Raglan Seams?

I am attempting to make my very first garment (a short sleeve top) and I am confused - the pattern instructs me to make the back, the front, and two cap sleeves using the decreasing technique of “fully-fashioned raglan decreases” which they define as:

RS Rows: k1, ssk, work in pattern (seed stitch) to last 3 sts, k2 tog, k1
WS Rows: p1, p2tog, work in pattern to last 3 sts, p2tog-tbl, p1

after the front, back, and sleeves are done, all it says for assembly is
"sew raglan seams. sew sleeve and body seams"

where are these raglan seams exactly? how are there seams to be done if they are not sleeve or body seams? what am i missing here? I was actually hoping that I could convert this pattern to be knit in the round, but am wary because I feel like I don’t understand this seaming thing.


Hi Becky:

As I am knitting a cardigan that has raglan sleeves, I can tell you with some degree of certainty what they are!!! Raglan sleeves are the kind that are on a slant from the sleeve (not on the shoulder, but come in the front and back on a slant). Here’s an even better idea…look at this link:


Do you see how the sleeves are black and the body of the sweater is grey (of course this pic is black and white, but you can get the idea)? The ragaln part of the sleeve is the seam that goes from the top of the shoulder diagonally.

As far as knitting it in the round, I can’t help. Sorry!! Pls reply and let me know if that helped at all.


Okay - I guess I now understand what the “raglan” part of the seam is - but are raglan seams seamed any differently than regular old seams?

And an additional question - since I’ve never made a garment needing seaming before - are patterns written assuming that 2 stitches (on flat pieces) get used up on the seam or are you supposed to know this somehow and add these stitches accordingly? So if, for instance, I was told to CO 38 sts, would this assume that there would only be 36 left after the seaming is done? So if I did this in the round, so there were no seams, would I just use 36 sts?

(and based on the raglan explanation, I’m guessing I’d just work from the bottom of the garment up to the beginning of the raglan decreases in the round and then I’d be forced to switch to straight needles???)

Hi Becky:

Like I said, I have no idea about circualr knitting AT ALL (where is KellyK when you need her? or Amy for that matter…anyway, I digress), but I looked at my pattern and it didn’t give any different directions for joining, so my assumption would be no special seaming required.


Ive never knit a sweater before, though…I was kinda waiting for the answer to this thread myself! :oops:

Thanks for having so much faith in me, though! :inlove:


Anything to boost your ego, KellyK! Seriously, though, I always thought you knew everything! You answer so many of the posts here, so naturally I thought…


Raglan seams go from the underarm to the collar. In this pattern, you’re creating the raglan seams by knitting 1, decreasing, then continuing on with the row. That decrease will be the raglan seam on the finished garment. When joining the sleeves to the body, you would seam it up after the knit 1 and before the decreases (SSK or K2tog).

If you want to knit this in the round, leave out the K1 and do a double decrease instead of the SSK on the body and the corresponding K2tog on the sleeve.

Does that help? It makes perfect sense in my mind, but I’m afraid I may just confuse you. LOL

So basically you’re making a triangle. As you do the decreases on each side, one decrease slants to the left and the other slants tot he right. You’ll end up with these funny looking triangle things. The shoulders form the other side of the trianlge and when you seam them together they make that slanty looking thing like in that picture Katykoolkat sent.

I have a top down pattern for raglan sleeves. What is, you make sort of fake ragland “seam” by knitting a stich different from the pattern and make that stich slant like a ragland sleeve would. Then when you get to where the armpits would be you pich it together to make an armhole and continue knitting down. Then when yer done you go back and pick up stiches for the arm and knit the sleeves. Hmmm… That makes no sense. Maybe I should take some pictures of sweaters so you know what I mean.

all of this advice helps - hopefully, i’ll understand it a bit more once i actually start doing it:)