Just when the mercury hits 80°…

…I finish my improvised top-down raglan sweater.  Actually, the temperature did drop to 60° the other day and I was able to wear my sweater for a bit in the morning, so I had my moment of glory.  No complaints.  And though I love the way it turned out and how cozy and warm it is, the spring weather just doesn’t make me feel like wearing a sweater.  No matter how luscious it may be and that it was born of my own hands.  It will be a thrill to pull it out of my cabinet when the weather really cools down in another seven months.

sweater collage 2

As you can see, this was quite the process, but so empowering and enjoyable.  Because the sweater was knit from the top down and in one piece (and especially since I was using really chunky yarn), it was painless to stop, rip back, and change things as I went along if the fit or size was not to my complete liking.

In fact, I thought I was going to cap the sleeves and edge them with a bit of ribbing, but after doing that with one sleeve and realizing it nipped too closely to the “gun show” (and thanks to the advice from Karen Templer at Fringe Association), I knit the other sleeve differently (no decreases and elbow length) and decided that this was the sleeve for me.  Since not much time was invested in the first sleeve, I ripped her out and started over as the other sleeve.  And it was good.

As you can see in these images, I also made changes to the bottom hem.  The ribbing was good, but the body was too short.  I decided to lengthen it and keep with the rolled edge theme that the sleeves had.  I decreased a couple of stitches and bound-off without ribbing.


All of that time and improvisation made for a really cozy, comfy sweater in the end.  The steam blocking I gave it definitely expanded the fibers, making it fit a little more loosely that I imagined, but I love it. anyhow.

In addition to figuring size based on my personal measurements (the book, Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti has a convenient page dedicated to your own measurements for easy access when designing.), I also learned a cool trick for closing the gap at the end of a circular bind-off.  This was especially helpful when I bound-off my collar to avoid an unsightly little jag in the ribbing.  I will post a tutorial for this little trick in an upcoming post.




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