Weft knitted patterns

Generally, patterns are produced in weft knitted structures either in the form of selected colours for face stitches or surface relief patterns based on a choice of different types of stitch. As illustrated in Fig. 3.4, the height to which a latch needle is lifted in its trick determines which stitch will be knitted. If all needle butts are in the same position on the needle stems and they pass over the same cam profile, a plain fabric will be knitted, with all stitches having the same intermeshed loop structure. Patterning is therefore determined by selection of needle butts - for example, either to pass onto a raising cam to knit or to miss the cam profile and not be lifted.

The width of the pattern in wales is determined by how many needles can be selected separately, independently of each other. The pattern depth in courses is dependent upon the number of feeds with selection facilities and whether the selection can be changed during knitting.

Simple patterning and quick rib changes (during garment-length knitting) can be achieved in a limited width repeat when element butts are at one of a range of lengths or positions associated with particular raising cam arrangements.

The cam arrangement and element butt repeat set-out will determine the pattern area. Popular simple methods employ different butt lengths and cam thicknesses and/or different butt positions and cam tracks.

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