Betsey Do

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Top Down Raglan Starts

I've started my first knitted top-down raglan ever. From the frogged thrift shop sweater.

I've knitted a top down raglan before. It took 2 hours total. The second one I also knitted took just over an hour and was entirely done in Noro Silk Garden Lite. They both fit Barbie barely, so they hang now on nicely crafted Wire hangers (crafting little wire hangers could keep me happy many many hours).

So yeah, I've done a top down raglan. Even though it was in miniature, it gave me an idea of the whole raglan construction: increasing at 8 points on the increase rows in order to expand into front, sleeve, back and other sleeve; then doing the sleeves on DPNs, and then finally stitch the back to the front in the round with said DPNs. These sweaters inspired me to go for my First Ever Raglan for the human body. It's knitting up from a frogged sweater of some wonderful wool.

I did not refresh the wool so the stitches are uneven and bumpy. I thought I might like that and wanted to see how this would turn out without refreshing said wool (I have another project from yet another frogged sweater where that yarn was refreshed and redyed, so I'll get to see some of the differences).

I've worked the neck and yoke down so far to about 11" from the top. Since the "top" is a rolled neckline (the first eight rows call for stockinette stitch before changing to a 1x1 ribbing), the yoke really has a "lay" on the body of 9". Being nervous that maybe it was getting too big (it's really crowded on the needles!), I fed a "life line" through the stitches and took them off the needles to try it on.

WOW. (Sorry, no pictures taken). It looks way cool. I see flaws, yes. The increases could be done differently next time (and I wish I noted every stitch now, but that'll come with practice). The rolled collar is really a cool, sweet, funky take on the normal raglan cardigan and the sleeves look kind of like Teva Durham may have done this during her early "teen" years (in my imagination of her, just like I imagine what Betsey Johnson's trial experiments may have been like when I f up some shirt and then add some sweet embelishments, patch a Marilyn Monroe in ballerina dress onto my bike bag, etc.)

The un-refreshed yarn really is loopy and the #10 needles are obviously too big, but still - I LOVE IT for it's flaws. It's Garage-bandness. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

So back on the needles they go for another four rows on the yoke to get a good 10" to 10-1/2" (or 13-13 1/2" laid flat) before I start working each sleeve. I'd like to keep it somewhat fitted, but have to make sure I can lift the arms or wear something under it when all is said and done. All increases after this try-on will be done at 2 stitches before and after each marker. Up to now the increases have been somewhat haphazard due to that being the instruction in the pattern.


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