Monday, February 16, 2009

Progress on the Top-Down Raglan/As I Was Saying

See -- fits beautifully around the shoulders.

The front? Not so much.

Now, this is a cardigan with a deep v, so it's not supposed to meet above the bust-line, but it *is* supposed to meet at the bust level, where the original design has a button.

I plan to skip the buttonhole entirely and use my trusty kilt pin to fasten it lower, if at all. I use a kilt pin to fasten pretty much anything that needs fastening. Not that I have a kilt, it's just that I like the giant safety pin nature of it.

The original design calls for it to be about 12 inches long from the armholes -- I might work it longer, we'll see. I do love how the cable and rib combo are providing waist shaping without requiring decreases and increases. Clever.

When I started on this little tirade about the fit of the one-piece raglan, the observant/mathematically inclined/experienced designers in the crowd may have thought to themselves... "but hey, if your main complaint is that you need some bust shaping in the garment, can't you just do some short row shaping or something?"

Yes, absolutely, this is also an answer. But show me a one-piece raglan pattern that explains this, and provides specific instructions.

My issue isn't with the design itself; my biggest issue is with those knitters and designers and yarn shop staff who proclaim this particular design to best place for a beginner to start, and the magical solution for all your sweater needs.


Kirsten said...

Too funny... I was indeed thinking "if anyone could add short row shaping, wouldn't it be Kate?". And I admit I was hoping you would explain how it should be done!

I'm comfortable with bust darts in sewing, and can draft them to fit myself. I haven't quite made the cognitive leap from darts to short rows, but now that I've dabbled in them with the heel of my latest socks, I hope to figure it out eventually.

TracyKM said...

One thing I have found--knitters who have just learned about short rows are eager to stick them in just about any project. But they won't work here to make the front fit in width while doing a top down raglan (or any design) (this is geared at 'new-to-short-rows knitters, not you).
I too have your figure. I remember when it finally hit me what was wrong. I had just gotten my first knitting machine, and was creating some simple tank tops. I measured my bust and divided by two. Did the math, the top came out the exact measurements....but when I put it on, the back sagged terribly, while the front was too tight! After some fun with my husband and the tape measure, I found out I'm not shaped like a 0, but like a D; my front chest measurement was almost 6 inches wider than my back!! Since then, I've learned to make fronts and backs that fit...but I haven't done it in a top down raglan.
I am going to try Vienne, the free download from (it's also in the book about 'french' knitting). It's top down but with 'set in' sleeves.
Somedays I wish we'd go back to the 80s/90s where everything was just a box with sleeves that start at almost your elbow, LOL.