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Welcome to the Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along! Let's Get Started!

Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up; simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your sweater.

Hi, my name is Lauren, I work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, the Lion Brand flagship store and education center, in New York City. In addition to working on the sales floor, I teach knitting classes, and for the next several weeks, I'm going to be your knit-along host!

For this knit-along, the project we'll be working on together is the Simple Raglan Cardi. However, we won't just be making the pattern as-is, as we've done for previous knit-alongs. Instead, I'm going to be giving you ideas on how you can use the basic pattern as a starting point for your own design! We're going to customize this project just for you! This is particularly exciting for me, as I don't think I've ever knit a sweater without making at least a couple of changes to the written pattern.

Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along BadgeThe first thing we'll need to do is choose a size. You'll notice that underneath where the pattern says "Size", it says "Finished Chest." This is the actual measurement of the garment, which is a much more accurate way to pick a size than just choosing based on the small, medium, large tags. After all, when shopping at clothing stores, I'm sure we've all been one size in one store and a completely different size in the next! If you're not sure of your measurements, get a flexible tape measure and measure around the fullest part of the bust. You should also measure yourself wearing whatever you plan to where under your cardi as this can also affect the size that you will make.

I have a bust measurement of 34 inches, so I've chosen to make the size 35, as I want my sweater to be fitted but I also want to be able to draw breath. You don't have to choose the size closest to your bust measurement. If you want an over-sized cardi, you can choose a size a few inches larger than your bust measurement, and if you want a very tight fitting sweater choose a couple of inches smaller.

But what if your size isn't represented? Well, you can always add more stitches or take off some stitches based on the gauge of the pattern. If you're not confident enough to do that, you could always try following the pattern as it is using a smaller yarn and needles for a smaller size and a thicker yarn and needles for a larger size. [Click here for a blog post that explains how this can be done.]

Next you'll need to choose a yarn. The pattern suggests using Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, which is a worsted weight yarn, so you'll have plenty of choices if you wish to substitute. I want to use a soft, spring yarn, and most importantly, I want to be able to throw it in the wash with my other clothes, so I chose easy-care Cotton-Ease in the color Seaspray. Other good choices would be Vanna's Choice, Wool-Ease, or you can add stripes to your design the easy way, by using Amazing!

Now we need to decide how much yarn to buy. If you are making no changes to the pattern, that's easy enough to work out, since the pattern tells you how many balls in the Cotton Hemp are needed to make each size. Cotton Hemp contains 64 yards per ball, so just multiply 64 by the number of balls needed for your size and you have the number of yards needed.

Small Medium Large 1X 2X
Cotton-Ease 3 balls 3 balls 4 balls 4 balls 5 balls
Vanna's Choice 3 balls 4 balls 4 balls 5 balls 6 balls
Wool-Ease 3 balls 3 balls 4 balls 4 balls 5 balls
Amazing 3 balls 4 balls 5 balls 6 balls 7 balls
Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton
Hemp (as in pattern)
7 balls 9 balls 10 balls 12 balls 15 balls
Approx. yardage 450 yards 575 yards 650 yards 775 yards 1000 yards

But what if you plan to make changes to the length, sleeve length or stitch pattern? Or all of the above, like me? I find the easiest way to make an estimate is to look at a few similar sweaters in the same weight of yarn in my size to see around how much yarn was used, then I throw in an extra ball just to be safe, because as everyone knows, you can never have too much yarn!

Now it's swatching time! You will need to have some idea at this point of what stitch patterns you are going to use for your sweater. If you're looking for inspiration try StitchFinder. Remember, whatever stitch pattern you use, you will need to be able to match the gauge in the pattern or your sweater will have different measurements. If you want to use an allover pattern for the body of your sweater, keep in mind that this raglan pattern is knit from the top down, and grows outwards in each row, which means you will have a different stitch count every couple of rows, so you may find it challenging to keep in pattern.

If you want to add a little interest to your design in a simpler way, you could try doing vertical panels of patterns down both fronts, so your stitch count in the panels will remain constant each time, even as the sweater grows. Since I've never seen a sweater pattern that couldn't be improved by adding a few cables, I knit two swatches, one in the cable pattern that I plan to use and the other in stockinette stitch, which will be the main body pattern.

We know that we are aiming for a gauge of 17 stitches = 4 inches. So to knit my stockinette stitch swatch I actually cast on 23 stitches. This is because the larger the swatch the more accurate it will be and also because edge stitches can be a little loose, so I want to make sure I can start measuring at least 3 stitches in from the edge. Then I work in stockinette for about 4 inches and bind off my swatch.

Knit-Along Stockinette Swatch Knit-Along Cable Swatch

Afterwards, it is important to wash your swatch in the same manner you will wash the finished garment, as even with washable yarns, this can affect your gauge. If you're using a machine washable yarn and it's not laundry day, just fill up the sink with lukewarm water and swish your swatch around a bit to get it completely soaked, gently squeeze out the excess water, then lay it flat to dry. When its completely dry, you can now take an accurate measurement.

Since I have three edge stitches on each side I lay my ruler about half way up from my cast on edge, three stitches in from the side edge and count how many stitches across til I get to 4 inches. If you are getting less than 17 stitches across the 4 inches, you need to go down a needle size; if you are getting more, go up a size.

It's important to check your row gauge in the same manner. However, if you don't seem to be able to get both stitch and row gauge, use the needle size that gives you the correct stitch gauge, as it is easier to adjust the number of rows in your garment to get the correct length. I also do the same process for the cable panel I plan to use.

So everyone, get swatching! Next week, we'll go over how a top-down raglan works, how to work the yoke, and the benefits of this type of construction, especially when it comes to adding your own design elements!

In the meantime, leave a comment and introduce yourself! Tell us who you are, where you're from, and how you'd like to adjust this pattern to fit your own style!

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  • Carolee

    This looks like fun. even tho it says intermediate I think I can do this. What great little sweater for this spring. At this time I am thinking veragated so probably wont add any special stiches, let the yarn shine.  I will need to lenghten the sleeve and body. Get yarn this weekend Carolee

  • Emily Katehis

    I've already made this cardi in Cotton Ease, I love wearing it over my summer dresses for work since we can't have straps showing, it's also perfect for being in the air conditioning.  I'd love to make it again so I can have two or more different colors to choose from.  I've seen it done with the bottom half in a lace pattern, I'd like to do that as well as add a big button that closes over the bust.

  • Dr. Lisa

    Can't wait to get started.  Just finished a complicated aran knit vest and am looking forward to something easier.  I think I'll get the Cotton Ease this weekend.

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    <strong>Notebook Customized Series...</strong>

    [...] rn you use, you will need to be able to match the gauge in the pattern or your s [...]...

  • williams.sharon

    How can you suggest that Amazing is a viable substitute for Vanna's Choice??? I made this mistake on the last KAL -made my Wisteria sweater in Vanna's Choice as the result of Lion Brand's suggestion as I am allergic to wool. Vanna's Choice makes a way stiffer a fabric than Amazing, and the garment just did not fall as nicely as the ones made in Amazing. This makes me skeptical about Lion Brand's recomendations for yarn substitutions. Any suggestions???

  • williams.sharon

    I looked through the StitchFinder and think this might be really nice done with the Knit Lace:Crystal Chandelier pattern -is that doable??? I wouldn't put the rib on the bottom though. The other option might be Simple Eyelet Diamonds. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

  • williams.sharon

    Me again: Given the comments on the weight of Cotton Ease (and I couldn't find any info on the draping ability of the Martha Stewart Hemp) perhaps the Cotton Bamboo blend would make the nicest, lightweight drape for the lace pattern. Could you please advise on the number of balls that would be required?

  • GrannieK

    I'm not sure your info on stitch gauge is correct.  If you have more stitches than the gauge calls for you should go down a size or two in needle size and if you are under the number of stitches, you should go to a larger needle size.  I also don't think that washing a swatch by hand and laying it flat to dry will give the same gauge as washing it and drying it in the dryer, which is the way I handle my knits.  Laying flat always gives me a stretched out sweater.

  • Kathy

    Is there a "rule" about how many needle sizes you can go up or down without compromising the "holiness" of the sweater?  I need to go up 2 sizes of needles but it seems like the holes are so big that a shirt underneath would show through.  If you need to go up that many sizes is it better to choose a thicker yarn?

  • beachkoz

    OK - I'm in.  This will be my first kintted project in a long time.  Ya'll are gonna be there with me the entire way, right?  Afterall, this takes con$iderable inve$tment to end up with just another unfinished project in my closet. 

  • beachkoz

    Oh, I'm old, gray, approaching retirement, and loving every minute of it!  I would like my cardi with 3/4 sleeves and I love Emily Katehis's idea of a big button in the middle.  I'm making mine in the hottest pink I can find!

  • Ana Burton

    Hello, I like to do it with you all. Will be fun!!! how many balls are needed by weight, not in yardage for a size mediun/large? In my country the yarn is sold by weight.
    Thanks a lot.
    Ana Burton (Argentina)

  • Lori

    Hi from Northern California~

    I will give this a try too! It looks like it doesn't require too much yarn and it also looks like you could wear it with anything. I am going to try to make mine with a crocheted flower corsage near the shoulder. I might try a ribbon closure too.

    Happy knitting~

  • http://twitter.com/RanchmamaLaure Laure Stern

    this will be my first ever clothing project. am i ready to step up from scarves and pot holders. have to start some day! thanks for the support in this blog

  • Staceywk

    I've had lots of trouble knitting sweaters. Very excited for this!

  • Basket911

    I love this idea!  I'll be there all the way - can't wait to hear all the comments.  I will probably lengthen the sleeves and the body of the sweater on mine.  Plan to do it in a black sparkle yarn, if I can find it in cotton.

  • Ggclaudia

    I would like to join in for this KAL, but I can't. I am finishing a lace shawl right now and have two more to knit before I do anything else. I am going to keep track of what is going on and the changes that are made to the pattern as you go. It will probably be July before I can make this cardi. Good luck ladies, I am sure you will turn out some beautiful garments.

  • Mariarametta

    This will be my first project with sleeves! I made the basic shrug as a step up from scarfs and hats. It's great to have the help and support now that I'm ready to step it up. Think I will stay with the the stitch pattern suggested, but lenghten the sleeves ( that I will need help with) Don't know anything about adjusting a pattern so I will need help with this. I will buy the yarn tonight!

  • Joy C.

    I just made this pattern in Sugar 'n Cream and liked how it turned out. I gave that one away to a friend. Now I would like to make one for myself, but I'd like the length to be a little longer with 3/4" sleeves. Will you be discussing how to do the lengthening?

  • Kmabdo

    I've been wanting to try top- down construction. This will motivate me to do it! I hope I can squeeze it in with all my other WIP's.

  • Mboyd50403

    My concern is that I have a great deal of difficulty fitting any kind of top to my body. A size 12-14 fits my shoulders perfectly, but will not even come close to buttoning. I usually end up buying a size 16-18 which is huge at the armholes and upper chest and shoulders. I'm not seeing this patrern as one where I will be able to alter it for this problem.

    Adding length and adding lace or pattern is easy, my problem, however, is not. If there is any chance that this will be addressed, I'm all in!

  • beachkoz

    You sound so negative, but I guess you have your share of fitting troubles.  Try to be positive that this KAL is the answer.  I think you will find a positive attitude will be more much more successful.

  • needlingmomof6

    I am really looking forward to my first top down project! And my first KAL. I am currently working on a CAL on another blog and it is my first one ever. I love it so far!

    I have a beautiful gray yarn with pink flecks in it on hand that seems to be begging to be made into this cardi. Got it at a discount store so it doesn't have any real info on it, but it is easily a medium weight yarn, so I am going to go for it. I am thinking 3/4 sleeves. The idea of one large button also intrigues me - i'll have to decide as we go along.

  • knitmama

    my first knit along, im excited!

  • txcatgirl

    Going to Stitch Finder made me think about making the cardigan -- I'm thinking Cotton-Ease because I've had such good previous experience with it and would like it for spring -- as is but making some floral or maybe butterfly motifs to applique onto the surface. Not too many, just two or three on one of the fronts. Any ideas for which ones to make and how to group them? Thanks!

  • Maria R.

    Just realized I have 5 balls of Amazing that i will use. Do I still use the 2  suggested circular needles from the pattern? Seems as thought the Amazing yarn is much thinner than the cotton hemp or the wool-ease.P

  • Cgall6

    I am currently making this for my college age daughter in black tweed. It is coming out great and a lot of fun. Up to the back. Plan on using a stick closure instead of buttons.

  • Colorado DogWalker

    This looks like fun... and what a great mother's day gift it would make!  I'm going to try it as-is using some lovely green yarn that has refused to allow itself to be knit into two other projects.  How could it possibly object to this?  Can't wait to see the variations and colors everyone comes up with. 

  • Adriana

    i'm from France and I'm really happy to follow this KAL, because I actually want to start a top down cardigan. I want to knit it in wool and mohair (I already have it in my stash) and I want it long sleeve and with little ease.

  • Dsanewyork

    I'm thinking Amazing with stripes and maybe feather and fan lace around the bottom

  • Rosenorville

    Just read this and I think I will join you and others in giving this a try. I have never knitted a sweater ,but I am going to try and do this. I will use cotton ease because I have crochet with this amazing stuff before and it handles beautifully and is easy to care for. Wish me luck and I will be in touch.

  • http://twitter.com/JEDcraft Janice Eagan Designs

    Excited! I'm recovering from surgery and will have sitting time to spend on this. I'm going with the small size in Cotton Ease Cherry. I've never used circular needles so I'm looking forward to learning something new.

  • Janice

    Buying my yarn this weekend. I am excited about joining this knit-along!!

  • Bev Devine

    How can I obtain pattern for this cute little cardigan please. Bev

  • Mitti

    its a nice simple pattern but would be more helpful specially for the beginers if there is a video of the pattern whike being knittedw, wjuz like other knitting website, they have video link to the free patterns for the new learner of knitting. i like lion brand yarns and patterns, and ould lwike to wsee thwat twhewy wwwill wstart dwoing the video and free pattern knitting to be able to help those who want to learn and wimprove in knitting.

  • Urpesis

    My problem is small neck, narrow shoulders, no bust to speak of and a biggish belly compared to the rest.  Fitting is a bear with any top.  I need to knit the small and then from the bust down increase it for the belly without it looking strange.  Not sure how to do it.

  • Urpesis

    Where can I find Cotton-ease?

  • TheaM

    would love to join this kal - I've made many sweaters in worsted weight yarns in the neck down method - most of them knit, but a few crocheted too - great way to work a sweater - thinking I'll try it in cotton/bamboo this time.

  • TheaM


  • Valerie

    There are so many great yarns to choose from; I can't decide where to start. I love the idea of the little cardi that can go anywhere. I think the lace on the bottom will add a nice touch and I like the big button closing. And I have so many WIPs; I'm not sure if I will be able to join in or not.

  • Mariarametta

    Can someone tell me why we can  Amazing yarn which is so much thinner than the Vanna's Choice , Cotton Ease and the others. I am fairly new to knitting and would like to learn how to substitute. THanks

  • Morgan

    I would love to join this if I have the time and money! Definitely going to try a lace pattern if I can. Maybe just on the front panels, leaving a stitch or two in stockinette next to the raglan increasing. Does anyone know how long this KAL is going to go on for?

  • Jaklauss

    I have a bright Turquoise Cotton (Greek) that I bought on vacation in Bozeman, MT to do a top down short sleeve pullover...this looks like more fun.  I downloaded the pattern and have the yarn wound...I even knitted a swatch but plan on knitting another one with the needle size suggested (larger needle-7)  I took a class from Lily Chin and she suggested that you put 7 holes across the swatch if you use a size 7 needle  or 6 holes for a size 6 needle, etc.[use yo and k2tog to make holes]  I plan on doing that. 

  • Lori C.

    Hi All,
    I'm a beginner. Can't wait to try this. Need help though. The gauge is 17 stitches = a 4" row. Did I miss information on how many rows there should be in the 4" swatch? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

    Much Joy!
    Lori C.
    Southern California

  • Rehab Emam

    I am Rehab from Egypt, just started knitting couple months ago, always crocheted but now want to get deeper in knitting, I am new in top to down cardis but will be fun to try it, I always have problem in guages as  always I get bigger measurements in my pieces , tried big needles and smaller ones but still I get over measurements !!

  • Williamson30608

    I am an experienced crocheter, but lately have used a Knook to "knit" quite a few pieces.  I am going to try to use it to make this cardi.  Hope this is not blasphemy – it's just that, although I admire you knitters and your beautiful creations, I've never mastered two needles.

  • jmscheid

    I am going to gie it a try, hope I can do it.

  • Leone

    Hi -  I knitted this jacket last year - put 3/4 sleeves in it  -  easy as pie - just extend the length of sleeve
    before  decreasing.    Really handy when weather is changeable

  • Donna

    Hey!  I'm in!  Been knitting for a while, but never a knit-along like this.  Sounds like fun!!!  d

  • Sewjesse

    I am going to make this in R E D red! That way I can wear it in the winter, fall and spring......cute over a yellow dress I think....would like 3/4 sleeves but I kinda like the body as is!

  • Sylvia

    This will be my first KAL and my first top to bottom knit so am really looking forward to this project. Will definitely choose a button closure and like the idea of some sort of cabling or lace column pattern on the front. I live in France but am English. Happy knitting everyone!

  • Lulu

    Hello, This looks really nice and I would love to join the knit along, I am in the UK so would any DK yarn work? And how many grms would I need and what size needles in mm please Many thanks Lulu xx

  • Vana

    Hi, everyone. This is the first KAL I've ever joined, but want to try it.  I seem to always be warm here in central Delaware so will try a cotton-ease sweater. I'm fairly tall so will also lengthen the body. Other than that, I think I'll keep to the pattern as simple things make me happy.

    Happy Knitting!

  • Michelesfibers

    I have some Patons Grace, 2 skeins in solid purple and 5 skeins of purple varigated that I'm going to try a swatch in. Also some Bernat cotton Peace and Love in Denim blue and swatch that too. 

  • Linda

    Wow --- I just started this sweater last week and have about 4 inches done, so was happy to see that I can continue by following along with everyone else.  Am using Berroco Boboli and it's gorgeous.

  • Randy

    I moved to West Virginia this fall and had to leave all my knitting buddies in Maryland.  I have been so lonesome for my knitting group.  I saw your knit along posting in my emails this morning and now I am looking forward to making that wonderful cardi.  I am off to the store to buy my cotton ease so I will be all ready to begin.  Wow !  How happy can one gal be??

  • Sandy

    Is the pattern being used the same as #70111?  I started this pattern but never got very far.  I am excited to try again knowing I will have help along the way.

  • Javagirl

    Hi, I'm an intermediate knitter but have never been into knitting sweaters. I tried to crochet one but it was very unflattering to my curvy figure and made me look fat. I'm trying this pattern in hopes of making something open weave, and light weight for the summer to drape over my cotton tank tops. Do you have any suggestions on yarn & stitch pattern for this? I am also thinking I should make it a little longer so I can give the waist some shape as I have a big decrease from my chest to waist measurement.

  • Elsa

    My first KAL, as many here. I love the simplicity of the pattern so I will make it as is, althought I love Lori's idea of the flower on the shoulder, may have to try that :-)

    I'm looking forward to knitting in a virtual group!


  • Regina354

    Wonderful response to this pattern - I have one in progress - working the body below the sleeves, I plan to extend the sleeves and body length.   Looking forward to the finnish project.

  • Vatk

    I am new to knitting and do not have circular needles, can straight be used?

  • memorris

    I'm from the UK.  Although I'm an experienced knitter I've never knitted anything from the top down.  This looks to be just the job to have a go at.  I'm in, and looking forward to wearing in the summer.

  • MamaZennie

    Ooh, this is just the push I needed to frog a too small bolero. Now I have just enough Cotton-Ease in Lake to make this cardi. I'm not crazy about all the ribbing, so I might try a picot or shell edging to soften it a bit.

  • Darlene

    I am thinking of knitting this pattern,have a little experience with knitting blankets but would like to try something new.Will follow your blog. In the directions,it calls for size 6 and 7 needles...is this 6mm and 7mm?

  • JoAnne

    On this raglan sleeve cardi - why not add stitches for the button/buttonhole bands when you cast on?
    It would save having to go back and pick up stitches later, and be so much easier.

  • Eileen

    Hi, I'm excited to join in...my first KAL and my first knitting of anything fitted. I am a sock and shawl knitter for the most part but have been wanting to do something along these lines for a while. Plus, I usually knit for others and want to knit something nice for myself for a change : ) Going to get swatching now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Gulyas/100002985717801 Sharon Gulyas

    I've not got my yarn . I like the ragian sleeve cardi. I've never been into sweaters. I hope I can

  • Jhstrait1939

    Has anyone bought the  "Needle Master Set w/case"   Interchangeable for circular needles, I have some circular needles that seem to catch or snag my yarn.  Need some input before I invest that kind of money.  I love the shrug, plan on knitting and I enjoy all the Lion Brand offerings and advise.

  • Maggwhlz

    Hello my name is Maggie, this is my very first knit along and my very first cardi. It's all I can think about. I already purchased my yarn online a 100% cotton in country red. I am gifting this to my Mom for Mothers Day. I was hoping to get direction on what to do next. I'm terribly nervous and excited all at the same time. I don't get out much lol.

  • Joyce

    I have been knitting for 65 years but now my eyesight is going so this simple pattern is great for me.  I have done raglan pullovers but never a cardi.  I like raglan because I have very broad shoulders that are hard to fit with a set-in sleeve.  Never done a KAL before but might join this one if I can get (afford!) the yarn in time.

  • Olga here, looking forward to my second KAL.  Not sure which yarn I will use but will post it later.  Lauren, the cable swatch that you chose, will you do this all over?  I was interested in doing the mock right twist but I've only made one sweater before and it was in St st so pretty easy.  Could I do the twist just in the front ?  Or should I just stick to the original pattern?  I'm just not sure how to.  Thanks

  • Karen

    So excited to start a new project. I'll be using Cotton Ease in white, but will work the patttern "as is," I have limited experience knitting, so changing it up is not really an option.

  • Shirlmac

    I have never used markers in knitting before are they easy to use 

  • Puncheaven

    This looks like fun to do a KAL. I have always wanted to do a cardiac but too afraid to do on my own!

  • Annie

    Hello from California!
    I'm excited to start my first KAL with you all! I just picked up my Cotton Ease yarn in lime. I think I'll follow the pattern as is for my teenage daughter, and if it turns out OK, I'll make another one for myself with 3/4 sleeves and a little longer length.

  • beachkoz

    Markers are wonderful.  Very easy to use.  

  • beachkoz

    I got my yarn today.  After 1 needle change and 4 swatches I think I'm ready to begin.  Happy knitting everyone!

  • http://www.CynsQuiltedTravels.blogspot.com/ Cyn;-) in S. Calif

    So happy to have found this KAL. I have never made a sweater from the top down before so am looking forward to giving this a try. I am intrigued with the comments about adding lace - I might try a lace insert down both or one front and perhaps a touch of ribbon embroidery. I need to decide on yarn and knit up a swatch! This will be so much fun... I am excited! Thank you for hosting this KAL and providing fitting tips along the way.
    Cyn; -)
    in S. Calif

  • Wanda

    Hi everyone.  I am SO EXCITED about this KAL.  I have never done one before.  I am kind of new to knitting, trying it off and on several times before.  I have done a couple of scarves, but have not had much success with guage on the few simple tops i tried.  Recently we started a once a week knitting group at work during lunch.  I am loving it.  Knitting with others is such a joy!  I really like this pattern.  Also thinking about 3/4 sleeves.  The lace sounds lovely, but not sure how you would work in the pattern.  I really like reading the posts, because I have fitting problems as well,  So I am very interested in seeing how everyone goes about making adjustments.  Please keep the posts coming!  Happy knitting!

  • williams.sharon

    It would be really cool to do this cardi with a cable running down each shoulder and one down each front. Can you share with me how to make this change? I am worried that I don't have enough experience to do it all in the lace, which would be SO beautiful. Not sure if keeping st st along the seams would look good, and that would be the only way I know that would allow a 8 stitch pattern repeat. Any ideas from all of you experienced knitters out there???

  • Plaiddragon

    I am looking forward to this, as I've never done a KAL before.  I've made about a dozen top-down cardis, but never from a formal pattern.  My mom taught me the 'percent system'.  I already have some cotton yarn that I've been wanting to use and I think this will be perfect.  I'm already planning to add a pocket or two and some length to the body and the sleeves.  If it works out, I'll be making a couple more for xmas.

  • Meg Mccarthy

    Sounds like fun! I may try to make the sweater a bit longer, but otherwise it looks cute as is!

  • sewandquilt

    If I want the neck to be less open (a tad higher) would I cast on fewer stitches to begin?

  • Michelle

    I would like to make this in a drapey cotton rayon kind of yarn,  I am alergic to wool.  Any suggestions?

  • Carolyn Tolo

    I love this pattern. and thanks for the knit-along.  That makes it more fun.  How often will we get updates on your blog?      CArolyn  Tolo

  • Maria R.

    I just knitted a 4" swatch with Amazing yarn with #7 needles and I have too many stitches. I think if I have to go up 2 needle sizes it would be too "loose" and not look right.I think a single strand of Amazing is just too thin, I may try doubling the strand to see if I get the gauge if that doesnt work i will have to try another yarn.

  • Dawn

    I just purchased my yarn today, bought Amazing yarn in Acadia.  Love the colors.  I have made a swatch but it looks like I will have to adjust the needle size.  I have to admit I am a lazy knitter in that I have never knitted a swatch before starting a project.  I just knit and hope all turns out okay.  As you can imagine, it doesn't work out too often with sweaters.  I do have several WIPs as I am not very confident with sewing seams.  I have knitted this sweater before and enjoyed it and it fits.  I am excited to join this KAL and am starting off on the right foot by planning on doing everything right from the beginning.  I have purchased extra yarn so that I can make adjustments.  Happy knitting everyone!  Dawn

  • Joyce

    I, too, have ordered Amazing yarn for this pattern.  I have worked with it before and I know it is a little thin but I hope I can make it work as I really want the self striping.  I also have a mild wool alergy but hope I can handle this little bit touching my skin.  Excited to get started!

  • Idaho Beauty

    I've made this and loved the top down construction. However, the neck band was so stretchy I had to weave a strand of yarn along the edge, pull it up to size and secure it. Hoping you may show an alternative casting on method that will solve that problem for me.

  • Stephanie Janes

    I can't wait to try this KAL... I'm hoping that following a long I won't frog this like I do with so many projects

  • newgram

    I'm looking forward to joining this group project - going to use Nature's Choice. Love the feel of this soft, organic yarn. Anyone else using it?

  • Darmstrong18

    Hi! I'm excited about making this cardi. I've only ever made baby clothing. I'm finishing up a sweater for my nephew now. It will be nice to make something for myself. I was a little intimidated by the top down construction, but I will attempt it with your help. I bought my yarn, and I've just finished my gauge. I'm using   Impeccable by Loops&Threads in Aran. My stitch gauge is correct, but it takes me 25 rows to make 4 inches. So I guess I'll have to adjust the length as I go. If it turns out well, I plan on making more in different colors.

  • Martha Butala

    Oh I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.
    I'm definitely going to make one for myself.

    Martha Butala
    martha_butala@yahoo:disqus .com

  • beachkoz

    what does it mean to 'frog' a project?  curious where the slang came from.

  • Mlwooten17

    Hi, my name is Melissa. This will be my first Cardi. Really looking forward to it. :)

  • Hi!  This will be my first KAL.  I've never made a top down sweater for myself.  I can't wait to choose my yarn from my overflowing stash.  I will post more about changes to the pattern once I choose my yarn.  I'm from Virginia and have been knitting for over 30 years.  I look forward to this new adventure.

  • Briarhopper96

    I have some gorgeous yarn that was a gift from my mother-in-law which I would like to use, but it is sock weight. Would this pattern be difficult to translate to that weight yarn?

  • Christin

    I have been knitting for a couple of years and have never tried to make a sweater because it intimidates me.  I am really excited to make my first sweater while participating in my first knit-along!!

  • Christy

    I am in! This will be 1st knit along. I've made my 13 year old daughter a couple of similar garments. It is time for me!!! I'll post back later with yarn decision. Probably small or medium........need to measure.

  • Sarah

    HI!  I am from San Jose, CA.  I'd love to try this knit-a-long.  The pattern looks easy to follow.  It will be my first time knitting a cardi and joining a knit-a-long.  I don't know what color I've decided yet.  Can't wait to get started!   

  • Ejgillem

    I'm in! I have been knitting for many years, but always for other people. This is for me. Can't wait to find yarn and get started.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I3MXP3W67B3XHAV3NNFUUBOOMM Angyl

    This is my first knit-along, and perhaps the first garment made for myself. I'm excited to make the pattern my own. I like the idea of a lacy front. Sounds very springy to me.

  • williams.sharon

    I agree with others that the neck of this cardi seems too large, and I would like to raise and tighten it up a bit. (It never gets THAT hot here in Calgary). I was also thinking of making the sleeves full length.

     Changed my mind about the pattern when I went to my local Michaels and they were SOLD OUT of Cotton-ease!  But I did find Paton's Mosaic, which is a lively varigate in about the same weight as Cotton-ease. Mine stripes from yellow -orange through the rainbow to purple in bright, saturated hues. I chose a solid yellow-orange colour for the ribbing and found a package of bright buttons in 7 different colours that just goes with the yarn perfectly, so I will be making buttonholes in the front band.(I am an artist, and I think this sweater says it all!!!) I am so excited. If this goes well, I will do another one incorporating the lace another time, using all the suggestions given here.

  • williams.sharon

    Where can we post photos of our projects along the way?

  • Nancy

    I have already cast on the neckline, and have finished about an inch of ribbing.  I'm using Caron's "Simply Soft" from my stash - can't afford any new yarn at the moment.  My problem is size, of course.  I measure 52" at the bustline.  I'm making the largest (2X) size,  and since I usually have to drop at least one needle size to get gauge, I'm staying with the recommended sizes.  I want the sweater to be a little bigger around the body, because I live in the north woods and all sweaters must do more than just look pretty!  :-)  I will lengthen the sleeves a bit, though, to give a nod to the weather.  I do like the large neckline because it will be a sweet frame for a turtleneck or a pretty blouse!  Layering is everything up here - and it will also work in the few weeks of summer we do have!!

  • Nancy

    I know this is a Lion Brand site, but please help me - I have such a huge stash to use up.  Has anyone ever made this lovely little sweater using Malabrigo?  I have some gorgeous colors in that yarn, waiting to become something beautiful!!

  • Karyn Settles

    I think I may try to knit along with you.  I made this pattern a while back in a cotton and think I want to do it in wool.  I'm very interested in finding out more about adding a lace or cable motif to the cardi and where I could put them.  I also will be lengthing the sleeves and body of the sweater.  I have some black wool so I'll need to swatch a couple of cable and lace patterns to see how they look since sometimes cable patterns get lost in the color

  • williams.sharon

    Seamless Crazy Lace Cardigan AT HALF PRICE!!!! Sorry Lion Brand, but they scooped you :-) 

  • Danielle

    So, I went ahead and started the cardi. I'm on row 1 (size 37 1/2), and I'm having a problem. It says I should have 96 sts by the end of the row, and I do, but there are only instructions for 94 sts. What should I do with the last two stitches?

  • williams.sharon

    I need help please!! I knit and washed and dried my swatches -one using size 8 needles = 16 st/4", the other is size 7 needles =18 st/4". Which needle size should I use??? I am making the medium size.

  • Becky

    Hi, I'm Becky from the UK and love the simple look of this cardigan so I think as this is my first top down cardigan I shall stick pretty much to the pattern in the first instance. If I love the finished garment then I like the idea f being able to play around with the design and seeing other peoples ideas. I have already completed my swatch, and couldn't wait to cast on - now working on the yoke.

  • Ann

    I don't knit anything that needs a fit...shawls, wraps, etc....I do want to try making this.  I am going to go with the Cotton Ease yarn.  I know I can do this and make it fit...I think I would want to make it longer...okay now to buy yarn! 

  • Howdy! I'm Kim from Connecticut. I am currently a stay at home mom. I have just recently started knitting again. I have previously only made hats and scarves so I am looking forward to the challenge of making this cardi. I have also never done a KAL so it should be intersting!

  • I went through my stash of cottons and found a variegated cotton from Bernat. I have a variegated in white, pink and orange and coral.  I also have a solid coral.  I plan to make the ribbing in the coral, the variegated down to the armhole in the basic pattern, then change to the fan and lace pattern, striping the two yarns.  At least that's what's going through my mind.  I will also use the fan and lace pattern to increase the sleeves to 3/4 at this same junction.  I have completed my swatch and am on gauge, I just need to wash it and remeasure.  Will keep you posted on my progress.

  • williams.sharon

    The model in the photo is SO THIN!! Most of us are not built like that (can I have an Amen?). Glad you posted the link to show the sweater on 'real' people!! Did they have to do any alterations to the fit for the general pattern, besides just adding the lace at the bottom?

  • Parkers1

    I started a top down cardi class about a year ago.  I was not happy with the color of yarn I picked or the way the cardi looked after I started.  I ripped out all I had done and reballed the yarn.  I really like this pattern and am going to try it with the same yarn.  I am excited about joining the KAL

  • LisaE

    I am wondering what you all think about making the ribbing opne color and the biosy another?  For example, black ribbing with a cream body?

  • LisaE

    What do you all think about two toned, using one color for the ribbing and another color for the body.  Maybe black ribbing with a cream colored body?

  • Hi from Cranbrook BC Canada. I am looking forward to this knit along. I have a nice cotton and silk blend and have made adjustment for the slightly different gauge. I am going to do the rib in a purple and the main body in taupe. I am not sure if I will do a different stitch. I am quite fond the the stockinette look. I am considering a lacy pattern on  the bottom though similar to the yellow cardi in the photo. Have fun everyone!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190986413 Wendi Moore

    I'm Wendi from Portland, OR, and I love to knit.  I've made top down sweaters for my daughter, but not one for myself.  I would like to do 3/4 length sleeves instead of short sleeves.  I'm using a beautiful navy soft yarn and I might add some small cables to the front panels.  Not sure yet.  I'm doing 3/4 length sleeves because the summers here in the Pacific Northwest are still a little chilly, and this will be a summer sweater.  If it turns out well, I might do another in another color.

  • Craftygirl

    I've made this pattern twice.  Once, exactly as the pattern indicates, and once with self-striping yarn for the body, solid ribbing, longer sleeves and length, and addiing a large button at the top.  Both came out great.  This is a very versatile pattern and I'd like to try it with an open eyelet design.  So many options, so little time.  This is a great pattern for anyone, any age.

  • Shirlmac

    Hi thanks for help with stitch markers, have used them now, but when I had knit a few lines and got into the pattern I discarded them as I find they get in the way' I am from the UK and this is my first KAL and am really enjoying it. Love all the comments 

  • Mariarametta

    Hi, A 10.5 needle will make my gauge I need so do I keep that needle for the larger one I need and use a 10 for the smaller needle. Please advise. thanks

  • Sara Gilbert

    Think this will be a fun project.  Love doing top down sweaters. I learned to make them many years ago when I learned to knit.  I made my daughter's Barbie sweaters.  It was a great way to learn the technique.Have my yarn, swatch, and am ready to start.

  • Patty McD

    I am thinking about doing the Pointelle lace stitch in panels down each front.  But if we are knittng it top down, wouldn't that reverse the lace stitch.  Should we knit the lace opposite as written?

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2012/03/01/custom-raglan-cardi-knit-along-knitting-the-yoke/ Custom Simple Raglan Cardi Knit-Along Week #2: Knitting the Yoke | Lion Brand Notebook

    [...] Welcome to the Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along! [...]

  • Plaiddragon

    I had to wait for someone for a few hours, so I cast on my sweater and got started.  I have about four inches of stockinette so far, and I am really pleased at how friendly the pattern is.  My only concern is that the 29inch needle is not going to comfortably hold all the stitches (I am long from shoulders to underarm, so I will be doing extra rows before the sleeves).  I see a newly-purchased 40inch needle in my immediate future.

  • williams.sharon


  • Ann

    I have cast one and did the neck ribbing....now I have about 2 inches of the ss on the needles....wish I had longer needles than 29 inches so I could stretch it out and see how it fits/looks....I sure hope it turns out!  I love the pattern and so far no problems, but .......it'll be good!:)


    Sunday evening, northern Minnesota.

    Hi, gals.  I am at a nasty  point.  I've begun the sweater, cast on the proper # of stitches for the 2X size.  I'm using Caron's Simply Soft Shadows (light navy with a faint lighter thread mixed in once in a while .  I've finished 2 inches of ribbing  and about 2.5 inches of stockinette (love this yarn - so soft, of course!)  The pattern YARN says 16 sts./4 inches on a #8 needle to get gauge.   The pattern itself says the gauge is 17 sts/4 inches on a #7 needle.  Confusing right off the bat, I see.  Now the yarn I'm using is 17 sts/ 4 inches on a #8, but I'm getting 20 sts/4 inches!   Got all that?  If I continue with current yarn and instructions for 2X, I believe I'll get a noticeably smaller sweater.  Somebody agree with me there, so I can go on.

    Okay -  I actually measure 52 inches, so I want to make a size 3X.  Now don't go away, please!!  Originally thought if I went up to a size 8 needle (one size larger than pattern specified, I'd get a little bigger sweater.  Not happening.  So I'm thinking of ripping out back to the ribbing, which is salvageable.  So - -

    First of all, has anyone done the instruction changes for the basic pattern for a size 3X? 

    Next, I have some marvelous green/deep blue Malabrigo worsted that knits 4-5 spi (that would be 16-20 sts/4 inches) on needles size 7-9.  I'm getting more interested in doing this with Malabrigo as I type.

    Not a big fan of swatching, but I can see the benefit if I do this now with the Malabrigo.  Only problem is - what gauge am I trying to get?  If I get the gauge as in the pattern and use the recommended number of stitches for the size 2X, my sweater will be too small.  I definitely need to cover the big "ladies" that God blessed me with. 

    If I keep up with the Simply Soft I will get a sweater that's too small for me but would be about right for my daughter, who lives in France.  But she's gotten more than she should have the past few years, and it's time for me to have something nice and new!!

    Now I have upsized a few sweater patternss in the past, and will do this one if need be. Takes quite a while, though.  So I thought I'd ask first if anyone has done it for this sweet one.  I do so want to make it!

    Don't know how things will post here, but I am:

    Nancy Reed (Austin High School, Chicago)  on Facebook

    chicagoboots(AT sign)gmail.com on google mail

    geminiknitter on Ravelry



    4 March 2012

    Hi, KAL managers.  I do not get the email updates for this KAL - what have I done wrong? 

    Also, pursuant to my long email about gauge, if I go to a #9 or #10 needle with the Malabrigo yarn and use the stitch counts for the size 2X, might that give me a 3X size?  Frustrating, this gauge business - always!!


    I have no answer to my gauge question, so I've moved to another approach.  I have such a huge stash that I can't afford to buy any more yarn, as much as I'd like to do this in Cotton Ease.  Maybe next time.
    Anyway.  I have lots of Malabrigo, and now I'm thinking of using some of that.  I've done a small swatch, and have about 18 stitches to 4 inches, on a size 10 needle.  Pattern advises 17 st/4 inches.  I'm getting 1 extra stitch every 4 inches.  That sounds like an extra 12 inches, for instance, around the chest.  Yippee!  I want it bigger than a 2X (2X = 48 inches? - - - but I digress). 

    Please tell me that I can do this sweater, have it fit me (a 3X) and love it!!   :^)   I have lots of yarn......and it wasn't cheap.  And it was blooming - sticking together! - as I wound the first skein!  I must use it!

  • http://blog.lionbrand.com/2012/03/08/custom-raglan-cardi-knit-along-dividing-the-body-and-adding-waist-shaping/ Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along Week 3: Adding Waist Shaping | Lion Brand Notebook

    [...] Welcome to the Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along! [...]

  • I am joining in this KAL late! I have been swatching this week but can't get gauge. Will start again tonight with a new needle. I seem to be a tight knitter and should probably always start at least one needle larger than the pattern calls for! Might save some time... I chose Vanna's Choice in Dark Grey Heather. I think it will turn out pretty!! I have crocheted a few shrugs but never knitted a sweater before... 

  • beachkoz

    Everyone must be knitting like crazy, or on Spring Break.  No one is posting much.  Have we lost interest in our KAL already?

  • http://www.hotfrog.co.uk/Companies/StickersMarket-co-uk-Custom-Stickers-Printing stickers


    [...]Custom Simple Raglan Cardi Knit-Along Week #1: Yarn Selection & Swatching | Lion Brand Notebook[...]...

  • Kimallison

    I got the nerve to start this sweater only because of the help available thru the KAL.  Funny thing is, I finished the sweater before I ever got around to figuring out how to join in the conversation!  If this actually shows up on the KAL site, I'll have to take a picture of my sweater to share here.  I added a feather and fan pattern on the back and both sides of the front, keeping a few inches of stockinette on both sides between the patterned areas and a narrower stockinette section between the feather/fan and the front edges where the ribbing was added on.