Title:
Knitting Method for a Flat Knitting Machine and Flat Knitting Machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a knitting method for a flat knitting machine and a flat knitting machine making it possible to implement the method. The machine comprises a plurality of storage elements (5, 5′) capable of storing at least one stitch, the storage elements or transfer jacks being situated below the bed(s) of the machine and the storage elements being movable relative to the bed(s) of the machine such that each storage element can alternatively receive a stitch supported by a needle (4, 4′), bring a stitch toward a needle (4, 4′), receive a stitch supported by another storage element (5, 5′), and bring a stitch toward another storage element (5, 5′).



Inventors:
Charnavel, Francois (Troistorrents, CH)
Galley, Emilien (Mezieres, CH)
Martins, Gabriel (Lavey-Village, CH)
Prost, Michel (La Tour-de-Peilz, CH)
Application Number:
14/374400
Publication Date:
12/25/2014
Filing Date:
01/25/2013
Assignee:
Steiger Participations SA (Vionnaz, CH)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
66/148
International Classes:
D04B7/20; D04B15/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WORRELL JR, LARRY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A knitting method for a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds supporting needles, wherein at least one first needle is chosen, the longitudinal axis of which is contained in a plane perpendicular to the bed(s) of the machine, and comprising: a step consisting of transferring a mesh from the first needle to a first storage element situated below a first bed; wherein the method comprises either a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to the first needle, or a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second needle, or a combination of two steps, the first step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second storage element situated below a second bed and the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element either to the first needle, or to a second needle supported by a second bed, or to the first storage element.

2. The knitting method according to claim 1, wherein the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first needle to the first storage element comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first needle to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first storage element.

3. The knitting method according to claim 2, wherein the step consisting of making the transfer from the first rocker to the first storage element comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to a second rocker at least partially overlapping a second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the first storage element.

4. The knitting method according to claim 1, wherein the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to the first needle comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first needle.

5. The knitting method according to claim 1, wherein the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second needle comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second rocker at least partially overlapping the second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the second needle.

6. The knitting method according to claim 1, wherein the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to the first needle comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first needle.

7. The knitting method according to claim 1, wherein the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to the second needle comprises a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to a second rocker at least partially overlapping the second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the second needle.

8. A flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds supporting needles, the machine comprising a plurality of storage elements capable of storing at least one mesh, the storage elements being situated below the bed(s) of the machine and the storage elements being movable relative to the bed(s) of the machine such that each storage element can seek a mesh supported by a needle, bring a mesh toward a needle, look for a mesh supported by another storage element, and bring a mesh toward another storage element.

9. The knitting machine according to claim 8, wherein each storage element is movable relative to the bed(s) of the machine, such that each storage element can look for a mesh supported by a rocker at least partially overlapping a needle and bring a mesh toward a rocker at least partially overlapping a needle.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to the field of flat knitting machines. The invention in particular pertains to a knitting method for a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds. The invention also relates to a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds, the machine comprising a plurality of storage elements capable of storing at least one mesh.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

On a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds, a typical knitting method consists of using certain needles to store previously formed knit meshes temporarily. Storing meshes thereby makes it possible to free other needles to then use those freed needles for other knitting operations. The problem that arises is that, during these time periods when meshes are stored on certain needles, the latter cannot be used to perform other knitting operations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A first aim of the knitting method according to the invention is to make it possible, in a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds, to free each of the needles from their meshes, so as to be able to use the freed needles to perform other knitting operations, while allowing the meshes to return to the needles from which they were previously freed. A second aim of the knitting method according to the invention is to make it possible to eliminate the presence of meshes between the needles. A third aim of the knitting method according to the invention is to make it possible, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising several beds, to free the space between the beds. A fourth aim of the knitting method according to the invention is to make it possible to decrease the tension on the stored meshes. A fifth aim of the knitting method according to the invention is to make it possible to better avoid mixing between the fibers of the stored meshes and the fibers of the knitted meshes.

In the knitting method for a flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds according to the invention, at least one first needle is chosen, the longitudinal axis of which is contained in a plane perpendicular to the bed(s) of the machine, and the method comprises:

    • a step consisting of transferring a mesh from the first needle to a first storage element situated below a first bed; and
    • either a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to the first needle,
    • or a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second needle,
    • or a combination of two steps, the first step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second storage element situated below a second bed and the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element either to the first needle, or to a second needle supported by a second bed, or to the first storage element.

According to the invention, the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first needle to the first storage element may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first needle to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first storage element.

According to the invention, the step consisting of making the transfer from the first rocker to the first storage element may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to a second rocker at least partially overlapping a second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the first storage element.

According to the invention, the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to the first needle may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first needle.

According to the invention, the step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second needle may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first storage element to a second rocker at least partially overlapping the second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the second needle.

According to the invention, the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to the first needle may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to a first rocker at least partially overlapping the first needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the first rocker to the first needle.

According to the invention, the second step of the combination consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to the second needle may comprise a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second storage element to a second rocker at least partially overlapping the second needle and a step consisting of transferring the mesh from the second rocker to the second needle.

A flat knitting machine comprising one or more needle beds according to the invention comprises a plurality of storage elements capable of storing at least one mesh, the storage elements being situated below the bed(s) of the machine and the storage elements being movable relative to the bed(s) of the machine such that each storage element can seek a mesh supported by a needle, bring a mesh toward a needle, look for a mesh supported by another storage element, and bring a mesh toward another storage element.

According to the invention, each storage element may be movable relative to the bed(s) of the machine, such that each storage element can look for a mesh supported by a rocker at least partially overlapping a needle and bring a mesh toward a rocker at least partially overlapping a needle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Other features and advantages of the invention will emerge from reading the following description, in reference to the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a partial profile view of a flat knitting machine according to the invention in the case of a machine comprising two beds;

FIG. 2 shows a partial perspective detail view of a storage element used to implement the knitting method according to the invention;

FIGS. 3A-3E show the first steps of the knitting method according to a first alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising a bed supporting a first type of needles;

FIGS. 4A-4E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a first alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising a bed supporting a first type of needles;

FIGS. 5A-5L show the first steps of the knitting method according to a second alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising a bed supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 6A-6E show the subsequent steps of the method according to a second alternative, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising a bed supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 7A-7E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a third alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising a bed supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 8A-8E show the first steps of the knitting method according to a fourth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a first type of needles;

FIGS. 9A-9E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a fourth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a first type of needles;

FIGS. 10A-10E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a fifth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 11A-11F show the first steps of the method according to a sixth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 12A-12D show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a sixth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 13A-13E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a seventh alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a second type of needles;

FIGS. 14A-14J show the first steps of the knitting method according to an eighth alternative embodiment, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising two beds supporting a second type of needles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a partial profile view of a flat knitting machine 1 comprising two beds, a front bed 2 and a rear bed 3. Each of the beds bears a plurality of needles 4, 4′ on the upper surface thereof, the longitudinal axis of each of said needles being contained in a plane perpendicular to the beds of the knitting machine. As shown in FIG. 1, these needles may be latch needles. However, other types of needles may also be used, for example compound needles which, within the meaning of the present invention, each comprise a rocker. As is well known by those skilled in the art, the needles as well as the rockers are movable relative to the beds of the machine and are actuated by one or more driving device(s).

As shown, below the beds, and thus below the needles, a plurality of storage elements 5, 5′ are arranged. It will immediately be understood, upon reading FIG. 1, that within the meaning of the present invention, the term “below” means that the storage elements 5, 5′ are situated under the beds when the machine is viewed from the side. The number of storage elements arranged below each bed is of course at least equal to the number of needles supported by each bed. Each needle thus has at least one corresponding storage element. All of the storage elements 5, 5′ are held by holding devices 6 and are actuated by a device for driving the storage elements (not shown) so that they are movable relative to the beds.

FIG. 1 shows the case of a machine comprising two beds, but the knitting method that will be described is applicable to any flat knitting machine comprising one or more beds. Thus, one skilled in the art will note that for example, to obtain the situation relative to a machine comprising only one bed, only one of the left or right parts of FIG. 1 should be taken into account, as is for example shown in FIGS. 3A-3E. One skilled in the art will also note that, to obtain the system relative to a machine comprising more than two beds, the left part or the right part of FIG. 1, or both, should be replicated.

FIG. 2 shows a partial perspective detail view of a storage element 5 used to implement the knitting method according to the invention. The storage element comprises a notch 21 that makes it possible to store a mesh. As will be seen hereafter, each storage element 5 is movable relative to the bed, in the case of a machine only comprising one bed, or the beds, in the case of a machine comprising several beds, such that each storage element can seek a mesh supported by a needle, bring a mesh toward the needle, seek a mesh supported by a rocker, and bring a mesh toward a rocker. In the case of a machine comprising several beds, each storage element may also seek a mesh supported by another storage element or bring a mesh toward another storage element. These various possible alternatives will be described in detail hereafter relative to the various alternative embodiments of the knitting method according to the invention. The storage element comprises a front end 22 having a fork-shaped structure that makes it possible to transfer a mesh from or to a needle or a storage element or a rocker, as will be described hereafter.

It will also be noted here that, in the rest of the description, when mention is made of crossing a storage element with a needle or with another storage element, that crossing is in fact possible owing to the fork-shaped structure of the front end 22 of the storage elements.

It should also be specified that all of the transfers defined by the various alternatives of the knitting method that will be presented below only occur between elements (needles, storage elements) whereof the longitudinal axes are coplanar and are in particular located in a same plane perpendicular to the bed, in the case of a flat knitting machine only comprising a single bed, or the beds, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising more than one bed.

FIGS. 3A-3E show the first steps of the knitting method according to a first alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine comprising a single bed supporting latch needles. FIGS. 3A-3E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh supported by a needle 4 to a storage element 5. The needle 4 is thus free of any mesh and can then be used to perform other knitting operations. For clarity reasons, FIGS. 3A-3E only show the steps performed at a needle, but these steps of course may or may not be performed by each of the needles supported by the bed.

The mesh is initially stored on the needle 4 (FIG. 3A). The needle 4 is then advanced and takes the mesh with it (FIG. 3B). The storage element 5 is then advanced (FIG. 3C) and crosses the needle 4. The needle 4 retracts and the mesh is then transferred onto the storage element 5 (FIG. 3D). The storage element 5 then retracts and the mesh is then stored on the storage element 5, thereby freeing the needle 4, which can then be used to perform other knitting operations.

FIGS. 4A-4E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to the first alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine comprising a single bed supporting latch needles. FIGS. 4A-4E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh stored by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 3A-3E, from the storage element to the needle.

The mesh is initially stored by the storage element 5 kept below the bed (FIG. 4A). The storage element 5 is then advanced (FIG. 4B) and crosses the needle (FIG. 4C). The mesh is then transferred from the storage element to the needle (FIG. 4D) and the needle then retracts, bringing the mesh with it, which is ultimately supported by the needle (FIG. 4E).

FIGS. 5A-5I show the first steps of the knitting method according to a second alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine with a bed supporting compound needles. FIGS. 5A-5I in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh supported by a compound needle to a storage element.

The mesh is initially stored on the needle 4 (FIG. 5A). This needle and the rocker 51 then advance (FIG. 5B), then the needle retracts, with the result that the mesh is then supported by the rocker 51 (FIG. 5C). The rocker 51 is then advanced (FIG. 5D) and the storage element 5 crosses the rocker 51 (FIGS. 5E-5F). The mesh is then transferred from the rocker 51 to the storage element 5 (FIG. 5G). The rocker 51 then retracts and the mesh is then supported by the storage element 5 (FIG. 5H). The storage element 5 then retracts and the mesh is then stored on the storage element (FIG. 5I), thereby freeing the needle 4 and the rocker 51 so that they can be used to perform other knitting operations.

FIGS. 6A-6E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to the second alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine comprising a bed supporting compound needles. FIGS. 6A-6E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh stored by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 5A-5I, from the storage element to the compound needle beard.

The mesh is initially stored by the storage element 5 situated below the bed (FIG. 6A). The storage element is then advanced (FIG. 6B) and crosses the needle that recovers the mesh (FIG. 6C). The mesh is then transferred from the storage element and the needle is then retracted, taking the mesh with it that is supported by the needle (FIG. 6D).

FIGS. 7A-7E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a third alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine with a bed supporting compound needles. FIGS. 7A-7E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh supported by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 5A-5I, from the storage element to the compound needle.

The mesh is initially stored by the storage element 5 situated below the bed (FIG. 7A). The storage element is then advanced (FIG. 7B) and crosses the rocker 51 (FIG. 7C), which partially overlaps the needle 4. The rocker 51 member then recovers the mesh (FIG. 7D) and the mesh is then stored on the rocker 51, which retracts. At this stage, the mesh can be transferred on the needle 4 or can be transferred again on the storage element 5.

FIGS. 8A-8E show the first steps of the knitting method according to a fourth alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine with two beds where each of the beds supports a plurality of latch needles. Out of a concern for clarity, as before, FIGS. 8A-8E only show the steps carried out at one needle, but these operations of course may or may not be carried out on each of the needles supported by each of the beds. FIGS. 8A-8E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh from a needle supported by a bed to a storage element arranged below another bed and, as always, where the longitudinal axis is contained in a plane perpendicular to the beds of the machine, which also contains the longitudinal axis of the needle. In the case of a machine with two beds, as shown in FIGS. 8A-8E, a storage element arranged under the rear bed can be used to store the mesh in order to thereby release the needle supported by the front bed so that it can be used to perform other knitting operations. It will, however, be noted that the alternative embodiments described above in the case of a machine only comprising a single bed can also be carried out on a machine comprising several beds.

The mesh is initially borne by the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2 (FIG. 8A). The needle is then advanced (FIG. 8B) and a storage element 5′ kept below the rear bed 3 also advances (FIG. 8C-8D) to cross the needle 4. The mesh is then transferred from the needle 4 to the storage element 5′ and ultimately remains on the storage element 5′, where it is stored (FIG. 8E). The needle 4 is then free and can, if necessary, be used to perform other knitting operations.

FIGS. 9A-9E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to the fourth alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine with two beds supporting a plurality of latch needles. FIGS. 9A-9E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh stored by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 8A-8E, to a needle supported by another bed.

The mesh is initially stored by the storage element 5′ situated below the rear bed 3 (FIG. 9A). The storage element 5′ is then advanced (FIG. 9B) and crosses the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2 (FIG. 9C), which recovers the mesh (FIG. 9D). The mesh is then transferred from the storage element 5′ kept below the rear bed 3 to the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2. The needle then retracts, bringing the mesh with it, which is supported by the needle (FIG. 9E).

It should be noted at this stage that the mesh can also be transferred to the needle 4′ by reproducing the steps of the method described relative to FIGS. 4A-4E. In that case, the transfer is said to be done from the storage element to a second needle. Alternatively, in the case of a knitting machine comprising more than two beds, the mesh may again be transferred, by carrying out the steps described relative to FIGS. 9A-9E, to another needle supported by a bed other than the beds 2 or 3. The mesh can therefore be transferred from the storage element 5′ to the needle 4, the needle 4′ or another needle (not shown).

FIGS. 10A-10E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a fifth alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine with two beds. FIGS. 10A-10E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh supported by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 8A-8E, to another storage element held under another bed. FIGS. 10A-10E show, in the case of a machine comprising two beds, a transfer from the storage element 5′ situated below the rear bed 3 to the storage element 5 situated under the front bed 2. However, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising more than two beds, of course the steps may alternatively be carried out between two storage elements held below two beds, irrespective of those beds. To generalize, we will therefore talk about the transfer from a first storage element situated below a first bed to a second storage element situated below a second bed.

The mesh is initially stored on the storage element 5′ of the rear bed 3 (FIG. 10A). The storage element 5′ bearing the mesh advances (FIG. 10B) and crosses the opposite storage element 5, in this case held under the front bed 2, which has also advanced (FIGS. 10C). The mesh is then transferred from the storage element 5′ to the storage element 5 (FIG. 10D) and, the latter part retracting, it brings the mesh, which is therefore ultimately stored thereon (FIG. 10E). It should be noted the transfer of the mesh between the two storage elements 5, 5′ is facilitated by the fork structure of the front end of the storage elements. In fact, when the storage elements cross, the storage element 5 is in reality housed between the teeth of the fork of the front end of the storage element 5′. The storage element 5′ retracts and the teeth of the fork of the front end thereof move away and the mesh is then transferred on the storage element 5.

FIGS. 11A-11F show the first steps of the knitting method according to a sixth alternative embodiment, in the case of a machine comprising two beds supporting compound needles.

FIGS. 11A-11F in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh borne by a compound needle supported by a bed to a storage element arranged under another bed.

The mesh is initially stored on the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2 (FIG. 11A). This needle and the rocker 51 then advance (FIG. 11B), then the needle retracts, with the result that the mesh is then supported by the rocker 51 (FIG. 11C). The storage element 5′ held under the rear bed 3, on the right in the figure, advances to seek the mesh (FIG. 11D) on the rocker. When the rocker 51 retracts, the mesh is then supported by the storage element 5′ of the rear bed (FIG. 11E) and, the latter part retracting, the mesh is stored under the rear bed 3 (FIG. 11F). It should be noted once again that although FIGS. 11A-11F only show the case of a machine comprising two beds, one skilled in the art will know, upon reading these figures, that the same steps may be carried out, in the case of a machine comprising more than two beds, between the needle of a first bed and a storage element kept below a second bed, irrespective of the position of said beds.

FIGS. 12A-12D show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to the sixth alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine comprising two beds supporting compound needles. FIGS. 12A-12D in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer the mesh stored by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 11A-11F, to the rocker of a compound needle.

The mesh is initially stored on the storage element 5′ kept below the rear bed 3 (FIG. 12A). The storage element 5′ is then advanced (FIG. 12B) and crosses the rocker 51 of the needle supported by the front bed 2 (FIG. 12C), which recovers the mesh (FIG. 12D). The mesh is thus transferred from the storage element 5′ arranged below the rear bed 3 to the rocker 51 of the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2.

From this point, several scenarios are possible. The mesh can obviously be transferred to the needle 4. The mesh can also be transferred to another storage element. The mesh can also be transferred directly onto the needle 4′ or to another needle, in the case of a machine comprising more than two beds. The mesh can also be transferred on the rocker of the needle 4′ or to the rocker of another needle, in the case of compound needles. Lastly, the mesh can also remain stored on the rocker, which retracts slightly while keeping the mesh.

FIGS. 13A-13E show the subsequent steps of the knitting method according to a seventh alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine comprising two beds supporting compound needles. FIGS. 13A-13E in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh stored by a storage element, for example following the performance of the steps described relative to FIGS. 11A-11F, to a compound needle, but in that case without passing through the rocker.

The mesh is initially stored on the storage element 5′ kept below the rear bed 3 (FIG. 13A). The storage element 5′ is then advanced (FIG. 13B) and crosses the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2 (FIG. 13C), which recovers the mesh (FIG. 13D). The mesh is thus transferred from the storage element 5′ arranged below the rear bed 3 to the needle 4 supported by the front bed 2.

FIGS. 14A-14J show the first steps of the knitting method according to an eighth alternative embodiment, still in the case of a machine comprising two beds supporting compound needles. FIGS. 14A-14J in particular show the steps making it possible to transfer a mesh borne by a compound needle supported by a bed to a storage element situated under the same bed.

The mesh is initially supported by the needle 4′ supported by the rear bed 3. This needle and the rocker 51′ then advance (FIG. 14B), then the needle 4′ retracts, with the result that the mesh is then supported by the rocker 51′ (FIG. 14C). The rocker 51 advances (FIG. 14D). The rocker 51′ advances (FIG. 14E) and crosses the rocker 51. The mesh is then transferred from the rocker 51′ to the rocker 51 (FIG. 14F) and the mesh is then supported by the rocker 51 (FIG. 14G). The storage element 5′ situated under the rear bed and advances and crosses the rocker 51 (FIG. 14H). The mesh is then transferred to the storage element 5′ (FIG. 141). The storage element retracts and the mesh is then stored on the storage element 5′ (FIG. 14J). This alternative embodiment makes it possible to transfer the mesh from a needle to a storage element situated under the same bed. The steps described above can of course be carried out similarly when the mesh is initially supported by the needle 4.

Various alternative embodiments of the knitting method have been presented, out of a concern for clarity, in the case of a flat knitting machine comprising one or two beds. As already stated, it is, however, clearly possible to implement this knitting method on machines comprising more than two beds, in particular on machines comprising three, four or five beds. Thus, other alternative embodiments are possible and the subject-matter of the protection is not limited to the alternative embodiments described above, but on the contrary encompasses all alternative embodiments that fall within the scope of the claims: in particular, one skilled in the art will understand that by providing one or several beds for the machine with storage elements situated below the beds, the mesh transfer is in those cases no longer done only between the front and rear beds, as described above, but may be done from one bed to the other, independently of their respective positions. For example, in the case of machines comprising more than two beds, all of the alternative embodiments of the method that have been presented primarily relative to a machine comprising two beds can be transposed to knitting machines comprising more than two beds. One skilled in the art will understand that, in all of the preceding description, the term “front bed” should be replaced by “first bed” and the term “rear bed” by “second bed,” and the technical portions necessary for the obvious transposition of the teaching relative to the flat knitting machines comprising two beds to flat knitting machines comprising more than two beds should be replicated symmetrically in the accompanying drawings.

According to another alternative embodiment of the knitting method according to the invention, applicable to machines comprising one or more beds, it is also possible, when the mesh is, at a certain stage of the knitting method, stored on a storage element, to move the device holding the storage elements, and thus the storage elements, in a translational movement in a direction parallel to the bed(s) of the knitting machine, which then makes it possible to subsequently transfer the mesh from the storage element thus moved to a needle which the longitudinal axis is contained in a plane parallel to the plane that contained the longitudinal axis of the storage element before that translational movement was done. The translational movement described above, also called “racking,” is well known by those skilled in the art.