If I were a sweater, this is the sweater I would be

Improvised top-down raglan sweater knitting, how to

Feels a little funny to be showing you this sweater (again), given how many times you’ve seen it in various stages of knitting development and how hilariously basic it is. But of course I want you to see it finished and want to share (in summarized form) its particulars. So here we go:

– Gauge is 3.5 stitches and 5 rows per inch; yarn is Queensland Kathmandu Chunky

– On US10 needles CO 48 stitches, marked off as follows: 1 | 2 | 6 | 2 | 26 | 2 | 6 | 2 | 1

– Worked back and forth to shape the neck, with increases as follows: On right side rows, increased (kfb) on either side of each raglan seam and at each end (front neck); 10 sts increased each time

– Continued in that manner until piece measured 2 inches deep = 36 back sts and 10 front sts at each end (total of 20 front sts)

– Next row, cast on 16 sts to bridge neck (bringing front total to 36, same as back); joined for working in the round

– Continued increasing at the raglans (total of 8 sts) every other round until 4 inches deep, then spread out the last of the increases to third, then fourth, then fifth rounds — stopping at a total of 116 body stitches (58 front and 58 back) and 34 stitches per sleeve section (counting the seam stitches, which would eventually be divided equally among the 4 sections)

– Worked without any further increases until yoke depth was about 9.5 inches

– Had paused to knit the neck when the yoke was about 4 inches — picked up 80 stitches and ribbed 1×1 on US9 needles (probably should have used 8s)

– Divided body and sleeves — cast on 8 stitches at each underarm; put sleeve stitches on waste yarn

– No decreases in the body; worked straight until the waist, then increased a few times to maintain my ease over the hips; hem is 1×1 ribbing on same US10 needles (didn’t want it to cinch in)

– Sleeves were worked straight until the forearm, then decreased 3 or 4 times; cuffs are 1×1 ribbing on US8 needles

– Wet blocked and, when air-dried until just slightly damp, threw it in the dryer for 10 minutes

– Finished dimensions, post blocking: Length 24.5 inches; chest circumference 38 inches, about 2.5 inches of positive ease; armhole depth 9.5 inches; upper arm circumference 12 inches; sleeve length (from underarm) 16 inches.

For the same sweater in blow-by-blow detail, see my complete top-down sweater tutorial, for which this was the demonstration sweater.

(Also on Ravelry here.)


21 thoughts on “If I were a sweater, this is the sweater I would be

  1. I have always been a cardigan kinda gal, but I just finished Beeline, and am so smitten I already have plans for another, buttttt…..I have a sweater’s worth of chunky yarn, and I think a Karen Templar is in order. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

  2. Basic but beautiful. It’s hard to go wrong with a lovely classic knit from luscious wool. Have greatly enjoyed watching this project evolve through every stage. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love it!
    The fit looks perfect and you know I love the color.
    Great work and just know you will enjoy wearing it.

  4. I’m so happy to see your sweater in it’s completed glory. It’s funny, but I just bookmarked your posts about knitting a top-down raglan pullover because I want to cast on for another … this time using your words of wisdom!

  5. It’s gorgeous. For me, simple knitted sweaters are the best knitted sweaters. I’ll always wear them the most. Thank-you so much for the instructions.

  6. Thanks, everybody. I wore it to our frigid cookout Monday eve and am wearing it now, and I think it may actually be that elusive perfect sweater we all dream of — even better than the perfect sweatshirt. It’s nearly weightless, warm but not suffocating, doesn’t feel bulky at all, just cozy. And fits perfectly, of course — sized according to my shoulders, so it stays put rather than shifting around on me, which makes me insane. And I love what a few minutes in the dryer does to this yarn. Definitely a winner.

    • This is my central dilemma as a knitter, Ann! I would love to knit more technically impressive things (and have, and will, to a certain extent), but really this is how I dress.

  7. It is a beaut!! I will definitely try your tutorial some day soon. Think I am going to need another warm one the way the ‘spring’ here is going (or not going, as the case may be!).

  8. I… got lost from here onwards *bawls*

    “…..On right side rows, increased (kfb) on either side of each raglan seam and at each end (front neck); 10 sts increased each time”

  9. Pingback: Basted knitting: Or, how (and why) to seam a seamless sweater | Fringe Association

  10. Hello there!

    I have a question which might be a little rude and strange, but I want to ask you: Are you able to make from this whole tutorial a worksheet or something to fill in your measurements? I’m asking this because I’m dutch, and because I’m still 14, I’m not so good at English. SO it would be so so handy if it would be possible to fill in the measurements and do some calculation without reading the whole tutorial (which I already did, twice…)

    Greetings from Holland

  11. Your tutorial is fantastic. Thank you! I have a question regarding modifications: If I want to put a cable down just the front of the sweater, should I cast on extra stitches on the front since cable stick tends to be tighter than stockinette? Thanks so much!

    • You might want to, depending on how different the gauge is. I’d swatch the cable and see if you think it’s different enough to warrant any fudging there.

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