Trying on a top down raglan

I’m knitting a top down raglan and the instructions, as well as people on forums say that you “can try on a top down raglan at any point…” Maybe this is intuitive to most people, but I think I’m missing something. I have to transfer my knitting to waste yarn to do this, and I have a (probably irrational) fear of moving all these stitches to waste yarn because I don’t know how I’d put them back on the needles.
I’ve already divided for the sleeves and have them on waste yarn (I figured that by the time I needed them again all the experts on KH would have told me how to get them back on) But now I’m at the part where I need to do my first try on.

I’m knitting in the round, so, in order to put the stitches on the waste yarn I’d thread a tapestry needle and move the stitches onto the waste yarn in the same direction I would have been knitting, right? Slip them off the left needle instead of knitting?

Then I end up with a circle of stitches on waste yarn. I try it on. Then…please explain to me how to put the stitches back on the needles. Which direction? Do I use a tapestry needle? Yarn doesn’t slide very easily on other yarn, so how will I slide the stitches off? I feel kind of foolish not knowing because I can’t even find any videos that show it, like everyone should know…

Thank you!

That’s normal. You can also put them on multiple long cable needles, but if you do that be careful.

It doesn’t matter which end you put the waste yarn in really. To put it back on the needles you just put your needle back through the stitches then cut the waste yarn.

So I just thread the needle through the stitches on the waste yarn while the waste yarn is still there? And I can do that from either end? I know I’m sounding thick here, I just want to be completely clear before I do it.

The first time is always scary! If your needle goes through the stitch with the waste yarn in place, you can thread them all back onto the needle and leave it there. I’d remove it before knitting, probably, as it can get all messed up. If you do drop a stitch off you can pick it up again. Take a deep breath and tell yourself, I can do this!

I cheat, I use long cables on my interchangables to make it easier. I do move stitches to waste yarn if I need to but really like the detachable cable.

Oh, it is scary. I might even wait until tomorrow to do it.

I don’t have detachable cables that are long enough for a try on. I don’t actually have an interchangeable set yet, but I do plan on getting one. It doesn’t look like the ones from KP have really long cables. Do you know if they have connecters to put them together?

I got some 60" KP cables I bought separately just for such uses. They do have connectors. Theoretically I could connect 2 - 60" cables (they come in twos) and have about a 110" needle. LOL I can’t imagine needing one that long.

Really, as long as you don’t lose the first and last stitches, which can be a pain to get back, you shouldn’t have any problems but I think you said you’re working in the round so that shouldn’t be a problem. Well, if you’re working a complicated stitch pattern you could. If you have KP interchangables you can thread a skinny something like crochet thread into one of the holes on the cable and then your lifeline is already in place, works for using as waste yarn to hold stitches too. I’d wait till tomorrow I think, but I’m sleepy and that’s not a good time to try something new. You’ll do fine.

I might have to get some of those 60" cables when I get my interchangeable set.

You could use your 110" needle for a double king sized blanket!

I’m sorry for a wrong assumption, from what you said I thought you already had KPs. I crocheted a few big blankets, I can’t imagine knitting one that large, and neither would have fit king sized bed. My DD crocheted one that does fit their king sized bed. I was amazed then, and I still am.

I have a KP interchangeable sampler set, so just a few tips and 2 cables. I think the cables are either 24" or 32"

I use another circular, or two of them, to put part of the stitches on to try it on. Then I can just knit right off them; I never use scrap yarn for this, too much time and fiddling around with the stitches.

Lots of videos for putting stitches [I]on[/I] waste yarn, not any for slipping stitches [I]off[/I] waste yarn. I try to use a thinner cotton yarn as waste yarn because it makes the stitches easier to slide. I’ve seen dental floss suggested but haven’t tried that yet. Since the stitches are slipped off purlwise, I put them back on the needle purlwise while the waste yarn is still there. You can pull the waste yarn out at the end or after several stitches have been slipped to the needle. If the waste yarn gets hung up, just cut it and continue to pull it through. Sometimes it helps to put a little tension on the waste yarn by holding both ends so that it seems more like another needle and less loose and floppy. However, this requires creative use of several fingers or a third hand.

Similar to others, I often use crochet thread; then after I try it on, I leave it for a lifeline and a marker because generally it is marking an important part of the pattern.

Before you start moving your stitches to waste yarn, make sure you mark your first stitch in some way. I usually start the waste yarn at the first stitch, so the tails of the waste yarn are hanging out of the “gap” between the first and last stitch of the round. BUT if you don’t do this, then definitely mark your first stitch in some way.

:pout: I don’t have any thinner lighter cotton yarn to use. I have some dark sock yarn. That might work. The waste yarn I was using is much thicker than the yarn I’m knitting with. I haven’t done the try on yet so I can look for other yarn. I’m knitting with sport weight and have the sleeves on heavy worsted. You are right that I should use something thinner if I need to get the needle in along with the waste yarn. I just figured I’d need the waste yarn a sufficiently different color so I could see it, and I don’t really have that, and thinner, on hand just now.

If you don’t have other (smaller) circulars you can use, get some unwaxed, unflavored dental floss to use.

When I go to put the stitches back on, can I use a smaller size but larger circular and then knit off that with the regular size? I’m trying to see how what I’m knitting on a 32" will fit in a circle on a 40", but I have small sizes in 40 inches and I’m knitting with size 5. Can you knit in the round from one circular to another? And of different sizes without screwing up the gauge on that round?

Yes, that’s what I do. I put the stitches on the smaller size circular - if it’s short, I use 2 - then I can knit right off them without fiddling around with scrap yarn. Just use the correct size in your right hand when you knit off the others, that’s the one that determines the gauge and size of stitches.

I just wanted to add that you don’t have to put all the stitches on another circ, you can leave some on your working needle, then just slip the rest of them onto one or two others. Whatever you need so the stitches won’t fall off the ends; that way your working circ is ready to start knitting again.

I hate admitting this to people because they never seem to understand, but I just dread top-down sweaters.
Trying them on has never been easy for me like I was promised at my LYS. The sweater, at least in my experience, is never the size it will be once it comes off the needles. This makes it very hard for me to actually tell anything from trying it on. :whoosh:
And then there is the problem of trudging through knitting back onto the needle.
The worst part of top-down knitting is this ever-increasing blob of knitting in my lap that seems to so much more easily pick up cat hair and crumbs. I seem to always take on one of these in the summer, which is dreadful, it’s so heavy. :pout:
I much prefer my little pieces that I can take with me in my purse, and will lie politely in a small controllable area so they stay clean.
Then I can seam them up, which I love to do, and there’s never any twisting around the torso.
I really love fair isle and icelandic sweaters so I know I need to get over this, but it’s hard. Any advice would be appreciated. :help:

I know what you mean. There’s also something very nice about the shaping in seamed sweaters that most one piece knits don’t have. That said, I do enjoy bottom-up yoked sweaters. Once you get to the yoke, all the rounds decrease and that seems like lots of fun. You do have the problem of the big blob in your lap though. That doesn’t change.

I, on the other hand, try to avoid too much seaming and sewing, having never learned how to sew, so I do as much in the round as I can.

So – I did it. I put the stitches on waste yarn, tried it on, and put them back. It was the most nerve-wracking, tedious thing I’ve ever done, and I will never do it again!! I’m sure it didn’t help that I am knitting with sport weight dark blue yarn and used black sock yarn for the waste yarn but woooooaaahhh! That was hard. There has got to be a better way. I will definitely try some 60" circs next time (once I get some of those).
I am afraid to put more than one fixed circular together to try it on because I’m sure something will fall out and I’ll drop stitches.
This sweater is just going to have to fit without me trying it on again!
The one good thing in all of this is that I finally finished the sock I was working on. It only took 2 1/2 years…