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Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuck Baby Blanket on the Brother KX 350 Midgauge Machine

Boy, have I been a lousy blogger. I've been knitting, but not good about getting pictures up here and describing things. So, I thought it was time to breathe a little life back into the ol' blog. This is a baby blanket I've done for charity. A friend gave me this hot pink cotton yarn and it goes nicely as a baby blanket. Our guild gives blankets to Project Linus so I chose to knit it at our guild's knit-in last Saturday. People usually bring their plastic bed machines because they are easy to transport. I used my Brother KX 350, a 7 mm midgauge, which is totally manual.

Here's how I made it if you care to do one yourself. It could be made on any machine using your own measurements and yarn. If you also have a midgauge you could use this needle arrangement. Otherwise, do a little math to make the repeat come out right for your needle bed.
Ewrap 129 stitches and knit 6 rows to make the end plain. Use a lot of weight on your work. Mark the needle bed with a pencil using X's for the red and o's for the orange. (See the diagram below.) What you do is mark O's on the 5th needle slot then every 8th across the bed ending with 4 needle slots on the right side. Now mark X's starting with the 9th needle slot, then every 8th across the bed, ending with 9 slots on the right side.
*Set your machine to hold going both directions. Pull the needles marked with O's all the way out toward you. Those are the stitches that will tuck. Knit 5 rows. Take the carriage setting off hold so that the next row all stitches will knit off. Knit 1 row. Now pull out the needles marked with X's. Change your carriage to hold both directions again. Knit 5 rows. Take the carriage setting off hold so that the next row all stitches will knit off. Knit one row.* Repeat this 12 row repeat, from * to * for the desired length. You kind of get into a rhythm. Tuck spreads out wider than stockinette, but it also takes more rows to get the length. I wanted a square baby blanket, so when I thought it was about the right length, I measured by bringing up the lower right corner to the upper left. Once it made a triangle, I pretty much had a square. (Trick learned from a guild friend.) Then knit 6 rows plain and bind off.

Your repeat would look like this with the sides plain. (Hope that makes sense.)
It makes a honey comb kind of pattern when the tucks are alternating.

The edges decided they wanted to curl, so I found it necessary to do some crocheting around it. I did two rows of single crochet and to make the ruffle did 3 double crochets in each stitch around. Whew! That took longer than it did to make the blanket. I have a new found respect and appreciation for my other machines after doing all that hand pulling of stitches. Turned out nice, though.