Agnes KAL-Let’s Cast On!

porrittI know, it’s a little bit over the top, but I do get really excited when I’m about to cast on a new project. For me, casting on brings up that wonderful feeling of new beginnings, and yes, hopes and dreams.

Agnes begins with the neckline. The pattern suggests to cast on using the long-tail method. If you are unfamiliar with the long- tail cast on, here is a good tutorial by Very Pink that explains this very versatile cast on.

Join in the round and place a distinctive marker at the beginning of round (BOR) being careful not to twist your stitches as you join. You will be using other markers for the shoulder shaping, so its important that you can easily tell the difference between the end of round (EOR) stitch marker and the raglan shoulder shaping markers. Knit 2” of the 2 x 2 rib pattern. Now.. time to admire your work, fall in love with the color, and get ready to set up for the raglan sleeve shaping.

Raglan Increases

Raglan shaping is worked from the top-down and involves a long, slanted seam running from the neck to theshouldershaping underarm. Raglans have no shoulder seam; the expanding sleeve cap becomes the shoulder of the garment. The shaping of the sleeve matches the front and back shaping so that all the pieces fit together properly.

The raglan shoulder shaping starts with a set up round which uses P1f/b as the increase. In this case, the increases fall right in the purl portion of the 2 x 2 ribbing. The use of the P1f/b allows the knitter to increase while maintaining the established 2 x 2 rib pattern. Simply purl as usual into the front of the stitch, leave the stitch on your needle, and then purl into the back of the same stitch. Check out this video from Purl Soho if you still have questions.

Note: Time to switch to the longer needles. If you are switching to a 32” or longer needle, you may need to continue on the 16” for a couple more increase rounds.

StitchMarkers_AgnesPlace your raglan stitch markers per your size and begin the raglan shaping. The raglan shaping directions are different for each size. At this point, review you pattern and highlight all directions that correspond to your size. It may look a little confusing, but if you highlight all directions, you’ll find it much less complicated. You’re markers are placed to help you find the increase points. You will M1R 1 stitch before each of the markers and  M1L 1 stitch after each of the markers. If you need a refresher for the M1R and M1L, check out this video tutorial from Purl Soho.

Continue the shoulder shaping as established. Pay close attention, go slowly, find your rhythm and enjoy how your sweater is shaping up! As I continued to knit, I found it helpful to check my stitch count at regular intervals. Attached is a document with the raglan stitch count for all sizes. At the end of the shaping section, Melissa LaBarre gives us the individual stitch counts for each section (between all markers), which I found to be very helpful as well.

This is my favorite step in raglan sweater knitting. It’s the time you can see the magic of your knitting! Next up is separating for your sleeves!


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