Knitting from the Top down in a sweater

Has anyone knit a sweater from the top down with circular needles? I have a pattern from the Spring Interweave magazine which is lovely but the directions seem mysterious. I guess I can’t visualize knitting the neckline and then knitting the sleeves and back to the main body…No seams, but hard to figure out…


Kris from Los Angeles

Top down in the round is about the fastest way to knit a sweater. I don’t know why sweater you’re talking about. Is it a raglan with sleeves? Just follow the instructions, it works. You cast on at the neckline, but right from the beginning they will (I’m guessing) have you place stitch markers, dividing the circle into 4 or 5 sections. Between two of these stitch markers are the stitches that will make up the back. On either side of the back will be the sections that will make up the sleeves, on the other side of the sleeves will be the front piece(s). You don’t knit the entire sleeve this way. You continue increasing on each side of the stitch markers until the stitches in the back section are enough to go across your back. Then you fold the sleeve sections over and put those stitches on a holder, and by this point they just make little sleeves. Then you will continue to knit the body and once you are done with the body, you’ll go back and knit the sleeves.

Trust us, it works. Just follow the pattern.

It really does, and easily.:cheering:

Ditto to what the other said. I’ve made several and the first time I kept ripping back thinking I was reading it wrong… Nope. Just follow the instructions…it’s like magic. :wink:

One thing to check though… check this corrections page and make sure there aren’t any for your sweater. If there are then you know what to do.

You three responders are so kind and encouraging. I will follow the directions and go for it! It’s a raglan sweater with cables and looks beautiful. By the way, I spent more time researching this technique and found a great visual site:
Happy knitting to all!

I love KPS and I’ve never seen that! That would have helped a lot the first time. :teehee:

Mmmm top down seamless raglan… that’s my absolute favorite kinda pattern. Magic!

I spent more time researching this technique and found a great visual site:

Wow, that’s a great tutorial on top down raglans! Gives me ideas for the next one I do.


great link! thanks so much!

I’m so glad I read this thread – Jan, I rarely remember to look for corrections to a pattern – I’m so glad you posted that link for the Cable down raglan – it’s on my to do list!

And that link on how to make a top down sweater is a great place to start!


As soon as I have my Clapotis done, I’m starting the Cable Down!

Thanks all!


I LOVE doing these, they are the only kind of sweater that I have actually finished (Istarted 2 others), and as an added bonus, it is very easy to add more length to the sleeves and body, because they are the last edges completed. I did one for my daughter the Christmas before last, and I just 2 weeks ago added 2-3 " onto the sleeves and voila! it fits again… I used the pattern from free and fits everyone… using whatever yarn you have.