Revisiting Ayab

WORK IN PROGRESS

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

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

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

 

Beginner’s corner

WORK IN PROGRESS

Copyright can be a touchy, sometimes murky subject. In my teaching days at a design school, each instructor was responsible for accumulating what amounted to a “textbook” with any expected readings and required information for students attending the classes. There was an arrangement with a single copy center that actually paid a fee set by the government in order to be allowed to provide a service. Teachers supplied boxed material on a single-sided copy per page sheets, withdrew it at the end of the term. The copy center would make double-sided copies from each sheet in the original, bind them, making them available for purchase for only the cost of what it may have been to customers using copiers to make their own per sheet. My intro to knitting “book” evolved into 330 pages, costing students as far as I can recall about $30. An overall bibliography and often credit in sections were included. This all was happening pre-internet browser searches and easy downloads.
I have often not included a definition for some of the terms used in my posts. Also, I did not share information from manuals and company publications until they, in turn, became easily available online, long after the companies that published them went out of business.
A list of common abbreviations: Test and gauge swatches

From the Brother Knitting Techniques Book
I personally prefer to measure gauge on the purl side, where to my eye the start and end of the color transitions appear clearer.
The Passap advice was quite different. This is from the Duomatic 80 manual
and it was followed by tables that helped with calculation conversions based on measurements. When using Japanese machines while executing some DBJ or highly textured stitches, a larger swatch should become the go-to when measuring gauge for garments by default. Using 100X100 combined with the use of metric measurements facilitates the maths and use of devices such as the knitleader, where measurements in millimeters are required.

A “long swatch” exploring a card from a “censored” selection from the factory-supplied punchcard packet in as many techniques as possible became a required assignment In KM model manuals a list was sometimes provided suggesting what cam settings might be suitable for each card
Factory supplied cards were usually marked with a number and letter as seen above, but oddly as model numbers changed, sometimes either or both of the latter would change as well. A table of my own after a quick review of my stash:
1S, 2R,3J/S, 3P, 4D, 5J, 6P, 7G, 8S/J, 9G, 10D, 13G, 101, 102, 103, 107, 108, 109

 

Mystery pattern

At the moment this post is a place holder for images and info that may (hence the mystery) be explained at a future date Online references:
https://heartofpluto.co
https://heartofpluto.co/categories/hacking-a-brother-950i/
https://heartofpluto.co/2017/03/25/hacking-the-brother-km-950i-to-knit-multi-colour-patterns/
https://github.com/chixor/knitting_machine/releases/tag/950i-multi-colour

https://ayab-knitting.com/ayab-software/

https://www.ravelry.com/discuss/search#forum=Machine%20Knitting&query=3%20color%20dbj&sort=recent&view=posts&page=1

 

WordPress issues

Last April I encountered unwelcome text and characters within posts. The problem appears to have been resolved by intervention from my web host. There are still occasions of residual extra spaces or shifting of syllables and words within text content, and the omission of some of the accompanying images from the reader’s view. I have been reviewing and editing as I can. If the image problem especially is encountered by you, please alert me via email or post comment, and I will attempt to resolve it. TIA.

Earlier on I wrote posts privately over extended periods of time, and shared when to my mind I had gathered my thoughts on the topic and completed editing for the moment. “work in progress” headings came about to make the information available while in development so anyone interested may follow my thinking and see that it takes time, effort, swatching, and even periods of distance from the topic at hand to complete our goal fabrics or create new, related ones. Sometimes the text is composed outside this platform. I have now learned it best be plain text as opposed to rich to avoid character problems.

On occasion, there is a return to previous topics, with the addition of related new headings and content or simple text and new image addition within the body of previous shares.

New security measures are in place the latest WordPress software update. An excessive number of consecutive visits to the blog is likely to receive a gateway error message. The same measures may at times be limiting the number of edits I can make traveling through my history or successfully at any one time within a single post. Results were found in my latest one, leaving text or images in a place that were intended to be altered, moved or deleted by me until some time expired between my dashboard logins. I will work on sorting out how best to prevent such unintended content in the future and to develop operator habits to prevent its happening in the first place. Yet another opportunity for learning.

Ribber trims 2

WORK IN PROGRESS

This is an illustration of the #3 frill from the Ribber Techniques Book:

1. COR: knit a zigzag row to left, hang comb and weights, no circular rows2. knit second zigzag row to right3. transfer stitches as shown 4. knit to left 5. knit back to the rightrepeat steps 3-5 to the desired height

For another variation, knit 4 rows rather than 2 between transfers. My yarn is still a 2/24 acrylic. The trim would look quite different using a thicker yarn or even simply a tighter tension. I continued in rib. Ribber stitches could also be transferred to the top bed for continuation in stocking stitch In theory,  it is possible to knit lace transfers in Brother by dropping the ribber bed enough for the lace carriage to move across the beds while clearing the gate pegs. This remains on my “try someday” list. To my mind, hand transferring remains the best way to deal with lace/ ribber stitches combined.

Tuck patterns on the main bed (or slip stitch) designs can be used to automate and create patterns where holding is recommended in some sources ie. For a punchcard machine, the repeat must be a factor of 24 in width ie. 6 or 8 or  12 stitches wide. Electronic knitters can draw a single repeat, either the one on the left also using color reverse or the one on the right. Punchcard knitters need to punch the grey squares on the right across the card and repeating in height. An extra all knit row needs to be added at the top of each series of 4 rows tucked for the loops to be knit off automatically by the machine. Step 4 in the techniques book, resetting the main bed to N to knit a row after every 4 rows in a holding pattern is missing in their illustration above. The punchcard repeat: punch each grey square to match the illustration A few to try,  shown in repeat X2, as BW gridded .bmps,  and color reversed for knitting.  All but one are  12 stitches in width, suitable for punchcard machines as well Too much black? want to count those black squares more easily? pick your preferred grid color, it will disappear when the image is saved A screen grab from my iMac shows the original charts and the resulting single repeat .bmps after working in GIMP, ready for download with color reverse option and use on the electronic machines. Ayab knitters, in addition, would need to program the repeat in width to match the number of needles planned for use in the piece

Tuck stitch/ combination fabrics


Work in progress

I am presently attempting to knit my samples using a 910 with an EMS kit Ayab interface. When possible I will provide punchcard, electronic, and Ayab repeats for each.

White squares in the first chart represent tuck stitches, the dark blue row, the pass that knits every stitch, the lighter blue the pass that knits and in turn drops every stitch. The main knitting is happening on the top bed. Loops and dropped stitches are formed on the ribber. This pattern is not suitable for use with color changer since patterning for each of the 2 repeat segments occurs over an odd number of rows (7 each, for a repeat total of 14). Punchcard knitters repeat X 3 in height, electronic knitters use only one of the 2 repeats, outlined in red.
Preselect the first row of the pattern from either side on a punchcard machine or an unaltered 910, from left if using ayab.
*With the KC set to tuck <– –>, the ribber set to slip <–  –> knit 6 rows. The last row will be all knit (darker blue).  Cancel slip on the ribber carriage, setting it to knit  <– –>
knit one row on both beds to the opposite side (lighter blue, preselection will happen for the first tuck row in the next sequence). Disengage the ribber carriage still set to knit from the KC, take it across the ribber bed to release the loops. Reset the ribber carriage to slip <—->
move the carriage back to reconnect with the KC. ** Tuck sequence begins again. Repeat  * to ** ayab repeat for 30 stitch swatch, requires color invert the same repeat, not requiring color invert after loading into softwaretuck fabrics are usually more interesting on their purl sideTuck stitch combined with lace transfers
large scale mesh 
 large-diagonal-eyelets

Drat it aka “figlet” moments: knit leader mylar sheets +

Such moments may well have to be a new blog topic. In the hope of actually soon having enough time to return to knitting on a more regular basis, I have been reorganizing my supplies. This can be a good thing. I have “found” missing ribber comb wires, tools I had forgotten about, have drawer units that are helping with organization of all the “stuff”,  and that for a while will be contributing to my having to make regular searches for all sorts of things. Then there were all those mylar sheets for knit leaders with garment shapes on them for pieces I cannot even remember making with lovely multi colored lines all over them. One in particular had very fine lines, I guessed perhaps from ink other than that in my go to water soluble pens, so I thought to give removal a shot with some alcohol. Hence a warning: the lines did not disappear on the “outside”, so I flipped the darn sheet over to give erasing a shot on its reverse side and discovered quickly by the lovely blue on the cloth that the measurement grid was quickly and completely removed in any area touched by the alcohol. Another lesson learned. Perhaps an earlier one of great benefit might have been not to wait decades to erase knit leader mylar sheets, no matter what the marking tool as I now explore ” would I ever make this shape once again, ever?” and “what will take these lines off?” on other sheets.

Previously captured and “found” while exploring text issues in earlier posts, is now fondly remembered and shared

at 60 inch length of a lace shawl

Ribber fabrics with main bed tuck patterning

WORK IN PROGRESS


Tuck stitches on either bed will force apart the space between vertical rows of stitches in every needle rib, whether the tucking is executed on either or both beds, in one or 2 color knitting. The fabric lies flat, and depending on fiber and thickness of yarn used, the effect can be lacey and have lovely drape. In published repeats, often tucking does not happen for more than 2 rows, making knitting fairly “safe”. In thinner yarns elongation may be used to force the fabric even further apart for a more “open” look. Patterning in suggestions below occurs automatically, and on the main bed only. Needles out of work on the ribber may be planned within repeats to produce a fabric with knit textures on what appear as both knit and purl surfaces. There are designs in pattern books that are promoted as being specific for this purpose, but nearly any tuck pattern may be used once limitations are recognized.

The advice from the Brother Ribber Techniques Book and the KR850 ribber manual respectively is shown below. If a knitting with a very fine yarn, the close knit bar is recommendedAn often forgotten accessory: (I admit I have never used them)

Fine knit bar for using thin yarns

Typical patterns for the fabric from punchcard volumes

In electronic patterning a single isolated repeat will suffice. Punchcards illustrated above show the minimum required length for each. In matching needles out of work on electronics, it matters whether the default setting produces what is seen on the card on the purl or the knit side. Flipping the repeat horizontally may be required.  “Air knitting” with needle selection can help plan exact location on needle bed, as well as repeat width and in choosing of location and type of side edges. Again, having ribbed vertical stripes on each side will help the latter lie flat.

 

Brother/Passap: traveling between brands

WORK IN PROGRESS

This is the start of a new spreadsheet with between brands vocabulary. I will edit and replace information throughout the post as time allows 

A previous post on yarns info included these guidelines provided for knitting using Jaggerspun yarns. I have no affiliation with the company. I do still continue to use some of their “lines” and have a great appreciation for all their yarns. I obtained permission from the company to share content. The bottom 2 yarns, superfine merino, and zephyr wool silk are both 2/18.

Joella Knitworks was a publication in the 90s on Passap knitting. A ravelry question back in 2014 led me to dig up a copy of an article I wrote for the newsletter in 1998 on using tech 129 for adapting Japanese patterns for use on Passap, shared as a pdf, offered here as images

Brother dbj ribber settings

Two of my former  handouts on Passap lock settings and techniques
There are interesting differences between needle hook sizes that many of us experience or guess at when not obvious. This was shared by a PassapKnits member, “DT”, last October. I am sharing his observations here with his permission. The group has now moved from Yahoo, offers a wealth of information on Passap knitting machines