Tag Archives: vivido

Top Down Raglan Construction

Dovestone Knits
In August 2015 I released the book, Dovestone Hills, that coincided with the release of baa ram ewe’s Dovestone DK yarn. Up until now these patterns have only been available as part of the book but over the coming weeks I’ll be releasing the individual patterns one at a time!
Until the 14th of February if you use code HAPPYDOVES you’ll get 15% off any of the Dovestone individual patterns or off the digital book.
As an extra special bonus from baa ram ewe you’ll also get a discount code for 10% off their Dovestone DK yarn for the same time period. That code will be available when you purchase the patterns or digital book.

So watch out for all the patterns, there will be a new one added ever couple of days!

(And the code works for all of them…..)

Top Down Raglan Construction
This seemed a perfect opportunity to talk a bit about different types of seamless construction as there are 4 different seamless methods used in Dovestone Hills. The first that I want to talk about is top down seamless raglan. This was traditionally the most common method of top down knitting as it’s very easy to knit. It doesn’t always create perfect results but with a little bit of knowledge you can easily adjust patterns to suit your body and taste.

Caelius is the sweater in Dovestone Hills that uses this shoulder construction method. It starts with a cowl neck, uses short rows to shape the back of the neck and then uses raglan increases on either side of a decorative seam. This decorative seam continues down into the a-line body and forms the focus of interest for the sweater.

Top Down Raglan Techniques

A ‘raglan’ is a shoulder construction where the sleeves come all the way up to the neck. For a raglan to fit correctly you would typically increase/decrease on each side of the body (and at the front and back) and on each side of the sleeve on every right side row or every other round if working in the round. This gives you 8 increases (or decreases).
If you are knitting from the top down the raglan seams are all increases but if you were knitting bottom up the will be decreases.

Increase Types
When you are creating your raglan seam you can use any type of increase that you wish. The most basic would be a kfb (knit into the front and back of the stitch), for a bit more refinement you could have a mirrored M1R and M1L and if you were working on a lace cardigan you might opt to use a yo (yarnover) increase as it would fit with the lace.

Adrift uses kfb increases

Vivido used M1L and M1R increases.

You can change the way increases look also by adjusting the number of knit stitches between them. This creates a wider or narrower ‘seam’ along the raglan.
While it looks like Caelius uses yarnovers as the increases it’s actually got a centered decrease with yarnover and then the increases are outside this. The reason for this is so that the pattern can be continued down the body when you no longer need raglan increases.

Rate of Increase
In a traditional raglan you start with neck size you want, increase the body and sleeves every second row or round until you get close to the body stitches you want. The final stitches are then cast-on across the underarm. For some body shapes this works just fine BUT on the smaller and larger end of the spectrum you can have problems. Most body shapes don’t increase the size of their upper arms as fast as the bust size increases. This means that for larger bust sizes using traditional construction the sleeves will be too large.
To correct this I write my patterns with two rates of increases. You start with full raglan increases and then move on to alternating body only rows with full raglan increases so that everything fits right at the bottom of the yoke. If you do a few calculations you can adjust for yourself in the same way to fit a pattern exactly to your body shape.

Short Row Back of Neck

If you work your raglan straight down from the neck you will have the front of the neck the same height as the back. However generally a neckline is more comfortable to wear if the front is a little lower than the back. You can do this by adding short rows across the back of the neck. If you’ve got pattern work near the neck you can even put those short rows lower down the back as well.

Underarm Cast-on

When you are finished the raglan yoke increases you still need to join the body together. You do this by knitting to the sleeve, using a tapestry needle threaded with waste yarn and slipping all of the sleeve stitches on to the thread (tie it together so you don’t loose the stitches!!)
Now you need to join the underarm. To do this neatly you cast-on the underarm stitches and then join up the back of your body and work on to the other side. Typically patterns suggest a Backwards Loop Cast-On. This is because you can keep working in the same direction with that type of cast-on. However it doesn’t really give the most stable underarm area. I prefer to turn to the wrong side of the work and using a Cable Cast-On which is lovely and firm.

I’ve designed an awful lot of top down raglan sweaters and cardigans. You can find them on here.
Dusty Road and Santa Rosa Plum are both from last summer and I’m still in love with them both :-)

Santa Rosa Plum

Santa Rosa Plum

Dusty Road

Dusty Road

Do you have a favourite?




My launch party cardigan!

There were a few of you who were looking at the photos from my launch party in September and wondering what cardigan I was wearing…

At the time the pattern was not finished, I had made a mad dash to knit the cardigan up in time for the book launch!  It is a crazy fast cardigan to knit, I think it took 4 or 5 days in total.  It’s top down raglan with a cropped body style and 3/4 length sleeves so a perfect rush job to add that splash of colour to your wardrobe!  In the pattern I’ve added tons of options, different lengths and 3 different sleeve lengths.

I’ve finished writing the pattern up and it’s currently at the tech editor.  For anyone who’d like to knit a little number for your Christmas party I’m selling the pattern on pre-order at the reduced price of $5.00.

add to cart

When you buy now you’ll get a pdf to download with project details, then when the pattern is released in approx 2 weeks time you’ll get a link to download the complete pattern.  Once the pattern is released it’ll revert to full price.

Pattern Details:

Vivido Cardigan

Add a splash of color to your wardrobe with this cardigan that knits up in a flash.  Knit from the top down with raglan shoulder shaping, and a flattering a-line body, there are several different options given for modifying as you go.  The sample is shown in a cropped style with ¾ length sleeves but options are given to add length as well as giving 3 different sleeve lengths.


To fit bust up to size: 29 (32, 35, 38, 41, 44, 47, 50, 53)” / 73.5 (81.5, 89, 96.5, 104, 112, 119.5, 127, 134.5) cm

0-2”/0-5cm positive ease recommended.

Finished bust measurement: 28.25 (32, 35.25, 38.5, 40.5, 43.75, 47, 50.25, 53.25)”/ 72 (81.5, 89.5, 98, 103, 111, 119.5, 127.5, 135.5) cm.

Finished length: 21 (21.5, 22.25, 22.5, 23, 23.5, 24.25, 24.5)”/ 53.5 (54.5, 55, 56.5, 57, 58.5, 59.5, 61.5, 62) cm.

Size 35.25”/ 89.5cm modeled with minimal ease.



Cascade ‘Eco+’ (100% Wool; 478yds/437m per 250g skein); Color: 8463; 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins for ¾ sleeve cropped version, actual yardage: 600 (655, 700, 750, 795, 860, 925, 1010, 1080) yds/550 (600, 640, 725, 790, 850, 925, 985) m.

Note: Ensure you have extra yarn available if you are going to lengthen the sleeves or body.

Needles & Notions

Size 10 US/6mm circular needle, 32”/80cm length

(Size 10 US/6mm dpns if not using magic loop)

Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Stitch markers, tapestry needle, 1 button approx 1”/25mm diam.


15 sts and 20 rows = 4″/10cm in St st.

17 sts and 24 rows = 4″/10cm in Sl Stitch pattern.

Techniques described:

I-Cord Bind Off, M!L, M1R, M1p.

Other Skills Needed:

Cable Cast On, Backwards Loop Cast On.