OK I need help from a person who understands RAGLAN

OK, be nice. I’m 82, I’m a grandpa, and I’m making (gulp) an Aran sweater. I asked for an Xmas gift that used my hands and not my mind, and one of my daughters bought me an Aran kit. Many of the numbers in the pattern are clearly wrong. I wrote to the company in Ireland and they suggested I join a knitting forum. Hello, forum! I’m worried that the pattern instructions for the sleeves simply don’t add up to the back and front (which almost but not quite 100% agree with each other) as far as the raglan decreasing. I think the sleeve will wind up about 6 rows (if not more) SHORTER than the back raglan. The #()$)#$ cables are so complicated I will really HATE knitting the sleeve and find out it is too SHORT for the back. Is the a raglan expert coach/advisor/consultant here to help me count the decreases and figure out what to do? Thanks from a Texas grandpa.

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Welcome to the forum!
There are a couple of aran pattern sources out there with multiple mistakes. The company really should support its patterns and help out with these kind of questions but if not, that’s what we’re here for. We’ll be happy to try to help.
What is the name of your pattern?
We can’t post large portions of patterns on the forum due to designer copyright but you could post a photo of just the raglan decreases for the back and sleeve if you think it will help. Use the landscape icon in the center top of the Reply box to post the photo.

Interesting that your daughter thought that an Aran pattern would not require the use of your mind, but that’s beside the point. I’m with you on the !@#$@! aspect 100% and you’ve come to the right place. Another thought I had was: perhaps figure out how much yarn you have in your existing kit and find a better, more supported Aran pattern. I’m guessing that the wonderful guru’s on this site will have some suggestions as to which ones have worked for them.

Welcome to the forum, Mr. Jim!



I can’t give advice on raglans, but think Creation’s suggestion of finding an alternative pattern is very good. I would also like to welcome you to the forum, Mr Jim - I love your avatar! I used to ride, back in my teens and early twenties :slight_smile:

As much as I’d like to take the credit for a good idea, the credit is all Claudia’s.
I do agree, if the back and front have not already been worked up then finding another pattern would be a good solution.

Otherwise, as salmonmac has said, we can look at the raglan instructions and scratch our heads at the maths until it works out.

Welcome Mr Jim, I think you will manage your aran sweater. One stitch at a time.


Oops, sorry about that! :sweat_smile:

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AranBack AranCallaghan AranSleeve

Thanks for all the friendly replies. I’ll try not to take up too much space or time but I am really stuck. The suggestion to change patterns is a good one, in fact that’s exactly what my wife recommended I do months ago! Sigh, too late (photo attached), I’ve done the back as best I could figure and one sleeve up to the start of the decreases and now I’m stuck.

Pattern excerpts attached. The BACK starts at 147 stitches, and says to cast off 8 at start of next two rows (i.e., front and back) leaving 131. Then “Now work raglan shaping” dropping 1 stitch each end every other row down to 66. That was my first problem… You can’t decrease 1 each end of alternate rows and get from an odd number (131) to an even number (66) so I went to 67. Now I think maybe I should have done two more rows and gone to 65 which would have been 66 rows. Dropping at each end every other row (2 every 2 rows = 1 per row) took 64 rows to get from 131 to 67. Then the pattern switches to “front and back” decreasing at each end on every row to leave 46 (I changed that to 47) which is down 20 which takes 10 rows. So 64 (every other row) + 10 (every row) is 74 rows.

The sleeve starts with 96 and like the back it drops 8 at the start of the next 2 leaving 80. It then says to “work raglan to match the back” until 14 stitches are left. If that means drop each end on alternate rows (2 every other row = 1 per row) it will be 66 rows. That’s 2 more rows than the first part of the raglan back decrease (maybe because I changed the numbers from 66 to 67 and 46 to 47 because it started with an odd number of stitches). But then there is the second “work front and back” part of the back where the decrease is at both ends every row which added 10 more rows to the back where the decreases get faster so the angle changes a little.

So that seems to be 64 rows (OK, maybe it should have been 66) decreasing every other row and then 10 rows decreasing every row on the back which is 64 + 10 = 74 rows (maybe that should have been 66 + 10?) The sleeve goes from 80 to 14 which is 66. That 66 rows sounds like the back, but that second part of the back raglan (front and back) added 10 more rows making it longer than the sleeve.

Shouldn’t the total length of the sleeve match the back? There will be 10 more rows on the back where the raglan changed from alternate rows to every row. If that 66 is supposed to match, I could rip out 10 rows on the back now (sigh) and add 2 more rows decreasing every other row to make that section 66 and then do the “front and back raglan” plus 10 if that would help? But I really can’t see how this is supposed to fit together.


Congratulations on your excellent knitting as seen in your photo, Jim. It looks like you’re an experienced knitter, unless you’ve got the hang of knitting very quickly. I hope the experts among us will be able to come and help you with your pattern, which sounds very complicated.

Welcome to the forum - at least the company that designed the kit got one thing right when they suggested you join a knitting forum!


You’re idea is correct as far as matching the raglan lines on the body of the sweater with the sleeve raglan lines.
So basically for the sleeves, you get to 14 sts too quickly for the sleeve to match the back or front. The sleeve is too short in the raglan to match the front or back raglan.
Is there a schematic with the pattern? That would give you a measurement possibly even along the raglan line. If not, measure the back against a sweater you or the recipient has or hold it up to yourself and see if the length of the raglan line makes sense (will fit comfortably).
If the length of the raglan line is good, then you could space out the initial every other raglan decreases to every third or fourth row in a couple of places. The same goes for the every row decreases. Put in a row or two with no decreases. Yes, it’ll affect the angle of the raglan line but I’d bet not remarkably.
You’re aiming to make the sleeve longer by 10rows.

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There is no schematic. I did see one of those with a US pattern but this is pure Aran Ireland I guess. Thank you very much for your help that is what I thought The lengths need to match.

I got this gift last Christmas so it’s been about a year so far to do half of it. My wife still doesn’t understand why I’m doing it. Hey, why am I?

And, are patterns often just plain wrong? This one had quite a few obvious errors. I wrote to the company in Ireland and they said sorry nobody here knows anything about actually

making these sweaters, look for a forum.

I appreciate your help.


Your knitting is so beautiful I’m jealous.

That’s a question I’m currently pondering as I work to complete a bag pattern I purchased as a kit 10 years or more ago. I guess because I can. I will. For some reason, I must. My pattern isn’t necessarily wrong but could have been done much better IMHO. I can’t help with your questions, patterns and I don’t get along really well and I tend to wing it. Don’t worry about taking up time or anything. I doubt you’ll come close to what I needed when I did my first sweater and I got help here then. This is where I really learned to knit. I hope you stick around and share your ongoing adventures in knitting.


Your knitting looks gorgeous, well worth pressing on with the sleeves. It’ll be a stunning sweater with a good story to it.
Usually patterns are test knit and edited so there aren’t that many with mistakes. We tend to see the ones that do have errors because they generate head scratching and send knitters to the internet. Ravelry is a good source for patterns and feedback from people who have worked patterns, discovered mistakes and posted corrections.
Two thoughts: Read ahead in this pattern just to make sure that there isn’t something more going on with the sleeves. I’d expect the held sts from the sleeve top to be waiting for the neckband but best to make sure.
What is the name of your pattern and the company or designer? Is it one of the clan aran designs?

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Mr. Jim,
My suggestion to find an alternate pattern was before I realized how much work you had already put into this one. What you have accomplished so far is just beautiful and you clearly know how to read your knitting, so please, please continue at whatever pace suits you and ask as many questions as necessary; this group has quite a few masterful knitters and some, like myself, that don’t often help with technical skills but are the very best knitting cheerleaders you could ever wish for!


Lovely knitting. You must be so pleased with what you’ve produced this far.

I think it is unacceptable for a company to continue to sell knit kits with incorrect patterns and take no responsibility for it. If we bought a different product and all the instructions were wrong we’d expect a refund and an apology.
Patterns do occasionally have errors but not like this, and most designers want a good reputation so will get patterns test knit and will post corrections on their website if any errors are found.
I would leave an honest review on the site this was purchased from to warn others.

That aside…

Before deciding on the raglan shaping I suggest you check you like the length of the sleeve. If there is no schematic there may still be some given measurements such as chest, neck, sleeve and you can check with that if you are on track for the expected length and if you will be happy with the expected length. If you want an extra inch or so you need to knit it in before shaping the raglan.

I am not an experienced knitter but I dabble in numbers and pattern maths.
My approach would be to maintain the last 10 rows, 20 stitches decreased as set in the back.
So from 34 stitches to 14 stitches is 10 rows (64 to 74)
And to recalculate the decreases taking place in the early part of the raglan (hidden more under the arm pit is my thought)
The aim would be rows 1 to 64 to decrease from 80 stitches to 34 stitches (leaving 20 to decrease in the final 10 rows)

80 stitches
Dec 1st each end every 4th row, 10 times (rows 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37).
60 stitches
Dec 1 st each end every alternate row, 13 times (rows 39, 41, 43… and so on to row 63)
34 stitches
Row 64 work without shaping
Dec 1st each end every row, 10 rows (rows 65 to 74)
14 stitches

Like I said, I’m not experienced, just giving a suggestion of how it might be worked out. Perhaps looking at these numbers might give you an idea of how you might do it.

I look forward to hearing what you decide to do and seeing your progress.
As others have said, just keep asking as much as you need. I do.

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