfer error in the knit swatch on the right where I “repaired” a dropped stitch. Edits would be needed if one is determined to make this pattern automated as a continuous design.
Options for manipulating stitch designs in dak appear to be the following. Interested in developing an automated brick repeat for the above design, this was produced outside dak as a guideline for entering the symbols in stitch designer Using the lace tool, the areas marked in red highlight cells where wrong symbols for stitches in those areas were initially created using the lace tool. Use of the pencil tool was necessary to replace the incorrect symbols. The stp was saved with no error warning, but the resulting repeat was identical to my self-drawn one with the top half of the bricks knitting in the wrong direction resulting in mispatterning and double eyelets.
Saved stp files may be opened and further edited using either or both the lace tool and the pencil tool.
With respect to the use of the pencil tool, from the manual: “It is possible to place lace symbols onto the stitch pattern manually by activating the Pencil tool, then selecting and placing each symbol where required. However, this can easily lead to errors as the placement of each symbol needs to be well understood.
The “Check once for color changes etc.” option in the dialog can be clicked after which dak will either display “No errors found” or it will display error messages such as the ones shown here.
Clicking “OK” returns the program to the workspace where errors may be corrected. DesignaKnit does not mark the pattern when these errors occur. After correcting, “Check” can be run again to ensure all errors have been eliminated. Using the Lace tool to create lace will greatly diminish the chance of errors.”
I have encountered instances where no error messages were received, the stp was saved successfully for supposed knitting, have been told there are edits and future updates underway for both version 8 and version 9.
the right mouse button is used when drawing fine lace designs, which is not part of my present explorations
In theory, the Lace tool will:
insert the eyelet, transfer and decrease symbols in the direction of the drawing
insert a double decrease symbol where the lace transfers occur  onto a single stitch from opposite directions
prevent the placement of eyelets on adjacent stitches within the same row
warn of invalid lace sequences when saving or checking the pattern
remove the eyelet, its matching decreases, and any transfers  in that sequence with a single click of an eyelet symbol with either the right or left mouse buttons
Brother knitters need to keep this in mind when using the lace pattern in the dark environment, the knit carriage will need to be selecting needles as well. If using the templates to generate patterns for use with other download programs, the traditional use for Brother lace and punchcard machines is to have the knit carriage not selecting needles. To use the given template for the electronic in that manner, 2 out of the four blank rows between each series of transfers may be eliminated and the pattern from the electronic template if within the punchcard repeat restrictions, may be used on punchcards as well. Having plain knit rows not selecting, in my experience, makes for easier unraveling and returning to an all knit row when rows need to be unraveled to correct errors or knitting falls off the machine.
All punchcard templates keep the number sequencing for the electronic repeats, removing the extra interactive knitting rows and their numbers from the electronic template, reducing the repeat to design rows, which results in the numbering sequence on the left not matching the actual total number of rows in the repeat, making it ineffective if following those numbers when punching cards.
Making things work: the dak repeat for the brick arrangement, there are single blank rows before selection for the shifted pattern begins,  my edit in a spreadsheet, the yellow cells mark rows missing in order to get the lace carriage back to the left side before the next pair of all knit rows.  The full repeat was trimmed to 12 stitches in width, 48 rows in height, opened in ArahPaint, and drawn in brick repeat, shifting the top by 6 cells. The green lines mark the original single blank rows followed by the pairs of added blank rows with no markings, the needed corrections the Arah image was saved as a png, knit on my 930 using img2 track, and mirroring
The proof of concept swatch for the now fully automated pattern   When a repeat is sorted out it is easily modified to create other variations. Here the small flower shape is eliminated, as well as the first transfer sequence to produce stacking triangular shapes. The repeat is now 10 stitches wide by 28 rows high, so suitable only for electronics.  The swatch was lightly pressed, prior to that, there was actually an interesting 3D quality which can be common to many unblocked lace patterns. If the knitter wants to retain that quality, the quandary is then encountered as to whether one also may want the piece to lie flat, particularly at the sides and the top.
The above repeat was mirrored for use on the 930. With lace as with other fabrics, the repeat may be tiled and programmed to the width of your knitting, here for use in a 30 stitch swatch. While in other fabrics a plain knit border may be added by placing black cell vertical cells on each side of the wide repeats, this cannot be done in lace, because those selected needles will attempt to transfer multiple needles in a single pass, which is not possible. Brother offers edge stitch plastic cams to help with that.  The cast on in this instance is a provisional one, with several rows knit prior to beginning the use of the lace carriage. 

My first non repetitive DBJ explorations on 930

WORK IN PROGRESS

I created large-scale nonrepetitive image garments very early in my knitting career using Cochenille Bitknitter and Commodore computers linked to a Passap E6000. Over time my focus changed considerably, with any production knitting moving onto accessories as I began to make items for sale in galleries and in shows, most often single bed on a Brother 910. If knitting is a primary source of income, one needs to consider production time management, material costs, and what the local market will bear in terms of pricing.
A post, written in 2018, began to explore two-color-dbj-non-repetitive-images-electronic-kms/. At that time I did not have a machine model capable of using img2track.
An orphaned 930 entered my life, and with rare exceptions, over the past few years, my blog sample swatches have been knit using img2track, which I have found easy, reliable, with any programming errors due to the operator issues including learning the differences from 910 programming and remembering to actually use them.
No matter how long any of us have been knitting, there can be many aaargh moments both in everyday knitting and when exploring new techniques.
I have a supply of lovely 2/48 cash-wool in royal blue, black, and grey. Three strands worked predictably on my punchcard machine in a series of my spiky scarves, shown in progress on the machine. Nearly all my previous dbj pieces have been knit on a Passap E6000. The 930 experience for such repeats is new to me. With some help from Tanya Cunnigham in reviewing steps required when using img2track, I returned to cellular automata repeat saved years ago.
I encountered problems with the triple strands of blue not feeding evenly, here both colors were picked up by the changer accidentally, I realized the issue, trying to unravel the row of knitting produced this That provided an opportunity to decide I preferred the reverse color placement as well as wanting a thicker ply for the white, resulting in twice the fun with 2 colors, and another scrapped sample Switching the white to a single-ply thicker yarn made its stitch formation far more manageable. The blue however seemed to have a single strand of the three with a propensity for catching on gate pegs. I tried tension adjustments, the usual tips in managing static. At about row 1,000 out of 1288 rows, I realized I had an issue with both yarns being caught on gate pegs. In trying to lift the stitches off, the yarn broke but gave with no immediate visible clues, the dropped stitches and a lovely hole, as a result, appeared when knitting had progressed far enough below the current knit rows. On the left, the work is shown still on the machine, while on the right, it is off the machine, and in the process of a patch job with a temporary accessory and stitch holder in place. I was able to achieve a reasonable repair on the knit side, but the birdseye pattern on the reverse is a bit scrambled. For folks that are not familiar with electronics and are curious, the 930 has the smallest memory of the later Brother electronic models. My pattern repeat is 74 stitches wide by 644 rows in height. The user manual explains: the KH-930 takes just a few seconds to load the track because the memory holds only 2 KB of data (about 13000 stitches). Later models have a much larger memory (32 KB). The KH-940 and KH-950i require 42 seconds to load a track. The KH-965i and KH-970 load only the requested pattern, so the loading time depends on the size of the pattern. img2track indicates progress as the data is sent to the KM. When the pattern has finished loading, the KM should beep, and show the green READY light and a 1 in the display (for row 1). The program automatically chooses Selector 2 for a single image and centers it. You may change this by using the normal pattern selecting process on the knitting machine, choose Selector 1 for all-over patterning, or use Selector 2 and choose a different location on the needle bed to center the pattern. If your pattern was divided into more than one track, you will have to load successive tracks when completing the previous track, specific instructions are given for programming subsequent tracks. My pattern was broken down into 4 tracks.
The cable used for downloads to the machine is used externally, no alterations to the machine’s hardware are required as when using Ayab on the 910. The pattern is stored in the machine, so the computer needs to be awake only during downloads, not constantly as in programs that use knit-from-screen.
Each track for 2 color DBJ using the KRC built-in separation is entered in numerical order as a new pattern with first-row preselection from the left to the right and first row knit from right to left toward the color changer. If the repeat is not planned for the number of needles in use, any position or change to all-over design needs to be re-entered, and the KRC button must also be set again.
Cam button settings are set according to the chosen dbj variations for either or both beds. End needle selection is usually canceled. In some patterns using it can create an interesting beaded edge on either side, which is worth testing on small samples to determine one’s preference.
I like to plan my pieces beginning with the dark color, plan my repeats with the deliberate placement of both colors, and any scaling in the pattern BMP prior to download, using Gimp. I also prefer to have color 1 as the dark, color 2 as the light. The default in the Japanese DBJ separation uses the light color, white squares, as color 1. Out of habit I color reverse my images so my first preselected row from right to left can just knit my black squares rather than the white, and I can continue my motifs as I intended while having machine prompts for each color also match.
Pausing knitting is easy as long as the needle selection is not disturbed. Ending with COR avoids any confusion about which color should be used next. Starting outside the set mark, turn the machine back on, and simply continue in pattern with appropriate color changes.
Tanya Cunningham manages and moderates the membership, settings, and posts for the Img2track – For Machine Knitters group on Facebook.
These were her tips and reminders to me for handling pauses in knitting immediately after the following track in the sequence is first downloaded: let’s say that either some needles got pushed in or repositioned, or for whatever reason, you don’t have certainty that the last row of needle selection is reliable, and you want to “re-select” the last row before you knit it, the last track you knitted should still be in the memory, even though you’ve completed that part of the pattern. 
1. Push all needles back to Pos B. 
2. remove the yarn from the feeder, disconnect the K carriage from the R carriage. 
3. Turn Change/Selector knob from KCII to N (NOTE, this will cause your PART buttons to de-select) 
4. press BOTH PART buttons. 
5. Move K carriage to right. No needles will knit, since all are in POS B, and both PART buttons are depressed, AND no needles will select, since you’ve moved the change/selector knob to N, and the memo will not record any advancement of row. (However, if you’re using your mechanical row counter, it WILL record a row, and one on the way back so plan to either disable the ribber arm or plan to turn the counter back 2 rows)
6. Now you will have to re-select the last row of needles for the track you’ve most recently knitted. First, verify that KRC is activated. Now, you will have to push the up/down arrow buttons to select the very last row of the pattern which will be an even number, and color 1. Depending on whether the carriage was moved in such a way as to activate the sensor enough to cause the memo to advance, you may be able to simply use the row that’s showing, but even beginning the movement of the carriage may advance it. To be sure, what I do is to advance (in this case to Row 1 Color 1), and then back up one row, using the arrow buttons. 
7. Move your Change/Selector knob to KCII, be sure to move outside the turn mark. Verify KRC; memo says last row, color 1; both PART buttons in. Now, move your carriage right-to-left, to select the last row of the previous track. 
8. Load color 1 in the carriage, load next track into the machine, KRC selected.
9. Now, as you knit to the right, you will be knitting the last row of the previous track, and selecting needles for the first row of the next track. Carry on.

In terms of generating cellular automata math-based patterns, the Wolfram website is a great place to explore repeats. A player, temporarily unavailable to Mac users is presently available, allows for the download of interactive demos in .cdf format. In terms of knitting any of the repeats, the most suitable appear to be ones that are generated in black and white to start with. Not all are, and at times changing the mode to bitmapped in programs such as Gimp can produce a glitched effect. Though the latter may be interesting and desirable to some, I prefer clean lines and diagonals along with identifiable shifts in the scale of any triangular components.

I am often amazed at the speed with which time passes, previous related posts: 2015/12/09/cellular-automata-charts-for-knitting-etc/
Previously knit repeats 2017/09/11/my-new-knitting-projects/

Weaving drafts may also serve as inspiration for knitting repeats. Posts with related content: 2015/11/28/weaving-drafts-as-inspiration-for-other-textile-techniques/, and 2018/07/02/numbers-to-gimp-to-create-images-for-electronic-download/. These images are extracted from a draft for an advancing twill. One may explore segment placement and color reversals easily using programs such as Gimp. There is also potential for exchanging colors to get a sense of how the pattern might appear in different colorways My planned test repeat is 76 stitches wide by 556 rows high.

To mesh or not to mesh 8, more Numbers meet Gimp

A recent FB post led the discussion to this repeat from a 910 mylar, which does not have the immediately recognizable format of the Brother lace patterns if viewed in a small screengrab such as this. The repeat is included in Ayab test patterns. The full mylar collection and user manual may be found here http://machineknittingetc.com/brother-kh910-pattern-guide.html.
The segment including the lace pattern Brother was the first to allow programming from multiple areas on a single mylar sheet. Starting and ending stitches and rows needed to be entered, I got used to drawing boxes for each pattern as seen on the upper right, reducing errors in future knitting. The red lines on the copy highlight the repeat’s border. Mylars were read 13 rows down, punchcard machines7. The equivalent of arrow markings on lace punchcards are provided in the column on the left, which extends over the top of the drawing space by the same number of rows, allowing it to remain visible above the card reader even as the top of the mylar patterning area is reached.
The design is actually created from isolated areas of a mesh repeat discussed in a previous post. The lace carriage is used for 2 passes and then for 4 alternately, as indicated on the left side of the punchcard. The 2 passes will result in transfers to the left, the 4 make in transfers to the right. This repeat, usable in nonelectronic models, appears in my pre-punched factory basic packs as both #17 and #20. Depending on the electronic model or the software used to download patterns designed for lace, the final image may need to be flipped horizontally. This is true for use on my 930. Creating a template for mesh using numbers: begin with a table with square cells in numbers larger than you might need, ie 24 by 54. The method for doing so has been explained in previous posts. I happen to prefer cell units that measure 20 points by 20. The smallest repeat unit for use on any machine is isolated, shown bordered in red, is 4 stitches wide by 6 rows high, and drawn onto the template. The group of cells in the repeat are selected. If one hovers over any side or top and bottom borders of it, a yellow dot appears. Clicking and dragging on the yellow dot will repeat the full selection to the right, left, up, or down. Here the move is to the right The whole group is selected, and dragging on the yellow dot once more, the whole template can be filled Beginning at the top or bottom of the table, hide all blank rows. Using the command key during the selection process will allow this to be done on the whole table at once or in groups of rows at one time; 36 of the 54 rows are hidden.   At this point, there are a couple of choices. One is superimposing a solid shape. Using a contrasting color makes it easier to sort out its placement the color may be replaced with white in the spreadsheet,
unhide all rows, and the lace pattern is ready for the final steps before using Gimp The other option is to unhide rows on the colored table, screengrab as usual after removing cell borders. Open in Gimp, crop to content, eliminate the cyan row by filling it with white. It was intended as a place holder for the last row in the pattern, is not part of the final repeat.
In this instance, I used mode, indexed, to the maximum of 3 colors.
Choose the color to alpha option from the colors menu.
Using the dropper tool select the color you wish to be made clear, click OK. Create a new image of the same size.
Copy and paste the color-reduced image onto the new one.  Dotted lines will appear in areas that had the color removed previously. Clicking anywhere in the window outside the image anchors the paste and make those dotted lines disappear. If that does not work, select the rectangle tool before doing so. The file is then ready for final scaling. The last image is in RGB mode once more, converted to BW indexed, scaled to 24 by 54, and exported as BMP or choose any other format ie png, etc. to suit your needs.
Responses to alpha selection can vary depending on the original color palette used when filling cells.
Creating a template for drawing simple shapes using transfer lace, it is easier to start out with the transfer grid in a color, rows are hidden as above, eyelet shapes are drawn in black. The rows are unhidden.    In this instance, the red was selected for converting to alpha with the image still in RGB mode, copied and pasted. The pasted image may be anchored in several ways. Using image menu: select merge visible layers, or flatten image; layer menu: select anchor layer, or simply click on rectangle select tool and click again anywhere in the window. Changing the mode to black and white indexed will yield the repeat for final scaling. Each transfer design segment of the repeat is 6 rows in height and completed with 10 combined carriage passes. The lace carriage, LC, operates first, in series of two passes at first, then followed by four, repeating the double sequence throughout. The mylar, card, or computer image, do not reflect the passes made by the knit carriage KC. The latter is set to knit, does not engage the belt, does not advance the pattern. It helps to look at an expanded repeat to understand that indeed, transfers are made in 2 directions.
Referring to design row numbers, not necessarily those on a row counter:
1.  LC preselects for transfers to the left as it travels to the right
2.  LC makes transfers as it moves to the left, no preselection occurs, remains on the left side
3.  KC, moves to the left, completing the first knit row, creating loops on needles emptied by transfers, the pattern does not advance, remains on the same row
4.  KC, moves to the right, completing the eyelet stitches, the pattern remains on the same row, KC then stays on the right
5.  LC moves to the right, no preselection
6.  LC moves to the left, preselects for transfers to right
7.  LC moves to the right, transfers to right, no preselection
8.  LC returns to the left, no transfers or preselection, stays there
9.  KC moves to the left, the pattern remains on the same row
10.KC moves to the right, the pattern remains on the same row, KC then stays on the right Those familiar with eyelet formation in the more traditional transfer lace will notice the differences here, where the geometric shapes are technically superimposed on a mesh whose structure is revealed depending on where the transfers creating them take place. The fabric is easy and very quick to execute since most of it is in stocking stitch. The proof of concept swatch: The design was not planned as continuous, but is easily amended to be so. Here an alternate version is shown, with 2 linear repeats on the left, and a single expanded repeat to its right As for that mylar repeat, this is an image of the shapes with the chart collapsed, eliminating blank rows between black pixels. The resulting partial test used as drawn In fabrics designed this way, using the image as drawn (left), or mirroring it horizontally, does not visually change the result. This does not hold true in more complex transfer lace.
Several large-scale designs based on this method are found in Brother-electro-knit-lace-patterns-3 This random chart from the publication shows a pattern where the number of transfer rows between knit ones has more variation. Again, knit rows are marked in the column on the far left. Those marks on a mylar would remain visible on the outside of the machine, above the card reader as one progresses through knitting. Memo windows or handwritten charts may be the only option for accurate tracking, depending on the machine model and the row count variations. The repeat may also require it to be flipped horizontally. Simply reaching a row with no needle selection does not always mean the location for the 2 knit rows has also been reached. 

Visualizing maze or mosaic potential from tuck or slip stitch repeats

I have written extensively on mosaics and mazes, color separations required for drawing their motifs, and visualizing the resulting patterns while planning slip stitch or tuck repeats. A recent exchange with a knitting friend, Tanya Cunningham, brought up her idea of using Gimp to investigate the potential of self-drawn tuck patterns becoming pleasing mazes or mosaic designs in color. Tanya has worked extensively with img2track, can be found in the FB group and Ravelry. It had not occurred to me to reverse engineer designs for this purpose. Tanya uses Gimp in a different way than I do, I am hoping she will share her process for this purpose when documented.
I have grown comfortable and fast with the combined use of Numbers and Gimp to achieve what I desire in terms of color separations. At the moment, on the assumption that estimating the overall shape is the goal, a black and white processed rendering may be a sufficient representation of the result.

Punchcard books are a great source of “safe” tuck designs. The best are those that have columns one stitch wide by 2 rows high. They are also more interesting if there are areas of solid black. Patterns from publications intended for use on electronics are often color reversed to start with in order to minimize drawing pixels or to make the design easier to read and will have lots of blank areas. Punchcard users would need to punch the ground as opposed to the design, electronic users can achieve the goal by the flick of a switch or a quick software command. For my first series of steps and methods, I am using the repeat that appeared as a knit using different settings in the post on mazes and mosaics from universal patterns.
Presented on the left, the repeat would be suitable only for thread lace or FI with very long floats. Color reverse allows one to use it for tuck and slip stitch, whether in one color or with color changes every 2 rows. The color separation to approximate the result with color changes begins with the same process as that used for designing mosaics. Once the image is rendered as a correct B/W png with no apparent errors, it is copied and pasted on a larger canvas, the mode converted back to RGB. The red cells make it easier to keep track of rows that need to be color inverted. Using the shift key and rectangle tool, multiple pairs of rows can be selected sequentially and color inverted. Beginning the selection with the very edge of the black squares on the left does not interfere with changing the color of the extra columns on the left side of the design. If pixels are added accidentally drawn in any of the 4 extra columns on the left, they can easily be removed when the completed conversion is cropped to selection for the final repeat. The completed color separation can then be bucket filled to match imagined colorsTiling the repeats to imagine the final knit presents the problem that results from working on a square grid and comparing the results to a knit, which usually produces a rectangular one. The representation for the linear patterns produced on the knit side of the piece cannot factor in some of the added distortions created by the stitch type used. I process my images in Pages or Numbers, depending on which document contains my most recent work and happens to be open. It is also possible to perform the final rescale in Gimp. Most knits approach a 4:3 ratio, with gauge variants in highly textured fabrics.  To preserve a clean design, tile and save the original, screengrab the resulting image, load it in Gimp, and rescale.   Repeat the motif for the same number in both height and width when tiling it. The colored versions before and after scaling, compared with the slip stitch swatch. It is possible to produce a rectangular grid to start with on which to draw in Gimp, but the larger canvas size occupies a significantly larger space on the screen, complicating the process. For small designs, however, that may be an option to give one the sense of aspect ratio for the design in the final knit ie in representational FI. To resize the grid in uneven proportions, the chain-link below the spacing values needs to be broken This repeat is designed for an electronic, requires color-reverse. Since it is 24 stitches wide and it may also be modified and used on a card. In this instance, the original marks for rows and stitches are single height. The image is processed, matching the original, rendered double-height, color reversed, and then alternate pairs of rows were color inverted to render the repeat used in the test swatch Once again, the possible change in scale is estimated. The repeat though only 24 stitches wide, is 92 rows high. On the left the repeat is shown as it appears on a square grid, to its right is the scaled 4:3 version, in a pixel count approximating the size of the swatch. It takes a bit of squinting to see the pattern more recognizable in the longer repeat in the larger tile The swatch was pressed, becoming wider than when first off the machine. It was knit using the slip stitch setting, could also be executed in tuck stitch, which would both widen and shorten the fabric and make the purl side more interesting.  The software can provide a preview of the result far more quickly than knitting samples, but again, the previews are only approximations of the scale, and cannot show distortions to lines as one adds more texture.
Repeating the process starting with a diamond shape that as given is only suitable for thread lace or FI with problematic floats,  and with a check tuck pattern that may change in aspect ratio considerably when knitted The proof of concept swatch, knit in tuck stitch, begins to show the distortion by the stitch formations, textures vs plain knit, easily seen at the top edge. The bind-off is around 2 gate pegs in order to allow enough stretch.  Anyone familiar with either or both programs may find this a very quick way to visualize the scaling and moving of motifs within DIY designs and their possible outcomes prior to test knitting

Img2track_multiple colors per row dbj, each color knitting only once

I have recently shared a post on using the heartofPluto separation in Ayab to knit a DBJ 3 color sample where each color was not represented in each row, with each color knitting a single height.  Img2 track at this time does not offer a built-in similar option. There is a FB thread going on at the moment on this topic that can be followed there, Tanya Cunningham has shared a document on this topic. I am using the same repeat as in my Ayab tests,  with  my color changer in this threading sequence throughout
 The import into img2track shown here for the traditional 3 colors per row setup,
where normally each color in each design row knits twice. Because selection occurs for pairs of rows, the first preselection row is from right to left. To decrease the backing rows, the ribber is set for birdseye. I prefer to have an end needle on each end on the ribber, keeping in mind that the total number of needles in use there needs to be even. The machine provides reminders as to which color should be knitting. My samples are knit using KCI on the top bed. Because the preselection happens twice, it is easy enough to knit in pattern from left to right,  when the carriages have reached the right side, simply use a ribber comb to push all needles back to B. The next color to be used is preselected as the carriages travel back to the left, change color when on left, and repeat.
It is easy enough to develop a rhythm. I used to tell students some things are made easier if one develops a tune to play in one’s head as a series of actions. Here I found myself thinking “knit to right, erase (selection), knit to left”. I had tension yarn issues on the right which explain some of the issues on the side edges and changed color 1 to blue for increased contrast. The proof of concept: Speeding things up with color separation, beginning with the method that will have each color, each design row knitting twice. The repeat is 10 rows high, so it is expanded X6 to 10 by 60 rows. In the final result, the second row for each color in the separation is in turn erased. The red was added to make all 3 colors visible while working the separation, avoiding confusion with the white ground. The knittable result as usual is in a black and white png The img2track settings are for now for 2 color knitting, the prompts for the color changes are lost.

The color-changing sequence used was still 1, 2, 3. The design with a birdseye backing The ribber can also be set to knit every row, resulting in elongation on the knit side, while creating an interesting striper backingComparing this version to the birdseye backed one for repeat height Comparisons: HoP, pushing back needles to B, and color separation results. In the latter, the design is likely elongated in part due to a change in the distribution of thinner yarns to larger design areas with no tension adjustments 

Gimp to create text for knitting

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

Notes on using GIMP update for Mac 2019

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

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

Font: mazeletter
final image loaded into img2track and Ayab 

 

Blistered stitches dbj

Some of my previous posts on double bed fabrics with designs creating pockets in both one and two colors:
quilting-on-the-knitting-machine-1/
quilting-on-the-brother-km-2-solid-color-back-dbj/
revisiting machine knit quilting 
quilting using ayab software
https://alessandrina.com/2019/12/15/references-for-double-bed-single-color-references-for-double-bed-single-color-fabrics-with-pockets/

A review of some of the terms used in describing fabrics with raised designs in various patterns:
blistered fabrics: two rows of the main color are knit the same as in standard dbj, but more rows are added and knit with the blister color on only one of the two beds used to create textured pockets. Technically they can be executed in a single color as well as in two colors per row. The extra rows result in the blisters being raised or lifted up from the fabric surface, they are often also referred to as pintucks. These fabrics do not have the width and stretch of many other 2 color dbj fabrics.
When exploring this family of knits, use plain, fairly smooth and thin yarns. This is a fabric where pressing should be avoided so the texture is not lost or altered. For setting the pockets created sometimes slipping a wire or tool through the bubbles will do the trick as for any hems. Simple, bold patterns work the best. Spreading the texture evenly throughout the design will decrease distortions in width. Leaving needles out of work combined with racking can alter the basic technique considerably.
In the two-color version, a double thickness fabric with a crumpled face side and a single color backing is created. The blistered areas are knit in one bed only, the rest is full needle rib with floats from each blister enclosed in the fabric.
Begin with a repeat that is elongated X2, the jacquard separated pattern needs to be double marked. Needles are arranged as for DBJ. For 2 colors the main bed is set to slip <— —> throughout, but the ribber settings need to be changed and set to knit and slip alternately for 2 rows to produce the single color backing.  Good needle condition is a must if occasional stitches are dropped on the ribber they can be repaired when the work is off the machine.
Ripples are created by setting one bed to slip and the other to knit for several rows, then setting both beds to knit simultaneously to join the tucks in repeats. They are selective pintucks, on every needle rib. The main bed is set to slip <—  —> throughout, the ribber carriage is set to slip for 4 or more even numbers of rows, and then to knit for 2 rows (this number may also be varied depending on the specific pattern). This is a fabric that likes to be weighted evenly. Tight ribber tension will help increase the definition of ripples. As in any multicolor fabric, each set of ripple stitches may be knit using a different color yarn.  Some designs tolerate having the main bed set to tuck rather than knit.
Brother machines often are limited to 4 rows knitting on the bed creating the ripple before closing the rib.
Transferring blister stitches to main bed, with a shadow lace tool or a transfer carriage is referred to as “shadow lace”. Adding blank rows in your design makes it easier to have a transfer point to the opposite bed. Using a plaiting feeder will add color contrast.
“Nopps” which are essentially small bumps on tightly textured tuck stitch grounds require careful tension adjustments.

An image was shared in a machine knitting group on Facebook. It cropped up in Pinterest, could be traced back to some Russian knitting forums and a how-to knit query was made
There is an Italian language youtube channel with a throve of machine knitting videos, one on jacquard groffato , executed on punchcard machines, with a companion video on punching the card. Groffato means embossed.
Points to remember: the more needles on either bed knit alone to create the pockets, the more the tension used needs to approach the one for single bed knitting there with the same yarn. Large shapes are best used, represented by white squares /unpunched areas. Punchcards such as ones published with large unpunched areas for thread lace designs or tuck stitches with large punched areas color reversed can work once the principle is sorted out.
The setting used in the video is for tubular/ circular knitting.
The all punched rows in the video actually match rows that would be knit anyway because the main carriage is set to knit in one of the two directions, not slip. Two yarn ends are used, which could result in a fairly dense fabric with limited drape. Switching to a single yarn end can alter both considerably.
In designing your own patterns for testing it is best at the start to keep shapes simple and not worry about repeat variations.  I am working on a 930 using img2track, but my repeat is 24 stitches wide and usable on a punchcard model, its source is another pin. To make the design twice as long, when planning an electronic download, the image can be stretched in the design software or by altering the stretch factor to 2 in img2track. Tiling the design prior to download can help one imagine the potential results in using it for an all-over pattern or what its appearance might be if the repeat is shifted into a brick configuration.
Use a familiar, smooth yarn in an easy to see color. Tension changes alone can change the dimension in the textured surface, so having a “normal” baseline for tensions and “feel” while knitting from previous uses of the yarn double bed gives one a good starting point.
The “flower” image used in my tests is shown here in the original, and then is color reversed so its shape will blister, not the ground. Below it, on the left, the image was stretched within img2track, on the right within my design program which happens to be Gimp. In both instances, the original 24X24 design becomes 24X48 in actual knitting

The tiled image for both a standard repeat and a brick configuration shifting by 12 stitches to the right are not thrilling me, but the goal is to explore the knit technique, modifications in the original or even abandoning it can happen later My starting samples were knit on 32 stitches, not enough to get a sense of or a good view of the horizontal repeat of 24 stitches. At first, I used the design version with no horizontal black lines in the download. The difference between the every needle rib at the bottom of the pieces and the slip stitch blister fabric is easily seen. Slip stitches are short and thin whether single or double bed. On the left, I used the tensions of 4/4, as for the particular yarn in past experiments. On the right, the switch was made to 4/2. The tighter ribber tension made the blisters more pronounced. The non selected needles on the main bed create the pockets. Because functions repeat for pairs of rows in this design, the first preselection row can happen from either side and cam buttons may be reversed with similar results as seen in top vs bottom below. Opposite part buttons are used as in option A or B.As I have explained in the past, I tend to leave the slide lever permanently in the center position. It becomes one less variable, forgetting to reset it can result in errors in gauge and more mishaps when knitting multiple pieces where gauge matters significantly or in reproducing previous work. The “striped” repeat produces essentially the same fabric. The knit carriage may be set to slip in both directions when using it since the row of all punched holes or black pixels will knit every stitch on every needle selected while in the previous samples the cam button set to knit in one direction performed that function regardless of any markings on the design repeat.  The ribber is set to knit in one direction, slip in the other. Reversing sides for cam button settings produces the same fabric  

To my mind, the best shapes for this sort of surface design are clearly geometric ones. My eye sees them as more easily identified on the surface of the resulting knit. Sticking with the original “flower” however, here it is after a bit of editing of just a few pixels followed by a larger swatchThe Stitchworld Pattern Book is another good source for predesigned repeats, many in units suitable for punchcards as well. I was attracted to the possible geometry in this particular patternThe repeat I chose is designated as suitable for the Garter Carriage. It is 24 stitches wide by 48 rows high, shown below as provided, charted in Gimp as .png for download, and tiled to help visualize how continuous repeats might line up. The image .png was downloaded with img2track to my 930, with a stretch factor of 1.0, retaining the original repeat sizeThe resulting knit is interesting on both its knit and the purl sides, clearly shows how the “image” is shortened in slip stitch techniques, elongation would be required to create more of the diamond shape Final decisions are often best made after a period of rest for both the knit and for our eyes. It is only in the actual knitting that the shapes can be finally evaluated, worked on further, or abandoned. One of my own best selling felted items for more than a decade was born from an accidental effect on a large swatch that nearly landed in the trashcan after it became something different than what I had planned or expected.

DBJ: more than 2 colors per row 2

I am taking a break from this topic for a bit. At some point will add at least one more swatch and perform another edit. My eyeballs and brain need to be looking at some single color knitting and no more than 2 color squares for a while 🙂

My first attempt to use a 3 color automatic separation was with img2track. There are 2 oddities for me using the program. One is that the default selector setting is for a single motif, perhaps on the assumption that the main use would primarily be for large scale, nonrepetitive images. The other is that even if working with 2-row color changes with each color in each design row knitting for 2 rows, the first preselection row must be made from the color changer side. This is a necessity in Japanese color separations for 2 color work where the first color knits for only one row on moving from the right side to the left, but if 2 colors with the same selection are required at the start, one row of the 2 appears to be technically eliminated as a result. I had expected to use 3 shades of grey, a pleasant surprise: the program can actually import a 3 color other than grays. The test was using the 11 stitch repeat A pleasant surprise: the program can actually import a 3 color other than greys image. Using Gimp, images worked in RGB can be reduced to indexed 3 colors for this purpose. If there are rows where there is no color represented, then as explained later in the post, the indexing should be to 4 colors, not 3 for the planned for import to work properly.The design is automatically flipped vertically, so it will appear as intended on the knit side of the fabric. Yarn colors may be placed in the color changer matching the order in the assigned color numbers to match the placements in the original image. The program automatically adjusts for the vertical stretch, which changes the aspect ratio of the shapes. On my 930 I received prompts on which color to change to prior to doing so, eliminating any confusion. With no such prompts generally one can tell which color was knit last because it will appear on top of the previously used one on the left of the knit. With a stretch factor of 1 selected in img2track, the image height was reduced by half. To achieve a look closer to the intended shape,  the repeat needs to be rendered twice as long. The stretch factor can be adjusted in the program itself to 2.0

In the past, I have preferred to elongate the design prior to importing with plans for download rather than to rely on memory for changing settings either in the download program or in the machine itself in future uses of the same design. The same yarns, tension, total number of carriage passes, and settings were used showing the difference in aspect ratio between single color per row knitting and the img2track built-in color separation. The width of both swatches is essentially identical.

Images may be loaded into the program without the cable being connected to the machine. Error messages do appear with download attempts if the cable is not properly in place. The machine also needs to be powered on before the program is launched if a download is planned. I am working in Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6, have no present desire to upgrade to Catalina.
Executing fabrics that will knit each color in each row only once for every 2 passes on the main bed: back to that original repeat Here it is used as drawn, note vertical stretch set at 2, will be cut in half by the software, getting the image back to the original height l0 X 3 = 30 rows required for all colors to knit in turn; there will be 60 carriage passes to complete one single repeat.The 930 will provide prompts for the next color to be selected by pushing the matching number button on the color changer, avoiding any confusion in terms of what should be picked up next. img2track will also flip the design horizontally automatically so the image will appear as originally drawn on the knit side. Images are loaded as single motifs, so the change in the selector needs to be made manually for an all-over pattern.

In order to have each color in each row knit only once: cast on with preferred method and color. Set up the machine so that the yarn colors are placed in the color shown in the image presented by the program to match your design. End with the machine on the left-hand side for the first preselection row.
COL: set both carriages to slip in both directions and all its needles in B position, set lili buttons if not already in use, pick up color 1
knit one row to the right
COR: knit to left, color 1 will knit for a single row
**COL: change color, STOP! Push back any needles on the top bed back to B position, as you knit to the right the ribber only will be knitting, knit one row to the right
COR: preselected needles will knit in the color last picked up on the way back to the color changer, knitting only one row in that color on the main bed as you return to the left**
repeat the last ** 2 steps throughout. One can get into a rhythm. A cast on comb, part of a garter bar, or any tool of adequate width can make it a quick process of pushing needles back to B when needed to
trust the software, not the selection expected by your eyes.
My swatch seemed to be growing in length at a faster rate than I remembered in the last exercise, here the results are shown side by side with the fabric executed previouslyObviously a success in terms of the single row for each color reducing elongation of the design shape.  While knitting occurs using the same yarns, at the same tensions, there is a clear difference in the length of each stitch on the main bed and their appearance. The reverse. Checking the ribber carriage I noticed on the left side it was set to knit only, not to slip: OOPS! N is king, so the ribber set as shown is knitting every other needle when moving to the right, but even with lili buttons in use it knits on every needle when moving back to the left. Every other needle on the ribber will then be knitting for 2 rows as a result. The more knitting on the ribber for each pair of rows, the longer the stitches on the opposite bed. The backing is an interesting variation (half) birdseye. The elongated stitches on the main bed show more of the backing in between their shapes, it is referred to as bleedthrough. In some instances, the result can make the knit surface resemble weaving and its appearance far less familiar in a surprising, pleasant way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Remember always to double-check all settings at the start of any process in case something was missed or magically moved, and keep notes.

I was asked on Facebook whether the technique shown here is the same as the 3 color slip (skip) stitch patterns in the Stitchworld pattern book, my response: some of the stitch world patters for 3 color slip are designed for or may be used on the double bed (often single bed as well). For instance, patterns 392 and 394. The original designs are rendered color separated. Numbers on the left suggest the order for color changes to achieve a look similar to that in the swatch photos. Assuming the pattern is not easily accessible because of its being built in your machine’s memory, it would have to be entered into a paint program manually to make it available for import and in turn for download. Note that the color-changing sequence may change over the course of knitting the image, so prompts or notes of some sort would be needed to keep it correct. Each color in each row knits twice after each color change. My goals in my blog posts so far have been to keep a constant color changing sequence with each color in each row of any personal design knitting only once. I did it first with my own color separation, then, in turn, used the 3 color separation feature in img2track to achieve my desired result. Here are 2 images from the Stitchworld section in question The images could be replicated as given in a paint program, using only one color for the squares, but “should be reduced to black and white”. Attempting to import an indexed 2 color image drawn in a color other than BW may result in strange results. That said, if glitched knits are the goal, the above could work just fine. Curiously, here is the same process, using a different color, and a successful import. Checking again, I had forgotten to save the image after indexing it from RGB mode to 2 colors. and a test with another color 
Drop stitch lace periodically comes up, I have written several posts on the technique, now considered the possibility of producing it in 3 colors. The resulting fabric tends to be long, thin, and in need of blocking. There is no way to avoid the striped ground. Passap knitters often refer to this type of knitting as summer fair isle. I adjusted the repeat widthNote to self: if you are determined to use a punchcard carriage on your electronic machine remember there is no KCII to cancel end needle selection!
In order to knit this fabric stitches must be cast on in whatever method you prefer, but prior to any patterning all stitches must be transferred down to the ribber, and the main bed needles are placed in working position but are empty. Because of the single row knit for the first 2 design rows of color one, the start is a bit finicky. Alternative start follows lower in post
COL: KC II, main bed set to slip <– –>, ribber stays on N throughout, no lili buttons. Knit one row with color 1 (ribber only)
COR: as you knit to return to the left, the color 1 preselected needles will knit, while the ones corresponding to color 2 will preselect
COL: carefully drop any stitches on needles with color 1 on them without disturbing the new needle selection for color 2
**COL: change color, knit to right
COR: drop the stitches knit in the new color, make certain all needles are empty and in B position, knit back to left and needles will be preselected for the next color**
Repeat the ** to**
Again resulting fabric is narrow and long, it may take a bit of squinting to recognize the design. A single repeat results in about 3.5 by 9 inches of knitting, a far cry from what might have resulted in a single row per color design row dbj virtually shown here in a tiled format

The question then comes up re dropping only one of the 3 colors. Using the manual selection described above, the knitting on the top bed would need to be canceled on every color, every row except for the single row in the chosen drop stitch color. To my mind, that is too much to keep track of for any length of time. It would be easier achieved with specific self-drawn color separations.
There is a lot of testing that can go into developing any fabric in unfamiliar techniques that may or may not meet our expectations or our “like”, it all contributes to learning regardless of whether the tests evolve into projects.

My last post on drop stitch lace in from single color to two: revisiting the techniques on brother machines

Reviewing what happens within the program one more time, highlighting significant items to verify before beginning to knit Getting that first row to knit twice instead of a single time if that matters in your technique or is your preference:
advance design row to last one in the sequence, in this case, 30
in the 930 when the pattern is loaded, using the down arrow key gets to the last row in the downloaded pattern more quickly

COL: set machine to preselect pattern, the next 2 passes would need to not knit, so both carriages are set to slip in both directions
knit one row to the right
COR: number 30 design row flashes
knit one more free pass to left, row 1 of color 1 will preselect as you knit
COL: number 1
design row flashes
check all settings,
main bed set to slip <– –>, ribber set to slip <– –> with lili buttons, and with an even number of needles in work for standard dbj pick up color 1 in yarn changer
the resulting knit design will be elongated
COL
: knit one row to the right.
As you knit the first row of color 1 design row 1 will knit, row 2 of color one design row 1 will preselect
COR: knit back to the left
as you knit back to left row 2 of color 1 design row 1 will knit, row 1 of color 2 design row 1 will preselect
COL: pick up color 2,
continue in pattern changing colors every 2 rows

In designing your own, small repeats can easily be rendered even in a simple paint program. Larger, more complex ones, may best be worked using layers and masking in a variety of programs ie. Photoshop or Gimp. It is possible to combine 2 color dbj and 3 color dbj in the same piece simply by using different color separations for each segment, but the look of the fabric in terms of the length of each stitch on the knit side may be quite different when moving from one segment to the next. Of course, the backing will change as well. Though the aspect ratio of the design changes in terms of height when one knits 2 rows for each color in each design row, it remains the easiest separation method. Adding the hand selection as described above so that the main bed knits in one direction only helps reduce some of the extra height, making the original image more recognizable. There is no option within img2track to perform the action automatically in terms of adding the necessary blank rows to replace some of the colored ones in the separation.

Passap knitters are not left out of this idea. Passap preselects pushers. On the E 6000 Tech 179 emulates the built-in KRC option in Japanese model machines. My guess was that technique 180 for 2 colors, perhaps 197 with both arrow keys on the back may work for 3 colors. TBD in my next spurt of knitting activity on it. That said, the console built-in designs may be used cross-brand. It is possible in Passap to layer repeats in order to add the third color to the mix. Here is one sample reworked for use on Brother and downloaded into img2track. If black and white repeats are already in your library, one may easily recycle them adding a third color. Here I did so with a repeat intended for a very different topic future post. The image was altered and tiled in Gimp for a repeat alignment test and is also shown imported into img2track for possible knittingWhat of images that are published in punchcard machine references? It is probably best to start with smaller repeats. That said, this is from a Deco pattern book.  Deco punchcards were 40 stitches wide, could be joined together in length as can those for the Japanese models The image of the separation on the above right has not been proofed for accuracy. If it were, the next step would be to elongate it X 2 for color changes every 2 rows. One method is to elongate the original in a paint or photo processing program. The width is fixed (40), the height is scaled X 2. The resulting BW indexed image may be imported, using a 1.0 stretch factor, it remains unchanged. When I tried to elongate the unstretched image in img2track by 2.0 my first try failed. It turned out the reason was I had saved the import without first indexing it to 2 colors. With that corrected, the result matched the one from scaling X 2 in height in the paint program
For years now I have been doing color separations which at first could be extremely slow, one pixel at a time. With increasing familiarity with Gimp and Mac Numbers over time, I have been able to decrease the speed to achieve them immensely. So here, with img2track I now have a program that can work with and separate multiple colors at a time (up to 6 in its pull-down menu option). Here I returned to my first separation in 3 colors for the now-familiar repeat A, elongated it in the paint program B and imported A into img2track choosing 2.0 stretch and 3 colors C. I can totally live with the fact the colors are not the same. The color changer can be set up with my chosen colors in any order I choose

In my first tests with charting a repeat missing any color in some rows, I had scaled the original image taken from a spreadsheet to the wrong size in Gimp, so operator error resulted in crazy results in img2track.Here the image is scaled properly for each color represented for a single row in height, and also scaled again for double-height for possible knitting in Gimp. The Gimp scaling failed to be accurate for me (second image from left) until I indexed the original to 4 colors as well instead of 3. The no color rows as we view them actually serve as a fourth color in the separations. Importing the proper size png into img2track for separation of 4 colors per row now gives results that make sense: note the daunting estimate for the total number of carriage passes for a single repeat height
If the ribber has knit on every needle by its return to the color changer and the machine is set to slip both ways with no needle selection on the main bed, the “no color” can be executed as an empty yarn holder in the color changer combined with no yarn in the feeder.  The rows involved should simply not knit on the top bed, with no dropping of any of its stitches since no needles will have been selected thus coming forward with the yarn in the hooks and traveling behind the latches and in turn, slipping off the needles as a carriage with no yarn pushes the needles with now empty hooks back to B position.

In testing concepts, I prefer to work initially with small repeats. Punchcard books can be an excellent source, but the Stitchworld books have the advantage of actually showing a single repeat for each design, so an 8 stitch repeat, for example, would be shown as such and it would not be up to the person using it shown in a 24 stitch card one to isolate it. I randomly chose pattern 394. I realize that if used from a built-in library of patterns in any machine model the prompts may be provided by the machine, but here I am looking at simply duplicating the pattern for import into img2track.

After duplicating the repeat and associated numbering using Numbers, these were some of my results. A pleasing surprise was that colors in the 2 color import need not be only black and white. That said, the pale green failed, the red did not, and the results from importing both the red/white and the black/white were identical. Another future time saver for me to keep in mind. 

If colors were assigned to each pair rows representing each color used, the white squares were read as an added color on import, and the only way to have those few blocks for the 4th color to show up in the visual representation in an imported repeat was to assign a 5 color separation, resulting in a scrambled pattern. Removing the few squares in color 4 will produce inaccurate separations for actual knitting of the given pattern whether imported to be rendered for 3 colors or 4. The black and white on the right is the “correct” match, leaving any prompts for use of shifting color changers to be tracked somehow by the knitter. Punchcard knitters may have the easiest time to knit variable color sequences since cards may be visually marked up with colored pencils matching needed change locations and taking into account your eyes are a number of rows above the row being read by the card reader. This number depends on the machine brand and model.

Some spreadsheets that may help with tracking row color changes or other regular actions on paper: 2018/04/tracking-rows-1.pdf

I have been asked about the position of the slide lever being fixed in my dbj illustrations. I have found the alternate positions can be wild cards, would rather make adjustments in carriage settings if needed rather than let the factory settings do some of the work for me. If the settings are accidentally in the wrong place as multiple pieces are knit, or in knitting ribber bands for garment pieces, the gauge is changed if the alternate setting is not adjusted and kept constant, and that may not be noticed until the piece of knitting in question is completed, needing a restart. With 15-20 machines active in each studio class and lab session, out of habit, I tried to reduce as many variables as possible.

A video resource on using img2knit for 3 colors per row knitting with blank color rows in the design by Tanya Cunningham, and a Ravelry thread on the topic