Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Undyed sock blanks and Jellybean Dyeing

Back in 2013 I bought a bag of 10 x 100g undyed sock yarn. So I opened up the bag and was going to do some sock blanks and see if I could sell them. 10 is a lot. Then I got side tracked with jellybean dyeing.
I bought a $2 bag of jelly beans from Reject Shop. I already did the sock blanks, 2 ends, T10 on the KX. 80 sts, with a dropped stitch in the centre. and off I went to jellybean dye them.
For both I put down a towel and put a long strip of plastic wrap down to lay the blank on it. I wanted to do stripes. and on the other side I did random plonked on.
Don't use the natural coloured ones, The cheap ones are best.
First batch was a but underdone I squeezed out too much water and didn't sort out the colours first so I didn't realise that there was a dark pink and a red, so they got mixed up,
I started at the red end and used the towel to start the roll up all the way to the end. I didn't want the colours bleeding into the top, so there's layer of plastic all the way through. 
I microwaved for 4 mins on high and took it out straight away. Unwrapped and splashed the vinegar around, rinsed, 
washed and it came out with the colours not through all the layers. Here they are, all wrapped up, before and after.
The unwrapped first experiment

For the next one, I sorted out all the colours first, then cut all the jelly beans into two and put them cut side up, in stripes, both sides, just like the first one. I put the cut black ones right along both the edges. I also chopped up three or four pinks and sprinkled them on the dropped bit. I was pleased with that idea too.
I left the blank a lot wetter and pritzed the jelly beans with some more water before I wrapped them up, same as before.. I microwaved for 2 mins then turned it over. had a cup of coffee and did another 2 mins. I could have done 2 more I think, next time.
Here's the second batch halfway through, with a much better saturation of both ends and the unwrapped blank, after it's vinegar bath, followed by a eucalyptus wash.  
Over on Ravelry we have a whole thread on playing around with this in the Sock Blank Artists Group. And here's the second sock, and the tiny bit left over. And here's the second one, with the colours much more vivid. I like both.

Friday, November 8, 2019

AYAB on KH910 beginner notes

Learning to use the AYAB hack on the KH910, I decided to recreate a punch card project I've done many, many times, putting a mini card 1 or 3 border each end to match up with pattern.
And here's one on the SK280:

These are my notes for me, I haven't used a brother carriage, punch card or electronic..
I thought this was good practice so I can leant how to use AYAB and a brother electronic carriage as I haven't used either before.
Select chosen border card, eg, Card 1 or 3 onto the pattern card, whatever matches.
Plug in AYAB and select the pattern you want to use in the main pattern first to get the correct needle position L and R THIS IS ESSENTIAL so write it in Rav notes so you don't forget.
Note: KCI automatically selects the last needles each end so they knit.
cast on LtoR according to what AYAB has said what they are.
Select border pattern in AYAB
expand repeats to needles
COL but far left beyond mark
KC I, but don't select any function, leave it on N
MUST turn on BUZZ, will hear a click, a buzz and another BUZZ as passing the lights
SLOWLY knit 1 row LtoR to preselect needles OR the first couple of needles won't select.
COR: press TUCK buttons
Knit rest of the rows, either stop when it's long enough or...
turn on the buzzer for the long beep when finished.
Two alternative as this point.
PUSH ALL needles back into WP (B)
  1. set to slip and move RtoL (or don't actually do any knitting, cause it's slip) TAKE yarn out.
  2. knit 1 row
set up next pattern
COL, as before BUZZER ON
  1. keep on slip but watch the yarn in the wheels but not if you've taken it out REMEMBER TO SHUT THE GATE when putting yarn back. (It ain't an SK)
  2. knit across.
If 1. look for anything accidentally knitted/ dropped
If 2. undo two rows.
Look at needle set up to ensure the preselected in UWP are the knit and the needles in WP (b) are next to TUCK.
If necessary, change the starting row in AYAB, to say row 2 or 3 and redo the redo the preselect and off to knit 600 rows.. Alternatively, knit 1 or 2 rows and undo the last one or two rows and keep knitting  whichever looks easier on the day.
Close to the end, turn the BUZZER back on so you know when the pattern finishes, then do the same thing, work out that it's tucking on the correct needles and finish the border.

It's a lot easier timewise, to snap the border card on the right row so it matches up with the pattern you want to flow into, undo the snaps and join for the next 600 rows, undo, attach the border and presto. But if that's the machine that's out and the punch card machine is packed away.. well now I know how to do this project.
However, I thought this a very good exercise to familiarise the AYAB and the electronic carriage.
And here it is, and this would after about half a dozen or more false starts, and the blow by blow how to do so I never have to spend a whole afternoon not doing any knitting.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

My notes for Designing in Gimp to use in AYAB

Before starting, work out how many stitches and rows. This is by far makes things easy.
Open Gimp

From the top tool bar - 

Select: NEW

Input your sts/row numbers, press Ok

Select VIEW
- Select Zoom
- Fit to Window
- Select SHOW GRID

Select IMAGE
- SPACING - type in 1 and 1 in the pixel box
- Change anything else you think you'd like

- Select Pencil Icon
- Your colour, eg black

Select the RECTANGLE (make a square)

Fill in all the squares of your pattern (black square = hole on a punchcard)

When finished

Select FILE from the top tool bar
-  select export  - savesas a png file, (I've been saving in the PATTERNS folder for AYAB)

 Open in AYAB and knit 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Plating on the SK Single Bed Machine

We were chatting about plating on the SK the other day on Ravelry, then again to a friend. It seems I'm not the only one who had trouble following the manual. Here is the bottom of the page out of my manual, It doesn't look right.  And the important piece of taking the main yarn out and replacing it after, is essential. The trailing yarn MUST be able to slide behind the main yarn in the crescent shaped curve, or IT DOESN'T work. Most annoying. but there it is, twisted yarn before the sinker plate, is no plating.

Here is the slot where you put the latch/tapet tool
Which doesn't help. I turned the sinker plate upside down to try to see what to do.

And you can see the slot behind where the yarn usually sits.
It doesn't look right. The yarn behind is the one that trails behind the main yarn and is placed IN FRONT of it before the stitch is completed. The purl side yarn slides in the slot.

And here's the whole page of confusion.

There is a plating accessory for the ribber that fits all standard and fine gauge ribbers.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Last little bit on the ScanNCut Punchcards

I bet you thought I'd finish with discussing cutting up perfectly nice bits of paper and turning them into cards to use in the knitting machines.

Over on Ravelry, we have had an excellent discussion on the Passap Group Computer Die cut thread. Lots of interesting results from experimenting with the stock to use that will go through the Deco and Jac. One used "poly paper" - Yupo 85g with great results. When I looked it up - it's the stuff they make pull up banners from.

So off to the local printworks and asked if they sold it? No. Asked if they had offcuts? Well, yes we do. Apparently they were keeping it for someone who hadn't come to collect, so they decided to get rid of it. To me.

I got a huge bundle. With glossy and matt finishes in the thinner, and a few pieces of the thicker, which will be great for Jac cards.

I had one offcut that was too narrow for Deco card so tried out a 24st one to use on the SK280. The SKs have drums that read the pattern from pattern reader "fingers" which are quite harsh on cards compared to the Brother KH mechanism, which has a much gentler action.

My friend said, why was I bothering with a 24st card, blanks are easy to come by and not too expensive? and I wouldn't for a lace card, but this one was from a photo on the internet. I tried to put it straight into the notepad file and was hopeless at it. So onto excel it went and when I expanded it - I found a mistake, fixed it before I cut it. And I think that's a good one for the cutter to do. And the Decos. And the ideas out of my head onto the machine.

The Poly Paper is wonderful, cut well and then went through the machine's reader beautifully and without a mark. Very happy with it. The paper stock I have will be good for something that I want to try out but not keep. Throw it away and cut out another one if ever.

Here's the Poly paper card and the finished tuck stitch blanket. I like both sides. But that's not the point! The card is brilliant.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

ScanNCut Design to Cutter

In this part I'm going to discuss the way I like to transfer ideas to finished card. EDITED WHEN I FOUND A EASIER WAY. - 4 AUG 19.

In Brenda's generator - the instructions say to use the letter X or x and the dash -  and I found it worked for me in a .txt file. It doesn't say, but the Word didn't load. Nor did Excel.

What I found what that the letter X or x and the letter O or o (not zero) worked just as well in the making the SVG file and much, much better with how I like to work. EDIT, Thanks to Fransico for telling me how to take the tab formatting out of the notepad, so I leave the dash in.

Righto. I start with excel set for all ideas/designs to
column width = 2
row height = 12, or less if you like
first row numbered and locked. But it's not to scale.

Then I like to colour the either the x or - for some, or the row colour for multicolour jacquard.

When I'm happy, with it, I SAVE it.

Then expand the design for a couple of repeats, across and down. This certainly takes care of any oopsies that I can undo and correct, then do the repeats again. Best to be sure.
when I'm happy undo the expansions and save.

Then I take off all the fill colours to no fill and while I've got it all highlighted, copy the entire design. I also take note the the row count - it varies.

SKIP THIS AND GO DIRECTLY TO NOTEPAD,  (I've left it in, just in case it doesn't work)

Open Word and paste in and click the top lefthand corner cross icon thingy to highlight the entire table,
Select Table Layout and right at the end is
CONVERT TO TEXT click that and say yes to TAB
then go to HOME
and on the far right (again) is REPLACE, click that
in the bottom of the box is MORE, click that
leave the REPLACE empty, we don't want any information.

Then I usually select save them all as TEMP or if I think I want to refine it, I might save it individually, but really it's usefulness is over.

Then select ALL (Ctrl+A)

HIGHLIGHT any blank TAB formatting
Select EDIT, REPLACE, and paste in formatting - it will be blank, don't worry,
and SAVE as a .TXT file, usually with row count and D (Deco) J (Jac).

I tried saving from Word as a txt file, and as I said up above - didn't work. Using the dash - character was so helpful that word converted some of them into either an M or N dash - ggggrrr. I'm glad I forgot to convert to the dash from the letter o and it worked.

Open up the generator,
SELECT the TXT file, and the card type (deco, 24st etc)
and the repeat is THE NUMBER OF TOTAL ROW repeats, Usually one or two, sometimes I'll do a double check and do 3 or 4 to see how it lines up, then go back and do 1 or 2 repeats.
and SAVE, again with the row count, D, J or SK, identifier and if I need it, LGE MAT for all designs that need the large mat. I found saving useful identifiers was more than essential and super helpful.

Then open up the ScanNCut software, IMPORT from the computer, SAVE

I've got a good selection of OUTER cuts for most of the row counts now. so if I have it already, I delete the outside cuts, sprockets, upper and lower joining rows. - they are already in the xxRow OUTER CUT templates.

Now for the annoying part. The cutter will only cut up to 600 holes, so I cut half off - save as CUT 1, undo, delete off the other half and save ad CUT 2.

Sometimes it's under the 600 cuts and will do it all in one go, usually the smaller rows, but mostly it's painless to get it cut in three steps.
xxRow OUTER template.

The cutting takes around 30 - 45 minutes, depending on how many rows and holes I want.

Once it goes onto the cutter, it just cuts away while I do something else, probably a minutes to get the machine to do all the cuts.

I had a good tip to remove the cut holes from the mat with an old credit card - I used an old store loyalty card and that did make it easier. Just press very lightly to position the paper onto the LOW TACK mat. The first couple I pressed down far too firmly and it was very difficult to remove the very stuck down remains. This takes a 5-10 minutes. If I've done too good a job at sticking them to the mat, the instructions say to clean the mat with alcohol, dye, etc free baby wipes. A couple of wipes over, remove all the overly stuck bits of paper, let the mat dry and put it's dust cover on.

Reading all that, it seems like a lot to do, but it really isn't. The excel spreadsheet takes the longest time, but is helpful to me, I like the visual and takes the longest time. Plopping it into Word, do a couple of clicks to convert it and paste it into Notepad, save it, isn't hard and takes minutes. Of course playing around in Excel takes the time it takes, sometimes I think of something better, and I'm sure it's easier to fiddle around there, so when converting the idea to the card is painless.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Brother ScanNCut CM900 Die Cutter/Scanner (Passap Deco Cards)

I finally unpacked the box. And decided to make a Passap Deco card.

The machine is marketed for quilting, scrapbooking and card making. And has a lot of features to enhance these types of projects and I'm looking forward to attempting some card making. But I wanted to cut some punchcards.. Of course!

Now this has to be remembered. The function and design of the machine is to cut out a shape to keep and discard the outer part. With the Deco, there's the outer discard and hundreds of little circles that have stuck to the mat. Which is not designed for this!!!

The A3 has to be have the longest edge cut down 11.5cm to fit in the designated square on the mat. Instructions specifically say not to go over the markings, so I cut the excess off.

First project I decided to do is a Passap Deco card from Fay's class. I couldn't get all the cuts in one go, too many small cuts, and after experiments I made some Templates:
pen markings - arrow and 8th row marker
blade cutting holes - outer ratchet holes, card snap holes and 3 rows of holes each end.
blade cutting holes - inside template of all pattern holes for future projects. (marker for each square isn't possible)

I liked the 210gsm best for a card I'd use more than once.
210gsm on std mat, 3.5 blade didn't cut through all layers
210gsm on std mat, 5 blade cut through, (4, 4.5 didn't)
Low tack mat didn't hold properly, first try, but patting it down did. The quality of the board is better than the 120gsm and the std held it well. Gently patted it down so it was all stuck down.

120gsm on std mat, 3,5 blade and tore as I was removing it.

120gsm on low tack mat 3.75 blade. Much better result. I didn't pat it down all over, fearing that it would tear and next time a light smooth over the surface will be much better. This is perfect for a once off project, its only 20 minutes to make one in thicker card stock. I think would go through the deco once, the quality of the stock I bought isn't great, The better quality is about 10 times the price and maybe I will have to get some. If it goes through the deco once, then not.

Experimenting to get the best result has been a good two days spent - doing the templates and working out what the machine can and can't do. The accuracy of the cutting is outstanding, and once I got the hang of the (limited) program to edit the projects, the three templates are ready to go. One for printing, Two for cutting the outside border and removing unwanted holes for the pattern. It didn't want to know about cutting and printing on the same file.

After cutting is finished, I lightly pressed over to stick the punched out holes to the board. I didn't with the thinner paper, thinking that it would tear. But the low tack would have been fine.

I don't think its worth the bother of trying to make blank cards, while it's on the machine, might just as well cut the desired pattern. AND the small holes for every square is a bridge too far for the machine to do with ink or blade and it spat the dummy and said nuh, can't do.

When I get more familiar with it, I'll branch out and cut holes in a bought card.. Another day.

My next experiments were with cards that had more holes. The machine is capable of 600 individual actions. (draw or cut)

Card: 210gsm
Blade: No 5
Low tack mat

I decided to reduce the number of rows to over the 36 rows (which I think will be a very tight fit and perhaps not a good idea with using card stock), to I settled for 40 rows, and 800 individual pattern cuts.

One was the 4x4 holes/blanks every 2 rows.
The 8sts x 8 rs Card 77.

Both had 800 pattern holes plus 3 rows each end and ratchet and cardsnap holes.
I'd already worked out that doing the edge cuts was a better idea and kept it.
I tried two divisions,  half on the x axis and half on the y.

Both worked out perfectly, and cutting in halves not a hassle.