I had some time for knitting yesterday, and I managed to get my sweater to the point of removing the sleeves. I won't go over how to do that, because the instructions in the pattern are clear. I do want everyone to be aware though that in each size, there are a few rows with no increases just before removing the sleeves. I mention it because I haven't encountered that in a top-down raglan before.
Also, each size removes the sleeves on a different row. For my size, the medium, I removed my sleeve stitches on row 47. Once you've got the sleeves on yarn, it's a good time to test the fit. My circular needle wasn't long enough to have all the body stitches spread flat, so I moved half of them onto a second needle. You can see that clearly at the back:
And here's the front:
Once I had it on my body, I realized that the raglans aren't quite deep enough for me. No big deal - I'll just put all my stitches (including the sleeve stitches) back on the needle and knit a few more rows. I'm thinking two or four rows will do it for me.
I'm going to continue to knit straight, with no increases, because the width across my back and fronts is good.
But what's that you say? What about the lace?
Danger, Will Robinson! (Please image me waving my arms about.) (And I included the link for those of you who are a) young or b) not American.)
Yes, adding those extra rows to keep my upper arms from getting strangled is going to play havoc with the lace pattern going down the front. I'm going to have to continue with the lace and shift it by a few rows when I remove the sleeves again and continue with the body. Which means I'm going to have to pay even more attention!
To make that a little easier, I've created a couple charts for the vertical lace panels: one for the left front and one for the right front. And I'm giving you the links so you can use them too. Because some of you might have to do this same type of adjustment.
I made these charts on a very cool website: Orangellous. All you do is input your instructions (according to their format), hit a button, and Hey, Presto! A chart!
There are a couple things I want you to know about the charts I made:
1) I omitted the purl rows, so after each lace row, you should work a purl row.
2) The lace pattern is 12 rows long: 6 each of knit and purl. I showed two full repeats (minus the purl rows). My 12-row charts represent 24 rows of work.
3) The chart called Left Front Lace Pattern shows the first 6 stitches of the right side (knit) row, and the chart called Right Front Lace Pattern shows the last 6 stitches of the right side row.
4) Both charts are worked from right to left, from bottom to top.
I much prefer to work from charts when knitting lace - it just makes more sense to me when I can see a representation of the lace pattern. I like to use a sticky note to keep track of where I am in the pattern. I line the bottom of the note up along the top edge of the row I'm working. After I've finished a row, I just move it up to the next row. I like to have the note at the top because it's more like my knitting that way: I can see the rows below that I've already done, but can't see the rows above that I haven't knit yet.
So what I'll do is work a couple more rows with no increases, then remove the sleeves and continue on with the body, all the while working the first and last 6 stitches of every right side row according to where I am on the lace chart (and thereby disregarding the instructions in the pattern for those stitches). Make sense?
That means that I'll probably have to fiddle with the length too a little, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!