Easy no sew sweater?

knit_knot_eat's picture

I got some yarn and I want to tackle my first sweater. I did a vest once and I hated how it came out, and I didn't even have to make sleeves. For some reason I just prefer knitting in the round (I enjoy making socks)
So I am looking for a pattern for a sweater. I can do cables, so the pattern can include that (as long as it is not overly complicated).



knit_knot_eat's picture

Here's the pattern info for

Here's the pattern info for those that are asking


ronhuber's picture

1. The raglan is the line

1. The raglan is the line that is formed when you increase. Measure this from the neck of the sweater to the end (which will be under your arm).
2. If you are going to knit in the round - swatch in the round. I use dp's but there are other methods.
3. There are a wide variety of increases. When knitting a raglan from the top down, I always use knit in the front and the back of the stitch since it creates a distinctive bar across the second stitch and I use it as a design element. Too, I can tell if I have increased on the previous row with this increase. As Meg would say, "Knitter's Choice".
4. Your choice as well. I always use a loop over the needle to cast on these stitches and then knit into the back of it when I come around to it. Yes, join and continue to knit in the round.
5. See # 1. I assume you are asked to knit until this line is a certain length for your size.
6. As you knit around you will come to the sleeve section of the sweater and these stitches are between two markers. Thread a blunt needle with some spare cotton yarn and run it through these stitches as you take them off of the needle. Now you will have a huge gap where the sleeve used to be. Cast on an inch of stitches - this depends on your tension. Are you getting 5 stitches to the inch? 6 ? 8 ?. And then continue knitting around to the other sleeve. Repeat the process and you will now have the body stitches in a circle on your needle and the sleeve stitches (safely stored on the cotton yarn) sticking out to the side waiting for you to pick them up when the body is done.
7. You will have to know 2 measurements and both of them are up to you. You will have to know how many inches you want for the ribbing (I think 3 inches is pretty good, but it could be anything from 1.5 inches and up) and how many inches you want the sweater to be from the underarm to the bottom. Measure a favourite sweater to get this measurement. Now subtract the ribbing measurement from the other. For instance you want your sweater to be 15 inches from the underarm to the bottom and you are going to do 3 inches of ribbing, (15-3=12) you would stop the regular knitting at 12 inches, place a marker, and do a round of k9 k2tog (this is decreasing the stitches by l0%) until you reach the marker. I would switch to a needle about l size smaller and do your k1p1 border for the three inches. You might not have an even number of stitches when you k1p1 the first round but simply purl 2 tog if necessary when you reach the marker. After the border is done, I would use a sewn cast off as it is quite stretchy. Google and they will have videos of this.
8. With your shorter circular pick up the stitches that are waiting on the cotton thread and when you come to the cast on stitches you did to join the body into a circle, stick the needle into one of the loops and knit it when you come around to it. Place a marker at the mid point of those cast on stitches and when the time comes you can decrease on each side of the maker.
9. Again that is your choice. I like to knit about 1 inch, purl one row, and then continue for another inch but purl where I knit and knit where I purled previously. This makes the collar fold over on itself the the ribbing fits into itself and you have a nice thick collar. Or knit however long you want - 1 inch, 2 inches, 6-8 inches for a turtle neck and cast off with the sewn cast off.
These are just my opinions and how I would do it. I am sure there are as many ways to answer your questions as there are members on this site and I hope they might offer their advice as well since it might make it clearer for you. Often which I could sort of whiz myself to your couch and show you in person. So much easier. Good luck.

knit_knot_eat's picture

I'm still confused - A LOT.

I'm still confused - A LOT. My problem is I'm not able to visualize how in the world I am knitting in the round and still getting a hole for my arm to go through. I think the combination of the below will help.

#1 - you say. "Measure this from the neck of the sweater to the end (which will be under your arm)." I don't get this. I don't quite understand the angle/direction in which I am measuring and where under my arm I stop.

#6 - you say "Now you will have a huge gap where the sleeve used to be. Cast on an inch of stitches". But 'How" do I cast these on? So, I'm knitting in round, moving stitches from the left needle to the right. I knit the last stitch and then hit the sleeve marker. so I slip all of the stitches between the markers on the thread/stitch holder. Now I the previous set of stitches on the right needle, and the remaining yet to be knit stitches on the left. How do I cast on now?

Does anyone have any videos or pictures of what any of this looks like?

ronhuber's picture

1. Do you know what a

1. Do you know what a raglan sweater is? It is a sweater in which the sleeve actually starts at the neck and not the shoulder. When you knit a raglan from the top down you are increasing at four points every other round. You are increasing, therefore, two stitches in each sleeve, two stitches in the back section, and two stitches in the front section. These increase points form a distinctive line that separates the sleeves from the front and back. The front section will have two lines running from the neck down and of course, at an angle since you are increasing at these points every other round. It is one of these lines that you can measure. I don't know how the writer of the pattern wants you to measure. Does she give you a set measurement - Knit until the raglan line is l4 inches? Or does she ask you to measure yourself to see what is comfortable. I would put a tape measure at the side of your neck and measure to a point under your armpit that gives you enough ease to move. When you have reached that measurement in your knitting, you can separate the sleeves from the front and back.
6. Some people would use a cable cast on and maybe you like that method. Myself, I simply put loops over the needle and knit on. When I reach them on the way back I knit into the back of them. The sleeve stitches on the spare yarn will actually look like a huge pouch because you are replacing those stitches with only 5 or 6 or whatever you have for an inch.

knit_knot_eat's picture

I know how to do a cable

I know how to do a cable cast on. To do this, I need to go into 2 stitches (and so on). My question is which 2? Like I was saying, I'm knitting around and I hit my first sleeve marker, and I slip those stitches onto the holder. Now I need to cast on an inch. Am I doing that to the stitch BEFORE I hit the sleeve and then joining back in to the one after? or am I doing that cast on starting with the first stitch that is AFTER the sleeve and that actually does the join for me.

ronhuber's picture

After. However, I believe

After. However, I believe that putting 6 simple twisted loops over the needle at this point is a lot easier and a much more pleasing cast on.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Thanks for taking the time

Thanks for taking the time to answer this so completely, Ron. The questions point out the parts of the pattern that I find confusing, too. I originally used this formula when it was in the "Threads" article the author cites as one of her inspirations. Barbara Walker's book makes a good additional source because she presents the ideas - and knitting options - clearly and simply. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

ronhuber's picture

I had developed my own top

I had developed my own top down pattern long before I came across this particular one. For instance I usually put 2 or more inches of stitches under the arms and the neck is a percentage of the chest measurement as opposed to head circumference. I never make the yoke more than l0.5 or 11 inches and usually stop increasing for the sleeves before I stop increasing for the body. However, this pattern is probably a good place to start and top down sweaters are so great since you can try them on as you knit them. For me it is important that the back of the neck is at least 2 inches higher than the front.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Even though I've only done a

Even though I've only done a few sweaters in my long knitting life, I've always used Walker's formula - mixed with the original "Threads" formula - as a way to make the measurements. (I've only knit raglans. So far.) Haven't stopped knitting the shoulders before the body before but find it interesting. May have to experiment with that. I have used several inches of ease at the underarm, going with the looser fit. If I don't calculate from the back of the neck measurement, I usually do a circumference of the head for my final number when calculating the stitches for the neckline. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I've done several raglans

I've done several raglans based on that pattern. My current one uses some of it, combining elements of Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the Top Down." I find Barbara's formula for figuring how many stitches to cast on is much easier to grasp and calculate out. Between the two sources, knitting raglans becomes a great way to try out a first sweater. What parts are tricky for you? Lots of luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

knit_knot_eat's picture

Its a long list (sorry), so

Its a long list (sorry), so I'll take it one step at a time. To start with, I think that some of this is just conceptually confusing since I can't quite picture how I am doing this. Is there a video out there on the net that might show some of these steps? That would probably have it make a lot more sense to me.

1 - not sure what the "raglan" length is. It says to measure from the "raglan collar to the underarm". Is there any way to explain this better.

2 - Gauge. I think my knitting is tighter than my purling. When I measure gauge, should I work in the round and measure my st that way?

3 - during the beginning of the neck it says "increase before and after each B marker and the beginning and end of every RS" Increase how? Is there a preferred method?

4 - "The center-front stitches are then cast on". I assume i do this on a right side row? Do I do that to the first stitch in the row or the last stitch? I assume also that once those are added I join into the full circle (pattern doesn't actually say to join)

5 - "When the raglan equals the raglan measurement" - what I am measuring? This needs to match the measurement in my first question?

6 - After you slip the sleeve stitches to a hold it says "Add one inch of stitches under the arm". I'm clueless on this. Am I making and inch of stitches under each arm? Do I just cast on X number of stitches? Where exactly? If I have slipped 2 sleeve on each side, how do I join to get back into a circle?

7 - "On the final row before the ribbing, K9, K2tog". What is the measurement for the length before the ribbing starts? Where in the round do I do this K9, K2tog? How much ribbing do I do? K1,P1?

8 - "Slip the sleeve stitches, Pick up the added stitches..."? How many stitches am I picking up? Where exactly am I getting them from? Do these sync up with the added inch of stitches I asked in #5?

9 - "Pick up every stitch along the neck edge using smaller meedles and work neck ribbing" K1,P1? How big?

Kenny's picture

Hi Jeff, where are your

Hi Jeff, where are your questions coming from? I was just wondering cuz it might be good if I had the whole pattern to help answer some of your questions.

knit_knot_eat's picture

I found the "The Incredible,

I found the "The Incredible, Custom-fit Raglan Sweater", pattern.
Some of it doesn't make sense to me. Has anyone done it?
I could use some advice.