Raglan Sweater: Episode 1 – Selecting Your Fiber

 

Click here to view the pdf version of the notes table

Click the link below to view an updated version of this table

yardage_raglan_sweater

I eventually will put the pattern up for Eric’s sweater, but I thought I’d share a little about the process it took to knit it. Knitting a raglan sweater in the round is a good advanced beginner knitting project. Before you start you should be able to do the following:

  • Knit stockinette stitch (right side – knit stitch/ wrong side – purl stitch). Though it is arguable that if you are knitting in the round to make the sweater you only need to know the knit stitch. Still you should probably know how to purl since you need to purl to be able to create a ribbed hem for your sweater.
  • Knit with circular needles in the round
  • Do simple increases or decreases (k2tog – knit 2 together & ssk – slip stitch and passover slipped stitch on the next knit stitch)
  • Sew in ends with a tapestry needle
Panel of stockinette stitch with a garter stitch edging on the bottom

Panel of stockinette stitch with a garter stitch edging on the bottom

If you’ve knit a number of scarves in stockinette or garter stitch or if you’ve knit anything like a hat where you needed to decrease or increase, you’re definitely ready to knit a raglan sweater in the round.

Now you just have to pick and get your yarn.

In a previous post, I mentioned that it is possible for you to purchase yarn for a sweater and not break the bank. I thought I might help a few folks out by providing a few of my notes on yarns that I find to be affordable.  I put together a brief table with my notes on some of of the yarns I’ve used in the past to create sweaters and other garments. I actually put this table together for my own reference.

Please, please note, that these are just estimates and notes put together to give you an idea of what yarns you could use to create a sweater. You should take the recommendations here with a grain of salt and understand that they’re there to give you a point of reference rather than a prescription for knitting a sweater. I also created this to give myself a cost estimate for any raglan sweater projects I might do in the near future. Let’s hope the cost of fiber doesn’t go up too much.  The prices on the table are based on the range of pricing I’ve seen in different stores or on the web.

As you can see from the table below depending on your size and fiber you’re using, you can make a sweater for as low as $30- $40 dollars. I believe that this is what you’d normally pay for a good sweater in a retail shop. Note to self – I need to loose a few more pounds so I can save money on yarn 🙂 Again, if you are looking to save even more money, you can search eBay or Ravelry for swap and trade bargains. You can even re-purpose yarn from thrift store sweaters.

Note that the yarns here in the table are arranged roughly from bulky weight to worsted. Bulky weight yarns allow you to knit a sweater in a short amount of time, but some people don’t like the ‘chunky’ appearance of the knitted garment. Eric’s sweater, featured in a previous post, was done in a heavy/bulky weight yarn that had a gauge of about 4 stitches in an inch. The bulky weight of this yarn and the simplicity of the pattern allowed me to complete the project in less than two weeks.  I believe that worsted and aran weight yarns could be used for a beginner project.

One of the considerations you may want to make when choosing your yarn. How much “ease” or looseness of fit do you want in your sweater? Do you want a baggy and slouchy look or do you want your sweater to fit snuggly? If you have a bustline of 36 inches and you want a comfortably loose sweater you might want to add 3-4 inches of ease to your sweaters bust measurement.

Finally, one general rule for purchasing yarn you should always follow: order an extra amount or skein of yarn if your pattern or size estimate is close to the yardage available in the suggested numbers of skeins. There is no way to predict (other than buying a sample skein and knitting a gauge swatch before you begin your project) whether you will be able to knit the project with the exact yardage specified. It is always better to err on the side of having a little more yarn than you need. Besides you can use the scraps to make a scarf, neck-warmer, or even a hat.

…. Next episode…You must Swatch!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Raglan Sweater: Episode 1 – Selecting Your Fiber

  1. I got such a laugh from your HorseRadishes! lol.

    I’ve avoided sweaters for so long because none of my earlier attempts fit me correctly. But, lately I’ve been dreaming about casting on and trying again.

  2. In the next post or maybe the post after that I’ll share some information and resources on on-line sweater calculators and guidelines. Some of these guide you through shaping instructions. There are also many great books and resources (some online) that talk about achieving the perfect fit for your body shape. Have you ever listened to the Knitpicks podcast with Kelley Petkun? In a few episodes, I can’t remember which ones she talks about or interviews designers and discusses the general rules for knitting to one’s body shape. If I can remember I’ll post links to those as well.

  3. Pingback: Raglan Sweater Episode 3: Working up the body & armpit gussets « I am addicted

  4. Pingback: Sort of final note about the Sock Summit « I am addicted

  5. Pingback: Raglan Sweater Episode 4 – Sleeves « I am addicted

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