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Multicolour Rib

(updated 14 December, 2015)

Adventures playing with multicolour rib (also called Double Jacquard) on a Brother 950i knitting machine with a 850 ribber, and KRC-900 colour changer.

Here are some notes that I use when creating double jacquard on my Brother 950i. I have not been able to find instructions on the internet, and it has taken me a couple of months of reading through the manuals and playing with settings to get a set of instructions that work every time for me. Sharing here in case it is of use to anyone else.

If you would like to use the manuals, the page references are: 
  • Brother Instruction Book KH-950i pages 154-156
  • Brother Instruction Manual for Ribbing Attachment model KR-850 pages 38-39
  • Brother Instruction manual for Colour changer KRC-900 pages 11-12

The carriage diagrams show the changed settings in green.

KM = Knitting Machine.

KR = Ribber.

STEP 1 - Select needles and cast on

Load a fair-isle pattern and set to row 1. On the knitting machine, put the switches 4 (double length) and 7 (KRC colour changer) to the upper position. (If using a multi-colour rib pattern, then only switch 7 is required)

Set the ribber to H (half-pitch). Raise the ribber up to meet the knitting machine bed. 

Remove the sinker plate assembly from the front of the knitting machine carriage, and replace with the connecting arm assembly. Put the ribbing carriage on the ribber. Move both carriages to the right end of the bed, and connect the two carriages (the connecting pin on the ribber carriage connects with the connecting arm assembly). 

Attach the colour changer to the left end of the knitting machine bed. 

Select both knitting machine and ribber needles to the B (working) position. There must be an EVEN number of selected needles on the ribber (look at the little + and - signs on the numbers strip, and make sure that one end needle is on a + and the other end on a -). After setting the needles on the ribber, set the same needles on the knitting machine, then pull out one extra needle at each end of the kntting machine so the outer-mode needles are on the knitting machine, and not on the ribber.  

Set the carriages to the following:
Put the main colour yarn (colour 1) into the yarn feeder. Set-up the second colour in the colour changer. Move the carriage from right to left. The yarn will be picked up by the needles in working position. Attach the ribber cast-on comb.

STEP 2 - selvedge

With the carriage on the left, increase the tension to 1 on both carriages. 
Push in the left part button on knitting machine carriage. 
Push in the right part button on the ribber carriage. 
Move the carriage 3 times (right, left, right) to complete the selvedge.

STEP 3 - knit a few rows of full needle rib

With the carriage on the right, increase the tension to 2. 
Release the part buttons on KM and KR. 
Move the bottom slider to the left to I on the ribber.
Move carriage to the left. All the needles will be knit. Continue to knit a few rows of Full Needle Rib ending with the carriage on the left, outside the left magnet (move left until the colour changer goes 'click' is a good sign).

STEP 4 - Load the pattern

If using a multi-colour rib pattern then select the colour as displayed on the screen.
If using a fair-isle pattern, then I start with the main colour (colour 1).
Play with your pattern and settings to see what works best for you.

With the carriage still on the left, outside of the magnets, rotate the knitting machine carriage rotator to the KC (II) position. Move carriage to the right to select the pattern needles.

STEP 5 - knit the pattern

With carriage now on right, push in both part buttons on KM and KR carriages.

Rotate both knobs to IiIi (lily) position (this requires pushing in whilst rotating). Move the bottom slider to the IiIi (lily) position.

Move the carriage to left. Change to the other colour. Move to the right, then back to the left, and continue knitting with these settings. If using a multi-colour rib pattern, select the colour on the display. If using a 2-colour fair-isle pattern, alternate colours every time the carriage is on the left.

When completed, with the carriage on the left, change the KC knob back to N to release the pattern. Change to spare yarn in a contrast colour. Knit a few rows then remove yarn leaving 3 x width of yarn. Remove from machine. Finish edge using darning needle and yarn tail (see section 6 Binding Off in KR-850 manual).