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Raglans and their problems

I knit  this sweater for Z when he was about 4, but ran out of steam and never finished the second sleeve.  Well, you know how kids are; he grew.  I saved it because I thought I could use it as a sample for class.

Along comes Evan to the yarn shop to see Nana’s work and he wants a sweater.  I turned him loose to pick out yarn—talked him out of the pale pink–but these were the colors he picked. Bought the yarn with a feeling of deja vu.  Search at home revealed Z’s old sweater.  All it needed was an arm.

I could only located one of the yarns—that big declutter a few years ago; I KNEW I should never get rid of yarn scraps–but found a grey that almost matches.  In a couple of hours, we had a sleeve.  I love asymmetry and Evan seems to agree.  He loves his sweater.  I think I’m saying just pack up and hang on to the unfinished objects.

Anyway, I’ve been pondering raglan sweaters.  They are so easy to knit from the top down and lend themselves to lots of color play and stitch patterns.  The problem I have is they don’t fit well.   I researched some patterns on Ravelry by designers whom I greatly respect.  These are examples of what I find if the model isn’t a size 2.Lovely pattern; well knit; but look at the underarms.  Same here–lots of wadding of fabric at the underarms.  And I have sweaters of my own that are even worse.

Why?  Can it be fixed?  Easily?  Here’s what I’m thinking.Great fit so far.Solves the problem by eliminating the sleeve.  Not exactly what I’m going for.

I’ve been swatching and changing the rate of decrease.  I have Shelda’s spreadsheet where she did this. I’m toying with the idea of knitting the sleeve short of where it comes together under the arm and actually adding my copious amount of underarm stitches.  That’s my best untested idea.

I am not being fussy.  If I buy a sweatshirt to wear around, then the sleeves can bag.  But if I’m going to knit it, I’m not so tolerant.

Any ideas?  How have you tweaked a raglan pattern?  Help is greatly appreciated.

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