Although noted for the production of plain, classic, fully-fashioned knitwear, the straight bar frame is capable of utilising stitch patterns whose scope is dependent upon the particular machine's facilities. These may include lace, coloured designs, tuck stitches and combinations of these stitches .
Lacing points operate in a similar manner to fashioning points. Sets of points fixed in boxes will produce symmetrical effects, whereas individually-controlled points may be used to produce motifs. Between transfer actions, the points are racked sideways for re-positioning. Lace effects are determined by the type of pattern control, the number and type of points available, the point set-out, the direction and extent of the transfer movement, and the number of plain knitted courses between transfer actions .
Cable stitch designs in two-cord cross-over of three wales are possible on some machines, with the cord being emphasized by removal of a number of needles on either side of it, leaving a gap up to the adjacent wales.
Coloured designs are achieved with a number of carrier rods having different coloured yarns. The designs range from simple horizontal stripes to plating and elaborate intarsia patterns. One machine also uses guides in order to make tartan designs .
Tuck stitch designs are generally achieved by replacing the leading pressing edge of the sinker bed with individual presser bits, one for each needle beard. The presser bits are carried on slides that receive their forward pressing movement from steel strips on a tambour (drum). Punched positions in the steels do not advance their slides and thus produce tuck stitches. After each course, a different selection may be produced by racking the drum.
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