More “buttonholes” and slits

WORK IN PROGRESS

In the past few years in many runways, knit pieces have featured slits that happen both horizontally and vertically, with some effects achieved by turning the fabric sideways. This post will share published references describing various methods for creating them.
Some single-bed buttonholes were illustrated in the post.
These illustrations are from More horizontal single-bed:
Using ravel cord Binding off stitches  And a vertical option  From a ribber manual and the Brother Ribber Techniques Book, including interesting spelling clicking on any image will provide larger ones for printing if desired    

Double layer buttonholes may be used in stocking stitch bands applied to the side edge of a garment ie cardigans upon completion of the piece or may be planned in hems if the piece is to be turned sideways. Here they are folded horizontally
1: push the required needles to hold, knit them back with waste yarn
2: continue to the position for the next slit, and repeat
3: with a transfer tool pick up the sinker loops of the first slit that were
created with waste yarn
4: place the sinker loops onto the needles in the holding position
5: push the needles back to the working position
6: knit loops through pre-existing stitches
7: to complete the lower edge of the buttonhole transfer the second
stitch to the first stitch of the buttonhole
8: transfer both stitches onto the empty needle
9-11: repeat the process
12: pick up the loop below the waste yarn
13: place the loops on their respective empty needles
14: continue to knit, pull out waste yarn after a few rows to check for proper formation of the buttonholes It is possible to work across a whole band, here the joining method uses a tapestry needle and is akin to grafting 

Building more textures in needles out of work spaces


WORK IN PROGRESS

A collection of previous posts exploring some variations on the topic:
Ladders with lace, (leaf) “making things work” 1 3/15

Ladders with lace, (leaf) “making things work” 2 3/15
Ladder lace 8/13
Ladders and Lace 8/13
MK ladders, and a bit of crochet 12/16
Tuck “lace” trims (and fabrics 1) 6/17
Tuck “lace” trims (and fabrics 2) 6/17
Tuck “lace” trims or fabrics 312/17
Automating tuck stitches combined with “lace” 2 6/17
Combining tuck stitches with “lace” 1 3/15
Many fabrics other than the traditional ones familiar to hand knitters and machine knitters that create eyelet patterns by transferring stitches often include the term lace in their name, one such is ladder lace.
No matter what machine is in use, charts may be developed and followed that include row-by-row directions for needles out of work and any movement of stitches to alter the look of the floats created in the resulting spaces.
If a lover of hand techniques for endless fabrics developed using them, Knitology offers endless inspiration.
Aids in maintaining the desired repeat in NOOW (needles out of work): when organizing the proper needle configuration to aid with proper setup, punchcard knitters can punch a single row to match the needle selection if the repeat works within the 24 stitch constraint, and use locked preselection to make transfers in base knitting to the required configuration.
Electronic knitters may use the same concept, I prefer if doing so to plan for the width of the stitches in use on the needle bed, adding selections for knit borders on either side.
Yet another option for hand technique tracking in addition to marking the needle tape or even the needle bed is to print custom needle tapes created in a spreadsheet.   They can be marked as needed to guide hand technique selections, marked with colors in addition if needed, and are easily swapped out if corrected or additional ones are needed for the same technique. A variety of printable tapes for multiple gauge knitting machines is offered by Claudia Scarpa in her blog post.
A series of printable sheets for actions on regular row counts may be found at the bottom of this post.
Considerations in laddered fabrics: the edge stitch on either side of the float may widen and grow in size over time. The 8/13 swatch uses lace transfers that produce doubled-up stitches and a programmed pattern to aid with transfer sequences is provided.
Adding hand techniques helps to add stability to wide or varying ladder space versions created on the knit bed.
The length of the item produced combined with the added weight in the finished piece as it is hung or worn may quicken any length and narrowing of the piece, requiring blocking again or at the very least pressing and steaming.
The fiber used makes a difference in the retention of the blocked shapes, in this case, man-made fibers may serve better than wool with its spring back. With some experience, a personal vocabulary and series of symbols for specific actions can be developed, keeping the following factors in mind: arrows can make the direction of transfer clearer rather than lines.
Bringing a needle forward prior to knitting a row. If left forward it will pick up a loop on the next pass, and followed by a second knit row, an eyelet is formed. If the loop is dropped and after the knit row it is dropped and the needle is returned to the out-of-work position, the resulting ladder grows in width.
Latching ladders while on the machine creates knit stitches on the purl ground.
If cable crossings are involved, clarity of crossings representation is a factor.
At times stitches may be removed and returned to the needle bed.
Picking up the heels of specific stitches on designated rows below and placing them to the right or left of the ladder space as a way of adding shaping.
My proof of concept swatch is knit in 2/8 wool.
When saving charts, be aware that some detail is lost as seen in the chart below when comparing the visual grid to the row numbers on the right.
If experimenting with the number of rows knit before adding hand techniques, keep good notes in order to be able to reproduce segments in an all-over pattern.
Beginning with simple transfers in stocking stitch ground: here the needle configuration shifts but remains constant throughout.  Adding 2X2 cable crossings: this repeat is 12 stitches wide. A chain cast-on allows for dropping the 2 chains in the location of the starting ladders, with some weight applied to the starting rows one may proceed to the first cable crossing. On row 6, and then again at 10-row intervals from there, the designated pairs of stitches are crossed consistently in the same direction. The needles aside from the crossing are pushed back to the A position.
Knit 4 rows.
On row 10, and then again at 10-row intervals from there move the left stitch of the pair of center needles to its left, and the right stitch to its right, restoring the empty column at the center of the chart. Return the remaining empty needled to B or E position, knit 6 rows.
Repeat the process, ending with 6 knit rows. This variation uses transfer lace stitch crossings to produce larger eyelets than seen in the previous swatch. Row counts for specific hand techniques can be tracked in a written or printed document if preferred. The knitting in progress: the initial needle spacing:  Emptied needles are in the process of being returned to work after the transfers to restore the initial setup, the first knit row will create loops on those needles, and the stitch is completed with the next knit pass from the opposite side     The growing pattern becoming apparent I tend to web surf in the early morning hours. Sometimes that includes coming across YouTube videos where contributors show fantastic dexterity at handling tools while developing complex fabrics using only hand techniques.
This is one example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoJbbInlxck.
As usual, I attempted to automate as much as I could and failed to be able to execute a truly similar fabric.
In my first modified version, I introduced knit rows as seen below to make tracking of hand techniques easier and to facilitate knitting stitches/ loops groups. The result is of course quite different from the swatch in the video.
To knit: begin with a permanent cast on over the planned number of needles. In this case, 2 needles are to form vertical all knit borders on both sides.
I knit most of my proof of concept swatches on an electronic machine, downloading a plain design repeat with a stitch count equal to the entire width of the number of needles in use on the bed.
On a punchcard model, the all-knit border needles would have to be brought out to E every row for them to knit with each carriage pass.
Using provided repeat pngs as shared may require mirroring the repeat horizontally depending on the download program and the knitting machine model used, as well as changing the image mode back to indexed BW since downloaded designs from the posts may be converted to RGB mode as they are copied.
If working on a finished piece, knit several rows of waste yarn, followed by a row of ravel cord and a permanent cast-on, otherwise simply knit enough to hang a comb and some weights, required for most tuck knitting.
I happen to have a 2/20 wool as my go-to for most experiments that result in 4 or more loops building up in the needle hooks.
The beginning concept: hand transfers and automated tuck patterning 
The programmed repeat is planned for two rows of knit stitches between sets of loops  After the cast-on and base knit rows, program the machine and preselect the first pattern row. The starting side does not matter unless the use of the color changer is planned, in which case, the first preselection row would need to move toward it.
Because some needles are taken out of work, end needle selection is canceled.
After the first preselection row, the machine is set to tuck in both directions.
My test repeat was programmed as a single motif on the 930, with the image mirrored horizontally.
Each pattern segment is 6 rows high, the full repeat is 12 rows high. Color changes could be introduced every 6 rows.
Following the chart for the first segment, transfer the A nonselected location needles to the adjacent preselected ones on their left, push the emptied needles out to A, OOW after each transfer, and its adjacent needle with the combined stitches/loops out to E.
After 4 tuck stitch rows, push any needles previously placed out of work to A position out to E so they will knit appropriately on the next pass as part of an all-knit row.
As the carriage moves to the opposite side, the second all-knit row will preselect. As the carriage again moves to the opposite side, it will knit the whole row, while preselecting for the first hand-technique row once more.
Prior to the next carriage pass, transfer each of the B location nonselected needles to the adjacent preselected ones on its right, push the emptied needles out to A, OOW after each transfer, and its adjacent needle with the combined stitches out to E.
Form loops for 4 more rows, and push any needles previously placed back to A position out to E so they will knit appropriately on the next pass, forming an all-knit row. As the carriage moves to the opposite side, the next all-knit row will preselect, followed by preselection for loops and transfers again as the carriage moves again to the opposite side knitting every stitch.
Repeat the process for the desired length.
End the piece with at least 2 all-knit rows after a full or half design repeat. Cast off loosely to compensate for the widening due to the type of stitch formation. This fabric is executed as a hand technique/ short rows with no automated patterning assistance.  I have found when using the tuck automated setting in Brother models there is often the limit of accumulating no more than 4 strands in the hooks of the needles while using holding and manually pushing needles out to holding and back to work can be far more forgiving.
In this instance, loops are formed for 6 consecutive rows.
There are no all-knit rows. The color changes were made every 6 rows prior to knitting across the newly adjusted needle positions.


ArahPaint and Gimp in knit design 2

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

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

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

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

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

Pintucks 1 vs shadow pleats


Pintucks are in the family of ripple stitches. The size of both is limited by the number of rows that may be knitted before the stitches on the bed creating the ripples begin to ride up and off the needles. The number of rows possible for the rolls varies with the model knitting machine used and the type of yarn. The Passap strippers make their knitting easier. Generally, extra weight is required.
Basic pintucks are formed across the width of the fabric, no punchcard selection is required. For some basic instructions on forming them in a single color see the blog post on Shadow pleats knitting. Its follow-up, Shadow pleats with added patterning made me curious about the possibility of creating 2 colors, FI patterned pintucks.
For a very brief period of time, some designs were published creating similar effects by hooking up elongated fair isle patterns at regular intervals on the knitting bed.  The preselection for the next row knit in Brother machines poses interesting issues in restoring and maintaining the proper pattern throughout the design.
A lot of changing cam button settings can make many fabrics almost possible but not practical on home knitting machines. Some of the constant switchings of functions may be achieved by knitting with separate pairs of carriages selecting the pattern, which in electronic models advances every row, making this an electronic “special”.
Ribber fabrics produced with 2 knit carriages selecting needles introduced the idea of using a KC with a modified sinker plate to make some fabrics easier and includes a knit sample of patterned ripple fabric.
The goal here is to try to create rolls evocative of the shadow pleated swatches in a double knit.
Because of the rolling on the knit surface, designs should be lengthed at least X2. The initial test used the same pattern as that in the shadow pleated samples with the number 4, double-length key selected on the 930. The carriage setups The width of the fabric is limited. Though the KC on the right may be moved off the machine if needed, the coupled carriages cannot be since the ribber and KC used on the left do not lock together in any way, and with the stops removed the ribber carriage could conceivably slip completely off its bed. The end of the belt still needs to be cleared, but this is about as far as one can safely move, with the KC just clear of the set mark on the left of the top bed. End needle selection is used in both knit carriages.
Extension rails are required.
The coupled carriages although selecting needles will be knitting on both beds to begin and end the fabric and to seal the folds setting the pleats.
To begin, test the tolerance for the number of rows knit on the top bed only. It is possible to coax extra rows by pushing fabric down between the beds by inserting a thin knitting needle between the beds at the start of the pintuck or halfway through and weighing each end. Longer rolls and hems tend to flatten.
The main bed will be knitting on every needle and FI is essentially a slip stitch, so the tension needs to be at least that for the yarns used in single bed knitting. More pronounced rolls may be produced if the tension and stitch size are adjusted accordingly.
Normally the sealing row would be knit in the light FI color. In these samples, the yellow yarn is used to help assess how those knit rows interact with the folds and to what degree they are visible.
The first try:
1. tested a solid color 8-row pintuck a single time, then switched to 6-row sequences and continued. Even though a contrasting color is used to seal the tucks, it is not immediately visible
2. the second carriage is set to FI and begins to operate from the right. Out of habit, I knit with weaving brushed down, a bad idea in this instance
3-4. this fair isle design is used double-length and forms some very long floats repeatedly, not the best choice even for single bed FI, definitely problematic here, time to regroup.
Comparing the surface to the shadow pleat fabric For a different execution of the same design using a different main color on a different knitting day, see the bottom of the post.
Moving on to a simpler, random, smaller, 12X10 repeat planned for knitting on a 33 stitch swatch and rendered double-height planning six-row pintucks, Visualizing the possible design along with placement of sealing rows represented by all-white pixel rows in the diagram. The single 8-row fold advances the remaining pattern by 2 rows, resulting in a subtle change in the design: My swatch used white for the ground as in the above right, the 8-row transition is marked by the red arrow.  Knitting was easy and smooth, the 8-row tuck required a bit of coaxing. The fabric lies flat, does not have the drape of the single bed shadow pleats, it is not suitable for the same end-use.
Plain every needle rib knit is quite a bit wider, a consideration for casting on and binding off or transitioning to another fabric if this technique is used as part of a different fabric. This file was also downloaded and lengthened X2 The pattern is not very pronounced, but the short floats make for easy knitting. Comparing the fabric to the single bed shadow pleat using the same design The pintuck main bed FI yarn could be slightly thicker. Since the 6-row sequence appears to work well, if the fabric is to be pursued, the design could be planned and adjusted accordingly.
Issues encountered in DIY deliberate design planning: beginning in Numbers, a table is set up with enough rows to accommodate more than the height of the planned design. Since the fabric planned would knit 6 rows on the top bed, then followed by 2 rows on both beds not affecting the design, starting at the bottom of the table, use the command key and work on hiding 2 rows following groups of 6 for the height of the table  The theoretical design in beginning stages:
1: the rows marked in green are hidden
2. a design is drawn using 2-row blocks and shaping
3: it is tiled, appears worth pursuing.
The expected carriage actions, color reversing the repeat so that the dark color will knit in feeder A of the FI single bed sinker plate Points to consider while removing the use of the ribber from the equation:
both knit carriages are set for the end needles to select. When knitting fair isle this is necessary to keep the contrast color knitting from separating from the base color along the design edge. If at any point there are single-color stripes, the end needles if selected need to be pushed back to the B position, or the second color will catch the first and last needles in work, forming a float from side to side. If the yarn is removed from the B feeder and end needles are not pushed back to B, stitches on them will drop. My first try The transition to color reverse shown tiled Leaving the contrast color in the B feeder on the all knit black pixel rows created the first mess. Because of preselection, the return to knit dark rows has every needle coming forward as the single bed KC is traveling back to the right, resulting in another mess.
Regrouping so the first pair of rows with no preselection will knit the dark color, the second pair of rows with no preselection will knit using the paired carriages, sealing the fabric, the larger geometric shape has 2 rows with no needle selection nearly at its halfway point.  The broken threads are due to stitches getting hung up on gate pegs, missed until more knitting had been completed. With more attention, knitting went more smoothly, and the planned design is identifiable.    Perhaps as a farewell to the topic or out of sheer stubbornness now that the above had been knit and I have had some practice, I returned to the more straightforward knitting of that double-length flower pattern with far improved results. Some of the floats trapped behind the long stitches created on the ribber can be seen bleeding through on the right. Comparing the scale once again to the shadow pleats This fabric may fall in the category that need not be knit simply because one can. That said it may serve well in bands joined onto larger pieces, or any use for it may only be limited by patience and imagination.

 

Large scale mesh, a punchcard repeat adapted for electronic

Previous posts including fabrics in this family:
2011: Large-scale mesh, breaking the rules 
2013: Large eyelet lace, hand transferred (or not)
2020: Revisiting large eyelet lace, hand transferred (or not)

This was the punchcard provided in the first post, knit with 4 passes of each carriage, the knit carriage set to tuck in both directions Brother punchcard machines do not advance pattern rows when two carriages are used for needle selection as each carriage begins to move from the opposite side, the same preselection is repeated. This means editing is required at times if the same designs are to be used on electronic machines, particularly true in lace combination fabrics. The process has been discussed in posts on automating lace edgings with slip stitch settings.
End needle selection is canceled in both carriages, if any end needles are selected prior to a lace carriage pass, they need to be pushed back to B position manually in order to avoid transfers resulting in decreasing stitch counts or dropped stitches.
All versions proposed below share transfers that result in 3 stitches on a single needle, with two empty needles on each side of them.  Here the needles are preselected for the next pass which will begin to fill in the double space, the needle in D position will knit, the one in B position will tuck;   this is how the yarn is laid over those 2 needles after the first tuck row is completed,  and both when using the card and in the first electronic repeat there will be a third tuck loop that is laid over the needle holding the 3 stitches. This is the appearance of the stitch formations just prior to an all-knit row  Here analyzing the actions of the punchcard, marking rows according to card actions, the repeat is expanded to include the extra duplicate rows. Though the repeat remains 24 stitches wide, it is no longer usable for use on a punchcard machine. For knitting on the 930, the design requires flipping horizontally in order to knit properly. The third tuck row may be eliminated to produce an extra all-knit row, resulting in a slight difference in the shape of the eyelets Lastly, the repeat may be amended with extra stitches and rows between each eyelet  


Unconventional uses for punchcards 3: lace in rib

Lace patterns for drop stitch: cast on as preferred, transfer MB stitches to ribber, where all stitches will be knit on every row. The main bed will be knitting the stitches that will be dropped (lace carriage will not be used), cancel end needle selection, program your repeat, push in both part buttons. As the carriage moves across the bed selected “lace” pattern needles will knit, the non-selected will be skipped.
Continue to knit until no needles are selected. At that point disconnect the main bed and ribber carriages, change the setting on the main bed to knit, remove the yarn from the feeder, bring the knit carriage alone across for 2 rows, and stitches will be dropped. After the disconnected carriage is returned to the opposite side, rethread, and connect again to the ribber carriages, set the knit carriage to slip and it once again will knit selected needles. Repeat the process for the length of the swatch. If on an electronic machine with 2 carriages: the number of rows is usually an even number, so an additional knit carriage with no yarn could be positioned on the opposite side to the one selecting pattern, set to do plain knitting, holding no yarn, and it will drop the stitches on “plain knit rows” on lace card without requiring the other additional steps and cam button changes.

Transfer lace on the top bed: the question periodically comes up with regards to the possibility of using the lace carriage when knitting every needle rib fabric. The lace carriage does not operate with the ribber bed in use in the standard up position, there is not enough clearance between the beds for it to travel from one side to the other across the needle bed. It is possible to drop the ribber down one click, opening up the space between the beds, supposedly to allow for the use of thicker yarns.

My machine is old enough for the ribber to be bowed in the center, increasing the space between the beds there. Trying to use that position for every needle rib in my desired yarn I got yarn breakage in the center of the bed, some skipped stitches, and the sides of the needle bed were still up too high for the LC to have a clear passage. The problem appeared to be due to its brushes hitting the gate pegs. With the brushes removed, but with some grinding against those same gate pegs the LC was able to move along the top bed. At least on my machine, I am giving up on the idea of using it, even if only to preselect needles, let alone make transfers.
This page is from the Ribber techniques book. The fact that transfers are broken up with blocks where there are no transfers, including some with stitches transferred to the opposite bed, makes it easier to track transfers than if using all over designs. Standard pronged tools are sufficient to move the single stitches or groups of three. 

It is possible to transfer larger groups of needles on the main bed to create lace patterns, done of necessity in two-color brioche, but here I am seeking to modify lace punchcards so that the fabric based on them may be created successfully with as few errors and dropped stitches as possible.
My first attempt was made using a second knit carriage set to slip in both directions to preselect needles for transfers,  using a small lace repeat to test the idea. The advantage of this method is that the original lace repeat does not need to be altered in any way. The disadvantage, aside from requiring a second carriage to use, is that the width of the piece on the machine is limited.  The ribber carriage is in use and needs to remain at least in part on the machine bed on the far right, limiting the number of needles for possible use on the right side of 0 to about 20. The same work could be done using only one knit carriage as well, but that would require changing the cam buttons from slip in both directions to knit and back to slip at the appropriate points, one of the methods that make it possible to knit lace on the 260 bulky machines

The repeat used is for this swatch is from StitchWorld, and is knit using the second knit carriage for needle preselection.  Because each block contains lace transfers in only one direction, the fabric, even though it is a rib, reflects that in the biasing first in one direction, then in the opposite.

It helps to be clear as to whether one is producing lace repeat for use in a punchcard or an electronic model which in turn will require mirroring, such as when using Ayab or when using slip stitch selection with the knit carriage in combination with lace carriage selections to create shaped lace edgings. Testing on a small swatch will help determine whether mirroring is required for any specific design. Electronic machines usually produce the design as seen on the knit side, punchcard machines as they would be seen on the purl, thus making mirroring a requirement depending on the source for the design.
I usually begin by modifying my chosen repeat in a spreadsheet. On the left, the pairs of blank rows in the original repeat are temporarily colored in grey. It helps to be consistent. One repeat begins with a full motif, the other with half, which can be confusing when first starting out. The plan is to begin by producing a trim or edging, an all-over pattern for significant lengths appears daunting. Dropped stitches in single bed lace are no fun, in rib they may not even be noticed until the knitting is off the machine. The difference between the two repeats: the 2 grey rows on the left are replaced by black pixels or punched holes, with a blank row placed above and below each of the black row pairs. The design is now expanded from a 40-row height to a 50-row one suitable for use in a punchcard machine This explains some of the desired knitting actions Using the method described in other posts, this was the screengrab imported into Gimp. The grey line is a reference point. Cropping the image to content will allow the last blank row to be preserved by having the grey one there. After the crop, it can be bucket filled with white, or when the image is, in turn, bitmapped to B/W, you may find it disappears. Image scale is then used to reduce the repeat for knitting. This is the repeat used to knit the swatch in my 930. If working from it, punchcard knitters need to mirror designs from an electronic source such as this and will find it easier to do so by turning the card over, marking the holes that require punching on that side, doing so, and then inserting the card in the reader in its usual orientation.  The 930 .png: Prior to knitting the pattern using the ribber, it pays to test the repeat single bed to get a sense of where the knit rows occur and to make certain the transfers are happening in the correct direction and in what place on the needle bed. There should be no side by side empty needles, and in this design, the first pairs of transfers result in 3 stitches on one needle in the center of each shape, not side by side holes as seen here in the false start prior to mirroring the image Making things work: both carriages will be operating to and from the left-hand side. The process is facilitated by the use of an extension rail and a color changer. The knit carriage alone will operate to preselect the needles that will need to be hand transferred to create the lace pattern. With the following modification of the repeat, all transfers are made moving away from the knit carriage. So if the KC is on the right, transfer to the left, if it is on the left, transfer to the right. The paired carriages will create the two all-knit rows between lace segments. The blank rows above and below the two all punched or black pixel rows are there to return the carriages to the proper, left side to begin preselection for the next row of transfers. If any end needles are preselected on the knit bed, push them back to B.
It is best to knit 2 rows of full needle rib before beginning transfer, that will ensure that stitches on both beds are formed properly. I did not, had a spot on the cast-on where the loops were not properly placed on the comb, and that is reflected in the area that looks like a stitch was dropped. Begin with a zig-zag row from left to right, knit 2 circular rows, carriages will be on the right. Knit a sealing row to the left, followed by 2 all knit rows, ending with carriages once more on the left side.
COL: remove the yarn from the Knit carriage, hold it in color changer by pushing the adjacent feeder number
separate the 2 carriages
cancel end needle selection
KC is set to slip in both directions, it will remain there for the duration of knitting the pattern, make certain all main bed needles are in the B position
KC operates alone to the right and preselects the first row of transfers
COR transfer preselected needles to the left, away from the carriage. Make certain all needles are in the B position before the next carriage pass. KC will preselect for transfers to the right as it returns to the left side.  Repeat the process until all needles are preselected for an all knit row as you knit back to the left
COL pick up the yarn, engage the ribber carriage knit 2 rows on all needles
Repeat: *COL: remove the yarn from the Knit carriage, separate the 2 carriages, operate KC alone making transfers away from the carriage until all needles are preselected as you knit to the left. 
COL pick up the yarn, engage the ribber carriage knit 2 rows on all needles** until ready to continue in every needle rib.

This method is slow, I found it oddly meditative. It offers an opportunity to review stitch formation, thus avoiding dropped stitches. Hand transferring lace preselection on the single bed as well can sometimes make a fabric achievable that is otherwise cursed by dropped stitches and fiber issues.

Automated shapes across rows of knitting using slip stitch only

WORK IN PROGRESS

Full automation of “held” shapes using slip stitch alone is possible, involves careful planning of the design repeat, an understanding of necessary sequences in “holding” techniques, and results in large, long repeats for recurring shapes.
The starting side for preselection rows varies depending on the design.
Pattern knitting is worked with both cam buttons set to slip, end needle selection must be canceled.
All stitches on the knitting bed must be cleared with each pass of the carriage from side to side.
As shapes grow, test periodically for any yarn loops accidentally caught on the gate pegs.
The overall downloaded program needs to include repeats planned for the number of stitches in work on the needle bed. This is the standard requirement for Ayab, on my 930 the default img2track programming is for a single motif.
If working on an odd number of needles, whether the needle selection is pushed to the right or left of center varies depending on the brand of machine used and changes if horizontal mirroring of the design is added.
It is helpful  to begin with small, narrow repeats for practice. Assorted samples from previous posts:
a ruffle also using the garter bar a couple of zig-zags only one of many pleat variations that may be enlarged and planned for the width of the bed in knitting items such as sideways skirts repeats planned for texture bumps and slits shell shapes Testing the idea on a limited width with small intended shapes helps one iron out errors in logic or knitting sequences,  I prefer to start with a colored chart, making it easier to follow movements of the yarn, carriages, and color changes The chart was then loaded in Gimp, the Mode changed to bitmapped B/W, and the image then scaled to the final width of 74 X 96. For this exercise, I chose to keep the shapes equal distances apart (marked in green), mirrored the image on my 930 to produce the shapes in the same direction. In this instance, as is often encountered in lace knitting, an odd number of rows between repeat segments will allow for the carriage to start from the opposite side in order to reverse the direction of the shaps. The first preselection row may start from either side depending on whether the downloaded image is mirrored or not, whether by intention or automatically by the machine model’s auto settings. The default isolation in img2track is fine, ayab knitters are required to program the repeat in width to match the number of needles in use, so this would work for both I did run into an operator problem: had managed to save the repeat so rather than being all B/W there was a single row of color at its base, which caused mispatterning only when that #1 design row was knit.
With that amended, the selection problem was eliminated The same shapes always starting on the same edge A will distort that edge. Extra rows of the alternate color can vary shapes of the striping between them. Single shape rows could be floated much farther apart on solid ground, or one to which other colors or techniques are added, and finally, the reversing shapes produce a more balanced height at both sides.

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

 

Carpet or pile stitch knitting on Passap and Brother KMs 2

Trial swatches do not necessarily require a permanent edge. The main bed cast on with all open stitches is familiar to knitters accustomed to using a single bed Brother cast on comb. A quick version of the same type of cast-on is also doable when both beds are in use, and the goal is to knit all stitches only on one bed or the other. The broken toe cast on for rib is so-called because if comb and weights are hung in the wrong location on the needle bed when stitches on the opposite bed are dropped, so will the comb be along with weights, heading for your feet. If the ribber is going to be the bed doing the knitting that anchors dropped stitches or pile in Brother kms, please note prongs of ribber comb line up directly in front of main bed needles (blue arrow) and to each side of the loops on ribber bed needles (red arrow). The ribber comb wires will anchor down loops on the needle bed where plain knit rows will be formed. As mentioned above, this method will result in stitches all being open, does not produce a permanent edge, is suitable for quick swatching or for waste yarn at the bottom of the weighted fabric. It is possible to perform this cast on with ribber comb with wire already inserted in both brands, but the broken toe method is potentially less hazardous to needle health. brokent_toe_arrowsAnalyzing what is required to move between km brands with the goal of achieving 2 color or isolated pile motifs: in Passap with the back bed set to FX, one arrow key, EON pusher/ needle selection changes every 2 rows. In Brother, this may be achieved on the main bed by pushing in one tuck button and programming a repeat.  The alternate, adjacent cam button, left in its normal position, will knit every stitch when knitting direction is reversed regardless of whether any needle selection is happening. On the ribber, lili buttons may be used for alternate needle selection. Its levers determine whether tucking or slipping, in one direction or both, occur. The number of stitches on the ribber must be even. An easy visual check is to check markings on needle tape, which consists of what I refer to as dashes and blanks. For an even number begin with one, end with the other.  Passap will automatically revert to the alternate pusher for patterning on the subsequent 2 rows. In using lilis this is not an automatic function, and some handwork is required to obtain the same effect by changing the first needle selection every third row as seen in this post.

If the ribber is chosen as the loop making the bed, the needle selection on it needs to be manual for any pattern other than across whole rows. In my swatch, to knit across all needles the ribber carriage is set to slip in one direction, knit in the other. The all knit rows in pile knitting need to follow the ones with tuck loops on the opposite bed.  Extra needles are on the main bed, which creates fabric backing. The ribber carriage can be disengaged and used to drop stitches after all knit rows on the main bed.

In the actual knitting, if a plain one color pile with plain color backing is the goal, some rules may be broken. The thickest, most stable pile is achieved when the yarn anchoring the loops is as dense as possible. If the goal is to knit every stitch across each row to create loops and in turn drop them, one is, in fact, working an every needle rib. This makes it possible to create tuck loops on either bed creating the backing across the whole row because in fact there are stitches on each side of the tuck loop on the opposing bed anchoring it in place. Normally when 2 or more needles tuck side by side, rather than the stitch formation usually seen in tuck patterning, the loops do not get anchored, drop off, and create a float like those seen in slip stitch patterns.

In my first sample, the fabric is cast on the main bed, the loops are formed on the ribber. The carriages are set for the main bed to tuck traveling to the right, knitting to left. The ribber is set to slip to left, knit to right. The ribber is used to drop the stitches, simply by disengaging it from the main bed and running it across from one side to the other. Dropping stitches occurs (on either bed) after all stitches have been slipped there for one row (no needle selection if patterning). The starting side for my swatches was on the left of the machine. It is helpful to have a ruler or tool to help push loops down between the beds after dropping each row of loops and also to occasionally drop the ribber in order to check whether any loops may be caught on gate pegs.

In this swatch, I had some problems (blue arrow) on the right side related to changes in tension while determining what might be the best. Section 1 has every needle tucking on the main bed. Section (2) begins to try to emulate the Passap pusher selection using an EON 2 row tuck repeat on the main bed, resulting in things going awol and loose, even at the tightest tension possible on the main bed. Any time patterning is used on the main bed, end needle selection is canceled (KCII). The tuck repeat2 row tuck

the settings (here lili buttons are not in use1X1 card MBno lili2

ribber loops2To create every needle loops for pile on the main bed: CO is on the ribber. With settings on the image below left (no lili buttons in use), the ribber tucks loops on every needle traveling to the right, knit all stitches moving to left. Moving to the right the main bed knits on every needle, slips the whole row moving to the left, giving the opportunity to drop stitches off. With settings on below right, lili buttons are in use, and the ribber now produces an EON needle selection, every row. Left alone the selection is what would be seen using the 1X1 card on the main bed, its repeat 1X1tuckloops on MBThe yellow yarn is a 2/8 good quality wool knit at 4.2 on the main bed, 3.2 on the ribber. Switching to a rayon twist of similar thickness created instant havoc. The dark grey was a mill end, tighter twist 2/8 wool. Red arrows show what happens when loops are caught up on gate pegs and not immediately noticed. The green arrow indicates longer loops that can happen when knit stitch on either side on the opposite bed do not knit off properly. The result is a dense wool fabric, so the tendency to roll at the top and bottom of each piece toward the “knit” side of the fabric needs to be considered at the top and bottom edges of finished pieces.

knit with no lili buttons in usemain bed loops2

In 2 color knitting, or creating isolated motifs whether on one color or striped ground, anchoring loops by tucking on every needle is no longer possible, making reverting to EON needle selection on ribber a necessity. The results are dramatically different. These swatches were made using lili buttons or hand selection on ribber, loops on the main bed. If things don’t work in one color, they will not in 2, so one color, every needle pile is a place to start evaluating the results

1X1 lili selection left me with “where are the loops?”white_lili

In the bottom section here I tried 1X1 hand selection for 2 consecutive rows,  the narrow band in center back was back to 1X1 to separate areas using lilis, at the top I used lili buttons and brought an extra needle into work on ribber before traveling to the right every third row (making needles in work on ribber an odd number), returning it to out of work before knitting back to right. Dropping stitches every 4 rows makes tracking the sequence easier. The resulting pile is far more “subtle” than samples worked with every needle tucking on the bed creating the backingyelllow-lili_500

So far I still have had no luck with getting anything that does not look like a variant of drop stitch lace when attempting patterns separated for 2 color knitting, either in embossed one color, or in striped 2 color versions.