Friday, September 09, 2016

Knitting the Top-Down Raglan Cardigan, Part Two

Welcome back!
This post deals only with separating the sleeves from the body as you knit a top-down raglan cardigan, like the Figheadh Fundamentals Top-Down Women's Cardigan, which is the pattern I am working from. I decided to change my yarn to some marled Cascade Eco Wool from my stash. I have plenty of it and I want to work this cardigan with a bit more length in the body. I can do that because knitting top-down allows you to change the lengths of the body and the sleeves as you like. Bingo!

In the picture above you can see that I have completed the upper body of my cardigan. Boy, it went super fast, too! I am getting three stitches to the inch on size 11 (8 mm) needles, which makes the project fly!

At this point, I am ready to place the sleeves on scrap yarn while I finish up the body first. The pattern is very clear on how to do this, but let's add some visuals.

Above, you can see that I have knit across the left front section to the first marker.

Then, as you see above, I removed the marker and slipped all my left sleeve stitches (the ones between the first and second markers) onto some cotton yarn to make it easier for me to slip them back off and onto a needle later. I always tie a little bow in the ends of the scrap yarn to keep the stitches from wandering off while I'm not looking. I do not like using stitch holders, especially for this. They are too rigid and do not allow the fabric to be manipulated as easily. When you are knitting a big piece like this, you want everything to smoosh. 

The above picture shows that I have removed the second marker, cast on my three stitches (yes, not many, but remember this gauge is loose!), and am continuing to knit across the back stitches. When I reach the third marker, I will do for the right sleeve what I did for the left sleeve.

And here we have both sleeves resting on nice, contrasting cotton yarn, all bowed and secure. Only the body stitches remain on the circular needle and now I can knit, knit, knit for a while. I think I'll finish up that marathon of Season 5 of Vera now. I do love a good British mystery!

Thanks for reading. I will be back with some insights on knitting the sleeves of this cardigan very soon!

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