Sunday, November 16

Reversible DBJ - more information

Daria left a comment:

"At first I want to apologize for my bad english. I'm sorry for that! My mother is a enthousiastic knitter with the knitter machine, but she doesn't understand your explanation of reversible knitting. I tried to translate your explanation to her, with no sense. She still doesn't understand it, because I don't have a lot knowlege about revisible knitting, even about knitting itself! I find it hard explain to her what she has to do. That's why I am asking your help. Could you explain everything on an easier way, so she could be able to knit a shawl?"

The original post is

First of all, you need to be able to create ordinary double-bed jacquard with your machine. You need to familiarise yourself with this technique, otherwise the rest of the instructions will make no sense.

Normal DBJ on a knitting machine either has a striped backing, a plain backing, or if using the KR850 and lili buttons, a bird's eye backing.

I'll list the steps on a Brother machine - this only works on pre-selecting machines, eg Brother and Toyota.

1) Cast on for full needle rib, as per manual: knit 1 row (zigzag row) at T0, hang comb and weights, set main carriage to T1, slip/part left, ribber carriage T1, slip/part right. Knit 2 or 3 circular rows.
2) Cancel both slip settings. Knit a few rows full needle rib, ending carriage on left.
3) Set main carriage to KC (read the card). Put DBJ punchcard into slot and LOCK the punchcard on row 1. Knit 1 row to right.
4) Unlock punchcard, and set main carriage to slip both ways (both PART buttons in).
5) This is where the reversible patterning starts - set the ribber carriage to slip both ways ALSO. Pull up every needle that is opposite a gap on the main bed. For example:

(where I is a selected needle and o is a needle in normal position)

However, the machine must be set to HALF pitch, not full pitch, for full needle rib to work (otherwise the MB and RB needles will jam) - so in actual fact, the ribber is offset by half a needle:

(A) RB needles selected immediately to RIGHT of last selected MB needle in each group

This arrangement would also be valid:

(B) RB needles selected immediately to LEFT of last selected MB needle in each group

It doesn't matter which ribber needles you pick, as long as you are consistent, ie always follow rule (A) or (B).

6) Knit across to left, and into colour changer. Select next colour, and hand-select ribber needles as in step 5. Knit 1 row.

So, once you have got going, the sequence is:

Knit to right, select RB needles opposite empty MB needles.
Knit to left, change colour, select RB needles opposite empty MB needles.

Picture of machine during knitting. I pull the ribber needles fully upwards, so that I can quickly see if I have selected the right needles.

Caveat: This is a VERY time consuming method of producing reversible material. I've only ever done it just to prove it can be done, on small samples. You need to knit 4 rows in DBJ just to get two rows of actual knitting, and having to hand-select the ribber needles will make it take even longer.

Sample - reversible at bottom, striped backing at top.

For truly automatic reversible DBJ, you would need either a Passap E8000 (has computer-selected pushers on both beds) or a table-for-two like Wishknits used to produce - a special table and joining piece that allowed the user to connect two single bed machines opposite each other. I'd put the URL here, but they seem to have disappeared offline, alas.

As always, click for a bigger picture.


sharonwue said...

table for two. I read this and my fingers started to tingle. As it happens, I have two electronic standard gauge machines... I've never heard of the table for two, but now I want one:D

sharonwue said...

I just tracked down the website, but it is not active. boo hoo.

Terry said...

I remember reading about the table for two some years ago. It did sound very interesting. But I was just getting my feet wet with machine knitting and thought that would be WAY over my head. Gee, that had to be 7 years ago! Yikes, time flies when you knit! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting this topic.
Do you know if there are videos?

steel breeze said...

No, as far as I am aware there's no video of the technique, but it's easy enough to do - the main bed preselects needles, and you hand-select the opposing ones on the ribber bed. In effect, the main bed tells you what to do.