Raglan decreases in k2p2 rib - advice needed

I’m about to start a sweater, or maybe a cardigan - I’ll decide before casting on. Whichever it is it’s going to be in a k2p2 rib pattern all over.

I’m a bit puzzled about the best way to go about the decreases at the shoulders.

In stockinette stitch, one might do SSK then k2tog on alternate rows. But in k2p2 I’d end up with half of the decreases on the knits and half on the purls.

I like my raglan decreases worked with 2 or 4 knit stitches either side of the sleeve/torso join, and I’d quite like the decreases to merge into these rows.

What’s the best way to go about this? I’d really appreciate benefiting from the experience of many of you guys.

drmel94's picture

Sounds like you're planning seamless construction, then. I can't say that I've done this, but I have thought about it a bit and would likely work the raglan "bands" as k2tog, work to last stitch of band, then ssk. Work the purl stitches the same, as they're being incorporated into the raglan decrease and are ceasing to exist as purls. Because the decrease line runs at a diagonal to the main ribbing pattern, it should maintain a nice visual break.

Incidentally, I don't think it would work as well if you reversed the direction of the decreases - i.e., ssk on the right side, then k2tog on the left side of the decrease line. That creates a less distinct band, which I think would not work as well.

Of course, you could always swatch different ideas.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

Britisher's picture

Thanks for both of these bits of advice. I'm certainly going to swatch the intended design in advance of starting the project and will post about it once it's done. Appreciate you mulling this one over on my behalf.

rmbm612's picture

I'd reconsider your over all ribbing plan. Are you a speed knitter..........that ribbing is time consuming and after a while tediously boring to do............but if that what you have your heart set on.....go for it and have another project on standby.......good luck.

Britisher's picture

Hi, thanks for your thoughts. I wouldn't claim the honour of being a speed knitter, but am comfortably quick. I didn't mention that the project will be made in a fantastic wool/llama blend that knits to 2.75 stitches to the inch in stocking stitch. So not quite as many boring rib stitches than if I were doing it in a double knitting yarn. If I repent of my plans later I'll let you all know :-)

drmel94's picture

Zoinks! With yarn that thick, I'm thinking the cardi is a must. With that much warmth, you'd want to be able to take it off easily. While I like the look of some bulky projects, I usually find that I overheat in them after a short while. I have a chunky sweater (around 3.75 st/in) that I wear around the house, as we keep the thermostat set around 55F in the winter, but I still find that I get too hot in it and have to take it off periodically.

I've got some alpaca/shetland and alpaca fibre at a mill to be spun at the moment. The blend will be worsted, as I have some specific sweater ideas for it and the Shetland should give it some decent loft. The pure alpaca will be sportweight, as I'm thinking of dyeing it up and using it for some Fair Isle projects and don't want the bulk.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

HuskerChub's picture

OK, let me throw this idea out and see if it makes any sense. If you are knitting flat pieces, which I assume you are because of the statement, "In stockinette stitch, one might do SSK then k2tog on alternate rows. " I would set up my ribbing so that there are 3 knit sts at each edge (2 for the rib and 1 for the seam). Then when you get to the decreases, make full fashioned decreases on the 4/5 sts in from each edge so that the stockinette "band" continues up the diagonal, accenting the raglan line.

Just and FYI, full fashioned increases or decreases is a term meaning the shaping is done a few stitches in the from the edge so that the sts lay at and angle to the edge. This makes sewing up soooooooooooo much easier than shaping on the edge sts. This is what is usually seen in high end commercial knitwear as opposed to cut and sew etc.

Britisher's picture

Great, many thanks, that makes perfect sense. As it happens I'm probably going to knit in the round for a sweater, or back and forth on a long circular needle if I do a cardigan. Fully fashioned increases certainly give a great finish, as you say.

daveballarat's picture

Wow ... reading this blog sure does make me appreciate how much more there is to knitting ... I'm doing a raglan sweater at the moment... so I sort of know what you guys are referring to... will see how well I understand it all when I have to sew it all together.
I envy you guys having so much choice in what to knit with... here it seems to be only 100% acrylic or wool & acrylic blends ...but then again I'm out in the suburbs and my Turkish is pretty crap ... maybe they have the interesting stuff out the back of the shop or somewhere ...
best of luck with the project
Istanbul, Turkey


Thomasknits's picture

You should shop for yarn online...try Knitpicks.com. I'm stuck with pretty bad selection here too...thus the reason that caron simply soft is my best friend, but ordering yarn online, you can find anything you're looking for.


There can be a problem with shopping on line in that not all yarn suppliers (and knitpicks is one of them) ship overseas.

Thomasknits's picture

Oops...didn't think of that...that sucks.