Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Compounding the problem

Lilknitter asked me a question in the comments to my last post: what is a compound raglan? And so, I'm going to attempt to answer her - even though I'm wildly unqualified to do so, seeing as I'm currently knitting the yoke of my first ever self-designed project, and I'm not even using compound shaping for that. With that proviso out the way, explanation ahoy. Oh, and before I start, the credits: compound shaping is an idea found in Maggie Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English, and if you really want to get a handle on this nifty technique, you should buy the book. (Indeed, if you want to get a handle on anything related to the design and construction of knitwear, it's probably a good idea to buy the book; it's certainly taught me a remarkable amount.)

Compound raglan shaping is a simple variation on standard raglan shaping. (Because I like to work my raglans in one piece from the top down, I'm going to describe the shaping from that direction: it would of course work perfectly well from the bottom up.) Where standard raglan increases would have you increase each side of the "seam" markers every other row, in a compound raglan, the increases may be planned so that (for example) you work them every other row for a certain distance, then every fourth row for a while after that, and then every other row again. In this way, the shaping can be made to accommodate whatever armhole depth and arm and body measurements you happen to be working to, and you the knitter need never contend with bagging and sagging where you do not want it.

For an example of compound raglan shaping in action, have a peep at Eunny's sweater for Jamiesons. I'm going to look at it anyway, just because it's beautiful. If there are no posts for a couple of days, you'll know I've been electrocuted while licking the laptop screen.


Sarah said...

Goodness, I think I went into a trance staring at that sweater! Suddenly compound raglan shaping sounds simple!

Seahorse said...

Ah! I didn't really know the term but your explanation makes great sense.

I'm really not a 'wannabe' kind of person but... that Eunny is something else in the knitwear world!

Badger said...

Thanks for the explanation - I'd never heard it described like that before :)