PROJECT – RIDGED RAGLAN

A break from the monolith of text that this blog has become.

I’ve been having an on-line chat with a knitter looking for something to do with a pile of small balls/many colors of worsted weight yarn salvaged from a ravelled back Intarsia sweater. I recommended the Ridged Raglan from Knitters Magazine #54,?Spring 1999 issue.

This is my 6-year old’s all-time favorite sweater:

Also please excuse the blurry photo. Some days the camera and I get along, others we war. Believe it or not, this is the best of ten shots.

This pattern is by Gerdine Crawford Strong, and in my opinion is the last thing?Knitters published that was a "gotta knit it" project, and the last thing I’ve made from their pages. But my disappointment in their current direction is food for another day’s post.

Ms. Strong’s pattern is pretzel-clever. It’s knit vertically, with the arm and front (or back) panel knit at the same time – decreases form the raglan lines. The "ribbing" bands at waist and cuff are actually garter stitch worked at the same time as the sweater arms/body. The idea is presented in sizes from little kid through adult XXL, and as both a pullover and as a cardigan. It calls for a worsted weight acrylic, but anything knitted to the same gauge can be used.

I hate to make more than one of anything, but I’ve done three of these sweaters. One was a two-blues cardigan in Encore (a mostly acrylic/wool blend); the one above is a pullover in three citrus colors of?Record 210, an Aran weight unmercerized cotton; and one was?a pullover in Tahki Cotton Classic, all in tiny balls salvaged from a five-pastel intarsia project abandoned by my mother. For the latter two I had to play a bit with the pattern to accommodate differences in gauge.

As you can see, there are tons of scope for fun with this project. It’s a great vehicle for using up bits and drabs. You need one color for the purl welts that?unite the piece as a whole (in my case, navy blue, orange and white respectively), but the individual stockinette stripes can be anything, from scraps leftover from several different projects to one of those hand-dyed yarns that can be so challenging to use effectively.

My only caution is that if you do choose to use cotton take care with the cuffs. Knit an extra garter stitch ridge, and try to work them loosely otherwise they can be too tight for quick dressing. Wool and wool blends however are naturally more elastic than cotton, and don’t present this problem.

If you go searching for the Knitters #54, Spring 1999, it looks like this:

A final note to US citizens – go vote or lose your right to complain for the next four years.

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