Knitting pattern motifs’ translation between KMS

August 31st, 2014

Joella Knitworks was a publication in the 90s on Passap knitting. A recent ravelry question led me to dig up a copy of an article I wrote for the newsletter in 1998, for anyone interested, here is a PDF copy on topic, using tech 129 joella_whole

My stash of copies of articles spans decades back to the time when both publications and seminars were thriving. I am not certain as to print source for this, but its writer is given credit. Carriage/lock settings for comparable fabrics are given for Superba, Passap, Brother, Studio, Toyota, and their aliases:  KMsettingsPDF

A document I put together from multiple sources when I taught an intro to Passap double bed fabrics workshop handout

more to come….

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 3

July 21st, 2014

SPLITTING THINGS UP leads to a series of quite different fabrics, sometimes creating interesting secondary solid color shapes when striping is added to any of the forms; repeats will need editing to avoid extra rows to keep the designs balanced, or have them added across their width for extending shapes, such as in creating ruffled effects. I have worked these charts using Numbers, image capture, and resizing and editing again in photoshop if needed. The images below are not intended as a “sit and knit” tutorial, but rather as a start for creating your own designs, on desired number of stitches, I randomly picked 22

some possibilities on method: SPIRAL original shape

splitting in 2 parts

changing positions and stacking, all knit row edited to bottom of repeat

a mirrored segment

added to first repeat, center line double row edited out for knitting

MITER: original repeat

split repeat

moving parts around

areas for adding plain knit rows in desired numbers across the knit (yellow), keeping in mind how this will affect color changing sequences if striping is used to create secondary patterns; repeat usable for machines with color changer on right

mirroring whole repeat horizontally for use with color changer on left

Changing colors at regular intervals including every 2 rows will yield secondary, geometric patterns; all knit rows may be added to the right or left of the shapes maintaining color changes, for different effects; if these are planned in extended “white areas”, the holding sequence needs to be maintained every other row; slip stitch setting may be used to automate, with repeats reworked for use on 24 stitch punchcard machines. I find when exploring any of this initially, working repeats as hand techniques helps me understand necessary sequences and editing before committing to punching holes, filling mylar squares or programming pixels. Swatches and notes, swatches and notes…

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 2

July 15th, 2014

Visualizing the shapes (using charts in Mac Numbers)

A spiral gore is the first or second half of a miter gore, conversely a miter gore has 2 consecutive  spiral gores, knit in mirror image.

GOING ROUND: numbers 1-12 represent knitting sequence for wedges, thicker lines at segment edges = rows across knit width at end of each sequence, 2 rows or many more depending on planned design shape

Previous posts on related topics:

Miters and spirals: visualizing, charting (and more) 1

July 14th, 2014

Getting my thoughts together on topic I searched for any of my previous posts that may be related, here is a list

Even in my earliest days as a hand knitter, I liked charting out my sweater shapes ie sleeves, necklines, etc on graph paper and tracking my place by marking appropriate row or every other row on the charted image. Many of the formulas for charting math in garment shaping may be emulated by drawing a line on chart where each square represents a stitch and a row, connecting points, and filling in squares. Averaging out grid shifts is also the guideline to increasing and decreasing for shaping on pixel charts. Though this may be a bit of egg before the chicken, I got sidetracked playing with software yet again.


Working premise: using holding to shape a wedge over 36 rows. Stitch multiples  are brought into hold opposite the carriage (floats will be created if they are brought into hold on carriage side), in the instances below each graph row represents 2 rows knit, my fabric width at the start is 100 sts

Set image size _ pixels equal stitches and rows required

Magnify X 1000 (this is what I prefer for viewing and editing, less magnification may be used)

Activate 1 stitch grid/ show grid/ snap to grid

Make certain whole image is within your window view

Using line shape: click on upper left corner, press shift key_a drawing line will appear with a + symbol at its bottom right_click on first square on the bottom right , a line will appear where black squares represent  # of stitches to be held each row

bucket fill in appropriate side of wedge to represent knit stitches

create a new, larger canvas that will accommodate desired multiple stacked repeats and possible knit rows in between shapes in new window; copy image from the first window, paste  into new window, move it and place in desired location on your  screen

return to first window, flip image vertically (image menu/ select transform and direction)

again copy, paste, move into desired location and insert knit or (patterned) rows (green) when and if desired. On electronic machines the final image would have to be doubled in length, so those “knit row” pixels/squares would have to be adjusted accordingly to half the desired number

Row by row charting for double height to represent each row of actual knitting: the process

starting with a repeat 6X6

convert image to bitmapped (repeat at upper right below is a different one, should match the one being resized)

scale image: click on locked symbol in turn to alter aspect ratio, change both pertinent numbers

the repeat twice as long, 6 X 12

going 3D, possible spiral

eliminating squares

shifting things around in order to add “automatic wraps”, begin knit with COL

in further progress

save in image in format for downloading to machines via cable and knitting using slip stitch setting, or export or screen grab for printing and knitting from chart visually as hand technique. If printing images colored cues may be added for carriage/lock setting or color changes, etc.

the question: what about numbers and excel?


using the line tool (shapes) will get the line in place, shaping is “eyeballed”

knit squares are filled in

so you want to double the height only? Apple for some reason when they  ”upgraded” to the latest version of the program (3.2) has eliminated the split table feature, so the only way I can see is through using table: add rows above or below in the chart, new row will be a copy of selected row


the insert row option will add rows only below selected ones, I have not found a tool equal to the line shape in Numbers

A bit of cables and lace, charting, hk to mk

July 7th, 2014

For a while there was agreement on “international symbols” for charting knits. With the proliferation of programs now and methods for self charting and publishing using fonts and personal icons things can get a bit confusing. Hand knitting in the circular akin to machine knitting, results in stitches always worked on one side of the fabric, another consideration. In the last Russian pattern in the previous post I was unable to get the repeat to work properly regardless of any common meaning I tried to assign to several of the symbols. I have used Intwined for some charting in the past, am finding it problematic again in Mavericks Mac OS, and my go to for the moment is the latest version of Numbers (3.2), which appears to include changes that make it even more intuitive and easier to use than the previous version. My symbols library includes the Aire river knitting font, and an assortment of wingdings and oddball characters found in some of the Mac’s built in libraries.

my hand knit version

Taking it to the machine: chart’s beginning

tweaking it a bit, taking in consideration only the purl side will be facing

flipping it to achieve same direction transfers as HK

knit on 260 bulky KM

The large hole at the bottom left of the image is not due to a dropped stitch, but rather to yarn breakage. The sample was knit in a worsted weight wool, and I found I needed a far looser tension than I would normally use for the same yarn to allow the double transfers to knit off properly. Eliminating the combinations of knit and purl within any one row as seen in the hand knit version avoided retooling those stitches as well.

A hand knit stitch tale

June 2nd, 2014

Last year a photo of a model (Jessica Hart) wearing a particular sweater began to appear acrossTumblr and Pinterest. The stitch was interesting, which led me to looking for similar structures, without much success for quite a while

from a sale site for the garment

a published stitch version on russian blog

purling all WS rows produced a very different fabric, I did find a reference in another publication for the dot being a purl stitch on RS, knit on WS, again a different fabric

a translation via ravelry  (see credit in chart) led me to developing the charts and directions below

A: shows the offered repeat in symbols; a multiple of 6 + 7 stitches is required

B: symbols and translation

C: all symbol expanded chart showing both RS and WS rows; I find too many symbols confusing

D: choosing colored squares to represent knits on WS rows; arrows show direction of reading chart during knitting

the resulting swatch: knit side  RS

its WS

a relative, found on a different blog, chart not yet deciphered

A lace “shell” want to be, a few ways

April 9th, 2014

I recently saw a semi circular HK shawl pattern that used graduated lace shell motif bands, and went hunting for a possible such repeat with the intent of subsequently knitting it on the machine. Taking into consideration the chart lenght required if using the lace carriage, I began with a “small” hand knit possible repeat

the text (Intwined)

pictured below is a mylar repeat worked out for use with the lace carriage with 2 programming options: A, B. Notations in this instance were made using a free mac program (for my the first time), Skitch, which allows one to work with screenshots and basic image-editing tools all in one place. The middle column of numbers indicate the number of passes required for the lace carriage for each repeat prior to pairs of rows of plain knitting. The transfers are made all in one direction, so the spacing between each set of transfers and knit rows is different from the traditional 2 rows of blanks. I find it easier to have multiple blank rows before selections for transfers as a place to pause, check my stitches, and have clearer starts if knitting needs to be unravelled; this repeat takes that into consideration

option A was knit with a ladder, NOOW set up:

the resulting swatch in acrylic yarn, steamed, fairly straight edges

option B eliminates the ladders, a ridge is created by the transfers highlighting the “shell shape”. The sample clearly illustrates the issue with lace fabrics where transfers are all in one direction: note the resulting bias, which could be a problem or a design feature, depending on  one’s perspective. It is particularly noticeable in the area of the color change. The top yarn is a rayon, the ridge created by the transfers flattened with pressing but is still in evidence, the occasional noticeable problems are operator errors (and laziness in changing bent needles), not pattern ones.

shortening the repeat: I found this one a bit more confusing to follow, black horizontal marks on right edge of mylar are a visual cue to rows on which knitting needs to occur; note there are no occurrences of 2 consecutive blank rows, only singles

the fabric is identical, with the same problems in terms of biasing

taking out the swing, moving in 2 directions, and back to a hand technique: the black squares indicate groups of stitches that will be moved to create lace holes. In the boottom segment selected needles are transferred to the right, lace holes will move in a curve, transfers double up on the same needle location on the bed. In the top segment, beginning with the doubled up stitch from the last transfer to right, direction of transfers is reversed, moving toward left, and always beginning with the same needle position. Markings on mylar on the far right indicate direction in which the stitches are transferred. This repeat is 7 stitches wide by 12 rows in height, could be adjusted to suit. Adjustable transfer tools make the work progress faster.

the corresponding swatch, without blocking, much more “straight”


a mylar repeat for use with lace carriage, 910

in the image on left the repeat is hi-lighted by the green border; in the one on the right there are visual cues  for operations. The vertical lines indicate which side of the bed the lace carriage needs to be placed for the next group of transfers, the horizontal lines mark the end of the transfer sequence, when a single row of knit occurs. Respective carriages need to be taken off the bed after most passes to allow use of the opposing carriage and maintain proper direction of moves, a different sort of “hand technique”. Below is a swatch, the red spot is a poorly corrected dropped stitch.

the technique is manageable for experienced knitters, this was my second try at a hurried repeat (weight adjustments and dropped stitches on first) and photo as I get ready to travel to the opposite coast.

Striping in lace fabrics 1

March 27th, 2014

Colored stripes combined with lace patterning can produce interesting fabrics. Many variants may be found in Missoni’s knitwear. At times the lace holes themselves may nearly disappear, while the stripes become distorted by the transfers, the change in gauge, and the creation of the holes, which in combination begin to create a bias direction in parts of the knit. Below is a simple sample illustrating some of the above points:

the working chart (Intwined)

the text for hand knitting created by the program the additional knit rows creating garter stitch in part of the pattern provide added texture in a hand knit, but are impractical in a machine knit

Rather than deal with working out the lace transfers for use with the lace carriage for my swatch, I chose to use a multiple transfer tool, and begin with a 7 stitch transfer as opposed to a larger number one. Below are some of the tools that may be used to hand transfer stitches in larger numbers than with the tools usually provided with KMs, a garter bar may be used as well

The image below  shows the fabric as it appears on its knit side. The bottom illustrates the repeat in one color. The red mark indicates where the transfers were made after knitting the first row of each color, the yellow indicates transfers made before each color change. In the former the “twist”  apparent as the transfer knitting is completed, has one yarn wrapping around the other. In the latter, the “twist is all one color”. The yarns used were a rayon and an acrylic, on standard km. If a color changer and lace carriage were to be used in combination, only the second option would be possible (more on that in a later post).

the purl side

Below is a hand knit sample with a wider repeat, adding garter rows. The yarn used was a worsted weigh wool on size 8 needles. Of note is the difference in undulation in bottom and top edges

knit side (red mark here indicates garter stitch row detail)

purl side

a possible use for this pattern might be a center or recurring panel in a wider knit

From punchcard to hand technique or hand knit

March 23rd, 2014

Emulating the repeat in the previous post here is a tentative chart for reproducing it as a hand knit, genereated in intwined

the accompanying text generated by the program

executing ssp from Knitters Brewing Company

I tried the pattern as a hand knit and had difficulty keeping track of the reversals of twists front and back, so I headed back to my more familiar territory, machine knitting, and to the bulky machine to make the number of transfers a bit more manageable. The repeat is 14 stitches wide, outside the range of an effective repeat for a punchcard, but with transfers every row there is another way to use a card that requires no punching. Observing familiar rules, and text or symbols that are meaningful to us for the particular project (ie also for racking sequences), the card is used for notekeeping rather than needle selection. The carriage is set to KC, set for normal knit, no cam buttons in use. Because no holes are punched, there will be no needle selection. The card is locked on row 1 as usual prior to the first row of any pattern knitting , set to advance normally, and in my scribbly version it reminded me of several things. Each pattern segment is 5 rows, with the dark stripe indicating the beginning of each new segment. The numbers on alternate sides show the number of stitches that need to be transferrd with the aid of tools,  leaving an empty needle that will create the hole, and overlapping stitches on either side of a center point in part of each motif. I worked with 2 repeats. On rows 1-5 as marked on punchcard, stitches were trasferred beginning on the right, toward the right side edge of the knit,  then following the remainder of the partial chart repeat. When the next segment of rows was reached as indicated by numbers appearing on the left of the card, beginning on the right edge again,  the first group of stitches was transferred away from the knit side edge, once again following the chart segment. As the lines of holes begin to show, it is easier to see the direction in which one needs to move as is the resulting pattern. The ridges created as the stitches overlap on either side of the center single knit stitch also can serve as guides in keeping track. I used no weights, just the opposite hand to pull and guide as needed. The number of moves is likely to require a looser tension than usual for any familiar yarn.

the swatch, knit side, using worsted weight, tension 6

its purl side

Studio multiple thansfer lace knit on Brother 910

March 11th, 2014

Eons ago I had “saved” a random copy of a japanese punchcard pattern in the someday I will figure it out pile. I was attracted by its opennes and what appeared to look like ladders as well as holes in the small B/W photograph. I have more experience in knitting and understanding of lace now, and in the process of studio clean up and paper possible recycling I found my “future project” and thought I would “tackle” it

the card

as can be noted in numbered markings, the card is a studio lace card, and between series of transfers there is a single blank row = a single row of knit as opposed to the 2 rows commonly seen in brother’s kms’ lace

my mylar repeat, with notes on R sidebar as to # of LC passes, rows knit

the method: with no repeat adjustments or conversions

I began with lace carriage on left, knit carriage on right. Because a selection row is required for the first transfers row to occur, I added one row to each of the suggested lace pass sequences marked on the punchcard. Because the LC as a result travels an odd number of rows, it will begin to move opposite from and to the KC, and at the end of the sequences it will be on the same side as the KC; at that point it is released from the needle bed, and the KC knits only one row. The LC returns to the bed opposite to the KC, and the sequence is repeated.

I used a waste yarn acrylic for my swatch, which became scratchy, flat and stiff, losing any texture when pressed, and shrinking a bit so as to almost looking felted, yet another reminder  test small swatches fefore committing to larger pieces.  Here is the result

knit side

purl side

a new day, a different fiber, the joy of missing dropped stitches

“unblocked”, rayon yarn

a bit closer, after light pressing