The raglan rant – knitting a sweater bottom up

woman showing her half finished hand knitted sweater

Sometimes things are really simple, but your over complicated thinking process leads you away from the solution. Far away, like into a deep forest were wild boars try to eat your toes and squirrels throw nuts at your head. While I still admired moss and leaves and tree-trunks, my fibre friend @muscara already found the way out: try the d*** thing on!

Dear reader I am writing about my knitted raglan sweater. After concentrating for weeks on sewing, with my still unfinished Mimi blouse and my ill-fitting pajama pants, I wanted to feel accomplished. In my mind I already imagined you writing wonderful comments full of compliments like „wow, the sweater fits you perfectly“, „the bottom up raglan construction is so interesting, I never tried this myself, „you really are my knitting inspiration“, „please, can you send me an autograph“… sorry, deviating, I accidentally wrote my fantasy of crafting omnipotence down.

several parts of a bottom up knitted sweater lying n the floor

For some weeks I worked on this bottom up raglan sweater from „Vogue knitting. Very easy sweaters“. And truly, easy it is. Back and front are the same. You start with a ribbing and than knit the short body in stockinette. The raglan lines are very deep, so that the sweater has super wide sleeves which I love. Also, the raglan decreases are accentuated by one purled stitch in front and after the decreases. Simple and effective. The sleeves are done in the same manner, only I omitted the ribbing as I was unsure about length and fit. The original pattern shows ¾ sleeves which are super wide at the cuff. I find this beautiful to look at but not very practical. As I am freezing fast, I prefer sweater with long sleeves. Besides I am so into balloon and puff shapes, that I still ponder to later knit the cuffs very small, to get a balloon sleeve.

two hand knitted sleeves which are not identical

But as easy as it should be, I somehow made a mistake. I finished the second sleeve two weeks ago and till then it is waiting for surgery – because it is much wider than the first. And I have no clue why. I always write down the rows while knitting and my notes tell me, that I have knitted two exactly similar sleeves. But look at the photo, the first sleeve has 14 stitches at the last row, the second one 23 stitches. WHYYYYY??!

two hand knitted sleeves which are not identical and some notes

I grumbled over this problem for the last days and I still have no idea how this happened. And I had no idea how to proceed before talking to @muscara. I was unsure if I should make the first sleeve wider oder the second smaller. I was trapped in a loop of if‘s and when‘s.
But she had such an incredible advice (remember, me lost in the forest, eaten toes and things):
Pin the sweater together and try it on.

a woman wearing her hand knitted raglan sweater and showing its problems

Why didn’t I think of this? I was so paralyzed by my incomprehensible mistake, that I needed the fresh ideas of a fellow #needleworkmonday crafter to exit my own tangled up thoughts.
(Dear @justinsun please don’t let this platform die, or I forever must wear ill-fitting handmade garments – I really need the @needelworkmonday community)

woman making fun with the parts of a hand knitted raglan sweater

So, here you can see me wearing the unruly sweater. I used clips instead of needles to pin everything into a wearable garment and to avoid being stabbed by my own needlework. After wearing the sweater, I guess both sleeve shapes would work, the smaller and the wider one. And as it is easier for me to make the second sleeve smaller, I will go for this solution. I will unravel the last 20 rows and insert triple decreases to get a stitch count of 14 stitches.
As I told you at the beginning of this post, sometimes things are really simple. ???

a woman wearing her hand knitted raglan sweater and showing its problems

And again, an addendum: Although I now have a solution how to fix my knitting mistake, I am no longer motivated to work on the sweater as I find it looks unflattering on the front. The view from the sides and back is ok for me… but at the front it looks bulky and stiff ??? I will sleep over over this and you will be the first to know if I unravel or wear it.

Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara@shanibeer@marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on steemit. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my steemit blog

If this is not enough you can find my post on Handmade on Tuesday and read even more about knitting and sewing, but beware most post are in German.

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