The beginning of my process was to figure out how much yarn I needed. Karen Templer’s Top Down Tutorial mentioned using Stashbot (An app available for ios. They are working on an Android version) or to find a pattern you like. I used the Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover by Jane Richmond. This was one of the patterns recommended in the tutorial. For my bust size, it recommended 1338 yards. I ordered 10 skeins (Each skein of the Cestari 100% Fine Merino is 175 yards.). I figured the leftover yarn could be a hat or mitts.
Yesterday, I swatched my sweater. The swatch on top was knit on size 7 needles and the bottom was knit on size 8 needles. There was very little difference in my swatches. I decided to go with the size 8 needles for two reasons:
1. I think the swatched fabric looks better on the size 8 needle. There is a little bit better stitch definition. The size 7 stitches look just a bit squished together.
2. After looking at the swatches, I decided to see what needle size was recommended for my yarn. It turned out to be size 8.
My first decision was to choose a reversible (No difference in front and back of sweater.) Or shaped sweater (Discernable back and front i.e. the front of the neck sits lower than the back.) I opted for a shaped sweater.
I cast on my stitches based on my neck measurement, which was 7 inches. My size 8 swatch produced 3.25 stitches per inch by 5 rows per inch. I decided to build in a little ease so I added on a few stitches to get to 25 ((7 x 3)+ 4).
From there, the Tutorial said to cast on 30% of the neck stitches for each sleeve (25 x 30%), which yielded 7.5 and I decided to add 3.5 to add ease so I settled on 11.
I need to account for 1 stitch on each side for the neck.
My total to cast on is 49 and I added 2 more stitches to build a little ease in.
Then I decided I wanted seaming in my sweater so I need 2 stitches per raglan seam (2 x 4) for each shoulder. All that means is a reshuffling of where you place your stitch markers.
I cast on 51 stitches with markers placed in between each section: 1/2/9/2/23/2/9/2/1
As a CPA, I am used to having a “check figure,” so out of curiosity, I checked to see how close my number of cast-on stitches were to the Classic Raglan Pullover. The pattern recommend 52 stitches.
How awesome is that?!
This process is terrific and I am learning so much…and I have only cast on.
Now, it is time to get to work knitting.