I decided to try to make a top down raglan cardigan with some bulky yarn I have because having no seams, and therefore less bulk, sounded appealing. Working from the top down will also allow me to make 3/4 sleeves in case I start to run out of yarn, which I’m afraid of.
The basic idea behind a knit-in-one-piece-from-the-top-down raglan sweater is to make a carefully calculated rectangle that grows bigger every other row and keeps the same proportions until that rectangle is large enough to be divided up into separate sleeves and body.
And this diagram is included, which helps me picture what’s going on nicely:
This is Lana Grossa NewSoft yarn, which has been discontinued. I didn’t intend to do another sweater in gray but a bag of this was half price at kpixie. I like the yarn, it’s surprisingly lightweight and springy for a cotton/nylon yarn.
I decided to make a high neck (it was cold when I started the sweater) so I got a measurement a bit bigger around than my head and cast on 112 stitches using a 2×2 tubular cast on.
Did I use any of the free top-down raglan sweater generating patterns for this? No, that would have been too easy. I did look at one for some guidance on where to start the increases. At first I had my two areas of increasing close together starting on either side of the neck but before I got too far along I realized they were not placed correctly. I ripped back and placed the increase areas equally around the sweater in quarters. I was some way along before I realized that would leave me with two sleeves that would be X inches around and a body that would be 2X inches around, and the circumference of my arms is not equal to that of my bust. (I probably would have known all this had I bothered to read about top down raglans.) So I measured my arms and my bust and found that the ratio is roughly 2to3, arms to bust. So, I divided up the stitches accordingly, moved the areas of increases so they’d line up with the ribbing, and I’ve started knitting down the body for the third time. I’ve been doing m1 right and left slant increases.
The thing that made how to attach arms to a seamless raglan sweater first click for me was this entry at ChicKnits on How to Join Sweater Pieces to Knit in the Round with Two Circular Needles. Glampyre Knits also has a page showing a top down raglan in process which helps me picture how it will work nicely. I’ve been prepared for the trouble that is knitting the sleeves down from the live stitches because you have to lug the full weight of the body of the sweater around each time you turn, though Glampyre knits the sleeves separately and attaches them.
I’ll figure out what type of closure I’m going to use once I reach the end of the sweater and see if I have any yarn left over to do a button band. Now, I just need another circular needle so I can handle the full width of the sweater up to the point before the sleeves are divided.