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Machine Knitted Baby Blanket #2

Presenting my second baby blanket ever. Finished!

Angel Prayers

It is knit on a single bed machine in 3 strips of 4 segments and each segment has a finished lining panel behind it. It is called “fully lined” because it is essentially two separate pieces of fabric knitted together at the color changes. The back “lining” hides the floats that result from having more than one color in a row. It is knitted on a single bed and therefore, is not a double knit fabric where those floats would be knitted into the back fabric.

The pattern designer’s intention was for the knitter to leave the second to last needles out of work if I remember correctly, so that those loops at the edges could be joined together by latching. So simple! But the instructions were not really written for a beginner like me and were way over my head. I ended up with raggedy edges and a few dropped stitches, extra long loops at the row ends, etc., all beginner’s mistakes. You can bet I am a wiser beginner now.

A couple of weeks ago I found these strips rolled up in a satchel and I began trying to figure out how to join the three strips of this afghan together. I finally invisibly blanket stitched the two layers together on all sides to “fix” any dropped stitches or uneven edges. Then I hung one section using every other needle on the machine, facing me, e-wrapped in white, and then matched the squares together with a second strip, backside facing me and pushed the whole bundle behind the latches. It was too much thickness for the carriage so I manually knit back the bundle together. This created a single strand of white on the needles and I latched them off. I did the same routine with the 3rd panel.

Here’s the back.

Back

You can see the loops on the back and ladders on the front, a result of the EON (every other needle) latching.

Edge Join

Maybe you can see the stitches better in black and white:

Black and White Stitching

But as I worked I found that my errors were not unsolvable and not as bad as I had imagined. Using the machine to evenly hang and join the strips really helped. I am pretty happy that I finally figured it out in a way that, while not professional looking, still allows the blanket to be serviceable.

Angel Prayers Angel

Angel Prayers Closeup

And Please Bless Daddy. I think it’s a cute blanket!

I was going to add a crocheted edging but found that the thickness of the two pieces plus the invisible stitching holding the panels together made crocheting uneven and difficult. I felt it was better left as is.

Since this is going into a preschool where I suspect it will not always get the tender loving care it deserves (cold water wash and gentle drying), I needed to reinforce the joins so I used 100% cotton thread, doubled and “invisibly stitched the edges together along each latched edge.

Here’s the pattern booklet I used

LittleAngels

Here’s my first blanket finished way back in 2007 when I was setting up the preschool and recovering from chemo and radiation (how did I do all that???). It was smaller and not knitted in strips that required joining so I wasn’t prepared for all the problems I caused myself on this second blanket.

blankie

I am slowly moving all the sewing and knitting things that were stored in the garage when I put The Stitchery, my workshop, on the market. I have moved many things in and in order to do that much I have had to sort through almost everything in the house and toss, donate, and rearrange to accomplish it. Nothing is really “set up” yet. I do have the cutting table in the (heated!) sewing room but I can’t yet sit down to a sewing machine. You get the picture?! Of course you do!!

In my beginner’s opinion making an afghan on a single bed was a ton of unnecessary work. I learned lots about the importance of wrapping the end yarns when changing colors, and keeping edge stitches neat and tidy. Oh, I’ve learned a lot because I made a lot of errors!!! I am pretty sure right now that I’d rather knit jacquard (AKA Fair Isle) with the ribber or on a double bed machine like the Passap. Maybe that will be the next project.

It’s nice to take a knitting break from all the heavy monkey work of moving things around and sorting and organizing. I am getting closer to having a knitting area and my sewing room back in service. I’m looking forward to it.

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About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

12 responses »

  1. i can say in all honesty that my first machine knitted items were nowhere near as good as this is and it was a very long time, years, before I knitted my first DJ! I am impressed! xo

    Reply
  2. Machine knitting is a whole big learning curve, I imagine. I hope you keep at it. I hand knit, but never tried a machine. It looks to me that you have a really good start!

    Reply
  3. Incredible! It does look professional, Mary Beth. I’m blown away by your talent, yet again.

    Reply
  4. Janie Dearborn Mason

    What a lovely blanket – and very ambitious for a beginner. You have your mother’s talent plus! Waiting for your next project – and sending admiration for all the prep work of getting organized in a smaller space – that accomplishment should be making you beam!

    Reply
  5. Wow – you don’t work up to big projects, do you :) . I have a knitting machine, but not attempted to use it yet. It’s on the “someday” list. You did a wonderful job and I’m sure it will be much loved.

    How did you do it all back then? Looking back, I’d say you were afraid to slow down.

    Reply
  6. Thanks, all you all, for your encouragement. I am so glad it’s finally done!

    Reply
  7. Yay! That was an amazing job! I am really impressed. I am unable to see the errors, but I can say that you have “blessed” hands.

    Reply
  8. HEY!

    I have nominated you for a VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD!

    Here are the DEETS: Post the .jpg of the award in a post or on your blog; mention the person(s) who nominated you; offer up seven things about yourself; nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know they’ve been nominated.

    YAY!

    Reply

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