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Part 1: Easy Top-Down Raglan Knitalong

August 22, 2010

Part 1: Easy Top-Down Raglan Knitalong

Welcome! This is a knitalong to create your own custom fit raglan pullover sweater! I will be posting the recipe in parts as we work up our sweaters. At the end I will post this knitalong version of the recipe as one of the free patterns on the sidebar. You can join in any time. Please join me on the Friends of Spud & Chloë Ravelry group to post photos, chat and share our progress.

Click here for the forum thread!

Click here for the Easy Top-Down Raglan Ravelry Project Page!

You can also leave comments here on the blog, of course.

To get started today we are taking your back neck measurement and doing some simple math to determine the number of stitches to cast on. That will cover steps 1-6 out of 10 steps total. Steps 1-6 are not difficult (just take them one by one) but I have to say after these initial steps the rest of the sweater is incredibly simple.

Size: Made to fit you!

Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater (55% superwash wool, 45% organic cotton; 100 grams/160 yards)

Bust measurement in inches – number of skeins of Spud & Chloë Sweater:
32 inches – 5 skeins
34 inches – 5 skeins
36 inches – 6 skeins (This is the sample size that fits me perfectly!)
38 inches – 6 skeins
40 inches – 6 skeins
42 inches – 6 skeins
44 inches – 7 skeins
46 inches – 8 skeins
48 inches – 8 skeins
50 inches – 8 skeins
52 inches – 8 skeins
54 inches – 9 skeins

Needles: US size 7 circular needles, 24-inch and a set of 4 double-pointed needles OR the correct size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
Tape measure
Yarn needle
Stitch Markers
k  knit
p  purl
k2tog knit 2 stitches together
ssk slip 2 stitches separately as if to knit, knit the 2 slipped stitches together through the back of the loop
sm slip marker
kfb knit in the front and back of a stitch
pm  place marker
Let’s Get Started!
Note: I will refer to the Grape Jelly Raglan as an example and TC’s Raglan throughout the knitalong. The Grape Jelly Raglan is the finished sample I made to fit me (36-inch bust) and TC’s Raglan is the sweater I am making with the knitalong. TC is an average size 11-year-old.
Important note: All of this basic information to make this raglan pullover sweater can be found in Wendy Bernard’s book, Custom Knits, on pp. 154-155.

Step 1: The first measurement you need to take to determine the number of stitches you are going to cast on is the back of your neck. Do not include your shoulders in this measurement.
Grape Jelly Raglan: My back of neck actual measurement: 5 inches
TC’s Raglan: TC’s back of neck actual measurement: 4 inches
Measuring TCs back of neck

Measuring TC's back of neck

I measured TC’s neck for this step but I just measured my own back of neck for the Grape Jelly raglan. You don’t need someone else to take this measurement.
Now, you can vary this measurement depending on how big or wide you would like your sweater neck opening to be. The other thing to remember is that we are adding a garter stitch edging to the neck opening and that needs to be taken into consideration. For my sample I added 1 extra inch to my back of neck measurement to start. Wendy says that the average woman’s back of neck measurement is between 5 and 6 inches.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: Starting measurement: 5 + 1 (extra inch added for edging) = 6 inches
TC’s Raglan: Starting measurement: 4 + 1 (extra inch added for edging) = 5 inches
Step 2:
Multiply the number of inches for the starting measurement by the stitch gauge per inch which is 5.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: 6 x 5 = 30
TC’s Raglan: 5 x 5 = 25 (rounded up to 26)
*Wendy suggests that if you end up with an odd number that you should round up to an even number.
This is the number of back stitches.
Step 3:
We are going to figure out how many stitches we need for the tops of the sleeves.
Take the back stitches number from step 2 and divide it by 3.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: 30 divided by 3 = 10
TC’s Raglan: 26 divided by 3 = 8.6 or 8 (I am rounding down to keep this number even)
This number is the sleeve top number. You will have 2 sleeve tops.
Now we have the back stitches number and the sleeve top number.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: back stitches = 30; sleeve top stitches = 10
TC’s Raglan: back stitches = 26; sleeve top stitches = 8
Step 4:
To find out the number of stitches to cast on you will use the back stitches number and the sleeve top number for both sleeves. You will add 1 stitch to each end for each front.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: 1 (front) + 10 (sleeve top) + 30 (back) +10 (sleeve top) + 1 (front) = 52 stitches (number to cast on)
1+10+30+10+1 = 52 stitches
TC’s Raglan: 1 (front) + 8 (sleeve top) + 26 (back) + 8 (sleeve top) + 1 (front) = 44 stitches (number to cast on)
1+8+26+8+1 = 44 stitches
Using your circular needle cast on as follows:
1 st, pm, sleeve top number, pm, back number, pm, sleeve top number, pm, 1 st
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan cast on: 1, pm, 10, pm, 30, pm, 10, pm, 1
TC’s Raglan cast on: 1, pm, 8, pm, 26, pm, 8, pm, 1
Step 5:
You will be increasing using a kfb (knit into the front and back of the stitch) on each stitch before and after each of the 4 stitch markers.
Work the first 2 rows as follows:
Row 1 (right side row): kfb, sm, kfb, knit to 1 stitch before the next marker, kfb, sm, kfb, knit to 1 stitch before the next marker, kfb, sm, kfb, knit to 1 stitch before the next marker, kfb, sm, kfb
Row 2 (wrong side row): purl
Step 6:
You will continue repeating rows 1 and 2 in Step 5 AND at the same time begin increasing for the neckline by using a kfb in the first and last stitch of every right side row. Every right side row will increase 10 stitches as follows:
Next and every right side row: kfb, (knit to 1 stitch before the first marker, kfb, sm, kfb) repeat 4 times total, knit to the last stitch, kfb (increase 10 stitches)
Next and every wrong side row: purl
Continue working right side rows by kfb in the first and last stitch and increasing with a kfb in each stitch on both sides of the stitch markers (10 stitches increased) and purling the wrong side rows until the garment measures to the bottom of your throat. Wendy recommends that this length will be between 2 or 3 inches.
For example:
Grape Jelly Raglan: worked to measure 3 inches
TC’s Raglan: to be determined (I will share as I go!)
I am heading off to cast on for TC’s cardigan!
Yay! I am so excited to get this going. I will be back soon with some words of wisdom to add from Wendy. She is going to make a boatneck sweater (thus she will have a wider starting measurement) out of Sweater in the Chipmunk colorway right along with us. As soon as I hear from Wendy I will pass on her words of wisdom to you.

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