Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Knit Flattering Raglans

At a recent Knit night when asked what I was knitting, I showed a bottom up raglan I'm working on. We ended up having the "raglans are not flattering discussion". This is another one of the sound bite statements in the knitting world that I take issue with.

You can read the row gauge doesn't matter post here and the stripes aren't flattering post here.

Garments are created with multiple components and variations that all work together with the individual shape of the wearers body. Look at the photos of the raglan at the top of the post. This garment is a top down raglan. What element is your eye first drawn to? Mine goes to the textural cable stitch patterns first. Now look at the raglan line. It's not very noticeable is it? I used lifted increases on either side of a single stitch. This garment was customized for me from the original design, the pattern photo looked like this:
The pattern includes the modification instructions for a variety of body shapes. It also includes several methods to make the raglan shaping. Some are more discreet, some use yarn overs as a decorative detail like this version below.

Let's look at this garment modeled by Deb (my co-author).
This raglan has the added element of colour creating a striping effect and a face framing collar. 

Now it's your turn, what elements make the garment below flattering to the wearer? Hint, list the design elements.

  • V neckline
  • Vertical columns of lace
  • Waist shaping
  • Detail on the cuffs
  • Body shape flares out from the waist to the hem
  • Texture and colour variation of the yarn used
BTW: you get extra points if you noticed that all of the garments have V necklines, all have an eye catching element of some sort and most include some form of a vertical design element.


  1. I will vouch for the beauty of the grey sweater. I saw you wearing it at the KW fair in 2012 and it was a beauty with great fit.

    1. Thanks, I've worn it a lot and always felt good doinf so!