Tag Archives: raglan

Smaller and Smaller

I’ve been complaining about my dwindling stash for a while now, but I’m still making it work. Sure, I don’t really have enough of my usual favorite yarns to make full sweaters or afghans or shawls (my go-to projects), but I do have weird remnants of odd weights of yarn.

For example, I found 2.5 balls of yarn at the back of a drawer the other day. It’s chocolate brown, super-bulky, extra soft (and clearly ready to pill if you look at it wrong). I think it’s Knit Picks’ Biggo, but I could be wrong- the tags were lost years ago and I can’t remember what I bought it for. It’s not really enough for even a scarf, much less a full-on sweater or a blanket (which would have been my project of choice if I had more of it).

I estimated the yardage, based on the yarn weight and the ounces I had and figured I should have just enough for the smallest kids’ size in my favorite Top-Down Sweater book. I cast on and got to work on a raglan with a Henley collar (one of my favorite boy-styles, and so easy to do- you just start making a cardigan, then cast on a couple extra stitches at the front and start working in the round).

It’s looking good so far- I’ve made it most of the way through the body, and even went to the trouble of finishing the neck. I’ve only got one more skein of yarn, so I think I’m going to make the sleeves next, so that I’m sure I have enough to finish them off properly, before finishing the body. My theory, anyway, is that a body can be an inch or two short without looking too wild, but sleeves have to be long enough. (Is that my baggage from being a very long-limbed teenager who had a whole wardrobe of accidental highwaters and inadvertent 3/4-length shirts? Perhaps.)

I know, I know, another yarn-chicken semi-improvised sweater. Will I learn?


No, I will not.

Fingers crossed that I’ve got enough yarn for this bad boy.

Also, fingers crossed that it ends up fitting the kid. It’s looking a little small right now, but it should block up pretty big, if I trust the swatch. I suppose if it doesn’t work for the kid, I can always save it for next year (or the year later) when the baby gets big enough… I knew there was a practical reason to have a second kid- more opportunity for my knits to get worn!

How’s your stash holding up?

Christmas Post-Mortem: Another sweater

Guess what?!

I made another sweater.

I know, I’m a masochist.  (Or, maybe I really like making sweaters.)

This one was for my dad.  He’s a pretty classy guy- he wears a suit to work and if you see him in a sweater, it’s more likely he’d wear a thin, understated merino one from Nordstrom than something I’d knit (I do lean toward cables and bright colors, after all).

But he hasn’t gotten a sweater from me yet!  We can’t let that stand!

So, I got a big pile of Knit Picks’ Swish in Cobblestone, and broke out the “Knits for Everybody” book.  (I love a top-down raglan.)  I started making the sweater just as written- all stockinette all the time- but the smallish gauge and the simple pattern made me feel like I was knitting at a glacial pace.

So, I decided to add a little interest.

Stripes were out (Dad’s not a stripes guy), but I thought I could do a little texture.  I didn’t want to add any cables, since those can mess up your gauge, and I had already started knitting.

A little poking around on Ravelry, and I found Flaxsc-flax-08_medium1I liked the garter band down the sleeves (garter is my favorite).  So, I carefully ripped back a few stitches at either shoulder and re-knit them in garter.  And, because I love to embellish, I added garter panels down both sides of the body, too.img_4407The sweater turned out pretty well, and (I think) pretty classy, which is not something I usually strive for.

(Ollie thinks so, too)

img_4398Have you ever “fancied up” a pattern as you were working on it?  How did that go?

Speedy Sweater

Whee! That went way faster than I thought it would! I guess when you make a cropped, short-sleeved sweater in bulky yarn, it goes really fast! Who would have thought?

This sweater, from casting on to binding off, probably took about a week! I should make all my sweaters like that–size 10s forever!

Like I said before, I worked this sweater as a top-down raglan with a V-neck, based on Ann Budd’s book, so I didn’t have to do any math. (Even math nerds like me enjoy a break from time to time.) And, as I went, I added cables and lace from my Japanese pattern book.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile, I added a little k2p2 ribbing to make the sweater a little more fitted without having to worry about doing actual shaping. It’s a trick I picked up years ago. K2p2 ribbing is the stretchiest/most elastic stitch pattern, so it can act as elastic, pulling the sweater tight, when you work it in panels on the sides of your sweater. I also added a nice wide ribbed waistband and cuffs.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m so happy with how it turned out! I have a bunch of high-waisted, summery dresses, and now I can wear them with this sweater and a pair of tights all the way through winter!

Ollie likes it, too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever made a project in less time than you expected?

She’s got the World on Her Shoulders

Let’s talk about shoulders.

80s-Shoulder-PadNot those shoulders (although they are impressive).  Sweater shoulders!

I’ve been thinking about shoulders lately (because that’s what I do).  They’ve been on my mind especially since I’ve been wrestling with the Sweater-Formerly-Known-As-Peggy-Sue.

It’s important to know the types of shoulders when you’re planning out a sweater, since they totally change the look of a sweater.  Different sleeves/shoulders flatter different people.  I know that I have narrow (ish) shoulders, so raglan sweaters aren’t the best look on me (so why I chose to make a raglan-sleeve sweater, I’ll never know).   But my husband looks great in raglan-sleeves.  Go figure.

Anyway, here are some of the different types of sweater sleeves that you’ll come across in the wild, illustrated by yours truly (so forgive the lopsided-ness).

Set-in Sleeves

sweater set-inThese are your typical shoulders, they’re made to resemble the shoulders of a dress shirt.  They are a bit futzy to make, since you usually have to knit your sweater flat, then sew all the pieces of sweater together, but they end up looking really nice.  If you don’t like seaming, these might not be the way to go.

Raglan Sleeves

sweater raglanYou’ve probably seen shoulders like these on baseball t-shirts, and some hoodie sweatshirts.  They’re fun to make in a seamless sweater (although it is possible to make raglan sleeves on a pieced sweater, too).  For a seamless raglan sweater, you simply stack your increases or decreases (depending on if you are doing a top-down or bottom-up sweater) at the four points in front of and behind both shoulders.  They’re super easy.

Drop Shoulders

sweater dropThese are even easier than raglan shoulders.  Drop shoulders are the kind of shoulders you get if you make a sweater out of nothing but squares.  These are super good if you’re a new knitter, or if you want a cozy, slouchy sweater.  But, if you’re worried about looking sleek or sophisticated, drop shoulders probably wouldn’t be the way to go.

Yoke Shoulders

sweater yokeA yoke makes it look like your whole sweater is one single piece, with no obvious increases/decreases or seaming.  They’re really nice if you want to have a cool pattern or something wrapped around your shoulders (think about beautiful fair-isle sweaters).  However, they can look a little janky as you work them up, so make sure you block the sweater when you’re done to make sure it looks its best after all your hard work.

Of course, there are about as many variations of sleeves/shoulders as there are knitting patterns, but most sweaters you’ll find will fit into one of these categories, at least a little bit.  And, now you will be able to identify sweater shoulders when you see them in the wild.