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" - Yogu 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)

and PASTE in
HIGHLIGHT any blank TAB formatting and save
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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

LC2 Cotton Shopping Bag

The drawing is the size of the Franklins bag. Franklins hasn't been a supermarket for a couple of years and the bag is starting it make it's own holes. Time to make a new one out of some of the very, very large stash I have of several things suitable.

T7 on LC2:
lace pattern: 20S=14cm 50R=20cm max stretch.
but work on 18S/10cm, 50R/14cm work on this.

stst is standard 28st/ 30R/10cm

Bag - Set up
Card 1 locked on any row.
side levers forward
L 12 sts on edge for the top
R 20 sts on edge for the base
300 RC plus the 4 plain rows throughout.
6 repeats of the basic pattern.

Basic pattern throughout, however I did mitres join on the base.
2 rows RC000
6 orange edge pins on the left - I ended up relatching after trying a couple of different thing.
10 orange edge pins on the right
left side lever back
50 RC
left side lever forward
4RC (54 RC)
left side lever back and wind back to either RC000 or 50.

Knit the 2 rows and set machine to start the first 50 RC.
On the right hand 20 plain stitches:
dec 1 st every 2nd row, I used the three prong tool
15 times, 30 rows
then I put bobby pins into every 2nd edge that I wanted to pick up. This makes it easier to pick up the correct row, it gets lost in the knitting and I always pick up the wrong stitch on the side and have to undo the whole mess.

Once that's done, pick up the first one immediately and knit it off, if I didn't it jammed up and i dropped a stitch, I kept a good grip on it until I could put a weight on it, when I didn't, I dropped a stitch that I didn't pick up ..

So while that's all going on, don't forget to stop at RC50 and do the 4 plain rows.
the middle mitre:
start on RC98
and the 2 middle stitches will fall in the middle of the 4 rows after 150 ie, RC 152.
Then do another one the other side, there's a photo of it.

After that second turn, I used SAYG to join up the first part of the base,
then RC 248 do the final mitre, but it's easy to see, the base is finished.

Straps done on the Passap
8/8 !:1 rib T3/3 300RC.
I decided to join them at the quarter and three quarter mark on the top.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hybrid Yoke Jumper Working Notes HK/MK

Using Washed Haze:
T6 19st/26R = 10cm for stst parts
4.5mm for yoke.

aprrox 292 sts total for yoke
approx 63/64 rows high

Red: 87, (-6,-6), 60, (-6,-6) 8/75/8, (-6,-6), 60 = 294
four extra rows before starting with 1R K, 2R P.

8ply, for the Sapphire Melody:
??not proven??
aprox 340 I like the 40st but that's 320/280..
#183 is 40st rpt, 68 rows high. there's 3 sts gutter between,  if it was 4, then total would be 344.
approx 80 rows high, so that would work out with the extra 3 stitches in the gutter. in

yoke jumper = yoke from Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible
All these are nice
174 = 20sts = 300 sts 66 rows high
176 = 26sts = 286 sts 62 rows high - red done June
182 = 26sts = 286 sts 60 rows high
178 = 15sts = 300 sts 66 rows high

Short row front idea was modified from the Phyllo Jumper instructions. Aiming for row height is 63/64 plus cast off row.

**Yoke Prep:**
Look at how many plain rows before starting the yoke and do them on the machine and ALLOW 1 st each end each piece for seaming up these sections. (they are around 300 each round, so are worth doing on the machine) I think it would look better too, no slight change in the machine/hand knit join.

Work out how many decreases to do in those prep rows to hit the correct number for the repeats.

Remember a decrease each edge is 8 sts, (The Red one, I didn't decrease on the front sides, )
Three needle bind off makes 4 sts extra.
Knit rounds on 4.5mm needles,

Rnd 1: DEC 1 sts adjacent to armhole join
Rnd 2: knit
Rnd 3 & 4 rpt 1 & 2
286 sts

MARK OUT THE REPEATS, Starting with the CENTRE FRONT while the work is on the machine.

176 = 26stsx11rpts = 286 sts and 62 rows

10 sts repeat remain- possibly do 3tog at the centre of each of the sets would be 6 sts x 11 repeats
check with the pink Phyllo.

Purl 2 rounds to match the start then cast off.

This is the Red WH numbers.
CO 99
20 row relatched hem  111.111.111 = divide by 4 less 1sts.
-> RC46
-1 eee 6R x 4
-> RC76
+1 eee 6R x 4
-> 130RC
-6 eee 2R x 2 = 87sts

Front as for back to
->117RC 12/75/12
*(but should have been 119RC, if is a little too high, then go to 22sts and do and extra SR set of 2 sts per SR.)*

SR to 20sts each end, decreasing by 2 sts ev 2 rows to 16sts

*less 2 each 2R x 3 more times 128RC (was 126)
SR the other side 12 down to 6sts (128RC)
knit two (DID 4) rows across all sts RC 106 RC total on sides.*

-6 eee 2R x  2 = 87sts
MARK OUT REPREATS, STARING WITH CENTRE FRONT. Everything else fits in around this.

CO 39 sts
20 rows relatched 111.111.111
+1 on the short side 40sts
+1 eee 6R to 72 sts
-> 130 RC
-6 eee 2R x 2  = 60sts

did four rounds with decreases before commencing pattern, 
87, (-6,-6), 60, (-6,-6) 8/75/8, (-6,-6), 60 = 294

Sunday, April 29, 2018

3D Garter Bar For My Brother 7mm KX350 Plastic Bed Midgauge Machine

smooth side

I recently decided to get a garter bar for my KX350 7mm machine. And found that Kris has discontinued her 7mm range, but an Internet search found a place that is now making 3D 20 prong ones. It looks like the company started in the Netherlands and now has a New York facility. Good news, so I decided to buy them.

rough underside

Now this is the product description and I think it is important to read it because they are supplied as described:


This is a 20 Needle / Tine 7mm Garter Bar: (40 needle version is available in this store) A garter bar is used on a knitting machine to remove the knitted fabric from the needles, turn it around, and replace the knitted fabric back on the needles.    The ability to do this for an entire section of fabric (not just one needle) is necessary for garter stitches, and some lace patterns and cables.  It can also be used if you have a need to temporarily remove a project from the machine. It fits 7mm machines. It can be purchased in sections of either 20 or 40 needles or tines.  Purchase the number of sections as you need, depending on the number of needles in your typical project.   Any number of sections can be used.  The sections fit together and should be secured together using a piece of 1/4” threaded rod with nuts and washers on the ends.  Threaded rod is inexpensive and can be purchased at a hardware store.  The rod should be cut to the length of the assembled garter bars, with enough room to add a nut and washer at each end.  Note that this just needs to hold them together for convenience, it doesn’t need to be tight. The material default for printing this is “White Polished”. Without the “Polished”, the surface of the material is slightly rough.  If you find that your yarn still doesn’t slide easily on and off the garter bar, spray it with several coats of a glossy clear coat spray available at craft and hardware stores.  This will help smooth the surface even more.

Emery paper 99cents. metal rod $2.50
They have arrived, It is important not to
whinge about the underside being rough, they are and I've highlighted the bit that says that.

So off I went to Bunnings to buy some fine emery paper and a metal bar. Was tricky finding the bar, it was hidden in the very bottom slot and that was the hardest part.

This is what I needed to buy (or in the case of my nail polish - raid). They were right, $2.50 for a metal bar was cheap, but the emery paper was cheaper:

Underside with nail polish - this is three coats
It didn't take long to run the nail file along the underside and any of the prongs with rough edges then the fine emery. Here is a pretty good photo of the underside after I've sanded it and put three coats of nail varnish.

Here are the other four, drying their nail polish
OK now to see how three coats go. There are grooves both sides, which means there's no right or wrong side - this is good. I tried both smooth up or down and I didn't notice much difference. I used some thin cotton to see how it goes - on T2...

What I thought worked better:
  • use the single prong tool move the stitches onto the prongs in roughly a straight line. 
  • take off the edge claw weights
  • don't pull the stitches all the way back - there isn't a groove to put the tips of the needles into

The stitches are captured perfectly over the 20 needles
It works as advertised
So how did I like using them? Most definitely quicker and easier than relatching, even though I only had one 20 needle one dry and ready to try out.

Next - how did it go with all of them threaded onto their rod:

collected the stitches, but missed a few, which is pretty normal for me
Ready to come off the needles. I caught a couple of the prongs taking it off. will experiment with the best way to do that.
The caught prongs created a lot of dropped stitches

All the needles captured. Run finger over the prongs to find any missed. Just pop them on
Pull all the stitches forward to close the latches
As soon as all the latches are closed, pull the stitches onto the prongs
I hope you can see where I popped the rulers in both photos
The bars are flexible and it took several goes to get it to collect most of them.
I pushed the loops on the prongs into a line with the wooden ruler
I put the selector ruler and a wooden ruler between the prongs and the needles
Here it is all done and dusted 100 sts flipped every four rows
Well I do like them, so much better than nothing.

My technique is to
  • open all the latches
  • attach the bar.
  • pull the work all the way along but only to close the latches
  • once all the latches are closed, pull the work onto the prongs
  • I used a ruler to align the stitches in a row (don't pull them all the way to the end)
  • I wrapped the yarn around the end of the bar
  • take work off the machine
  • as the needles are in hold, set carriage to hold and move it to the other side, this also opens the latches, take it off hold
  • align up the prongs with the needle tips. I wiggled it just a tiny bit to get all the tips into the slots
  • the bar is flat on the top of the needles - almost flat against them
  • gently press along the length of the bar to collect the loops above the grooves
  • pull the bar away from the work (see photos) and pop any loops that missed the needles
  • if here are too many missed, take it off the machine again and repeat (this is why I popped a couple of pegs to keep any of the work away from the needle tips).
  • now this is only because the prongs are flexible, whereas the metal prongs aren't
  • to stop the bar tips catching in the needles, I placed a selector ruler and a standard wooden ruler into the space between the prongs and the needles.
  • remove the pegs on the bar, if used.
  • then pull down at an angle, I'd guess about 45 deg, underneath between the needles and the sinker plate.
  • put the work back against the machine, rethread the yarn, making sure it doesn't wrap around the rubber wheels
  • keep knitting, turning as you require. 
The metal rod worked well. I used a rubber band one end and a peg at the other, to hold them into place.

Remember to take off the claw weights. I used some pegs to LOOSELY hold the work out of the way along the bar. Not tight, that didn't work.

The prongs ARE grabby, rough, not smooth like the metal garter bars, that's for sure. However, It's not such a terrible thing. The stitches don't squirm all over the prongs and stay where they are put. I did have to put a few onto to needles after turning the work, but I also have to do that with the metal ones and because they hold on, it's better, I think.

So, am I happy with them? Yes. Did I find them rough? Yes but not too bad after three coats of nail varnish. I don't think it's necessary to have a slippery high polish after all. I won't be putting another couple of coats on. I like that they don't slip off the bar like I have had on the metal bars.

And like the regular metal garter bars I've used before, they will take a bit of practice to proficient at using them. but after an afternoon I managed really well on the last one. I'm sure that the next project I have for them will be just fine.