Knitting notations

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A knitting notation is a simple, easily-understood, symbolic representation of a knitting repeat sequence and its resultant fabric structure that eliminates the need for time-consuming and possibly confusing sketches and written descriptions. Figure 5.8 gives the symbols used in the two types of notation system. A method universally recognised for warp knitting lapping diagrams and which is also popular for weft knitting running thread path notations requires the use of point paper.

Each point represents a needle in plan view from above and, after the thread path has been drawn, it also represents its stitch.

Each horizontal row of points thus represents adjacent needles during the same knitting cycle and the course produced by them.

The lowest row of points represents the starting course in knitting but it must be understood that, when analysing structures, the courses are normally unroved in a reverse order to the knitting sequence.

When knitting with a single set of needles, each vertical column of points represents the same needle at successive knitting cycles or a wale in the resultant structure. For double needle bar knitting, every second row represents the back needle bar and its wales with all needle hooks facing towards the top of the paper to facilitate the drawing of a continuous lapping movement. For weft knitting with two sets of needles, it is assumed that the lower row of points represent needles whose hooks face towards the bottom of the paper and the upper row, needles whose hooks face towards the top of the paper.

A second notation method is that developed by the Leicester School of Textiles for weft knitting only. In this method squared paper instead of point paper is employed, with each square representing a needle or stitch. An 'X' symbol is placed in a square where a face stitch occurs and an 'O' where there is a reverse stitch.

When notating each stitch, it is necessary to examine the intermeshing direction at the base of the loop because the intermeshing at its head determines the direction of the intermeshing of the new loop formed above it.

Computer-aided design systems have their own methods of notation which may involve realistic appearance and the use of colour.

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