Best Book for top down sweaters?

Hi all,

I’m looking at getting a book for top down sweaters. I’d prefer a book that has formulas for every size in my house, (baby to husband!) And I am most interested in Raglan sweaters as they just fit so nicely.

I see there are a number of books out there including

‘Knitting Sweaters from the top down’ - Cathy Carron


‘The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters’ - Lynn Vogel


‘Top Down Sweaters’ - Doreen Marquart

I have no idea which book will be best, but I’m hoping for something that will allow me to make patterns that work with any gauge from mostly Worsted to bulky and that are fun/easy to knit. :slight_smile:

Thanks for all of your help in advance!

perhaps 2010 will be the ‘year of the sweater’ in my house!



Look for them at your library. It can help to have the book in hand for a few weeks so you can decide if you like it or not.

Here’s a book I’ve had on my ‘wish list’ though I haven’t held it and seen the patterns yet (my library system can’t get it). I think it would fit the bill for multiple sizes; I just don’t know if it has a lot of top down patterns.

The problem with that book, Marilyn, is that the majority of the patterns seem to have set in sleeves. There is a section on raglans though, but I’m not sure they are top down. Most books don’t have formulas unfortunately either.

This is a good book, but I don’t think it has formulas. I have it and at the moment I can’t find it because I have a housekeeper who rearranges things. :doh:

Anyway… Have you considered software? This one is on my list to get. You can download a demo if you want to try it.

This post has lots of info about it.

I wasn’t so nuts about the Cathy Carron book. It is all women’s patterns.

I liked Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel and Custom Knits by Wendy Barnard. Both books just have women’s patterns. Wendy Barnard’s book had a design your own section and how to modify each pattern to make it your own.

THe last two issues of Vogue Knitting had tutorial on how to make any pattern into “in the round.”

Going seamless was the name of the article:

I think the best for top down formulas for do it yourself, any size, any yarn sweaters is the classic: Barbara Walters Knitting from the Top. It starts with the basic raglan and procedes through several different shoulder and armhole treatments and even includes instructions for skirts, pants and vests. I great book for really understanding and learning the process so you can adapt it to your own ideas. I made a great “odd bobs” raglan sweater using up a lot of small balls of yarn in different combinations of stripes. Stripes are super easy from the top down. Good luck!

The top down sweater book is by Barbara Walker (not Barbara Walter). It is the same book that was linked to Amazon by Jan fromCA in her post. The front cover shows a woman wearing a top down sweater while she knits it (that isn’t really how its done :slight_smile: It doesn’t contain formulas as in a fill in the blank type of grid like you see in some books, rather she explains what it is that you’re trying to do and then you can base the size on body percentages and measurements.

Thanks for your help. I don’t know why I never think to head down to my local library. Sheesh. I will check out the books mentioned here. :slight_smile:


I have this one, and I like it really well!

‘Top Down Sweaters’ - Doreen Marquart