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About Top-Down Raglan P ullover s the underarm is complete and the raglan piece joined to be worked in the round.

The top-down raglan design is of "sea ms" a re decreased to the neckline. From Continue increasing every other row until
comparatively recent origin in terms of the top-down, the sleeve/body stitches are the p iece is long/la rge enough to meet at
swea ter design. Raglan construction was increased to the underarms and then th e the underarms. The sleeves/front/back arc
created as a supplement to or replacement sleeves, front and back stitches separa ted separated at t his point. Some designers have
of the saddle shoulder sweater. See Suzanne and wo rked to the edgings as three separate the kn itter work the sleeves first so they are
Bryan's a rticle "Raglan Sleeved Sweaters tubes. worked down to the wrist and finished off.
from the Bottom Up" on page 46 for more Others instruct the knitter to work the body
d iscussion o n the history of this design. Con struct ion first and then the sleeves. In that instance,
The hallmark of the raglan is the diagonal A top-down raglan is essen tially a seamless the body is worked as a tube to the desired
shaping lines moving from the top of the rectangular yoke. Once the math for gauge length and finished . Regard less of which
neckline, to the underarm. Thus, the sleeve is complete, cast o n placing markers at is done first, some additional stitches may
top is in tegrated into the neckline. This the four points dividing the back/sleeve/ be cast on for the underarms to reach the
design eliminates the problem of excess fron t/sleeve (see Swatch 1) . The stitch before desired chest measu rement. The finishing
fabr ic under the arms which is frequently the p urple ma rker is the beginning of the on a top-down raglan can include a short
fo und in d rop sleeve sweaters or seams to fro nt neck. T he stitches between the p urple seam at the underarms if the sti tches fo r the
limit the wea rer's movement. (begi nn ing of round m arker) and the fi rst sleeve were not picked up from th e body
green marker are the ri gh t sleeve stitches. when started. Finish ing can also include
Com ponen ts The sti tches between the green m arkers the neckJ ine edging or a button band for a
A ragla n sweater incorporates the same are the back neck. The stitches between the cardigan if they were not worked as a part
components as other sweater designs second green ma rker and the blue marker of the ga rmen t.
- edgings, a body, sleeves and a neckline. are the left sleeve stitches. The stitch after
What sets this design apart is the method the blue marker is for the front neck. In Pros/Cons
of shaping the armhole. AJso, although it other words, the short sides of the rectangle Pros
can be worked in pieces and seamed, raglan are the sleeves, the long sides are the front For many knitters, one of the major
construction lends itself quite well to being and back. The "yoke" of the garment is advantages to working a top-down raglan
worked in one piece whether from the created by increasing two stitches at each design is the min imal amount of finishing.
bottom up or the top down. W hen worked marker every other row. After knitting a Once the piece comes off the needles, it
in o ne piece from the bottom up, the sleeve/ couple of inches, some additional stitches is almost complete. For those who don't
body stitches arc joined when the length to may be cast on for the fron t neck and the like or are nol proficient at finish ing, this

12 Cast On • May - July 2010

design produces a great looking finished Cables can be incorporated into the ragla n
object. shaping. Extra stitches need to be cast on to
accommodate the cables. Be sure to recheck
An other advantage to working from the the math for sizing. Incorporating lace,
top ~ down is that the garment can be tried cables or any stitch pattern involving stitch
on as it is progressing. In order to try it multiples can be a challenge. The stitch
on, the stitches need to be moved to waste pattern should be centered over the front,
yarn long enough to hold the stitches when back and tops of sleeves. Also, the type/rate
they are stretched out. Once the sweater of raglan shaping needs to be harmonious
has been tried on, it goes back onto the with the stitch pattern.
kn itting needles to continue work ing.
Also, particularly relevant fo r children's Designing within the Framework,
garmen ts, sleeves and body length can be The raglan design is a great canvas for
more easily lengthened as the child grows. playing with vario us types of increases/
Simply remove the bind off and the ribbing, decreases. Because this article focuses on
put the stitches onto the needles and knit top-down construction, we will review Swatch 1
to the added desired length, finishing with increases and their visual appearance. As
the edging. Children tend to grow taller knitters working through the Master Hand
faster than they grow around. Being able to Kn itting Program learn, there are many
lengthen sleeves and body will lengthen the different ways to increase stitches. The
time a sweater fits. diffe rent methods of working increases
resu lt in diffe rent visual appearances. As in
Cons lace, using a yarn over increase will create a
The diagonal lines running from neck to hole (see Swatch 2). When flanking a center
underarm have the effect of accentuating seam stitch, the hole adds visual in terest
the shoulders. This attention to the and decorative appeal to the seams. The
shoulders is not troublesome for most yarn over increase is particularly sweet in
children and men, however some adults children's garments and also complements
may not want this focus on their sho ulders. an allover lace design nicely. The bar
Also, not all adults are as angular in shape increase creates a small "purl bump"
fro m the neck to the armhole (or the and also works nicely flanking a center
armhole to the neck) and so the rate and/or seam stitch (see Swatch 3) . Remember,
placemen t of the increases (top down ) or in working the bar increase, that the pu rl
decreases (bottom up ) need to be altered bump falls after the stitch in which it is
for a more tailored fit. worked. In order for the bumps to flank the
center stitch, one increase must be worked
Placing markers at the beginn ing of the in the stitch just preceding the seam stitch
cast on, for top-down, or at the poin t when and one in the seam stitch itself. Make One
the sleeves a re joined to the body for a increases are visually less noticeable than
bottom -up is one of the more challenging the yarn over or bar increase methods.
aspects of setting up the "seam" placement. They are worked in two different ways and
If the markers are not properly placed, the are directional depending on the manner
shaping Kill be off. in which they are worked (see Swatch 4).
Some knitters prefer that the increases slant
Stitch Patterns away fro m the seam (blended increases
When designing for a top-down ga rment - as Swatch 4) and some prefer they slant
in a sti tch pattern other than stockinette toward the seam (full fashioned increases)
or garter stitch, one thing to keep in mind - this is a matter of personal preference,
is that stitch patterns and color work are but be consistent. Beca use the increases
necessarily worked upside down. Because are worked every other row in the raglan
the garmen t grows from the neckli ne shaping, lifted increases are not the best
toward the hem, the stitches are the inverse choice.
of what they are when the garment grows
from the hem to the neckline. As with any
design adventure, swatching is a must. continued on page 14
a top -down construction are vertical and Child's Top-Down Pullover
would consist of decreases. Waist shaping by Molly Ferrante
happens by decreasing to the waist, working
plain for an inch or so and then increasing Yarn Symbol: Medium (4)
at regular intervals to the desired stitch Level of Experience: Easy
continued from page 13 count for the hip measurem ent. While Sizes: Child 2-4 (4-6, 6-8, 8-10)
most patterns work waist shaping where
the side "seams" would be it co uld also be Finished Chest Measurement:
The lifted increase is worked by pulling up worked as vertical darts as "princess seams". Chest: 26 (28, 30, 32)"
a leg of the stitch from the previous row; Finished Length: 14 (15, 17, 18)"
having fewer than three rows between The bottom of the sweater is another
increases can result in the fabric puckering. stylization opportun ity. Many basic patterns Materials:
end the garment with ribbing. Seed or Cascade 220 (3.5oz/100g, 220yds/200m,
As with most other types of garment con- Moss Sti tch can be substituted for ribbing. 100% Wool):
struction , raglan designs can incorporate Working a turning row and then reducing 3 (3, 3, 4) skeins #7823 Turmeric
many types of necklines. Cardigan designs needle size to work an inch in stockinette Sizes 5 (3.75mm) dpns & 16" (40cm) circ
are worked flat or steeked and the front sets the stage for a hem. Hemming the needle & 7 (4.Smm) dpns & 16" (40cm) &
neck shaping is dictated by the type of garment increases the fini shing as it will 24" (60cm) circ needles or size needed to
neckline desired. Because the back neck of have to be sewn in to place. V\Thatever fin ish obtain correct gauge
pullovers needs to be higher than the front, is used for the bottom of the garment ca n Stitch markers
most are worked fla t, or back and for th, be applied to th e sleeve ends. Tapestry needle
for a couple of inches while working the Waste yarn (wy)
increases before the front neck stitches are The sleeve design can be altered as well.
added and the piece is joined to be worked Top-down sleeves are traditionally worked Gauge:
in the round. with regularly spaced decreases to the cuff. With larger needles in St st, 20 sts & 28
The sleeve stitches can be worked without rows = 4"/ l 0 cm. To save time, take time
For crew necks, once the desired back neck any shaping which is perfect for babies and to check gauge.
length has been worked, som e stitches are toddlers. Or, decreases can be worked to the
cast on fo r the front neck and the garment elbow and then regularly spaced increases Special Abbreviations:
joined. For v-neck pullovers, neck shaping worked to create a bell-shaped sleeve. Beg of rnd - Beginnin g of round.
is created by slowing the rate of increasing Kl , Pl Rib- *k l , pl; rep from * across.
at both ends of the row (the fron t neck) to Top-down raglan's ease of construction kfb- Bar inc - knit into the front and the
every other right side row or every 4th row. allows a great starting point for adding back of the st.
A deeper v-neck can be created by further design personalization. Once a knitter is
reducing the r;te of increasing to every 6 or comfortable with how they are worked, Preparation - Measuring Gauge
8 rows and when the front and back stitch top -down raglans can become the "go to" (See ga uge worksheet in box)
counts match, the fronts are joined and the design for the busy person. The most important part of the general
garment worked in the roun d. A turtl e- pattern informat ion is the description of
neck garment is worked as for a crewneck CHILD'S PULLOVER the expected gauge. Before beginning it is
although the depth of the back neck is The pattern in this lesson is for an easy necessary to knit a gauge swatch even if you
shorter so the neck open in g is smaller. A child sized top-down raglan pull over. are using the recommended yarn. Using the
turtleneck can be started either with a pro- There will be an explanation of each step larger needle size and the project yarn, cast
visional cast on, the live stitches from which of the construction precedi ng the pattern on at least 30 stitches and work at least 4"
are used fo r the turtleneck, or the turtle- section to which it pertains. Pattern in Stockinette Stitch. Because many knitters
neck cast on straightaway. Square necklines instructions are in red to set them off from have different gauge when knitting in the
start with more front neck stitches cast on the explanations. The pattern that follows round, it is a very good idea to knit your
and are worked without increases at the incorporates mo re traditional design gauge swatch in the round. Using the dpns,
neck front to the desired depth and then elements with bar increases, ribbing at the cast on enough stitches to provide 4" to
stitches cast on across the front. Care must bottom of the body and sleeves as well as a measure.Thi.s will require a swatch with
be taken with a square neck design. If it is ribbed neckl ine. The sleeves are decreased about an 8-1 0" circumference. Row gauge
too wide, the front will d roop. at regular intervals to the cuff rib. This is important for this pattern as it affects the
simple design allows for many choices in depth of the armhole. The stitch increases
Bust darts and waist shap ing are terms of pattern and color. Don't make it combined with the plain rows worked
occasionally used in women's garments too hard. It is simple and straightforward establish the framework of the sweater.
and easily incorporated. Generally, darts in in design and easy to luiit. When faced with the cha.ice of matching

14 Cast On· May- July 20 10

the stitch gauge o r the row gauge, the stitch Rep rows 2 & 3 until there are 8 (8, 10, 10)
gauge is still more importan t to the size of sts in ea front section - before first marker
your finished ga rment. However, if th e row and after last marker. End having worked a GAUGE WORKSHEET
gauge is o ff too much, it is best to wo rk in WS row - 78 (8 2, 98, 104) sts.
a d ifferen t yarn. Block the swatch as you Width:
intend to care fo r the fin ished garm ent. Joining Around (l/8= .1 25, l/4=.25, 3/ 8=.375, I /2=.5,
Work through the gauge worksheet below. When the appro priate number of stitches 5/8= .62 5, 3/4=.75, 7/8=.875)
If yo u do not take the time to do this, there are on the needle, st itches are cast o n for
is no guarantee that the garment will fi t as the center fro nt neck and the yoke is joined
Number of Sti tches:
intended. to be wo rked in rounds. A cable cast o n
(Do n't incl ude the selvedge stitches)
will give a firm yet flexible front neck ed ge.
You can also use a backwa rd e loop cast
Setting Up the Raglan Divide the n umber of stitches by the
on for these st itches, but it will be looser.
Choose a cast on that is flexible. The long- wid th. This gives you the number of
Fo r a cable cast o n, p ut the rig ht need le t ip
ta il o r Twisted German are good choices. stitches per inch. Do not ro und off
between the firs t two st itches o n the left
T he fi rst row aft er the cast on is a purl row. the num ber:
needle. Draw u p a stitch and place it back
This purl row is the "set-up" row for the
on the left needle. Continue in this m anner
st itch markers which are the raglan increase Number of Stitches Per Inch:
until yo u have cast o n the requi red number
points. T he increases are worked o n either
of stitches. Knit to the end of the row and
side of each m arker, and in the fi rst and Mul tiply the n umber o f stitches by 4.
join w itho ut twisting.
second to the last stitch of each right side Round th is number up or down .
row. In the first right side row there are not Working the Yoke
enough stitches to use fo r increases at the CO 12 ( 14, 14, 14) sts at beg of next RS row Number of Stitches in 4":
fro nt. As a result, there will be two increases for center front neck.
in the sleeves a nd back sections o n that row, Joining Row: *K to l st before first marker Repeat this proced ure to determine
but o nly one made in the fro n t sectio ns. (this marker will become the beg of rnd the row gauge.
Slip the markers as you come to them . The marker and should be a different co lor than
firs t couple of inches of the swea ter are knit the rest), kfb, sm, kfb; rep from * around to Length:
back and forth in Sto ckinette st itch until last marker, knit to end of rnd. Join end of ( l/8=. 125, l/4=.25, 3/8=.375, 1/2=.5,
the back neck length m easures between rnd to CO sts to work in rnds. 5/8= .625, 3/4= .75, 7/8= .875)
1-2". The first number given in the pattern Rnd l: KI rnd ending l st before beg of
is for size 2- 4. The numbers in parentheses rnd marker. Number of Rows:
are fo r sizes 4-6 through 8- 10. If o nly one Rnd 2: ,. K to I st before marker, kfb, sm, ( Don't include the cast o n or bind off
n umber is given, it applies to all sizes. kfb; rep from * around to last marker, knit edge)
to end of rnd .
Neck Edge Rep rnds 1 & 2 working St st in the rnd and Divide th e number of rows by the
With larger 16" circ needle, CO 40 (44, 50, working kfb inc on ea side of 4 markers
length. This gives you the num ber of
56) sts. EOR until there are 58 (62, 68, 72) sts bet
rows per inch. Do not round off the
front markers (where front neck sts were
Set up row ( WS): PI , pm, p9 ( 10, 12, 14), n umber:
CO. Change to longer needles when needed .
pm, p20 (22, 24, 26), pm, p9 ( 10, 12, 14),
End having worked Rnd 2.
pm ( this marker will become the beg of Num ber of Rows Per Inch:
row/rnd marker and should be a different
Try It On
color than the others), pl . Mu ltiply the n umber of rows by 4.
At this poin t it is a good idea to try the
Row I (RS) : Kfb, sm , kfb, k7 (8 , 10, 12), kfb, Ro und th is number up o !' down.
sweater on the intended recipient, if
sm, kfb, k1 8 ( 20, 22, 24), kfb, sm, kfb, k7 (8,
possible. Using a tapestry needle and
JO, 12), kfb, sm, kfb. Number of Rows in 4":
separate pieces of waste yarn, place each
Row 2 (and all WS rows): P across.
"section" of the sweater on its own waste
Row 3: Kfb in first st, ~ k to ! st before the yarn - there will be fo ur. The sleeve sections If you are getting fewer st itches than
marker, kfb, sm , kfb; rep fro m *. After last sho ul d extend o ut beyond the edge of the the recom mended gauge, t ry using a
marker, k to second to the last st in row, kfb, sho ulders, an d the botto m of the sleeve smaller needle size.
kl . You will be working an inc before and sectio ns sho uld meet comfo rtably together
after ea m arker, and in the first st in the row under the arms. If you are getting more stitches than
and second to the last st in the row - 10 sts the recommended gauge, try using a
inc. The first time row 3 is worked, there larger need le size.
will only be 2 sts at the end of the row, just
wo rk kfb inc in both sts. continued on page 16

www.TKGA.com 15
kl, pl, Rib for I 1/2". BO loosely in pat or the new color and work one round. When
FASHION FRAMEWORK with invisible BO. you've come around to the stitch where the
new color was sta rted, pick up the right leg
Sleeves of the first color stitch in the row below and
Like the body of the sweater, the sleeves are place onto the left need le. Kni t that right
continued from page 15 worked as a tube. Sleeve length is measured leg of the first color together with the right
from the underarm. The sweater can aga in leg of the new color together. If the jogless
be tried on fo r appropriate length. The join occurs on an increase round, work a
If the piece is too small, you can conti nue sleeves are generally finished as the body for knit in fro nt and back of stitch increase by
to knit rounds without any in creases as design continuity. To prevent holes at the knitting the two differen t colors together as
needed. underarms, try picking up an extra stitch the front leg of the stitch but only the new
between the stitches picked up from the cast color as the back leg of the stitch. In other
Finishing the Ribbing on and the firs t/last live stitch from the yoke words, knit the two strands (on e of each
Looking ahead- an invisible kl, pl ribbing and decreasing those extra stitches away in color) as the knit in fro nt of stitch and only
bind off or a kitchener bind off creates a the first round. one strand (the new color) as the knit in
very flexible and attractive edge. Although a back of stitch.
little more effort than the standard bind off, Sleeves
these bind offs provide a very professional Place sleeve sts on larger dpns, Join new References
finish. yarn at right side of underarm CO sts,
Bernard, Wendy, Custom Knits, STC Craft,
pick up and k 4 sts, pm to indicate beg of
New York, NY, 2008.
Body rnd, pick up and k 4 sts across other half
Buss, Katerina, Big Book of Knitting, Sterling
Remove first marker. Put sts from here to of underarm CO sts. Knit across sleeve sts
Publishing, Co., Inc. NY, NY, 1999.
next marker (sleeve sts) onto wy. Using an to beg of rnd marker - 54 (58, 64, 68) sts.
Caron, Cathy, Knitting Sweaters from the
e-loop method, CO 4 (4, 4, 4, 4) sts to RH Knit sts for 3/4" (5 rnds) . Dec l st on ea
Top Down, Lark Books, New York, NY, 2007.
needle, pm (beg of rnd marker) , CO 4 (4, side of marker on next and every following
Gibson-Roberts, Priscilla, Knitting In The
4, 4, 4) sts to RH needle. K across back sts 6th rnd, 9 (10, 12, 13) total dee rnds - 36
Old Way, Interweave Press, Loveland CO,
to next marker and remove it. Put sleeve sts (38, 40, 42) sts rem. When sleeve meas 8 1/2
onto wy. CO 8 (8, 8, 8, 8) sts to RH needle - (9 1/2, 11, 12 1/2)" or 2" less than desired
length, dee 6 sts evenly in last rnd to 30 (32, Editors of Vogue Knitting Magazine, Vogue
132 (140, 152, 160) sts. Join in rnd, work in
34, 36) sts. Change to smaller dpns, work Knitting, Pan theon Books, New York, NY,
St st until piece meas 12 (13, 15, 16)" from
kl , pl Rib for 2". BO loosely in Pat or with 1989.
the top back neck or 2" shorter than desired
invisible kl, pl BO. Work second sleeve to Jape!, Stephanie, Fitted Knits, North Light
length. Change to smaller needles, work kl ,
match. Books, Cincinnati, OH, 2007.
pl Rib for 2". BO all sts in pat or with an
Righetti, Maggie, Sweater Design in Plain
invisible BO.
Weave in all yarn tails using duplicate stitch. English, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY,
Neck Edging Block. 1990.
Working the neckline prior to working Walker, Barbara, Knitting From the Top ,
the sleeves provides a more accurate fit fo r Striped Version Schoolhouse Press, Pittsville, W I 1972.
sleeve length. The stitches for the neck line Adding stripes is easy. Simply change colors Madrone, Heather, Knitting Outside the
are picked up in the middle of the knit evenly spaced or randomly - two colors or a Lines: Top-Down Design Tutorial, October 4,
stitch underneath the cast on edge. Doing parade of colors. Working a jogless join will 2009, www.knitoutlines.blogspot.com
so makes the neckline appear to grow out reduce the "stairstep" that can occur when Soucy, Diane, Knitting Your First?, www.
of the sweater fabric. The neckline must working stripes. To work a jogless join, start knittingpureandsimple.com
be bound off loosely enough that it will go
over the wearer's head. Again, an invisible
or a kitchener bind off is a good choice.
).___________ 2"

Working the Neckband ,,.:
Using smaller 16" circ needle, beg at Back
left raglan "seam': pick up and k 10 (10,
12, 14) sts across top of left sleeve; 10 (l 0,
10, 10) sts across left side of front; 12 (14,
14, 14) across center neck; 10 (10, 10, 10)
across right side of front; 10 (10, 12, 14)
across right sleeve and 20 (22, 24, 24) sts
across back - 72 (76, 82, 86) sts. Work in 26 (28, 30, 32)"

16 Cast On· May- July 20 10