Step 2 is where it gets a little tricky. Once the sleeve stitches are separated from the body (by putting the stitches on scrap yarn), a lot of top-down raglan patterns (including this one) instruct you to cast-on some underarm stitches. There are a couple of reasons for this:
-once the raglan armhole depth has been reached, you may not have reached your desired bust measurement. So in order to make sure you get that desired bust measurement, you cast on additional stitches at the underarm
-having stitches at the underarm gives additional room so that your arms can really move around.
When the directions say to “flip work over”, you do just that—the right side of the work was facing you, but now the wrong side will be facing you and the needle with the working yarn that was in your right hand will now be in your left hand.
Once you’ve done “the flip” you can now cast-on stitches using the knitted cast-on method. This method of casting on allows you to cast-on stitches in the middle of your work which makes it a perfect technique for casting on underarm stitches.
Once all the stitches are cast on, here is what it will look like:
3) Direction: …flip work back over & remove next marker, k2 (giving the first st a tug before knitting it, to tighten it up), remove next marker…
Once this step is done, you’re done! Well, at least with the first underarm. You’ll have to repeat one more time on the other side. The below picture shows what it looks like when one underarm divide has been completed for one sleeve:
Once the underarm divide row is complete you can actually try the sweater on. I’d recommend knitting 1 or 2 more rows after the underarm divide before you do this, just to give those cast on underarm stitches some stability. The best way to do this is to transfer all of the stitches onto a really long piece of scrap yarn. Yes, it’s kind of tedious, but it will give you a really good idea about how the yoke of the sweater will fit you. If you are not happy with how it’s fitting in the armholes you can make some adjustments:
-if the armhole is too short (i.e, too tight), you can rip out the underarm divide row and work a couple more rows of raglan increases
-if the armhole is too long, you can rip out the underarm divide row and a few rows above that too, then work the underarm divide row (so essentially working the underarm divide row a few rows earlier than instructed)
-if the depth of the armhole is fine but you feel the bust is too wide, you can rip out the underarm divide row and re-do casting on less stitches at the underarm
In the first two scenarios, changing the number of raglan increase rows will affect your finished bust measurement. If you wind up working more raglan increases (to create a longer armhole depth) then cast on less stitches at the underarms (this way your bust measurement won’t get too big). If you do less raglan increases (because the armhole depth was too long), then you may need to cast on more stitches at the underarm so the sweater still fits your bust.
If you ever need help on figuring out how to adjust a raglan to fit you best, feel free to shoot me an email. We can work out the math together to ensure your finished sweater fits you perfectly.
I hope this tutorial helped!