Pattern Review: Gr8 Gingham Raglan

Pattern by Jessie Maed Designs

I made mine in...

Size: XS

Yarn: Hayfield Spirit in Sundown and Memo's Art House DK Cotton-Acrylic in Off-White with Glitter

Needle size: 4.0mm (body), 4.5mm (sleeves), 3.5mm (ribbing)

The colours in this shirt are so yummy, it makes me so happy! When I first bought the Hayfield Spirit in Sundown, I didn't know what to do with it. I only had one skein, insufficient for a full garment. I also don't like garments made fully from a variegated yarn (don't ask me why, it just isn't my vibe).

The Gr8 Gingham Raglan was the perfect pattern to break up the colours just enough while still showcasing this beautiful yarn.

I think this is a very well-written intermediate pattern. The skills required are definitely beyond your basic stockinette, but the pattern is so clear that an adventurous beginner could give it a go. It is assumed that you know stranded colourwork, so watch some youtube tutorials before starting!

Regardless of skill level, I recommend swatching properly for this pattern. I suggest swatching by knitting up the sleeves first, including the ribbing and one full repeat of the colourwork chart. Then, wash and block the swatch to check for colour bleeding that would affect the contrast of your colourwork. I used an acrylic yarn for this pattern, because acrylic does not bleed (the way the colour is incorporated is not like dyeing a natural fibre).

The pattern says to hold the lighter colour on the left (coming below the darker colour). Colour dominance is a very cool concept! It will affect which colour pops out, and how neat your work looks.

As you can see in the photo below, I had to cut and rejoin yarn to achieve symmetry in the colour gradient across the sleeves (a technique I used before in my Primavera Sweater).

This was my first try at bottom-up construction for a garment, and I have to say, I didn't like it. I needed to keep so many live stitches on spare cables and scrap yarn, which was a hassle. I had to calculate my yardage to the exact amount, whereas for a top-down garment, I can just knit down the body until my yarn runs out.

When connecting the sleeves and body to knit the yoke, everything was so tight around the needle cable and the armpit section of the garment, and it really hurt my hands. This tension would not be a problem if knitting top-down and then splitting for sleeves.

Lastly, bottom-up construction meant I couldn't try the garment on for fit while knitting, and it was nerve wrecking to only find out at the end if it worked out.

One other thing I was bothered by was that at some points along the raglan, I realised I would be carrying 9-stitch floats according to the colourwork pattern. This made me really uneasy, so I decided to start catching my floats every 4 stitches or so.

On to modifications! I started off by making all ribbing regular rib instead of twisted rib, just because I like the look of regular rib more. I also did 6 repeats of the colourwork chart. A lot of the projects on Ravelry commented that the pattern-specified number of repeats would have been way too cropped, which I agreed with.

The most major modification was neckline shaping! Jennifer Parroccini has a great guide for adding neckline shaping to a raglan using German Shortrows.

You will also need to know how to do the central double decrease but on the purl side. Remade by Hand has a great tutorial for this.

I will share the numbers for my size. You will have to recalculate if you are making a different size.

  • Begin shortrows with 15 more rows (i.e. 1.5 more chart repeats) remaining to end of colourwork yoke.

  • Notes: There are 39 stitches for the front neck. I wanted 15 bottom neck stitches. This meant I had to shape out 11 stitches on each side of the neck, over 14 rows, while still working in pattern for the colourwork chart and raglan decreases.

  • Shape out at a rate of 2 stitches per turn, until you have shaped out 8 stitches on each side of the neckline (8 rows).

  • Then shape out at a rate of 1 stitch per turn, until you have shaped out another 3 stitches on each side of the neckline (6 rows).

  • Then, resolve all doubled stitches in the last row by knitting through both loops of the purl doubled stitches (left side of neckline), and using Froginette’s trick to resolve the knit doubled stitches (right side of neckline).

Here I am enjoying my Gr8 Gingham Raglan when on a trip overseas! It brought me so much joy. I hope you found this pattern review helpful. I will be making another Gr8 Gingham Raglan, using intarsia (yeah, I'm crazy like that), so watch out for that!