Making a 2 color drop stitch “work”

I usually try to leave opinions out of my shares, but this post includes some along with “don’t do what I did” tips.
This was a pattern available for sale decades ago, sold directly to customers. At frequent intervals over time questions come up in forums as to possible DIY techniques and methods of design and execution to create the knit, or similar, followed by speculation.
The images from the ads online are small. Trying for a bit more detail, there is a see/peek-through quality. At first, I thought it might be a version of the stitch using 3 colors, but later, looking again, I came to believe it to be a 2 color drop stitch fabric with a dark constant motif color creating the donut-shaped designs with changes to three different colors in the background.
I am planning to execute the fabric as a modified end release, releasing stitches at intervals based on needle selection.
First flub: I was thinking of this as an addition to a prior post, and I got happy cleaning up and deleting stuff. Getting here I realized some of that stuff had to do with the original repeat used and the gimp layer images illustrating the steps used to obtain my repeat.
It is possible when that happens to reverse construct the images. That brought me back to this image, 20X16, drawn as less of a circle since the fabric technique will lengthen the design. It is scaled double length to 20X32 for processing in layersThough the image is far too small to help define the quality of the stripes between the circles, the goal here is to include areas of solid stripes in drop stitch in the alternating colors between the shapes. All white pixel rows will not create long stitches on the top bed, only all knit rows only on the ribber, not the intended fabric.  

The tiled repeat: I wanted to add solid color drop-stitch stripes, the solution being to add all black rows. Every needle will select every row in those areas, colors are changed every two rows, creating the desired effect when the corresponding stitches are dropped.
On any row where every needle is preselected, all needles can be pushed forward to E position dropping the whole row of stitches, and needles are pushed forward to E again after the release so that the second row of loops composing the stripe will be created on the top bed on the next pass to the opposite side.
My final png planned as a single motif test on the 930 is modified to 46 stitches by 72 rows. Imagining the 2 colorwork in repeat, estimating if the pattern and ground fall in the proper place A visual summary with an added color change column and row numbers with rows on which dropping all loops can occur marked with different color numbers. In this case, the ground is in the dark color, the shape in the lighter one. Determining whether the shape or the ground stripes knit the dark color is simply done by beginning the first all knit rows with the dark color or the light.
Getting to the knitting: the yarn I am using, knit at tension 4/5, is significantly thicker than that recommended in the ad for the pattern.
When every needle knits every stitch on either bed, adjustments need to be made in tensions used approaching that used for the yarn when knitting stocking stitch single bed. Brother ribbers also tend to knit tighter than the top bed.
When working every needle rib with sporadic needle selection on the top bed, it takes a bit of testing to find the ideal tension so that stitches are formed and knit off properly on either/both beds.
When lots of needles are being knit on the top bed, the carriages are likely to become harder to push.
A far thinner yarn would change the scale of the overall design even if using the same repeat.
The first swatch encountered aargh moments.
A: the color changer was frequently trying to share 2 colors at once. When I attempted to change the design color, the yarn got caught around a gate peg at the start of the row, and the knitting dropped to the floor.
B: testing reversing the colors. When the dark color was switched to red, C, the contrast and definition of the newly forming “circle” was not enough to my taste. Giving it another go, the theory worked, the details in the fabric underneath the swatch can be seen peeking through,  but I would like to have stripes in the solid lighter colors as opposed to 2, and more space between the shapes. A new, untested draft is now 50X76  but those rows for the solid colors need to be rendered again with black pixels. Here some of the peek-through quality of the fabric is shown again. When any fabric is gathered sideways, it is likely the repeat will appear narrower and longer. Using a 16/2 cotton at nearly the same tension produces a fabric that is even sheerer. And now those solid stripes in 2 rows knit are really bothering me, thinking they should be switched to only one row of loops, making the original repeat without those added black rows the better repeat? Only one of the two colors would pick up loops, with the second knitting 2 rows on the ribber only.  Aaargh! So what of this? Different day, yarns used before, same tensions, a very different result. The colors look different because the sun is finally out and this photo is taken in natural light as opposed to weird artificial lighting. The navy color is slightly thicker than the white, the single dropped row is not immediately visible. Stitches were dropped on any rows after all needles flatlined, and they were returned to B position prior to the next carriage pass.
Lo and behold the joyful experience of having yarn break when the stitches are pulled in order to drop them!  A potential use is for the thinner knit is for it to be used as a layer over a different pattern or the same design as seen here, in the thicker yarn I have never been a fan of this fabric, and for a while.
To my eye, all over geometrics rather than floating forms on solid ground are more attractive, one such sample: seeking a rounder, smaller donut shape: The red is a thicker yarn than the pale yellow, the fabric had an interesting slight curl evocative of shadow pleats. Other possible changes include the elimination of the top and bottom row in the original design. What seems a possible easy fix is not. The above repeat knit creates an elliptical shape rather than a circular one A more stable fabric with areas of stitches dropped for a single row in each of the alternating colors. How to for both are found in the post.
I need a break from long stitches for a while, though this is yodeling. Never say never.  It takes time and effort to develop any fabric to the point where it is considered a satisfactory one, let alone to write and publish accurate patterns using the technique. People who do both deserve to be paid for their time and effort, and are due respect, so no sharing if the pattern is copyrighted or is an original one available for sale presently online is proper.
That said, techniques or merely repeats are not subject to the same “restrictions” and certainly may be adapted for use in different, more personal, or new ways. If an item like a scarf is made using a particular needle arrangement and texture and someone else makes a dress using the same stitch type but shaping pieces, adding details, pattern instructions, the scarf maker, IMO, cannot really claim their work has been copied.
To my mind, credits when sharing anything if available are a matter of courtesy.

Another garment illustrated in the FB comments on the last search query for the Dowse pattern or similar fabric was created with FI shadow pleats. Shadow pleats rely on the contrast between thick and thin yarns to create folds. The double density in the traditional FI segments and the subsequent shift to using thinner yarn for the second color still have floats on the purl side of the knit and are unlikely to produce a sheer knit.

Multiple color drop stitch lace using img2track and more

WORK IN PROGRESS

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

16X32

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

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

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

Using Layers in Gimp for color separations


WORK IN PROGRESS 

Over the years I have developed personal methods for creating color separations for many types of knit fabrics, born from lots of experimentation when published resources were absent or extremely limited.
I continued to share methods as they evolved from increasing familiarity with specific programs or as I was introduced to new ones.
Since I began to use paint programs including Gimp I have never been able to wrap my mind around layers and how they might be used in color separations for BW knit repeats.
In my last post on fantasy fair isle ribber fabrics, Claudia Scarpa shared her layers method and subsequently published a Youtube video for obtaining a separation for a very similar fabric to the one I developed beginning with a large design motif that in her instance was also placed specifically on a larger ground.
Her method for separations in 2 color work sparked my interest in using the steps to yield knitting patterns for varied textures and stitch types, beginning with dbj.
Using
will display layer options in my Mac on the bottom right side of the screen A simple geometric shape is scaled in Gimp to twice its height, check that Quality Interpolation is set to None. I have sometimes had issues with scaling in Gimp, particularly when working with small repeats. The cause appears to have been that the Quality, Interpolation, needs to be set to None and may randomly change while working through several steps in processing any image. Arahpaint scaling is still an excellent option for knitters who have it available.
the white ground of the resulting image is rendered transparent by using Color to Alpha and will constitute the first layer for the separation process Select New Layer from the Layers menu (see chart), choosing the background or foreground color so as to have a white screen. It will share properties with the alpha repeat such as pixel count, magnification, and the grid view if used.
Use the pencil tool to draw a repeat that will be used to fill the new layer, followed by using the rectangle tool to select what will become the pattern used to bucket fill the whole layer.
The latter may be the smallest possible selection or even that of complete rows as in my chart. Copy the selection, it will be saved to the clipboard and remain available for filling from pattern unless the program is quit unless it is saved as a pattern for future use.
After using the rectangle select tool, remember to click in the window outside the image to set the layer prior to using the bucket fill tool in the pattern fill setting or the whole layer will simply fill in with a single color. In the layers dialogue, use the mouse to drag and drop the alpha image icon for the triangle layer onto the newly created one. The selected icon will appear surrounded by a border when chosen, a new icon will appear during the step.  Both layers measure the same pixel dimensions, no placement adjustments are necessary. The mode, highlighted here is changed in a later step.  Color invert the new image  Click on the downward pointer to the right of Normal and select Difference. The result is a repeat that may then be saved and used doubled in height to knit DBJ in a variety of settings.
Elongation after download can be avoided by working with the same initial image scaled in height X4 and following the same process, saving and using the repeat on the far right. The same separation was achieved using other methods in the post on fantasy fair isle.
Possible DBJ settings on Brother machines using the elongated final repeat are shown in this grab, part of the postEOR refers to a repeat that would require double length after the download, the same machine settings apply to any image created in a double-length format prior to download. Are punchcard knitters left out? In the post on the color separation used for the KRC equivalent separation for a punchcard two results were presented, the full card and the starting design shown with the color reversed repeat of the above. The process begins with obtaining the double-length separation after saving the last file on the right as png discard any files still open. Open the saved png and process it the same way, changing the ground Save the last file as png. Punchcard knitters would need to tile the fileX4 in width and in height X2 but the final repeat appears different than that in the punchcard post, the proof of success or failure is in the knitting. If the swatch is knit on electronic, the first preselection row is made from left to right, as it would be if using the built-in color separation. The main bed for this fabric after the preselection row is set to slip in both directions, the ribber, using an even number of needles, is also set to slip in both directions with lili buttons. The 8X32 png The result from repeating it twice indicates the separation indeed works. When a color separation is downloaded it is used as one would a fair isle. If the motif is representational and direction on the knit side matters, any repeats may have to be mirrored horizontally if they are automatically reversed by either your software prior to download or your machine model after it.

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

More shapes on ribber fabrics with tuck patterning, fantasy fair isle

Fantasy fair isle is the term often used to refer to dbj fabrics created using tuck settings on either or both beds. Typically in the required color separation used each design row in the repeat is expanded into 4 rows, with the same selection occurring for each color pair of consecutive rows. A tuck/plain combination is used here, with the backing essentially being a striper one, where each color knitting every stitch on the ribber on every row.
In this illustration, the blue symbols represent knit stitches on either bed, the red, the tucked stitches on the top bed. The chart represents a single design row expanded into 4, the results would, in turn, be rendered double length in knitting the final fabric.  The last post related to this topic: 2021/09/07/geometric-shapes-on-ribber-fabrics-with-tuck-stitches-3/
Recently a friend shared images of a punchcard skull pattern she was using in a hat and followed with a query as to the possibility of using the pattern on a mesh grid. The inspiration for the conversation began with this image, the work of Claudia Scarpa. The possibility of adding images on a true mesh transfer lace or mesh-like thread lace images may be found in 2021/12/14/to-mesh-or-not-to-mesh-9-more-on-mock-filet-design/
My DIY skull image in a potential thread lace pattern, in a 100X92 pixel png.  Concurrently the topic of illusion knits on the machine has also resurfaced in FB with some spectacular panels executed using the Garter carriage and changing colors every 2 rows. Some small geometric shapes begin to have a somewhat “similar” appearance using this technique, but as with beauty, the success in the imitation is in the eye of the beholder.
The techniques involved: my proof of concept was knit using img2track on a 930. Traditionally two-color designs may be opened and then downloaded, using the standard dbj built-in KRC function for the color separation, not suitable for this dbj version, while for designs in 3 or more colors the program will separate the repeat in a way that each color for each design row is knit twice, the separation required here.
At this point, the color separation is executed by filling in pixels observing a variety of rules. DAK produces templates of jacquard separations of varied types that may be printed for use outside its universe. The same file may be screengrabbed, traced, and redrawn pixel by pixel for use in a Brother download using other download software.
Passap by default separates knits for 2 color DBJ with each color for each design row knitting twice mode. Tucking on either or both beds is made easier because of the way stitches are formed on the Passap beds, along with the use of strippers which push down on tuck loops with each pass, ensuring that they will knit off properly. The fabric widens considerably when off the machine, requiring loose cast ons and bind-offs. The dbj variant, dubbed fantasy fair isle, is often used to create lap or quilt blankets.
The Passap built-in reader techniques that are often recommended for large knit pieces ie blankets using the same design are 186 for throw size, 187 for lap blankets, 183 for crib quilts. All three share the fact that the front bed pushers are selected in pattern in the up/knitting position alternating with the down/slip/tuck position alternating every 2 rows, producing the jacquard discussed here.
Slip settings produce narrow, short results, tuck short and wide ones. For non Passap knitters, N is Passapese for plain knit, KX is tuck with patterning on the front/ knit bed, AX for tuck patterning on the back/ribber bed.
Back in 2018, I began another post I meant to return to on traveling between the two brands.
My Passap E6000 manual is filled with scribbled notes from decades ago, expanding on how each technique may be used for a variety of fabrics.  In Fantasy Fairisle knitting using 187 with alternating up and down pushers on the back bed and AX with 2 arrow keys would match Brother ribber knitting with lili buttons used on an even number of needles set to tuck.
Working with the large skull image the setting of knit every row on the ribber and tuck in both directions on the knit bed is used as in technique 186, with a critical difference. Passap knitters may download the original black and white image while for Brother knitting a color separation is required.
The original skull image is 100 pixels wide by 92 high.
Converting the white ground layer behind the skull to alpha produces an image on a clear ground that can be placed exactly where desired on a new file with a white ground using the grid and guides
The alpha double long skull, now 100 by 184 pixels For the 1-pixel grid in Gimp to be visible on an editable image, a magnification of at least 800 is required. The options offered by default
can be changed to suit by simply typing in a new number.
As described in other posts including in Gimp update for Mac2, I chose to mark every other row with a red pixel, making it easier to track color inverting every other row.  This is achieved by selecting the rows with red dots using the rectangle tool one row at a time and choosing Invert from the colors menu. The red dot will also change color, making it easy to locate converted rows in more complex patterns. The dotted blue line is a guide for placement. in progress   the processed image the trimmed 98X182 png doubled in length once more to 98X364 Knitting process on a 930 using img2track:
the 930 has a tiny brain, so the image is broken down by the software into multiple tracks of 96, 134, and 134 respectively. One of the critical differences when using this type of DBJ color separation is that the first preselection row is made from right to left toward the color changer rather than from left to right as in KRC separated 2 colors DBJ.
The first and last needles are in work on the ribber to ensure the edge stitch on that bed will knit every row.
The knit carriage is set to KCII, canceling end needle selection.
Once the first row has been preselected and the planned color is chosen, with COL, set the main bed to tuck in both directions, leave the ribber set to knit, and continue knitting changing color every 2 rows.
In my swatch, the dark contrast color was used for the initial black pixel all-knit rows.
The work on the machine: A reminder: in my experience, the Brother cast on combs are usually chrome-colored, Studio grey, and Passap and I believe Superba ones were traditionally green. The first 2, designed for 4.5 mm machines, the latter for 5mm. The different mm spacing does not make the 5 mm combs suitable for casting on on Brother, but they can be poked through the knit in progress. I like to leave the first comb and weights on, insert the new comb closer to the beds, and then move the weight up and then remove the lower position comb.
There are lots of side-by-side stitches tucking on the main bed, made possible by the fact that each is anchored in place by a knit stitch on the opposite bed.
The tension needs to be set so that the stitches will knit off properly while having tuck loops not so loose as to get hung up on gate pegs. It can take a bit of trial and error to find proper settings and they, in turn, may need to be adjusted again when moving from small swatches into knitting on a far larger number of needles.
The finished piece measures 25 inches in width by 24 in height.
The appearance on the bed set to N, in this case, the ribber: Those white lines on the right are spots where the color changer picked up both color threads, a problem that does not occur in Passap knitting, where each color is picked up in its own yarn holder. In the Brother model, sometimes the yarn is left in the wrong place below eye level rather than its own individual one corresponding to its button, and both yarns are picked up with the next color change. The more textured knit side of the piece,  a close-up of the texture at an angle  Claudia Scarpa developed a skull variation using only layers in Gimp and has been kind enough to create a Youtube video illustrating the process. The separation is easy and quick as opposed to my more prolonged hack, and I will return to attempt to use it for various fabrics in a follow-up post.
This skull is more compact and better defined than mine. With the double long original image superimposed on alternating pairs of black and white rows, the resulting png can not be lengthened again as tucking would then occur for 4 rows, not likely possible in a Brother machine. The variant is a very interesting cousin to mine.

In DAK using the Method C color separation each color row separates into 2 rows of knitting and when using the result rows do not have to be repeated in pairs but the double-length switch will need to be used in Japanese knitting machines if working within the program. For those intending to use the separation outside the DAK universe, the color separation may be printed, traced/redrawn to create a png or bmp, scaled double length, and used as in the skull swatch. The template for the double long triangle in the post and the associated 24 stitches by 32 rows png, followed by the associated drawn png The png doubled in length, 24 stitches by 64 rows. This is a small repeat, suitable for punchcard machines. The test swatch is knit with the main bed tucking both ways and the ribber knitting every row. It is possible to work some repeats on some machines with the ribber also set to tuck both ways with EON needle selection.
In Brother that is achieved by using lili buttons with an even number of needles in work on the ribber. The first and the last needle would be in work on the top bed, the KCI setting is used for end needle selection to ensure that the first and last needles on each side of the piece will knit. I did not find this method workable and soon had to stop because of a loopy mess. When using the Dak stitch design module, the color separation is automated. Choose any design repeat. This happens to be a 20X20 one, chosen from the thumbnail assortment, so not suitable for punchcard models. “Printing” the template using choosing the option of using dots rather than squares to represent knit stitches makes the resulting print screengrab easier to trace. the 20X20 repeat as a BW png The template was overlayed with a grid in numbers, filling in cells over the dotted areas.
A portion of the work in progress using the generated dbj option C template and tracing it transitioning from template to Numbers, to Gimp:  The result is screengrabbed, opened in Gimp, converted to BW mode, and scaled to the 20X40 expanded design size. Unless the double-length function in the machine is also used, it will need scaling again to double length prior to download.
Illustrations for the generated dbj option C template, tracing it in Numbers, processed in Gimp, The final image double length, showing the difference between the separation using the template, and that using layers as in Claudia’s video, which appears different but is actually the same repeat, color reversed.  Using bucket fill for the ground in the second layer, as described in the video, the captured clipboard image can be very small or stripes any width may be captured, even up to that of the full repeat widthRemember to click on the screen outside the area chosen with the rectangle tool before using the bucket fill in pattern tool.
The result is the same using either brush.
Alternately, the initial design may be scaled X4 to 20 X 80 pixels and it is superimposed on a ground flood-filled with 2 black rows alternating with 2 white rows the steps resulting in a match to the previous elongated version the 20X80 png In the related swatch patterning is used on  40 stitches by 100 rows. The relaxed fabric when off the machine measures 7 inches by 7 inches and the knit side view reflects the elongation of the design one might observe when using the same color separation in standard striper-backed DBJ. On the bottom, the swatch is stretched and the stitches are set with some casual steaming and pressing to 10.5 to 6.75 inches, gaining the familiar texture appearance seen in so many Passap blankets.
The color differences are due to lighting, with the photos being taken at different times of day.  
For a loose cast-on row, I used a racked version at the same tension as the body of the knit. For a loose bind off to accommodate the stretch, I used a version of this method, shown in the video for use on the Passap.
To perform the same on Brother machines: knit the piece, ending with the carriages on the right.
Transfer all the stitches up to the top bed, bring the ribber needles up into work between them set the ribber to a looser tension number, here it was increased from 4 to 7. Knit one row from right to left, picking up loops on the empty ribber needles drop the ribber slightly to elongate the main bed stitches, using a latch tool, go through the center of each stitch, chaining them through each other the last stitch in the completed chained row is secured the beds are returned to the up position, and loops and stitches are dropped off the needles.
An attempt at a more detailed look at the bound-off edge

Revisiting fair isle, thread lace, 3D surface potential

WORK IN PROGRESS

Tuck and slip stitch are commonly used to produce very effective textured surfaces often accompanied by color changes. Those color changes require knitting with yarn always in the A position in the sinker plate, and color changes are made by replacing the yarn in that position by hand, or by using the color changer. Fair isle and thread lace operate differently, as they carry and work with two yarns at once. Some of these samples were also presented in the post on fair isle variations
For textured surfaces using wire for one of the two colors makes the fabric moldable, here 32 gauge stainless steel wire is used as color 2, card#2 Using end needle selection when there are needles out of work results in single stitch width vertical columns of color that are planned in this instance as guides for sewing machine stitching lines. The width of the fabric is limited because of the number of needles actually knitting the pattern, but the technique offers the opportunity for a coordinated bicolor fringe with placement on the motif from casual to very deliberate, either side may be chosen as the “public one What may be firing in one piece could provide a tube for insertions on either side of the knit.
The fringing here is created by having needles out of work with one or two needles in work at their outer edge anchoring the deliberate floats on one side, trimmed when the piece is complete, before felting. The triangles are formed with single decreases followed by increases to reverse the shaping keeping the fringe edge needles in a fixed position. There is some rippling along the shaped edge, but the remainder of the fabric is fairly flat. Felting creates a reversible knit, shrinkage, possible stiffness, and potential limitations in the width of the final fabric are considerations when planning wearables. These factors become irrelevant when the goal is sculptural form.  Creating blistered surfaces the easy way,  leaf pattern variations: poly-cotton and raffia on the bottom, fishing line as the second yarn line on top. I have found the line for 6lb or fewer works best. The knit is flat. Felted rayon chainette and wool; when the main color is wool and the rayon renders the floats there is minimal blistering the result from reversing the yarn positions creates more bubbling
Here elastic is used as the second color in the thread lace setting.  Using wool and acrylic non-felting yarn, the original mylar repeat was altered to twice as long and rendered twice as wide as well the difference in finished width The yarn positions in two color single-pass knitting, remain fixed in their relationship to punched holes. In fair isle patterning, the back feeder, usually labeled A, knits the ground on non-selected needles in the B position. The yarn (red) in the forward, B feeder, knits the stitches on needles selected to the D position which correspond to punched holes or black squares in a mylar, black pixels in a computer file for download. In thread lace, the back A position yarn knit both yarns together, while the forward B position yarn, red thread, knits the forward yarn/color, with the other yarn creating the single set of floats behind it.
Not all machines have a thread lace carriage, I use a punchcard model KC on my electronic machines 
Sinker plates in different model years may also differ.
In terms of blistered fabrics in 2 colors using elastic yarn as one of the two fibers, the results in FI and its double sets of floats are shown on the left, the thread lace version with only the elastic creating the single float on the right.  Thread lace patterning may also be used with a thin, non-felting yarn knitting the areas of the pattern intended for the 3D texture in the forward yarn position. The rear position yarn needs to be wool or other fiber that will felt and shrink with processing. In the finished piece, the wool floats may be left in place, trimmed, or the thin shapes may even be trimmed out leaving openings that do not ravel In addition, large thin fabric shapes can be stiffened over enclosures to create permanent effects in sculptural pieces.

 

Ribber fabrics with stitch transfers between beds 2

A collection of embossed patterns created by isolated groups of stitches being brought in and or out of work on the ribber
2021/05/09/double-bed-embossed-patterns/
2021/02/25/brother-shadow-lace-rib-transfer-carriage/
2021/03/11/slip-stitch-patterns-with-hand-transferred-stitches-double-bed/
2020/08/13/ribber-fabrics-with-stitch-transfers-between-beds-1
2017/12/20/combining-kc-patterning-with-racking/
The inspiration fabric in the 2020 post and one of the resulting swatches The inspiration fabric recently found online, source not knownAnalyzing the structure: it appears the fabric is knit with slip stitch textured patterning on the top bed, and occasional needles in work on the ribber creating elongated stitches that float on top of the light-colored rows.
Slip stitch textures narrow the fabric width considerably, so the single-color areas would need to be knit in slip stitch as well, here a 1X1 repeat is chosen.
Needles brought up to work on the ribber are planned to interact at intervals with stitches on the top bed. The starting concept working in Numbers In slip stitch patterning the white pixels slip, the black pixels knit. This repeat is 20 stitches wide, so not usable for a punchcard machine. The first draft is 20 stitches wide by 32 rows highThe test swatch: Any adjustments in the dark color stripe between will need to be made within the repeat itself, the floats in the light color will be wider by using a simple color reverse. The color reversed, modified repeat is now 20 stitches wide by 28 rows  The test swatch was executed using the same red/yellow yarn combination, then in black and white using different yarn thickness and tensions.
The width of the spaces between stitches on ribber can be varied, creating shifting size “window panes” resulting in a knit fabric with a very different aesthetic.
The reverse surface is not particularly exciting. A comparison to the mirrored original inspiration, likely knit in thicker yarns The knitting process: with any textured or very lacy knits casting on and binding off require special consideration.
In test-swatching, knit the pattern single bed first to sort necessary tensions and visual appearance, follow with plain knit rows using the dark color,
use the ribber cast on comb to poke through the knit, hang ribber weights, bring needles into work on the ribber, stitches will be formed on it with the next pass. The ribber stitches need to be knit as loosely as possible, test the rib pattern and tensions.
If using only the coupled knit and ribber carriages, the first preselection row is made toward the color changer from right to left, the dark color knits first.
Needle pre-selection changes serve as guides to both color changes and to carriage setting changes on the ribber.
After every other needle preselection, the dark color knits with the ribber set to knit.
When the needle preselection changes to the alternate patterning, the color is changed, the ribber is set to slip in both directions. The main bed only will knit, in this instance, for 4 rows each time.
After every other needle has been preselected again, the color is changed to dark, the ribber carriage is set to knit in both directions, the process is repeated throughout.
I used a modified KC sinker plate and a second knit carriage selecting needles as shown in the 2018 post
A possible alternative for casting on a finished piece:
cast on every other needle rib from right to left
knit 2 circular rows, followed by an all knit row, the carriage will be on the left side once more
transfer all ribber stitches up to the main bed, bring up the desired needles on the ribber to pick up loops for new stitches before the next pass, with the first and last needles in work on the ribber.  Read the first row of the pattern, cam set to KC1 to ensure end stitches are knit when patterning occurs only on the top bed.
Knit to the left.
The first stitch on the left may need to be filled picking up a ridge from the stitch above it to form properly.
The knit carriage is now set to slip in both directions and knitting continues as described previously.
Once a pattern is set up, the same design can be explored in different ways.
Here the swatch was knit in a single color with the ribber set to knit in both directions on every row.
Because there are many more rows on the ribber knitting than on the main bed, the vertical line created by its stitches is not smooth and is forced up at the top of the piece, creating a wavy edge. The cast on was deliberately loose. To tighten it up at the edge of the body of a narrower knit, every other loop can be picked up with a latch tool or crochet hook moving toward the yarn end at the cast on edge and is pulled through the previous one, producing a chain stitch. When the end of the row is reached, the yarn is pulled through the last chain and secured.  

 

Visualizing knit cables 3_ using Numbers and Gimp

As our knitting experience grows, there are likely to be some techniques that engage us and others we choose to avoid completely if possible. Cables are in the latter category for me. I have hand-knit complicated pieces using them but dislike knitting them on the machine immensely. That said, I am periodically drawn to revisiting the topic in my blog, the resulting swatches are as proof of concept.
Small crossings may be used in sequence to create more complex appearing cables,  charts illustrating them may be simplified, using little or even no added color. The repeat is 8X8 and illustrates in the purl view. Ladders and knit columns between vertical sets of cables make the process easier to track, one needs to be alert to accidentally bringing the ladder back into work resulting in knit stitches, seen in the bottom left of the knit side swatch.      A table may be created to help with tracking multiple series of cables across a knit and their direction. It can contain as little or as much information as one wishes. Included here: the RC for possible crossings, their direction on the purl side for machine knitting (reversed for hand knitting). Columns may be added for including how many needles are left in or out of work between cable knit spaces or other info. It is also possible to print a custom needle tape to place underneath the involved groups of needles instead of marking the needle tape or the knit beds.  On a standard km, the needles are 4.5mm apart. A conversion reference for needle spacing point values Four needles X 12.75 =51 points, the width of the table cells, which in this instance are all equal in size. Colors and any other info may be added within each cell. Print in landscape orientation, making certain the image is not set to fit the page, but at 100%.
A narrower series of twists are made after every 2 rows knit,  the chart shows crossings on the purl side on the left, as opposed as to how they would appear on the knit side on the right Which leads to the topic of creating shapes by combining the repeats A brief effort containing at least 5 errors leads me to wonder about programming needle selection to help track crossings more easily and avoid mistakes. The center ladder here was latched up during knitting.  Adding the ribber: the simplest knits using the ribber are made with transfers to the ribber of single or multiple stitches to create what is sometimes called trailing stitches, with cables occurring at determined distances and appearing as knit stitches on a purl ground. Some samples of elongated ribber stitches with crossings on a striped ground may be found in the post on Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed, the technique may be executed in a single color, or as shown here with color changes every 2 rows.  If only the knit stitches or purl stitches are crossed on one the same bed when knitting ribs, they will appear so on one side only. One example If the start is on the top bed, stitches on the ribber may be created by picking up bars from the top bed the yarn above was a 2/8 wool, which refused to cable on the ribber, and having the crossing was preferred to not changing to a thinner wool-silk solved the problem.  Using a punchcard or electronic program to track movements and cabling on the knit bed, each stitch in each pair of punched holes or pixels is crossed over or under the other. This is a very time-consuming fabric, not friendly to distractions or interruptions. Any crossing mistakes in the swatch were due to “operator error”. In reviewing the post after linking to it here I realized the now marked punchcard error at its top. The amended longer chart reworked in Numbers is also added to the older post. It is shown here aside from its tiled chart, checking for alignment, a habit developed as my skill and comfort in using spreadsheets grew, A png of the repeat, 24 stitches wide by 72 rows Tiled for alignment in Gimp as well.
It is possible to use the repeat working 1 X 2 stitch crossings for a very different look.
A large swatch is worth doing before committing to a large piece.
Correcting crossing errors (purple arrows) after the fact will be harder than doing so in some other instances or in a bulkier knit.
Keeping the fabric visible as opposed to between the beds begins to show a pattern on the reverse, which can also guide the direction of movements.
There are spots in this repeat where the center larger cables are not possible because of cables in opposite directions already occurring on either side of the group of selected needles (red arrows).
Transfers occur by bringing single needles forward and crossing pairs of stitches behind them, moving away from the center of the triangular half of the diamond as it is formed. The sequence is retained until after the wider cabled segments occur (black arrow and line), where there is no other needle selection aside from stitches to be crossed.
The number of plain knit stitches between crossings is always even.
The cabled knit areas have a depth that makes them project out and appear almost beaded in texture. Assigning colors to crossings in a chart may be helpful or too much info depending on one’s perspective, the bottom of the repeat is on the right.

Periodically, the topic of reversible cables turns up in discussions for both hand and machine knitting. They are possible when working in ribbing on the knitting machine.
Keep in mind that ribs narrow when off the machine, cables do as well, so a looser tension is generally required, and the basic fact that knit stitches are purl stitches on the other side and vice versa.
Cable crossings are made over purl stitches that separate them or the reverse. Changing rib needle arrangements will result in fabrics that may not always “match”, appearing different on one side from the other.
Using the half-pitch position before any transfer rows brings needles closer together, G carriages may be a boon but may have a hard time knitting the row immediately following the cable crossings and even jam.
On the machines, a 3X3 crossing is likely to be the limit. A general starting guide when trying out repeats is to knit the same number of rows between crossings as there are stitches in the cross, so 6 rows knit before a 3X3 cable.
A published illustration of bringing the ribber into play. Creating extra slack if possible on the row before stitches are moved is helpful here as well as when working on the single bed.
Stitches may be crossed on either or both beds. If trying that out, crossing on one bed, knitting a row, then crossing on the other is another thing to try. As with any ribber fabric, the view of results is limited, dropped stitches may be easily missed.
A straightforward idea to test: in a wide vertical rib make cables on both beds, testing whether it is necessary to reverse the direction of the crosses or not, the number of rows to knit plain, etc. The chart shows a staggered arrangement. The number of rows between crossings can be changed to suit. In my first test crossings occur on both beds and on the same row. Even using the thinner blue yarn at maximum tension the transfers were hard to execute. I had more success when I added 2 empty needles between the vertical ribs and brought one on each side of each rib into work on the top bed prior to knitting the last row between transfers, creating a bit of extra yarn to ease the crossings.
After the row is knit the same needles are pushed back to A position, dropping the yarn, and crossings are made before continuing to knit.
Results vary depending on the yarn, tension, machine model, and operator patience. The arrows mark the location of what appears to be a damaged needle, the tuck stitches were not deliberately planned.  Here the repeats are staggered, the edge with the ladder close to the end stitch is shown again to be far less stable than the one with more knit stitches. Spacing is varied, exploring the tolerance for the yarn to be crossed. The setup while working: If transfers are made after every 5 rows knit, crossings on multiples of 10 could be assigned to one bed, while row counts containing the number 5 could be made in the other. Sporadically pairs of transfers on the same bed may provide more surface interest.
The set up after transfers to top bed prior to binding off Trying out a simple repeat in smaller rib configurations will provide some idea as to whether the technique falls into the love of or not something to do simply because one can.
Charting can happen using the same method as in illustrating crossings in color, with some alterations, sometimes less information is more or enough.
The first repeats were knit with most stitches on the main bed, and a 2 stitch ladder on either side of the ribs involved in cabling to help visually with keeping the stitch location constant. The grey, purl cell blocks are as viewed from the back, the white cells represent stitches on the ribber.  A: the set up single bed, with needles out of work on each side of the planned cable space, tension is tested and 3X3 crossings every 6 rows are made first only on the single bed
B. the ribber needle configuration is set up
C. the cables are made after transferring ribber stitches up to the top bed, and then the same stitches are returned back down to the ribber before continuing to knit
D. the ribber stitches are transferred up to the top bed, and the swatch was bound off. Note the difference in width in areas where no crossings are made.
The step-by-step instructions apply to both instances: the chart shows 4 rows knit between crossings, instead, here 6 rows are knit in both tests.
The photos documenting the 2X2 rib: the single bed starting point
the rib configuration set up 1.  after 5 rows knit, bring an extra needle in work on the top bed to pick up extra yarn for the cross 2.  drop the extra loop, make certain the empty needle returns to A position 3.  transfer all cable ribber needles to top bed 4.  cross the stitches with two three-prong tools 5.  transfer stitches back down to the ribber knit 5 rows, repeat steps 1 to 5.
The appearance of each side of the fabric differs
A: the knit was begun on the single bed
B: the ribber configuration was set up
C: cable crossings were made as shown above
D: stitches were transferred to the top bed and bound off  An attempt at a larger swatch using 1X1 ribs:
the intended concept a custom needle tape rib set up for the yellow yarn the cable crossings using it were impossible, starting over with a thinner yarn at the same tension the ribber may be dropped after transfers up to the main bed, keeping stitches and crossings visible, making it possible to make corrections in any cables if they are needed before re-engaging the ribber and transferring stitches back down The concept is an interesting one and many arrangements based on the idea are possible. In the above swatches, when any transfers were made to the top bed, after crossings, a row was knit before returning stitches to the ribber. The extra row may or may not be noticeable, depending on the yarn and colors used.
More variants, analyzing columns in color using a crossing over single center stitch first and eliminating the extra knit row, and transferring stitches back down to the ribber immediately after making the cables. The rib will have a tendency to spring back when relaxed and off the machine, so the texture may be hard to see. Using a fiber that allows for some spreading out with some blocking helps to make the work more visible. A reference chart can be developed ahead of time for repeat variations. The number of rows between crossings can vary. When the crossing row is reached:
A: stitches are moved up from the ribber to the main bed
B: cable crossings are made
C: stitches that had been moved up are returned back to the ribber, keeping the original ribber needle configurationAssigning colors to columns reveals that stitches are not moved onto the same stitch type when moved over a single, undisturbed, fixed center stitch. Shifting the needle arrangements when cabling, moving across a center column of two stitches that remain fixed on the main bed, the cable direction as it would appear on the purl side on the left, the knit side on the right is straightforward here: I found the above impossible to knit, even with ladders for extra slack, and the swatch stopped when the yarn broke Returning to 1X1 rib, looking at the column alignment in color  There appears to be enough slack produced in the formation of stitches between beds to make the planned crossings possible.
A: the needles transferred to the top bed
B: crossings are made over the 2 center stitches
C: the stitches that had been moved up to the main bed are now returned to the ribber. Bringing cable stitches out and or up to the hold position helps ensure that they will knit properly on the next carriage passes.
The similarity between both sides of the fabric is increased
From a Brother pub, small crossings for a smocked effect The same approach may be used to create fabrics in tubular tuck patterns, easy to execute in one color. Once yarn, possible crossings, and their minimum frequency have been determined, the start of far more complex shapes can be explored using colors to represent the necessary direction of movements before any decisions are made has to how frequently to cross the cables and to get some idea of negative spaces created between traveling stitches. In hand knitting, a purl ground is easier to plan and maintain. Adding and removing rows in the tables or even changing colors is easy and quick in a spreadsheet, tiling in repeat with scaled screengrabs provides a quick reference for possible improvements/corrections before any actual knitting takes place

Visualizing knit cables in color 2_ using Numbers and Gimp

Though this post presents cable movements in colors using multiple stitches, the resulting repeats may be knit by hand or at times on the machines in single color textures and the number of stitches in any column may be reduced or expanded, keeping the direction of the cable crossings the same.
Though DIY charting may not be your goal, perhaps the charts themselves will inspire similar stitch movements. Segments of any of the charts may be clipped, saved, and manipulated for easy versions of other options.
My first published experiment with cables created in vertical columns of alternating colors was in 2012A quick way to imagine variations of the same pattern is to choose segments of the swatch photo and alter their direction and/or placement Using the spreadsheet, shifting crossings are imagined, adding a half-drop variation, creating secondary shapes. A variation doubling the width of the cable crossing in a half-drop repeat In machine knitting, one is looking at the purl side, and the ability to move stitches is often limited by the fact that their placement on a metal bed is fixed distances apart. Simpler repeats can be executed as isolated vertical bands on solid color or striped or even FI grounds, adding the ribber for even more complexity in execution.
Hand knitting makes moving crossing multiple stitches possible more easily, and because the crossings are usually made with the knit side facing, it remains easier to keep track of directions in which to move the stitches.
There are other choices in charting for either, cable crossings happen as a row progresses in hand-knit, in machine knitting, knitting stops and crossings are made before continuing with the next row. If color changes are planned every two rows then cables need to have multiples of 4 rows between each set of crossings. Hand-knit possibility on the left, with expanded charting for machine knitting I continue to be fond of visualizing results in color in a spreadsheet prior to knitting swatches. As usual, as the sample charts multiply, the techniques often evolve as well for creating them.
Without access to Excel, I am presently using Numbers 11.2 in macOS Monterey 12.0.1, a version with several changes from the previous. Working with shapes does not remain my preferred method, but shapes are useful and worth considering in drafts of charts for many stitch patterns outside this topic.
Notes on my process: to start with,  a table is created with enough cells to accommodate more than one repeat of the planned cable crossings in both height and width. I prefer working on a cell size of 20X20 pixels and using magnification if needed to make work details more visible, decreasing it prior to screengrabs for illustrations here.
The choices for cell border styles may be made both in terms of colors and line quality or eliminated altogether  To add a shape, in the toolbar, search for shapes and select a category on the left, then click on the shape or drag one onto the sheet to add it.
To browse all shapes move the pointer over the shapes pane and scroll down.
It is possible to create and save custom shapes.
To make a shape editable
1: click on a shape to select it
2: choose Format, Shapes and Lines, Make Editable from the format menu at the top of your screen, handles will appear. In this case, a red square in each corner, a small circle on the left side  3: double click a white handle to change the line from curved to straight, handles represent different types of lines
Squares with a red outline: lines that connect to this point are straight
Circles with a red outline: lines that connect to this point are curved
4: click outside the edge of the shape when done editing it
Saving custom shapes
1: Click a custom shape to select it, then choose Format, Shapes and Lines, Save to My Shapes (from the Format menu at the top of your screen). The shape is saved in the My Shapes category of the shapes library, which appears only when you have custom shapes. Shapes appear in the library in the order you create them, this order cannot be changed.
2. Type a name for the shape in the field that appears below it, or click the name to change it.
To delete a custom shape, Control-click it in the shapes library, then choose Delete Shape.
Color choices are the same as for any work with colored cells, for the default palette, left-click on marked area, choose from current fill selections Choosing custom colors: left click on fill, then on the colored globe, new selections appear, click on any one of the pencils to select the new color, it will move up from other selections, the change will be reflected, can be undone and repeated several times Creating the first cable crossing shape: choose the square from the basic shapes, if the first plan is to work across 3 cells, change its size to the width of 60 pixels, 20X3, and single height of 20 pixels, also changing colors if desired. To do so, left-click on it, uncheck constrain proportions, and change values to desired ones Change its color It is a good idea to copy and paste a few shapes outside the table in case they are needed
A: place the shape on the cell grid
B: make shape editable
C: click on the left upper corner of the shape on the small white square, it will turn red, drag, and place it where desired, release it
D: repeat with the small white square in the lower right corner, release
E: check image size, adjust to 60 pixels wide, 20 high, make editable again if tweaking is needed,
F: the first crossing shape is completed Right-click on the final shape, copy it,  and paste it several times on the sheet away from the table.
Copying and pasting shapes on a single cell will fit any image within its borders, to remove it choose the cell, color fill, no fill, from the format menu To use the shape, left-click on it, drag it into the desired position.
Cable crossings are usually in pairs, so a companion shape will be needed, 60 pixels wide by 20 high, in a contrasting color, the results of making the larger image editable

The combined images may be created in a paint program such as Gimp and the resulting file, in turn, may be used in a spreadsheet. Pngs can be custom filled with any color of your choice in Gimp or its equivalent To draw a straight line in Gimp when applicable, select your preferred brush tool, click the point that begins your line, hold the Shift and Command keys in a Mac, drag the cursor to where you want the line to end. Click the endpoint, this creates a straight line between the two points with your selected brush. After the line is drawn, release the Shift and Command keys.
When charts are for personal use only, individual preference guides visualization methods, considerations for publishing may be different.
Yarn colors may be used in the charts, moving wider columns of stitches may be difficult if not impossible on a machine, but hand knitting opens a different world of opportunities for pattern use.
Working in a spreadsheet is easier for me than only using Gimp.
Seeking out a method for better definition of cable stitches to facilitate following crossings visually, cable crossing rows here are now double-height for added clarity; other choices include showing grid or not, and using BW for stitches crossed to the front in any direction.
Disregarding the grid, each column of color could be any number of stitches wide, while having the grid allows for easy counting of rows. Any chart may be used in knitting using a single color as well. Fair isle repeats: when working cables in FI, in addition to tracking cable directions, the needles must be placed in the proper needle positions B and D for correct patterning to continue.
A series of cables executed along vertical lines of the same color. The red border surrounds the full repeat.  These illustrations are as they would appear for hand knitting, with crossings made as knitting progresses along the corresponding chart rows on the knit side of the fabric Fair isle on mixed striped ground  Fair isle with repeat changes, expanded further by mirroring An expanded MK illustration A FI sample shared in 2015From Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, single bed   2/21
When using fair isle patterning as a guide to forming cables on the machine, crossing directions matter more since one is no longer simply placing color on like color: this chart transitions from the original idea to the placement of the crossings, a full repeat with their direction reversed based on which color is wanted to travel to the knit side is drawn, and on the far right, the look of the final FI repeat  Adding a third color, possible intarsia knit as all over pattern or isolated as a panel. Even in hand-knit, the latter may be in a contrasting gauge and joined to pieces of the garment after their completion. These repeats may be worked as vertical panels between rows of plain knit or rib Symmetry is not always needed, MK, adding the ribber: one of the things that may lead to confusion is the use of the term every other needle knitting. If one is working on every needle on both beds, the needles on either bed are centered between those on the opposite one, thus patterning occurring on either bed that becomes EON. Colors are used to track the movement of stitches, not colorwork, which happen on the same needles, either bed, the plaiting feeder may be used to produce the illusion of additional colors. Part of an experimental swatch using the ribber and tuck settings In attempting brioche on the machine the color changes happen every 2 rows, so a minimum of 4 rows or a multiple of 4 rows are planned between moving any stitches. Although the same color will be used in the crossings each time, using 2 colors for cable segments may make the chart easier to follow Using the ribber, one of the crossings on striped grounds: Slip stitch patterns with hand transferred stitches, double bed.  2/21A range of experiments with associated samples:
Some cables to try, hand-knit  1/15
A hand-knit stitch tale 2: a bit of cables and lace, charting, HK to MK   7/14
Chain cable HK experiment  1/13
Machine knitting cables: single bed, 1    12/14
Machine knitting cables: single bed, introducing the ribber   1/15
Some “real” cables on KM  1/12
Hand to machine, symbols 4: cables  2/13
A simple braided cable (and card)  1/12
Machine knit cables: using patterning as a guide to transfers  2/15
Using punchcards to track cables and twists in pattern 2   12/11
Using punchcards to track small cables in pattern 1   1/12
Holding and “cables”   12/11
Pretend/ mock cables 4: revisiting i-cords   1/13
Pretend/ mock cables 3   7/18
Pretend/ mock cables 2   1/14
Pretend/ mock cables 1: i-cords, holding   1/12
A few i-cords and more to try   1/12
Cables with lace transfers   12/11
Cables in color   2/15
Visualizing knit cables in color_ Excel   1/15
Knit charting in Mac Yosemite; visualizing knit cables   11/14

To mesh or not to mesh 9: more on mock filet design

Previous posts with some related information:
A lace mesh series: using GIMP  8/17
To mesh or not to mesh 1  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 2  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 3  5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 4 5/11
To mesh or not to mesh 5 7/17 a collection of mesh design repeats
To mesh or not to mesh 6: chevrons 6/20
Lace knitting tips, to mesh or not to mesh 7  7/20
To mesh or not to mesh 8: more Numbers meet Gimp 5/21
Unconventional uses for punchcards 2: thread lace cards for “filet” mesh  8/17
It is hard for me to imagine a decade or more has passed since I began to blog. My approach to post content has evolved since then as has my shifting familiarity and use of software programs. Periodically topics resurface to my attention. Lace is one that crops up every few years, resurged after my purchase of Dak and my experiments with testing the lace module, and has persisted, so here I am once more looking at superimposing shapes onto a preferred mesh repeat.
There are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. Punchcard knitters are not excluded from the processes and without spreadsheets, similar planning may be executed on graph paper using colored pencils.
My go-tos now for planning out my charts on a new iMac with M1 chip and OS12 are
Mac Numbers 11.2
Gimp 2.10.24, Rosetta required
ArahPaint 6.0
img2track for download to a 930 to knit swatches, presently from a Windows 10 PC
InSync for file sharing between the Mac and the PC

The final repeats created with any of these methods need to be checked or edited to make certain they observe the rules for placement of punched holes or cells on proper rows for the specific brand and model knitting machine being used.
If the aspect ratio is particularly important, then more cautious planning may be needed.
For an indeterminate reason, the shape for superimposing on a mesh in these experiments is a heart, plotted out here in Gimp for use in a 24 stitch wide limit repeat. It is good to begin on a canvas longer than the estimated motif, magnification to 800-1800X with a 1X1grid and snap to grid make the execution and filling in of small-scale designs easy to plan and view.
In terms of drawing tools, the bucket-fill paint tool may be set to fill with the foreground color, background color, or pattern. The pencil tool normally uses the foreground color. If switching between the two tools, remember to choose the proper tool before continuing to edit repeats.
The heart was plotted out and cropped to 21 stitches by 15 rows, on a 24 stitch grid, and the image was saved, it is deliberately planned for an odd number of rows in width and height.  My chosen lace mesh repeat is 2 stitches by 6 rows. Planning a base mesh in Gimp with the above repeat saved as a pattern and used to bucket fill the canvas: The overall mesh repeat png is saved. Blank areas in every third row in the first and every third row will be skipping transfers in those areas and knitting the stitches composing the shape. The heart shape itself needs to be superimposed onto the mesh base. It is relatively small, with increases and decreases forming it easy to follow, so in the simplest method, red squares for each pattern row are filled in on the grid transfer rows, using the single-pixel pencil tool and working in RGB mode. If satisfied with the placement of the shape, use bucket-fill set to ground or foreground to eliminate red cells by filling them with white, and the mesh design is ready. If working with a card, punch black cells only. This placement is tested and kept in mind in other explorations. Using a spreadsheet: the same sort of chart may easily be created quickly in Numbers. In this instance, my table is still planned for 24 stitches in width, but 54 rows in height. An extra column is added and used on the far left to mark rows to be hidden. Beginning at the bottom left two rows were filled in a different color, the third row is left blank, all 3 cells are selected. When multiple cells are selected, depending on which side of the selection box one hovers over with the mouse, a yellow dot/  handle will appear. The tool acts on the selection. Clicking on it and dragging it with the mouse will, in this instance, repeat the selection until the mouse is released. This may be done in any direction and quickly fills in whole tables. It is not necessary to perform this extra step before hiding rows, but I find having that extra color makes it easier visually, especially when working on long repeats. It also makes for easy return to selection if hiding rows is done in shifts.
Beginning at the top of the table, holding down the command key, select rows marked with yellow cells, in this version of Numbers, table row numbers are green rather than blue,   continue to the bottom of the chart, and under the Table menu, choose to hide 36 rows. With rows hidden the mesh repeat shrinks from 6 rows to 2. A new 4 cell table is created. The 4 interior cells were chosen, copied, and pasted in the lower-left corner of the reduced height table. Once pasted, selecting the repeat again will allow one to use those yellow handles to fill the contents first toward the top, then to the right. The image on the left shows the results, with only the numbers for the unhidden rows shown on the left. In turn, the heart was the pencil tool to draw it using a third color in the chosen location. The unhiding rows function produces the expanded repeat with all knit stitches in red on the mesh grid ground. The column with the yellow cells is deleted before converting the Numbers repeat to an electronic or punchcard, the how-to discussed in other posts. Comparing the hand-drawn heart in Gimp alone on the left, to the spreadsheet results on the right, there appears to be a difference in the starting rows, and in only one other row, two black cells appear that can easily be altered in either repeat. Brother machine knitters would need to shift those 2 blank rows at the bottom of the repeat on the right to its top or to to start lace patterning on row 3.  Keep in mind that lace patterns in particular, with their infrequent markings, even in color reverse, grabbed from a spreadsheet and scaled in Gimp to final repeat size, often require a lot of “clean up. This repeat, intended for use in another post shows the difference between these 2 different programs once more. Superimposing shapes onto the same mesh requires that they be elongated X3. Gimp does not do this well, while ArahPaint does so elegantly. The result using Gimp, with the image Mode converted to 2 colors indexed and scaled in height X3 is shown on the left with marked error areas. The Arah YX3 result on the right is correct, created, and saved More choices exist, continuing to place the heart 3 rows up from the bottom, and not using multiple layers. For the heart to be pasted in place on the mesh, its white background needs to be made clear/ transparent. That is achieved by using Layer, Transparency, Color to Alpha, The layer-to-alpha image may be saved as a png with transparent background for any future use.
Work using 2 windows, A simple copy and paste will fix the image in an arbitrary location. Instead, click on the rectangle select tool, selecting and copying the heart image, paste it on the ground in the second window, where it remains as a floating selection that can be dragged to the desired location and is not anchored until the mouse is released. This may be undone and repeated multiple times.  A, copied and pasted in place on the ground, B, resulting in C
Even easier, working with the full-color, white ground heart repeat placed 3 rows up from the bottom, Aset red as the foreground colorand then use the bucket fill tool B to fill its ground with the mesh pattern, seen in C
Comparing the all in Gimp Drawing to either of the last 2 patterns, two differences appear, an extra row of transfers before removing transfer stitches to start the heart shape, and those 2 extra black pixels/eyelets Committing to the first design, 24X60, Proof of concept for the single repeat: Tiling the repeat before knitting helps one visualize secondary shapes that will be formed by it, here those pairs of extra dots are removed in areas marked with red lines, helping to make the decision about keeping them or not Developing brick repeats or half drop is possible with offset and brushes in Gimp, but, to my mind, easier in Arah. Using the Arah drawing in repeat, the design is now 24 stitches wide by 120 rows high in a brick arrangement offset by 12 stitches. The same heart, in half drop repeat, offset by 30 rows, now double wide, 48X60, suitable only for an electronic machine Changing the background grid for other stitch types: the heart is rescaled for use by 2 or 4 times in height. Again, the differences between Gimp’s incorrect scaling, A, and the Arah drawing in repeat, B The differences between the clear ground heart image dragged and dropped onto the new background or navigating between 2 windows and using the rectangle tool as described to copy and paste. Possible applications This begs the question of working on larger images. For use on a lace mesh, simpler designs apart from overall size are best, but if a mesh base is not your favorite fabric or goal, tuck, slip stitch, thread lace or even fair isle patterns may be created with more overall flexibility, using the same principles on backgrounds.
Thread lace, depending on the yarns and tension used, can provide the illusion of eyelets behind images of any size. The steps: image to alpha selected and pasted onto the ground, color reversed The final png is 129 stitches wide by 172 rows high This is the first attempt at a partial repeat test proof of concept. I have been telling people serger monofilament withstands ironing and light pressing, and periodically I test advice I have given formerly. To start with, the darn monofilament, which I even used in double bed garments, but nearly 2 decades ago, refused to feed properly or at all. Because it is nearly invisible, my knitting started with it pulling too tight, and I wiped out 12 needles out of 72 in different places on the needle bed in a single carriage pass. Determined, I sorted how to hand feed it, got the rhythm, complete a swatch. A marks an error I made in loading the second track in img2track, resulting in an added, wrong pattern row. The holes, B, C, and D were nonexistent until I tried flattening the fabric a bit with an iron, and the monofilament simply melted in various places. Other observations: there is some bubbling in the all knit areas. With ironing, that effect was lost and the areas with more mock holes widened as can be seen at the side edges. In thread lace, the end needle selection is canceled so as to have the paired yarns knit the end stitch, but pattern needles can still be selected, so if end needles are forward in pattern, it is best to push them back to B position by hand. One way to eliminate having to do that, which also reduces knitting time, is to create vertical all-white lines on either side, as in this version of the repeat now 144 X 200 pixels. I had interesting issues with having needle selection visually appear correct throughout, and the pattern itself appearing correct when checked at 1800 magnification. While the smaller sample was accurate until the filament began to melt, here I had 2 needles not knitting the yarns alternately but together, and an odd change in the center that looks as though yarn selection in those areas was reversed. The thicker yarn here is cotton, the thinner rayon. Troubleshooting is required. Unplanned tucking is a sign of damaged needles, but because the second yarn used herd is so thin, the effect was not obvious until the vertical pattern in the same area on the bed became apparent.
I am using a punchcard carriage on an orphaned 930 for the thread lace, and have not knit on more than 90 center needles in the past. Some days both operator and machine need a break. The cam buttons and undercarriage were oiled.  The first selection tests involved programming this as an all-over design. When only using part of the needle bed in a pattern, the center of the needle bed needs to be cleared by the knit carriage for the pattern selections to advance and knit properly. Doing so on part of each side of the center in thread lace and changing the culprit needles eliminated those single stitch issues. Before committing to a large width of fabric in thread lace, perhaps a practical, visible, and easy place to start for checking patterning and needle selection is to knit the ground in this pattern as a fair isle pattern before proceeding with the intended large-scale design. The finished test swatch: because of the disparity between the number of all knit stitches vs patterned ones where one of the colors is slipped on every pattern row for every other stitch, the fabric shrinks dramatically when off the machine. The knit areas pop out a bit, and a lengthwise tug makes enhances the effect  If the goal is a flat fabric panel, then blocking is a necessity. Here the piece is casually pressed, no pins, letters point out issues:
A: knit rows before any pattern selection
B: an attempt to knit stitches with a cast on comb, and no weights, lots of uneven float loops on the reverse
C: changing the amount of weight; if knitting in multiple tracks using img2track, remember to be outside the set mark with the knit carriages before selecting the next pattern row to avoid selection errors
D, E: there are occasional improperly formed tuck stitches
F: “My piece is almost finished, the weights are touching the floor but I have just a few rows left, too lazy to move the weight”, the price: some messy loops on the reverse again to match the start
G: all knit rows again, the latch tool bind off around single gate pegs was a bit snug The mesh effect was noticeable after resting, the piece measures 25 inches in width by 25 inches in height.
When moving weights up, using a ribber cast on comb carefully poked through the knit may cause less snagging and issues than using the single bed cast on comb.
This fabric evolved because of a discussion that began with a knitter who is working on sculptural shapes emerging from textured backgrounds.
I see thread lace as having potential for developing all sorts of blistered, 3D elements that have nothing to do with flowers or wearables and am planning follow-up posts using the technique for texture rather than mock lace. To be rendered usable, this piece would definitely need blocking, maybe even starching in order to be stable enough to hold its shape over time.
I have blocking wires, but over my decades of knitting have maybe used them twice, my blocking has been far more casual.

Friends lately have asked about skulls over thread lace mesh, this is an electronic repeat with room for resizing or border additions, keeping in mind that in thread lace the white areas knit both yarns, the dotted areas create the illusion of holes. The design was initially created working in black and white, with an alpha channel added a new file was opened, bucket-filled with the ground 2X2 pattern, the above was copied and pasted in the chosen position, resulting in this
The 100X92 png which in turn needs to be color reversed for use as a thread lace pattern

Machine or hand knit symbols DIY charts with copy and paste in Gimp

Over the years I have accumulated different knitting fonts, some not now compatible with Mac OS 12 or long since unavailable, while others are from encounters with less common fonts, Webdings, and Windings, or self hand-drawn.
Knitters interested in creating simple charts with no access to spreadsheets or with symbol-producing design software, but with some familiarity with photo editors such as in this case Gimp, may find this an alternative way to produce knitting charts, working on large grid units to start with or with magnification.
This first image is 12 cells wide, and 28 high, composed originally in my spreadsheet program, Mac Numbers, using cells 50 pixels wide and high, the final table image was screen grabbed and opened in Gimp, it is rotated here for sake of space. To use it, click on the image, a larger scale version will open in a different window, save that image by whatever means you prefer, and open it or copy and paste it in Gimp. Use image, transform, to rotate 90 degrees clockwise to change its orientation to upright, check scale, adjust slightly if needed before continuing, it should measure 600 pixels in width by 1400 in height,  A grid of 50 pixels in width and height for the image can be configured and shown on top of the image to check the size and placement of the symbols. It is hidden in the original, the finer grid lines are used as guides for isolating the symbols that will be used in your chart.
Choose file new, retain the same size, and configure its grid to 50X50 pixels. At that point, the image may be trimmed to a smaller number of units to accommodate your repeat. Navigating between the two screens, use the rectangle tool to select symbols you wish to use in your chart, copy and paste them into the new image in the center of the appropriate cells. Another option if lots of symbols are to be used repeatedly is to copy each into a part of the new image that will not be a part of the final chart once, and then repeated copy and paste can happen from there on the single screen For more on grids and guides see Gimp update for Mac 2.
The image for use with a 26-pixel design grid when rotated it will measure 312 pixels in width, 728 pixels in height,  A few cable samples, the file is 390 pixels wide by 286 high on 26-pixel cells, not all these cables are executable on the machine, extra yarn lengths would be required to allow stitches to move over far enough on the metal bed for the next row to form knit stitches properly,  A sample cable with knit columns added to each side, colors, more symbols, and widths of repeats can all be adjusted. If the images are saved in the full size as pngs, the grids are lost. To retain the grid, the image needs to be screengrabbed and in turn rescaled to the desired size. more copy and paste to visualize a larger repeat An added note on Gimp: my blog posts are now created on an iMac with OS12 and M1 chip. Rosetta needed to be installed for the program to run. I have found some issues with the pencil tool not working at all or properly or commands no longer working after several steps. Quitting the program did not eliminate the problem. What appears to solve the issue is to go to Preferences Folders, and then to choose the reset brush folder command.  Of course, since the program is a new install, my previous collection of custom brushes will need to be recreated.

For an extensive collection of knitting symbols and their meanings, inspiration for adding your own as needed, see http://www.knittingfool.com/Reference/KF_Symbols.aspx