Short Rowed Pinwheel Baby Blanket by Diana Sullivan

Short Rowed Pinwheel Baby Blanket by Diana Sullivan

This next project is a pinwheel baby blanket. I’m using two different sport weight yarns that go together. I wanted a little bit livelier colors because lots of people like to buy the brighter colors for babies now. Now I have begun with some waste yarn. It’s just some dull brown waste yarn, and I am on needles number 45 left to number 45 right. This is a bulky machine, but you can use sport yarn on it. I’m using kind of a tight tension — tension 2 — because this is on the skinnier end of the yarns that you can use on this machine. And the way I’m going to start is by knitting one row across all the needles, so I’ll just thread up with the variegated yarn and knit from right to left. This is a good strong contrast. I’ve got a waste yarn that is significantly different from all the colors in this variegated, so it’ll be easy for me to sew the blanket together at the end. Now let me show you how to do the short row pinwheel design that’s in the blanket. First of all, my machine has to be set so that it’ll do “hold, ” that is, it will not knit needles that are pulled all the way toward me in hold position. And then all I do is pull the needle on the carriage side all the way to hold position and knit from left to right. After knitting that row, I pull the next needle all the way to hold position and knit. Now I put another one in hold, knit a row, another one in hold, knit a row. I’m going to keep doing this until I have only one needle in work. One thing that you need to do is keep adjusting your weights because you’re making a big triangle and your weights will get very crooked. Also, when you do these decreases, take one finger on one hand and pull down and then bring the needle out with the other finger. That will avoid any problems with the stitches coming loose as you pull them up. When I’m down to just one needle in work, I’m going to take the scissors and cut my yarn. I’ll just hang a clothes pin on that yarn, and I’m going to thread up with the other color. I want the carriage to knit all the stitches, so I’m going to take it off “Hold,” just for this one row, and knit all the way to the left. I put my clothes pin on both of those ends of the yarn. That’ll make that yarn behave and stay out of my way. I’m going to do the same procedure with the pink as I did with the variegated. I’ve lined my weights back up here and I put my machine back in “Hold” so it’ll short row, and I’m going to reduce my needles in work by one, knit a row, reduce my needles in work by one more, knit a row, decrease again, knit a row, and so forth, all the way down to one stitch again. When I reach the point when all of the needles are in hold except the last one, again, I’m going to cut my yarn. This was my solid pink, and I’m going to hang a clothes pin on this end. I’m threading up with my variegated yarn, but I’m also switching the machine back to “N” so that, for this first row only, it will knit all the needles. And I knit an entire row right to left. Now I’m going to do the next and the subsequent triangles in the same way, doing a decrease every single row, but let’s take a break from the knitting here and see what we have so far. Here, with the purl side facing, you can see I have two triangles on the project, and if I flip it over, you can see what a nice join it makes. And I’m just going to keep going on, making these triangles, and come back on camera when I’ve got most of a circle put together. All together I’ve made twelve sections. I’ve got a complete circle. So now what we’re going to do is take this off and finish it. I’m going to take this off on waste yarn, but I do need enough yarn coming from the end of it that I can use it for seaming it up, so I’m actually going to measure three times the width and then cut that. This three times the width should give me enough to do the Kitchener stitch and attach the beginning to the end. Now I’ve just changed the carriage so that it will knit all the stitches, and I’m hand feeding eight rows of waste yarn. Here’s what the blanket looks like unfinished and spread out on my knitting room floor. I am going to do Kitchener stitch and join the beginning to the ending. I’m also going to sew around the center and then add an edging. Here’s the whole mess in my lap, ready to be sewn together. If I uncurl it a little, you can see more of the waste yarn. Now here is that three or four yards of pink that I ended off with, and this is going to be a little bit more trouble to pull through because of the length of the seam, but I’m going to go ahead and put this in my tapestry needle and bring it in quite a ways, so that it’s not quite so long to pull through. And I’m starting over on this piece, so what I’m going to do is go to the opposite side and just kind of pull the waste yarn so I can find the beginning, and I want to catch the first loop on this opposite side. And I think I’ll zoom in. I’m catching the first loop on this opposite side from where the yarn came from and then I’m going over to the yarn side and I’m catching the first loop there. That’s for my first stitch. I’m using a big plastic yarn needle. I like these for this bigger yarn. It’s just so easy to use. Now on the pink side I’m going to go ahead and go in the second loop. I’m trying to get that yarn only and not absolutely everything. That is a new loop on that side, and then on this side I’m going to go in an old loop — the same loop I used before. This always goes “new loop, old loop.” Okay, so now here I am on the blue side, and I’m going to pick up the next loop. So that’s my new loop. I came in here. I’m gonna go out here, then over and reuse the pink side on the opposite side and draw that up (I got another thread here that wants to get involved.) So that’s drawn up. Now my yarn is coming from the pink side. This is the loop that I uses twice, so now what I do is I move on to the next loop. So again a new loop. Now this one has two threads in it. You’re going to see that from the short rowing, And you just, whenever you see that, you need to get them both. On the blue side, there’ll always just be one thread, but on the pink side I will occasionally have two threads. I’m calling it the blue side, but it’s variegated. After I go down it a while it’s gonna be a different color. And I’m just going to go “new loop on this side and then back into that blue loop and reuse that blue loop and draw this up, trying to keep all these other guys from getting involved. And that was that stitch. Now on the blue side, the next stitch is the new stitch, then go reuse the two old stitches on the pink side, Now I’m on the pink side and I’m going to pick up the next pink loop, so again, start with a new loop, and then go in and reuse an old loop. And I’ll draw that through. That’s that stitch. You do not draw this Kitchener stitch up tight. The stitch is done gently so that it mimics a row of knitting, so it’s no tighter than a row of knitting. And then over here I reuse that same pink stitch, so “new stitch, old stitch.” I’ll keep doing this. I’ll sew together all the way down the seam into the center. When I’ve sewn the seam, it leaves a hole in the middle, and the way that I do this is I just catch the loops around the circle with my needle and I’m going to go completely around the circle with my needle. See how it’s getting smaller? I’m just drawing it up really inadvertently, simply because I’m sewing and it’s just pulling it up. So I draw that up and the hole vanishes, and then I hide the end. I like to go around it a second time and then hide the end by weaving it into the matching color, so I’ll weave it down into this pink section. And that’s how you finish off the center. Now I’m removing the waste yarn. Done correctly, the Kitchener seam is indistinguishable from the other places where the colors change, and here’s the center. I haven’t blocked this at all but you can see it makes a perfectly acceptable little center for the blanket. Before I start working on the edging, I’m going to go ahead go around the blanket hiding the ends. I’m just — because it’s going to have an edging — I’m just going to go ahead and weave in and out of the very edge of the blanket, really close to the very edge. And after I’ve gone an inch or two, then I’ll just go ahead and clip that. I want to do this the whole way around the blanket so that I don’t have to deal with these ends later. I’ve decided to finish this blanket with a simple worm edge, and I start anywhere on the blanket and I’m going to have my carriage on the left and three needles in work in the middle of the bed. Then I take a triple transfer tool, and I just poke it into the edge of my blanket, absolutely anywhere, but I try to be close to the edge. And I’m just gonna poke it through the blanket and put it on those three needles. Then I’ll take my variegated yarn, because I really like this in the variegated yarn, thread it into my machine, which is set for garment tension, and knit eight rows. Now I’m not using any weights because the blanket weighs quite a bit. After I knit eight rows, I take my tool and I poke it in the next three little holes along the edge of the blanket. Now you just poke it in anywhere. You can either share this hole and use it again like that, or as I’m doing, just move on to the next one over and just hang the blanket on the three needles again, and knit eight rows. And I’m going to do this again. Now I have a tight tension on the upper tension unit. It’s a very relaxed process. You really do not have to worry about precisely where to put those prongs. I’ll do a little more and then show you how this edging looks. Look what this edging looks like. It’s just beautiful and so easy to do. I’m going to go all the way around the blanket with it. When you’re getting really close to the beginning — and in fact this is the thread from the beginning — here’s how you finish off. You just kind of pull this and squeeze one more group in there. And then this last one can be sewed down by hand in here. So you can just take this off on a safety pin and sew that right in there. Now in the spirit of using whatever’s handy, I’m just taking mine off on a seven-weight hanger because I’m sitting at the knitting machine and I have these here. So let me pick this off One, two, three, and it can just hang on that while I’m sewing it down. Flipping this around, you can see that what this needs is to be sewn down just like that to make a perfect ending for the edging, so what I’m going to do is sew these three stitches down right here, and I’m going to use this bit of yarn that is hanging from my seven weight that I just used — just something to hook in there. You could have used a bobby pin, a clothes pin, just about anything. And I’ll just kind of hold this there, see where I want it to go, and I want this first loop to go right about here, so I’ll put my needle through that first loop, onto my needle, and off of that seven weight hanger, and I just sewed that down. And then I’ll take a little back stitch and I’ll get the next one over and I’ll grab the next loop off of the seven weight. onto my needle and off of that hanger, and I’ll sew that one down. Then I’ll grab this last loop. Now I’ll take another little back stitch first. Let’s do it in the right order — grab this last loop off of that hanger, and I’ll sew it down. And I’ll put it through here — that last bit of thread. And see what a great ending that is for my trim? Now I’m just going to hide the ends on the inside and I’ve got all my edging done. I’ve spread the pinwheel blanket on the floor of my knitting room. This is a big blanket by baby blanket standards, but I love to give them to people and hear later that their toddler adopted it and dragged it around. So it’s big enough for a toddler. Of course you could make this smaller by using less stitches. Now for a 48-inch blanket, it only took a skein and a half of each of the two colors, and as a matter of fact, what doesn’t show in the photograph is that this is a very soft, drapey blanket. You see the distinct pinwheel effect in the center. Here’s a close-up showing the variegated worm edging and the transition between a solid triangle and a variegated triangle along one of the edges. Let’s zoom out a bit, so there you go. I hope you’ll have fun with this project.

9 thoughts on “Short Rowed Pinwheel Baby Blanket by Diana Sullivan

  1. I was just given an old Knitking bulky machine and am having the best time learning to machine knit. Your videos are the best! Your voice is clear and pleasant and each video is useful and informative- and fun! I cannot wait to try this circular baby blanket.

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