Machine Knit Racked Full Fisherman Scalloped Baby Blanket Pattern
My machine knitting group makes small blankets to support a local hospital’s stillborn program. Sadly, not every mom who delivers a baby is able to take her child home. Given the tiny size of these infants, the blankets range from 18 to 22 inches square. The mothers can keep it as a remembrance, or wrap the child in it for burial.
This blanket is my first contribution to the program. I made it on the Passap Duo 80. It is a simple racking Fisherman’s Rib pattern, great for blankets because the tucked rib provides thickness as well as the being identical on both sides. A needle pattern can be seen in the Duo 80 instruction manual on page 35.
A Japanese flat bed machine with ribber can also make this blanket. Following instructions in your manual for a tubular cast on, then set the machine for full fisherman’s rib. Rack one full turn to the left, knit a row, rack back one full turn to the right, and knit another row. The chart at the bottom will help you with the non racking transition rows.
I used a high quality acrylic from the stash. Sorry, the label went missing a long time ago. This particular yarn knits Fisherman’s Rib nicely at a tension of 4.5/4.5 My finished blanket is 20 by 22 inches.
Here’s how I did it.
Tubular Cast on 100 needles both beds
Handle down, orange strippers
Observe needle rule: left most needle on front bed, right most needle on back bed
Pushers in rest
Lock on Right
N/N Tension 2/2 knit one row to left
CX/CX Tension 3.5/3.5 knit two rows
N/N Tension 4.5/4.5 knit one row to right
Cast on complete
Lock on Right
Rack bed one full turn to left
EX/EX Tension 4.5/4.5
Row Count 000
Knit one row to the left
Rack bed one full turn to the right
Knit one row to the right
Repeat these two rows a total of 7 times (Row Counter 014)
Knit one row without racking (Row Count 015)
Repeat these 15 rows: rack one full turn to the left, knit one row, rack one full turn to right, knit one row 7 times (Row count 029). End pattern repeat with knitting one row without racking (RC 030)
Repeat these 30 rows for the desired length of your blanket. I went until row count 479, with my last row, 480, done at a looser tension (6/6) to make it easier to do a latch bind off. Also, switch lock from EX/EX to N/N for this last row to knit off all remaining tucked stitches.
I find it difficult to do a latching bind off on the machine. So after row 480, I switched to waste yarn and CX/CX and did several rounds before dropping the blanket from the machine. I then latched the live stitches and removed the waste yarn.
A couple of tips to help you remember if you racked, or racked in the correct direction before knitting the row.
1. Write down which two tick marks on the racking scale you are moving between. Don’t try to memorize. A 5th grade emergency has a way of scrambling a knitter’s brain. You will probably be moving between left 1 and 0 or 0 and right 1. This means if you find yourself ever at 2 or 1 on the opposite side, you’re in trouble.
2. Let your knitting tell you if you racked before the phone rang. When a row is finished, the yarn flows from the last needle physically closest to the lock. When you rack before knitting a row, as this pattern requires, the last needle knit from the previous row will no longer be closest to the lock. It will now be second closest. If you see this, you will know that you racked before you were interrupted.
3. Before you begin, make a chart of the rows, showing what the row counter will display before knitting the transition rows which are knit without racking. For example:
Row Set Row Counter displays these numbers before transition rows knit without racking
0-30 14 29
31-60 44 59
61-90 74 89
91-120 104 119
121-150 134 149
151-180 164 179
181-210 194 209
211-240 224 239
241-270 254 269
271-300 284 299
301-330 314 329
331-360 344 359
361-390 374 389
391-420 404 419
421-450 434 449
451-480 464 479
Row 480 increase tension to 6/6 and switch lock to N/N so all tucks are knit, making a latch bind off easier.
April 12, 2007