Simple Worked-From-The-Top Raglan Pullover Pattern Calculated by the Percentage Method

The percentage method of creating a sweater pattern uses the chest measurement plus an allowance for ease of fit as a basis for all other measurements. The chest measurement is treated as the 100%; all other measurements are some portion of that measurement. You may prefer (or need) the body or arms of the sweater to be longer than that which is calculated by this method. It is acceptable to work a few extra rows into the body or the arm length.

The best feature of this method is that you don't need to change your needle size or yarn to try to match someone else's gauge. This method makes the pattern fit your gauge.

This is a pattern for working the body of the sweater as one piece starting from the top. The sleeves are worked from the top down starting with stitches picked up from around the armhole. Double-point needles or circular needles in the sizes appropriate to the gauge you enter are needed. You will also need to have stitch holders and markers.

The shaping of the sweater is based on raglan styling from the top down.
Increases are made around four fixed points. At the underarm, a few stitches are cast on to give ease to the shape of the torso.

As pointed out by April K., this percentage method works best for adult proportions. A child's proportions are different:

Dear Knittingfool,

I love your site, especially the raglan seamless sweater calculator. I've made one sweater so far, and have nearly finished the planning stage of my second. Both sweaters are for my kiddos. One in about a 3-4T and the second will be about a 6-7 - somewhere in that range.

My reason for contacting you is just to let you know that the percentages for the sweater neck do not work on children with large heads! lol My 6 year old has a chest measurement of 23 (rounding up) and a head measurement of 21! (how scary is that?) So when I pop in the measurements there is NO WAY that thing fits over his head if I do it exactly the way the pattern spits out. So I guess the percentages are a bit different on little ones.

Anyway, I can deal with it pretty easily, but it does make it a little more tricky for us newbies. Since I'm not acquainted with the formula you use yet, I'm not sure if the calculator can accommodate another increment or two for fine tuning. (Not that I expect special treatment for my giant head children) Maybe a note on the calculator mentioning that it's not designed for kids?

I figured it out decently enough for my daughter, so I'll do ok with this one, as well - maybe using some of the increments from the other sweater calculator that goes in sizes for kids and adults.

April K.

Important: Make a test square in the pattern stitch in which most of your sweater will be done. The test square should be made by casting on about 25 stitches and working about 25 rows. Ideally the test square should be 5 x 5 inches. This size allows you to get a good measurement of the gauge without the interference of the selvage. Knowing your gauge is critical to the proper fit of any sweater pattern.

The pattern is written as if the pattern stitch is stockinette stitch. If you use some other stitch for your test piece, you will have to mentally substitute the name of your pattern stitch wherever the pattern say stockinette stitch.

About the type of fit. It is not a sophisticated method. I add a factor to the chest measurement. The factors are Snug = 2"; Comfortable = 4"; and Loose = 6".

About the needle size. It can be US or mm sizes. The needle size does not enter into calculation of the garment pattern. It is used to suggest a smaller needle size for the ribbing.

And before you go any further, obssessed in the quest of a free pattern, be aware that this pattern is a percentage approximation. If you are accustomed to having a pattern that spells everything out to the letter or if you are a beginner this pattern may not meet all your needs. The pattern you will get from this process will be a guideline to making a sweater, but you need to know something about what you are doing. Or be a bit adventurous.

You must enter a numeric value in all text boxes.

Enter needle size:
US or mm sizes both work.
Enter gauge:  
stitches per inch(es)
rows per inch(es)
Enter chest measurement: inches
Select type of fit:
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