Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Machine Knit Baby Blankets

Three weeks ago, I wrote about my vacation misadventures with machine knitting. I promised to show some results. Hopefully, late is better than never in this case.

I had a cone of blue yarn, 2 small skeins of white baby yarn, a 4 to 5 ounce skein of pink and white variegated baby sport yarn, and two 3 ounce skeins of blue. A half-skein of white baby boucle would make an edging. My plan was three afghans: 2 blue and one pink and white. Wanda had other ideas.

Wanda contributed a couple of ounces of green baby boucle and determined that we should buy another skein of baby boucle and something to go with the pink/white baby sport yarn. We went to Michaels and got a skein of yellow Bernat Baby Coordinates (a boucle type yarn) and a skein of pink TLC Baby yarn. We knitted 3 afghans and had the two 3 ounce skeins of blue left for a 4th afghan.

machine knitting blue afghan

We started with the cone of blue yarn. We used most of the needles on the knitting machine to make a blanket about 32 inches wide. We used lots of weights to help keep the machine happy and prevent skipped stitches.

The carriage is on the far left. You push it back and forth to knit the rows. At the top center, you can see the punch card that tells the machine how to make the design. In addition to plain knitting (i.e., stockinette stitch), the machine will make tuck or slip stitches. We used tuck stitches to make a zig-zag pattern in this blanket.

machine knitting blue afghan

This is the same blue blanket with more with much of the knitting done. We've moved the wide bar up to the middle of the blanket so the tension on the stitches is more even.

machine knitting pink striped afghan

This blanket is 6 rows of solid pink alternating with 6 rows of the pink and white variegated. In addition to the stripes, tuck stitches create a diamond pattern. It's really easy to change colors. The yarn is carried up the side of the blanket when you are knitting the other color.

3 machine knitted afghans

Here are the three blankets out of the machine and waiting for edging to complete them. The machine knitting is basically stockinette stitch. Even with the tuck stitch patterns, the edges roll under. I'm adding a crocheted edging to these. It does a wonderful job of covering the yarn carried along the sides of the stripes. Unfortunately, the nice flat crocheted edging is not preventing the edges from rolling under.


  1. you need to block it

    1. Since I donated these blankets to Project Linus 6 years ago, it's a little too late to try blocking now. The yarn is acrylic and at the time, more experienced knitters told me you couldn't block something made out of acrylic.

      From what I know now, you probably can block it, but as soon as the blanket is laundered it will curl up again. Since these were donated to charity, it was probably better not to block the curl out. That way when it curls after washing, the family won't think they did something wrong.