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How to Knit Raglan Sleeves

Updated November 17, 2017
How to Knit Raglan Sleeves
How to Knit Raglan Sleeves
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This knitting video will give you tips on how to knit a raglan sleeve for any sweater pattern you want to work up! Raglan sleeves are among the first sleeve style many knitters learn and are most commonly seen in baseball tees, those with the elbow-length sleeves. Raglan sleeves are a popular choice for casual tops and sweaters because of how nicely they work up and how they look when complete. Whether you're working a top-down sweater or a bottom-up one, you'll love working a raglan sleeve design to produce a gorgeous and more seamless sweater.


Basic Overview of Sleeve Construction

Set in sleeve

  • “A sleeve joined to the body of a garment by a seam starting at the edge of the shoulder and continuing around the armhole.”
Dolman sleeve
  • “The dolman sleeve originated as a sleeve that was tight or narrow at the wrist and wide at the top where it is attached to the garment. Dolman sleeves can now be found on tee shirts and short sleeve garments but the sleeves usually do not taper at all and just remain wide and flowy.”
Kimono sleeve
  • “Modern day kimono - sleeves are loose, wide, and can be short or wrist length. The style was borrowed from traditional Japanese kimonos and was adapted for today's fashion.”
Raglan sleeve
  • “The raglan sleeve is a popular choice for casual knitting projects. Raglan shaping is usually worked from the top-down and involves a long, slanted (or sometimes curved) seam running from the neck to the underarm.”
  • Think of baseball t-shirts
  • Raglan is a great design because of its seamless nature. As June Hemmons Hiatt says in her classic book, "The Principles of Knitting":
    • "Because there is no seam or join of any kind at the armhole, a garment with a raglan sleeve allows very comfortable movement and adapts easily to different body proportions."
  • Raglan sleeve formation involves increasing in top-down construction & decreasing on bottom up construction.

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