Focus on Fit: Raglan Series

If you love to crochet or knit raglan sweaters, our second Focus on Fit series is for you. If you hate to make raglans, this series is for you too—it can help you determine why you hate them (unflattering to your figure or problems in construction) and if there’s any solution that can turn hate into love. Here are links and descriptions for the entire second series that include the top-down raglan and compound methods.

1. Top-Down Raglan Sweaters: Secret to Fit

We love top-down raglan sweaters, but they pose some challenges for construction and fit. So for a series of posts on this beloved type of sweater, we called in an expert to share her advice: crochet and knitting designer Lily Chin. She loves top-down raglan sweaters—minimal finishing, plus you can try on as you go. (Later in this series, Lily will explain more advanced techniques specific to crocheters, such as using gauge and graph paper, adapting existing patterns, and planning a top-down raglan. Some of our knitting gurus will jump in occasionally with craft-neutral tips.) Read more . . .

focus on fit

2. Lily Chin’s Raglan Secrets: Gauge & Graph Paper

If you love making top-down raglans, Lily Chin’s secrets to fit will help you create great-fitting sweaters. Here, she explains how graph paper can help you map out measurements for a sweater and how gauge translates these measurements into stitches and rows. Read more . . .

focus on fit

3. Focus on Fit: Plan Your Own Top-Down Raglan

By now, you should have taken your essential body measurements for a top-down raglan. You may have even transferred those measurements to graph paper to make a schematic and calculated how many stitches you’ll need to increase over how many rows. Now let’s explore increasing for top-down raglans more specifically. Read more . . .

focus on fit

4. Adapting Patterns for Better-Fitting Raglans

In this post, we want to cover the “why” as well as the “how” for raglan fit—why you might want to adapt a pattern, then how to do it. Yes, we’ve got ulterior motives: we’ve each recently added a top-down raglan to our project queues, and each of us anticipates making at least 1 basic adjustment to her chosen pattern. These modifications will flatter our body types, so that we feel beautiful in our new garments. That’s the “why”; for the “how,” we’ll apply suggestions from previous posts to existing patterns. Read more . . .

focus on fit

5. Flip Your Sweater: Convert a Sweater Pattern

Crocheters and knitters love to tinker as they make sweaters. Truly committed sweater engineers especially love turning construction methods upside-down, switching top-down construction into bottom-up or the other way around. Sometimes we do it just for the fun. Other times, it’s advantageous to convert a sweater pattern: when you’re working in the round on a raglan, turning the construction method upside-down can offer some advantages. Read more . . .

6. How to Refine Sweater Fit with Compound Raglan Shaping

If you’re not a raglan-lover, decide whether your lack of affection stems from this sweater’s armhole shaping and how it works for your unique figure, or if you simply need to tweak fit as you make your raglans. We’ve already covered many fitting tips and techniques in this series, and here’s our final suggestion: compound raglan shaping can also refine fit. Compound raglans literally bend the curve, adding small arcs along the raglan line that help sweater fabric lay more smoothly on the upper body’s curves. Read more . . .

focus on fit

Ready to get started? Here is a list of raglan patterns you will enjoy making!


  1. The Wintertide Sweater, by Natasha Robarge, from Interweave Crochet Winter 2019
  2. The Pampered Pajamas, by Jane Howorth, from Interweave Crochet Winter 2018
  3. The Citizen Pullover, by Kabila Sri Ponnusamy, from Interweave Crochet Spring 2017
  4. The Floret Crop Top, by Lily Chin, from Interweave Crochet Spring 2017
  5. The Beach Hoodie, by Peter Franzi, from Interweave Crochet Spring 2016


  1. The Rhizome Pullover, by Cheryl Toy, from Interweave Knits Winter 2019
  2. The Yarmouth Pullover, by Mary Anne Benedetto, from Interweave Knits Fall 2018
  3. The Indigo Trader Cardigan, by Vanessa Ewing, from Interweave Knits Summer 2018
  4. The Compass Rose Pullover, by Kiri FitzGerald, from Interweave Knits Spring 2018
  5. The Bristol Raglan, by Kephren Pritchett, from Interweave Knits Spring 2017

Posted on July 1, 2017. Updated on January 29, 2019.

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