Elizabeth Zimmermann Raglan Sweater

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Raglan Sweater
p. 73, Knitting Without Tears

Materials: 5-6 skeins of 4 oz wool
16 inch circular needle, of size needed for desired gauge (for sleeves and neck)
24 inch circular needle, of size needed for desired gauge (for body and yoke)

Width of sweater (for baggy or tight fit, as you desire): lay your favorite sweater out flat and measure the body width: _____ inches.

Gauge of your yarn on your desired needle size: ______ stitches per inch

Cast on stitches for body:  multiply the two numbers above (hereinafter “X”)


On 24inch needle, cast on X stitches.  Knit up to underarm height.


Cast on 1/5 * X stitches onto a 16 inch needle.
Work 4 rounds.
INCREASES: mark 3 st for vertical underarm line.  Increase (M1) one stitch before and one stitch after these three stitches).
Increase every fifth round until you have 1/3*X (33% of X) stitches on your needle.
Work straight (k all rows) until underarm height (stop knitting 2″ shy of actual underarm.  With these EZ instructions, you add 2″ ribbing on for the cuffs as a last step.  No, I don’t know why she does it like that.  If you don’t want to bother with that, start the first two inches of this sleeve in k2,p2 pattern, then follow the directions from the top.  That’s if you want a ribbed sleeve, of course.  If you want it stockinette or something, do that here instead.
Sleeve should be about 18 inches in length here (for a normal sized human).

3/4 SLEEVES = 25% of X

Cast on 1/4 * X stitches onto a 16 inch needle.
Increase 2 st every 5th round.
When 1/3 * X (33% of X) stitches remain on the needle, work straight to underarm.

Make second sleeve.


Place 8% of underarm stitches onto thread.  Don’t forget to center with the three vertical stitches in the sleeve, and have the same number of stitches on the sleeves and on the body front and back.

UNITE those stitches on a 24 inch circular needle.
Work 1-2 inches straight, depending on whether you want a deepish armhole or not (no, I don’t know what that means).

PM (place marker) on the 4 points where the body and sleeves join.
Again, make sure the number of sleeve st and body front and back st are the same.


Row 1: Decrease 2 st at each of these 4 points every 2nd round (work to within 2 st of marked st, k2tog, k marked st, ssk).  Repeat.
Row 2: Knit 1 round.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 10 st (for thick wool, 8 st; for fine wool, 12-14 st) remain on sleeve.
End on Row 2.


Place st at neck front on a thread, with exception of 5 st at each end from the sleeve.
Row1: Work decrease round from yoke as usual.
Row2: Turn, purl back.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until sleeve st and remaining neck front st have been decreased out of existence.


Work around on a st for the border.
When you come to short pieces of selvedge at neck s ides, knit up about 5 st in each (I don’t know what this means either).


stockinette st with hem, into which you run elastic


Row 1: k8,k2tog (10% decrease)
Row 2: k
Repeat Row 2 until hem is 1.5 – 2″
Baste hem flat, sew down.


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