Help with raglan sleeve design

Hello Knitters,
I am a new knitter (very late bloomer) and new to this site. I have knitted the sum total so far of 3 baby cardys (it’s amazing what a grandchild will prompt me to do) and 4 sets of booties. They turned out OK but far from perfect. Now I’m almost finished a raglan cardy for the baby so my question is for the next project. The cardy I am nearly finished has raglan seams which are standard I believe and do the job. However, I remember when I was a child, the raglans made for us by my mother (no longer with us) had a decorative finish, almost like a fishbone type look on each side of the seam. Like a set of evenly spaced diagonal lines running up the seam. I have searched the internet for any mention of how to get this very neat finish without any luck at all. Does anyone know what combination of decreases might give this effect? I would love to try this on my next cardy. Sincere thanks if anyone is able to help, I hope I have explained it sufficiently.

Can you please tell us the name of the pattern and provide a link if possible? It helps to see it even if it’s a purchased pattern or in a book. Don’t post the pattern here due to copyright issues.

Is your pattern seamless or made in part with seaming?

Thankyou so much for replying. The pattern I have just about finished is Sirdar 4795 on I have knitted it in a plain grey and it is knitted from the bottom up in separate pieces which are then seamed together. The colour I used highlighted the fact that the raglan seam is just a plain one, the pattern instructions just said ‘decrease 1 st at each end’ but no specifics on the method. If I had used a stripe it would not have mattered I guess, as the stripes would have been the main focus. I don’t have a particular pattern in mind for my next effort - just that I’m thinking I would like to have another attempt at raglan and use a slightly more decorative decrease. I have found instructions online for doing a raglan decrease with yarnovers to make little holes, but I would really like to work out how to get the little diagonal lines effect up the seam. I have also found online since my first post that if I “S1 K1 psso” that I can get a left leaning decrease with the passed over stitch creating a little diagonal line - but, how do I get the mirror effect of that at the end of the row? If I can work that out I think I will just knit the smallest size of plain baby cardy with raglan for practise. I have always sewed but not had the patience for knitting. However, now that I have completed a handful of things, I’m hooked and want to learn to do it perfectly!!

Hello again,
I have found a YouTube video which shows the effect I am wanting and I’m thinking it must be about the type of decrease used. The video is from Berroco Yarns and is about the seaming of a raglan, but the pieces of knitting being seamed just happen to show the little diagonal lines I want to master on each of the raglan edges. I hope this is of more use to anyone who may be able to help me with this.

I just googled ‘neatest way to knit a raglan sleeve’ and it came up with a Pinterest page which showed about a dozen different finishes and instructions how to create them. It was headed ‘great visual references for different decreases styles on raglan sleeves ‘ Think this will answer your question and give you other great ideas.

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Oh that’s great! Thankyou very much. I have just had a look - I don’t have a Pinterest account but somehow I seem to have clicked something which signed me up from my google account. Not sure how I did that - old age again! Anyway, that particular article is really useful so I have printed it to pdf so I can refer to it to try the ideas. They all have that nice neat effect I was wanting rather than my rather random first effort. Many thanks indeed for pointing me in the right direction, it is so helpful.

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I meant to update this when I finished the item so here it is. I used one of the Pinterest ideas and found a raglan pattern which had a neatish effect. My knitting still has a way to go but I’m gradually improving.!My%20First%20Raglan

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Beautifully done and very professional! I love the booties to go with.

Thankyou very much. I can now understand why the local wool shop suggested I start knitting with simple patterns! My previous efforts were not so simple and had too many skills to learn at one time. On the whole I am happy with this one except for the fact that I wove in one end a little tight and you can just pick that up in the picture on the right of the middle orange button. I’m taking a break from knitting till after Xmas then will start something else.

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Beautiful sweater. What pattern did you use? I would like to incorporate that raglan effect when I try a raglan sweater.

I bought a downloadable pattern from LoveKnitting .com. It didn’t cost much to buy and had one of the nice raglan effects I had seen on pinterest.


I will probably knit it again as it was not too difficult. I didn’t use the wool given in the pattern, I just used a wool from my local wool shop and didn’t buy an expensive one as I didn’t have a lot of faith that my knitting would end up looking OK.

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Just in case you don’t want to buy a new pattern, the following two rows are what form the decorative raglan decrease.

  1. k2, sl 1, k1, psso, knit to last 4 sts, k2 tog, k2
  2. k2, purl to last 2 sts, k2.