Sunday, April 18, 2010

TADA!! The Magic Raglan pattern has arrived!!!

UPDATE (2012-11-29): This is now available as a free Ravelry download.  If you would like a copy of the pattern, you must sign into Ravelry or sign up if you haven't already. It's really worth it, so don't hesitate - it's completely free and without any commitment. Unfortunately, I can't respond to all the emails I get about this pattern: I'm just too busy with my day job and life.  Thanks for your interest!

I have received some good news, peeps.  Samantha, the lady who kindly offered to test-knit my sweater pattern, has informed me that we're a go.

A go.

This is something I've been working on for a while and I'm quite proud of it.  It all started over 10 years ago, when I didn't even own a computer (and didn't really know how to use the Internet - oh for shame!).  I had decided that I was going to knit something more substantial than just another stupid garter stitch scarf and didn't know where to start.  I went to my local craft store to find some affordable (read: hideous) yarn and chatted up the saleswoman.  She told me about this online pattern I should look up.  I ended up on the computer at my boyfriend's (now husband) house and found this pattern online that gave a very detailed explanation of how to design a custom-made raglan sweater, with some ideas for modification.  Here it is, in case you're wondering.

I've used this pattern a few times over the years (no, I never finished that first one - the yarn was just too appalling, but I was happy to have done a test run with something that didn't break the bank).  The only problem I could see was that there was no real diagram and my mind just couldn't wrap itself around the instructions, sometimes (even though I had knit it before!).  So, I got it in my head last fall that I was going to see if I could soup it up and add some additional information.

I had no real way of reaching the original author of the pattern, apart from her name and location from 10 years ago.  Through the miracle of the Internet, I managed to track her down and e-mailed her to ask her permission to make these modifications.  I couldn't believe it when she wrote back that very day saying "Yes!  Of course!"  Turns out, her husband was the one who had posted the pattern waaaaaay back in the early/mid-90's, based on this pattern she'd been using to teach knitting classes.  Hence the lack of images/diagrams.

There you have it - your very own how-to on designing and knitting a custom-fit top-down raglan with whatever yarn you want to use, whatever gauge you like, the size/length/style you want, in the stitch pattern of your choosing.

Almost too many choices, come to think of it...

PS: If you use it, I'd love to see the results!


  1. Hi. HELP! I'm starting this pattern but am stuck with the "The center'front stitches are then cast on all at once, completing the circle." I am making this into a cardigan and don't know where to go after adding the calculated number of right & front stitches. Would greatly appreciate your help. Mari

  2. Hi Mari! I am more than happy to help, but I'm thinking it would be easier to do it via e-mail, that way I can send photos to clarify. Can you send me a note via:

    Once I get it, I'll do whatever I can to help you out, ok?

  3. Thanks for all your work! Looks good.

  4. Hi there! I found the "updated" version of magic top-down raglan pattern made by you and I'm anxious to start with my project - top-down cardi of bulky cotton mix yarn. Having started once last night I was not too happy with the neckline... One reason for unhappiness was obviously that I had cast on too tight stiches. Anyway, it looked a bit funny and I was wondering the shape of the neck which did not look very smooth at the front section, there were visible "steps" on it.. Have I done something wrong with the increases? The ragland increases are ok, but the increases in the front left/right parts: should they be made always on the same place i.e. right before the markers A? Also, I was wondering why this pattern uses the "tight" neck circumference measurement in calculations, if the neck will be finished with some ribbing etc.? Will it (the ease) be taken into account in the calculations, by the coefficients used in the formula? I'd like to have a wider neck (not a boat neck, though) and finish it e.g. with a double ribbing. Still, I'm definately going to learn this basic pattern and use it in my future projects :) Many thanks! - Eeva

  5. Is there a way to convert this pattern to cm?

  6. Hi Anon,

    I know the chart on page 2 is in imperial, but the rest of the pattern is deliberately left unitless so you can use any unit you wish. If you take all your measurements in cm, you shouldn't have a problem - just use cm all the way through. I'm pretty sure I've done it and I had no problems.

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  8. The person I'm making this cardigan for has really wide shoulders but is otherwise very thin. I got pretty far into the body before I learned it didn't fit his shoulders. Should I cast on more back stitches to compensate?

  9. I am making this sweater as a v-neck in an openwork diamond lace pattern; should I work the stitch pattern all the way through from the beginning of the RS rows to the end, incorporating the increases into the pattern, or should I restart at each stitch marker? Also, should I remove the sleeve stitches once I reach the prescribed raglan length, even if I haven't joined it in the round yet, or should I remove the sleeve stitches after joining to knit in the round, no matter how long the raglans are?

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  11. Hello! I LOVE the concept of this pattern - so useful! I can see it becoming my go-to sweater pattern.

    However, I'm confused by the calculations on page 4. I have determined I need 75 total neck stitches. In step 1, do I multiply 75 x 0.33 and then 75 x 0.25, OR do I multiply 75 x 0.33 and then the result of that first calculation x 0.25?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

    Patti in Ottawa, Canada

  12. Hi, I'm trying to make a raglan pullover for my 4 yr-old grandson (size 6; he's TALL for his age & I'm not a fast knitter, so I figure I'll have it for him by winter!) & I've run into a problem. I didn't have any problem determining the round neck stitches for my gauge & adding stitches in all the right places, but 1) I don't know how to drop the neck a little in the front, so he won't feel choked & 2) I haven't reached the full diagonal measurement (5", I believe), but I'm well past the number of stitches I'm supposed to have for his chest. If I take out rows to achieve the correct chest measurement & stitch count, the diagonal measurement isn't 5". What in the world am I missing? Is it something about the # of cast on stitches in the front needing to be less than the back? I've watched YouTube videos until I'm glassy eyed, but they do not address this 'diagonal' issue. Thank you very much! Nancy