Friday, March 04, 2011

Raglan Increases

For the past month or so I've been studying raglan construction, starting with experimenting with different raglan increases. I have taught a light class on top-down sweater construction in the past, but feel that I need to learn so much more about this. I really love working sweaters top-down because of the freedom to alter lengths. Designers like Wendy Bernard and Stefanie Japel have done wonders with top-down sweater construction. I am taking my basic instruction from Barbara G. Walker and her book, Knitting from the Top. Without further ado, I'll show you some of the types of raglan increases I'm working.

One of the most simple: kf&b, k1 before marker; kf&b after marker. Since the kf&b increase (knit into the front and the back of the same stitch) essentially forms a knit stitch followed by a purl stitch, this raglan increase places one knit stitch on each side of the marker and one purl stitch beside each of those. It forms a line of two knit stitches along the raglan diagonal line.
(Top sample is being worked in Schaefer Lola in Dorothy Reade and bottom sample is Cascade Pure Alpaca, color 3008.)

An even easier raglan increase is worked on a garter stitch fabric. The raglan line in the above photo is achieved by working kf&b before the marker and kf&b after the marker. You can see that it makes a slight "ditch" at the raglan diagonal line.
(Top sample is worked in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Worsted in Pink Peony; bottom sample is Marr Haven 2-ply in Medium Grey.)
To add a little more interest, I though I'd do a sample with a small cable at the raglan line. This is achieved by working M1, p1, 1/1 LC, p1, k1 before the marker and k1, p1, 1/1 RC, p1, M1 after the marker. This will look so much better when blocked, of course. I'll show you when it's done.
(Sample is worked in Cleckheaton Country 8-ply, color 2276.)
Here is a crochet yoke worked in alternating rows of sc and dc with the raglan increase being formed by working 2 sc stitches in each dc in the row below on each side of a marked center stitch. It's a bit more gradual increase than the knit ones above and below.
(Sample is being worked in Cascade Eco Duo in color 1706.)

For a more lacy increase, I am working a yo, k1 before the marker and a k1, yo after the marker. Notice I do not close the yo on the following WS row. This makes a simple lace raglan diagonal line.
(Sample worked in Pagewood Farm Yukon in Sea Breeze.)


Here is that same lacy raglan line after blocking. Much nicer! This sample is done (and I mean done--FO!) in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering alternating colors between Shells on the Beach and Maple Leaf.

I can't show you more right now, but hope to be able to share more detailed FO shots in the future.

Let me know if any of you have worked a top-down sweater and whether you liked it or not. If you haven't tried it, please give it a shot. I will have a couple of Figheadh patterns ready for you in the coming months to help you try out this wonderful technique!

4 comments:

Kelli said...

Pretty samples, especially the bottom blocked one - makes me want to knit something striped right away!

Julie said...

What a great mini-tutorial on different types of top-down raglans. Nice samples, too - and such pretty yarns!

fig said...

Thanks Kelli and Julie!

phrases1 said...

I knit and crochet for preemies and newborns and prefer this method for two reasons. First, size control is easiest this way. Second, lack of seams is easiest on their tender skin. I will link to your site from my preemies and newborns blog. Thanks for the great tutorial.