Linda’s favorite top down raglan cardigan pattern

I’ve made several of these this year, fine tuning as I’ve gone along. I love this pattern. It can be knitted plain or jazzed up with cables or with other colors. It’s easy to size, just by knitting increases along the raglan edge to the underarm, until the length from shoulder to underarm is correct. Adjust the length of the sleeves and body by adding or deleting rows. And, there’s no sewing together at the end! Hallelujah! Currently, I’m knitting one in charcoal gray for my daughter. This one will have silver buttons, I think. Here’s my best version to date.

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

About 750 yards of worsted weight yarn.

Stitch markers, scrap yarn.

size 8 24″ circular, or needle size to obtain gauge.

Cast on 87  stitches. Work K1, P1 ribbing for 1″.

Next row (RS): K 15, pm, K 13, pm, K 31, pm, K 13, pm, K15.

Next row (WS): K 5, purl to last 5 sts, K5.

Row 1 (RS): *K to 1 st before marker, Kf&b, sl m, Kf&b* repeat from * to * 3 more times. K to end of row.

Row 2 (WS): K 5, purl to last 5 stitches, K 5.

If you wish to add buttonholes, put the first one in the third row. My method: K4, pass third stitch over 4th, K1. On the next row, I cast on 1 stitch over the passed one. I add buttonholes every 12 ridges after the first one.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until raglan length (along increases) measures about 10″ or desired length. (recommended: Slip the stitches to scrap yarn and try it on; finish with a wrong side row when the increase lines meet under your arm.

Next row (RS): K to first marker, slip stitches between next two markers onto scrap yarn (these are the sleeve stitches), cast on 5 stitches to the right-hand needle, K to next marker, slip stitches between marker to scrap yarn, cast on 5 stitches to right-hand needle, K to end of row.

Work back and forth in stockinette, until the body is 10″ or two inches short of total desired length. Work K1, P1 ribbing for two inches.  Bind off in pattern.

Slip sleeve stitches back onto circular needle. I use the magic loop method for the sleeves, but you can use a 16″ circular if desired. Pick up and knit 3 stitches under the arm, place marker, pick up and knit 2 stitches, and join. Knit in the round, decreasing on either side of the marker every 5 rows to desired narrowness. Knit straight until sleeve is 2″ short of desired length, work K1, P1 ribbing for two inches and then bind off in pattern. Repeat for other sleeve.

Sew on buttons opposite the button holes.


9 thoughts on “Linda’s favorite top down raglan cardigan pattern

  1. Okay, I’ve decided to tackle a cardigan for my son for NaKniSweMo, and this looks to be the easiest pattern I can find. I can tell I’m going to need help with resizing for a lanky seven-year-old boy, though! To add to the challenge, I would like to dress up either side of the front with cables. Am I crazy, or can this be done by a knitter of modest ability?

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