The threads are unwound from the beam and pass first through the tensioning bars and then through special holes called "guides", that are all positioned on the same "guide bar".
The number of guides depends on the number of needles on the knitting machine; the guides can be threaded-in or not. The threading-in can be either the full or the varied type according to the pattern to be knitted.
The guides are raised and moved sidewise to form a course of loops simultaneously when the needles are drawn down through the loops of the previous course.
In detail, when the knitting process begins, the guides are behind the needles. By moving sidewise, they pass between one needle and the next, positioning themselves in front of the needles. Then the guides move laterally, usually by one needle, or by two needles in case of double stitch patterns.
This movement can be carried out in both directions and therefore the thread, driven by the guide, can feed the needle either on its left or on its right.
After laying the thread over the needle stop, the guides swivel and perform the return travel taking the needles back with them.
At this point, the guide can stand still to make an open stitch (picture 127a) or float laterally by one or more needles.
When this movement is made in opposite direction with respect to the thread feed movement, the resulting stitch will be a closed one (picture 127b), whereas if both movements have the same direction, the resulting stitch will be an open one.
Since the yarn guides are built into the same guide bar, they all make the same movements simultaneously.
The machine incorporates several guide bars (or bars); the knitting process can be carried out with a single bar or with several bars which move independently of one another.
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