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Mesh Raglan Pullover Crochet-Along: Underarm Chains

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Mesh Raglan Pullover Crochet-Along: Underarm Chains

Welcome back to the Mesh Raglan Pullover CAL! So I spent some time ripping out the yoke and reworking it with the larger H hook and it worked out well – I got the length I needed to reach the armholes. It definitely made the yoke larger overall, but with the neck tie, it still works well, and it gave me a little extra room in the bust and slightly looser sleeves.  Now that I’ve got my yoke in order it’s time to move on to making room for the underarms and working through the body. So let’s get to it!

When you have completed your yoke you finish it off completely by cutting the yarn, then you reconnect the yarn to create chain spaces at the underarms. Before you start, be sure to read all of the notes for the section! Here they are again:

  1. In next section, you are making a ch that spans the underarm and will be used on the Next Rnd of the Body and Sleeves.
  2. Stitch markers are placed at beg and end of the underarm ch to indicate where Sleeve sts will be worked later.

By reading the notes you will get a better understanding of what you are trying to accomplish in the next section, as well as any other bits of information to make the next part a success. This chain gives you some extra stitches to reach from front to back under your arms to work both the body and sleeves off of. Setting up the armholes may sound complicated, but it is just a matter of getting your hook into the right stitches. As written in the pattern:

Join yarn with sl st in last dc of V-st at beg of one Sleeve section, place a marker in same dc as sl st join, ch 1 (3, 5, 7, 9), sk the Sleeve sts, sl st in first dc of V-st at end of same Sleeve section, place a marker in same dc. Fasten off. Rep for other underarm.

So what does this look like? Remember those “corners” we created in the yoke? Focus on two that are on either side of a sleeve section (the shorter of the four sides). Find the V-stitch of the corner to the right of the sleeve (or left of the sleeve if you are left handed). Got it? Now insert your hook into the  leftmost double crochet of the V-stitch (rightmost double crochet if left handed) and join your yarn there. Now create your chain and join back into the rightmost double crochet of the V-stitch (leftmost if left handed) on the other side of the sleeve opening. Joined! It should looks something like this (with stitch markers placed in the same stitches as the joins):

Now to work the body by using those new chains. Here the notes are also super important:

  1. Work next rnd with RS facing for sizes S, L and 2X. Work next rnd with WS facing for sizes M and 1X.
  2. The first rnd of Body is worked over the Back and Front sts and the underarm chs.
  3. The marked dc at beg and end of the underarm chs are part of the Sleeve sts, and are not counted as sts when working the Body.

Although the result it subtle, if you don’t start working as directed in #1 (the right side or wrong side) your stitches in this row will look slightly different than the rest of the rows. How do I know? Because I just started going and noticed after a few stitches that it wasn’t lining up quite like the rest of the rows…then I saw the note about joining from the wrong side if you are making the medium. Make your life easier and check all notes carefully before proceeding! For future reference I marked the right side (RS) of my project with a clip-on stitch marker so I don’t have to analyze it each time I need to know one side from the other:

Stitch marker

This time you will join your yarn and work your ch 4 in the other double crochet of the V-stitch you used for one of your underarm chains. I chose to use the side that would put the join of my rounds on the back of the sweater instead of the front, because the joins always look just slightly different than the rest of the sweater and I’d rather hide that in the back. Once you work across the chain (skipping over both of the marked double crochets at the start and end of each underarm where the chains are attached) and across the body, it should look something like this:

Now you’re set to work round after round around the body, trying it on as you go until you get a length you like. If you are planning to put a tie at the bottom of your pullover as shown in the pattern, make your bottom tie ahead of time (as we did with the neck tie) so when you think you have the length you like, you know what it will look like when done. In case you are having any doubts about joining your rounds each time (maybe adding or losing stitches), the joins are the end of each round should progress something like this (click on each image to zoom):

Ready to go on the next round! Alright, I’m going to keep working through the body of my sweater, trying it on as I go to get the length I want, and next week we’ll be on to the sleeves. Enjoy!

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  • Figuring the right side from the wrong side was driving me crazy.  Duh on using a stitch marker to mark the right side 🙂

  • I need to mark my right side,too. But, silly question … how do I tell right side from wrong side? I have the yoke done. I am ready to do the underarm chains and proceed. I am making a 1X.

    • It’s hard to find in the pattern, since it’s a tiny little note:

      Rnd 2 (RS): 

      So whatever direction you were working round 2 was the right side. I’m not done with the yoke, so it’ll be easy for me to mark because all my even rows are the right side, but I was worried about forgetting and then trying to figure out later.

      • Bethany’s correct. Patterns will almost always indicate a specific round or row when the RS (right side) or WS (wrong side) is facing you. It’s important to look for this note as some patterns will start on a WS wrong, or in the case of some kinds of garments (like a jacket where the collar flips over), the RS may change depending on which section you’re working on. Hope that helps!

        • Thank you all for clearing that up for me … 🙂

          • Another quick way to check – since row 2 was the RS, all even rows are the right side, and odd rows are wrong side.  So if you’re working on row 15, that’s the wrong side, and when you turn at the end of the row, you’ll be back to the right side.

    • I believe, in general the first row of any regular pattern made into the chain row is considered the right side. I did the same as you and marked this row and counted my rows from there. So far the pattern came out correctly with the size I am making. Hope this helps. Birdie Gee

      • Although you are right that this is generally true, there are no always in crochet unfortunately so be sure to follow what the pattern indicates.

  • I noticed that the instructions on Rnd 2 state:sl st into next ch-1 sp, ch 4, turn. I do not understand the turn. Can you explain?

    • The turn is when you flip your work and begin again in the opposite direction.  So if it was a flat piece, you work to one end and have to chain up to the desired height (3 ch if working in dc), and then turn your work and begin going the other direction.  I hope that helps.

    • The pictures above are also explaining roughly the same thing so look at those as extra clarification.

  • Uh oh, I don’t think I ever did the turn.   I worked in the round.  I love the way it looks as all my rows are right side.  (and I already took it out for the row gauge problem, so don’t want to go through that again.   So now how should I proceed with the body?  I’m following the instructions for medium, should I still start on the wrong side, (which i couldn’t figure out why or what that meant).  I’m thinking I’ll try with the right side and see what happens, but any suggestions would be great. 

    • lol, I didn’t see that little “turn” either so mine is continuous in the round.  I’m making a small for someone else (as yet to be determined) so I’ll have to figure out how to proceed as well.  I’m only on row 8 of the yoke right now. I’m not very fast.

      • I’ve started the body, and am working continuous rounds to match my yoke.  It’s looking good.

    • No reason to go back at this point as far as I can tell, but for continuity join from the right side and continue not to turn since that’s how you have done the rest. Good luck!

    • I did the “turn” until I got to the underarms. Then, I forgot o turn… As a result, the body looks a bit different from the yoke. I hope that when I block it, it gets better.

  • Even with the photo I couldn’t tell which dc of the v-stitches are joined by the chain under the arm… 

    • It helps to fold it in half to see where the sleeves will be.  Then you choose the last dc in the v-stitch, work the chain and connect to the first v-stitch.  

    • It helps to fold it in half to see where the sleeves will be.  Then you choose the last dc in the v-stitch, work the chain and connect to the first v-stitch.  

  • So if I am making a M, will I work the entire body from the WS in the round? Or switch back to RS after round 1 of body? Really lost now.

    • I’m making the M and worked the WAS for the entire body.  

    • For M (and my 1X) we do the first body round on WS. Then when we chain 4 and turn. Round 2 will be on RS. Keep turning every row.

    • lol, I should have made that clearer, I turned each round, but kept the WS facing out.

  • I finished the body at 22 rows.  I want the body a bit longer so will likely work in another 6 rows.  It’s looking a bit larger than I would like though.  Now I’m thinking about ripping the whole thing out 🙁 and maybe making it in S.

    • One word: shrinkage.  Wait ’til after you’ve washed the final project and see how it fits.  You couldn’t really rip it out at that point, but if it really is too big – hey, instant gift!

  • I finished the body at 22 rows.  I want the body a bit longer so will likely work in another 6 rows.  It’s looking a bit larger than I would like though.  Now I’m thinking about ripping the whole thing out 🙁 and maybe making it in S.

  • I noticed in the picture that your crochet hook has a wide handle. Is this a handle that the hook fits into, or do you purchase a whole set of large-handled hooks? I’ve been wanting something like that, does anyone have any recommendations of things to look for or avoid when shopping for such a thing?

    • Hi KeliCrochet, on we have a couple of options. For individual hooks with larger grips, consider the Soft Touch Crochet Hooks by Clover:

      For interchangeable sets, consider the Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set:
      or the Crochet Hook Master Set:

      • Thank you for the ideas!

    • I have the set that’s being used in the pictures, and actually I’m using that exact hook (size G and all) for this CAL.  It has worked great for me not to feel so much pain when crocheting.  A few downsides to that set are that the J hook doesn’t screw in right, so it comes loose when using it – also, in a tight project using the F hook, I pulled too hard and snapped the hook!  I’m going to try getting a ball-shaped one like Zontee posted.  I saw one in Michael’s that is only $8 and can be used with the aluminum crochet hooks you probably already have (I know I do)!

    • I totally lucked out a couple of years ago…. I was shopping at Michael’s and they had accidentally put ALL of the sets of these hooks on an area marked 99 cents!!  I bought 2 of them… not greedy, but since the screw in part is plastic, I wanted a spare… and they moved the rest before they could be bought, lol.

  • I noticed in the picture that your crochet hook has a wide handle. Is this a handle that the hook fits into, or do you purchase a whole set of large-handled hooks? I’ve been wanting something like that, does anyone have any recommendations of things to look for or avoid when shopping for such a thing?

  • This is my first CAL and I love it!  I have the yoke done and will be ready for the next step.  I like the once a week post since I need to find the time to crochet while taking care of my responsibilities.  Great crocheting with you all! 


  • 3 times a charm :0)
     I joined the arm holes and believed I did it correctly, I thought it looked like the picture…and well…RS/WS that’s a 50/50 gamble since I didn’t mark my RS when I first started. ( Another lesson learned.) I, of course, chose the incorrect side to start rows for the medium. I could tell the zig/zag of the pattern wasn’t zigging where it should so I ripped out and turned my work over and marked the RS with a wine glass charm, turned it back out and I started back up on the WS. I got all the way around only to be 4 DC short of 82…Duh, NOW I see where I was supposed to put the arm chains in those V-stitches. LOL! Another 50/50 gamble gone wrong..I ripped out again, cut the arm chains and dug out my woven ends, chose the correct v-stitch to join the arms (it’s the dc posts furthest away from the armpit corner.) Now my pattern is zig/zaging nicely with the correct number of dc’s and I’m working this one a bit slower due to the heat wave. I did try it on last night and I’m back to thinking I should have made the small. I will resist the urge to rip this all out and start over until it’s been washed. My swatches shrank and I’m sure this top will too so until the top is completely finished I won’t make any final decisions about who will own it when it’s done. Can’t wait till next Thursday.

  • I completed this project. using a single crochet mesh. I really enjoyed making it but I zoomed ahead. 
    I probably will make one using the double crochet mesh, but I really liked doing it this way. I had an idea in my head for the front and just the right amount of accent colored yarn.
    I did not do the underarm chains exactly the way that they are described and the sleeves worked out just fine. I did have to go back and do a slip-stitch seam to connect all the loose “holes” together. It would not have bothered me for them to be there, but if someone else bought this item, they might think it was a flawed garment.

  • Is the front and or back the side with the 20 stitches or the sides with the 16 (beginning).?
    Also when I am working what I call the 8th row, I have the number of stitches for the 9th row.  Is the original chain on this sweater called the first round,  if so it is working out. 

  • After going back and reading the notes, as stated you should do carefully, I found that in the first round it states long side is front and short sides are sleeves.  Still perplexed as to the correct number of stitches in the 8th row instead of the 9th.  Guess I will work until the number of stitches needed for my size.  Hope that works. 

  • I am using an H hook since that gave me the correct stitch gauge, but not the right row gauge. I ended up with 8 rows on my gauge swatch instead of 7, has anyone else had this, and how did you allow for the difference? I’m not sure how many rows I should have for the yoke before I start on the body.

  • I am using an H hook since that gave me the correct stitch gauge, but not the right row gauge. I ended up with 8 rows on my gauge swatch instead of 7, has anyone else had this, and how did you allow for the difference? I’m not sure how many rows I should have for the yoke before I start on the body.

  • I’ve been crocheting for about 5 years now, but this is both my first
    CAL as well as my first item of clothing (not counting scarves, hats,
    etc.).  I’m enjoying it a lot so far!  I’m just hoping my gauge works
    out after I wash the piece, as I discovered from my swatch (ahead of
    time) that the yarn I’m using will shrink a good bit.  I think I’ve
    properly allowed for it, but the truth will come out in the end.

    Between the instructions, these blogs, and the comments, I haven’t had any insurmountable issues so far, but I do have one question.  On the body section (after the first round), I’m confused why the pattern says to sl st into the ch-1 sp before chaining 4, turning, and continuing.  Does this somehow make for a neater join?  It seems like it would cause it to zig zag a bit.  I haven’t taken the time to test it both ways to see what the difference would be and have instead just followed the pattern instructions, but I was wondering if anyone would mind explaining the reason to me so I’ll understand in the future.  Thank you!

    • (not an expert answer … but here goes…) I think the ch 4, turn and continue makes the rounds more “row-like”. If you just kept going with dcs without the ch 4 and join I think the bottom round would not be even (again – not an expert answer, just what I think would happen)

      The pattern does zig-zag a bit if you do the turns. Some folks have been working in the round (either intentionally or by missing the “turn” in the instruction. They’ve reported that the dcs line up more – a subtle difference in appearance. If you were turning in the yoke continue to do so with the body to maintain the pattern appearance.
      (me, I like the little bit of zig-zag appearance of the fabric)

      • Do you think that zig-zag will not be as noticeable after blocking/

    • I also had this question. I can see the need to slip stitch into the chain when making the V stitches because it gives room for the V, but I don’t like the zig zag when working on the body. So I just slip stitched into the third chain of the first chain four and then turned and went the other way. It’s nice and even.

  • In the past all I’ve made were afghans, hats and scarves…..  so with this I wasn’t really thinking ahead …did the yoke in the round….and the remainder in rows.  I made it one size smaller ….didn’t really want the top as loose as it is suppose to be.  Really nice fit …..and when on… you can’t tell front from back or for that matter whether it’s inside out or not.

    • Nice touches on the neck edging. Pretty!

    • very nice M. I really like the color.

  • Well, I finally completed the top and am wearing it to work today. I like it!  Some take-aways for me: Read the entire pattern before even considering picking up a hook and fiber (well, I can still hold them in my hand and visualize while reading), swatches can be worthwhile, it’s fun and beneficial to work in community; and lastly though I love knitting, crocheting runs a good race!

    Here is my completed top with modified bottom edge:

  • I also had the row gauge problem, so I used an H hook for the yoke. I tried it on after making the sleeve chains, and it fits fine. However, now I’ve made about 15 rows of the body and it is much, much too wide! Should I try the G hook as Kendra suggested earlier? Or should I try to decrease some stitches? What do you suggest?

    • Hi! Did you get the right gauge with the G hook? That’s what the post above was about. If so, yes switch to the G hook for the body. You can also decrease if you feel it is too wide by following the decrease instructions in the post that went up today about sleeves. I would recommend working an increase at each side of the body every 2-3 rows until you like the fit. Good luck!

  • I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to be confused about which was the right side, now that we know how important it is… I missed the Rnd2 [RS] in the instructions. But thanks to being in a CAL, our confusion has been cleared up. I’m on row 6 of the yoke and will mark that with my preferred yarn marker before continuing. I hope to finish the yoke and join the underarms before the weekend as I’m leaving on a 10 day trip… having a couple rows of the body done will give me a perfect “no thought” project to take along. I used CottonEase yarn. My row gauge seems OK with an H hook, but I read about how to adjust if necessary, which may be helpful. We’ll see how it goes.  

  • In working the body where your sl st into the ch-1 space, ch 4, turn, *dc in next dc, etc., is the ch 4 supposed to line up with the first dc a little to the left below it after you turn?  It looks that way in the last picture.
    I guess my question is since the ch 4 is kind of in the space and not truly above a dc in the previous row, I have been dc’ing into every dc below (even the one a little to the left below after the turn).  Am I supposed to skip that first dc after the ch 4 because the ch 4 is supposed to count as the dc?  The way I’ve been doing it, I think I’ve added an extra dc.  If I don’t, the mesh “hole” seems too big compared to the rest, and it just “looks” like I’ve missed a stitch.
    (sorry, I know I didn’t word the question all that clearly, but it’s hard to explain in words….)

    • You should be skipping that dc, because although the ch 4 is kind of to the side of this dc, it counts as the first so your first dc should be in the following one. Yes it does leave a slightly larger hole, but this is often the case with most crochet chains, that they look a little different than the regular stitches. That’s why it’s nice it’s the back of the shoulder! Otherwise you’re right, you have been adding an extra stitch each time.

  • Thanks!  I’m off to rip out a few rows now!  🙂

    • Ugh! Just realized I did the same thing you did. Time to rip out a bunch of rows.

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