Knitscene Fall 2008 Opulent Raglan

Gallery: Opulent Raglan by Wendy Bernard

Knitscene Fall 2008As you can see, the same sweater looks very different on different women! We give general suggestions for customization for your inspiration. Only you can choose how you want your sweaters to fit and which customizations will work best for you and your beautiful self!


Overall Comments

"Wendy. We must talk. You simply cannot keep designing more and more cute sweaters, over and over, because I simply cannot knit fast enough to make them all. Really. Have mercy. Love, Sandi."

"Cute" hardly describes this one, however. "Beautiful"? How about "lovely"? Add to that the fabulous top-down construction and it's no wonder so many of you were entranced by this sweater enough to ask to see it in the Galleries. Large-busted gals: You may want to start the neckline at a higher point, to allow enough fabric to give yourself good coverage. Also take care with the height of the ruffle at the sleeves–don't let it fall at the same height as your bust, or it will emphasize the fullness there. Smaller-busted women: Make sure that the neckline is not too wide–you don't want it falling off your shoulders! Measure the width of a neckline you are comfortable with, and use that as a guide.
About adjusting the length: If you want a shorter or longer sweater, you can add or subtract repeats of the cable sequence on the front. However, each cable repeat is about 4" long, so this is not a good way to make small adjustments of an inch or so. If you need to make a small adjustment, then consider adding/subtracting a single set of rounds in the middle of each long cable (in the section marked as Rounds 1-20 in the stitch pattern). This will make each long cable longer or shorter by two rounds. You have to make sure to add/subtract the two rows to ALL the repeats of the cable all the way down if you do this. NOTE: This will change the proportions of the cables slightly. If you are worried about this, make a generous swatch first to try things out and see how you like them.

Opulent Raglan

Sample shown measures 34.75".

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Toni   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Toni


Her bust: 33.5"
1.25" positive ease

Size: Good–a bit large, but good. Why? Because Toni gets cold easily, and likes to be able to layer her clothing. The small amount of positive ease here gives her room for more layers; the sweater still fits her curves in an attractive way. If she wanted a closer fit, then she could make the next size down. Neckline: Toni felt this neckline was a bit wide for her, and also a bit low. She would want to work more stitches at the neck edges to bring the sides in, and to join for working the neck a few rows earlier than in the pattern to bring the neckline higher. Waist: The waist is too high, by at least an inch. She would start the waist shaping later in this top-down sweater; she might want to adjust the spacing of the decreases according. Sleeves: I'd like to see the top of the belled cuff hit Toni right at her natural waist, which means the cuff should be raised by about an inch or so.

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Amy   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Amy


Her bust: 39"
4.25" negative ease

Size: The large gauge and forgiving stretch of the gorgeous yarn give this sweater a lot of leeway for our negative ease girls. This sweater looks OK on Amy, but a larger size, perhaps the 36.5", with 2.5" of negative ease, would be more comfortable and still hug her curves. Neckline: The neckline gives Amy good coverage, and it's fine if she wants to wear something underneath. However, to wear this sweater by itself, Amy needs the sides of the neck to come in a bit (to cover her bra straps). So she would have to add more stitches at the sides of the neck to bring it in more. Waist: Perfect! This shaping accentuates Amy's stunning hourglass figure. Sleeves: The cuffs are at precisely the right height to help show off Amy's hourglass.

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Kat   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Kat


Her bust: 40"
5.25" negative ease

Size: I actually think this size fits Kat very well. Again, the difference between the fit for Amy and the fit for Kat is that most of Amy's circumference is in front, whereas with Kat, things are more evenly distributed around her ribcage. Neckline: The shoulders fit Kat well, and cover her bra straps without any problem. The bottom of the neck is a bit racy, but not a problem unless Kat thinks it is a problem. Waist: Perfect! Sleeves: Perfect.

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Debbie   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Debbie


Her bust: 34.5"
0.25" positive ease

Size: This size fits Debbie loosely but well. If she wanted a closer fit, she could go down to the 32.25" size (for 1.25" of negative ease). Neckline: The neck opening seems a bit wide to me, so I would bring the sides in about an inch on each side. The depth seems OK. Waist: Looks good. Sleeves: The cuff is a bit low, so I'd bring it up a bit. Overall length: I think this sweater is just a bit too long on Debbie. She could shorten it by working one less repeat of the cable pattern. (See note above about adjusting length.)

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Stefanie   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Sandi


Her bust: 34"
0.75" positive ease

Size: I think this size is fine, but again, if Stefanie wanted a closer fit, she could easily go down to the 33.25", which would give her .75" of negative ease. Neckline: Seems a bit wide to me, so Stefanie could bring it in by about an inch on each side. Waist: I'd bring the waist down by about an inch and a half to match Stefanie's natural waist. In a top-down sweater, you might also adjust the spacing of the decreases on the way down to the waist. Sleeves: I would then adjust the sleeves so they are a tiny bit longer and the cuff sits a bit lower. Length: The sweater seems a bit long, so I would ask Stefanie if the length was OK or if it was worth the work to make a small adjustment (less than 4").



Her bust: 40"
5.25" negative ease

Size: I like this. It's pretty darn form-fitting, however, so if I wanted something a bit looser, I could make the 36.5" and have about half the amount of negative ease as you see here. Neckline: Seems a bit big on me, so I would bring in the sides a bit. Waist: Lower those decreases! My waist is about one and a half inches further down. Sleeves: I like!

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Erin   Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Erin


Her bust: 38"
3.25" negative ease

Size: I like this size on Erin, except for the obviously length issues. Neckline: If Erin wants to wear this sweater without anything underneath, then she would need to narrow the sides and raise the bottom a bit. Waist: The waist needs to be lowered here to match Erin's natural waistline. It looks as though the waist shaping here is almost "underbust" shaping! Sleeves: Longer, please, so that the cuffs are at her waist. I am also noticing that the sleeves seem a bit tight on her athletic arms, so Erin might want to make sleeves using the next size larger's numbers, adjusting the armhole fit accordingly. Length: Yep, it needs to be just a bit longer–not an entire cable repeat longer, though. Erin would be one of those folks adding two rounds to each long cable to get just a bit more length.

Knitting Gallery - Opulent Raglan Bertha    


Her bust: 34"
0.75" positive ease

Size: This is pretty on Bertha, but a bit loose. Maybe the 33.25"? The neckline fits well and is stunning on her, considering that Bertha never needs to wear a bra. The waist is at precisely the correct height for Bertha's amazing hourglass. The sleeves…well. Too long, but actual arms might change that. (Sorry, B.)


Knitting Daily Hot Tomatoes on TV!

Remember Wendy Bernard's Tomato from No Sheep For You? Remember how I made a bright orange version with bust darts and called it the Hot Tomato? Well, several of you Knitting Daily readers also made your own versions of Wendy's Tomato. They were so cute that we asked some of you to send in your sweaters to be filmed for Episode 102 of the new Knitting Daily TV show! On the show, Wendy walks us through each sweater and what adjustments were made–I was so tickled to see something I'd made on television!  The show itself begins airing on select PBS stations starting next Monday… but if you can't wait, you can pre-order a DVD of the entire first season now –the DVD is available Monday, July 21st. Wendy is also featured in Episode 101 (can you tell I'm a big Wendy fan?). Wendy's patterns are irresistible–remember when I fell in love with the Elinor Tunic in Interweave Knits Summer 2008? I wanted to take that one home with me after we took the photos for the Elinor Gallery

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Patterns, Sweaters

27 thoughts on “Knitscene Fall 2008 Opulent Raglan

  1. Wow, this one is really a stunning design! It really does look great on everyone, although seems to look better with less negative ease. And it has very few fitting issues, and nearly all of them are easy fixes. A relatively carefree design that looks fabulous! Wow! Thanks for showing this one.

  2. P.S. Once again, I have to ask – would it be possible to show the models’ height along with their bust measurements? These galleries really rock and have helped me decide to knit several sweaters I otherwise would not have been brave enough to try until I was able to see them on real women!
    But even if I see a model that seems shaped just liked me, and she turns out to be 4″ shorter, that’s going to make me alter my perceptions (and alterations), so height would be really useful information. Thanks again for the galleries!

  3. Sandi, the comfort of lowering the waist might be important to you, but the LOOK as is really lengthens you out, giving you the taller-skinnier thing. I think this is a keeper for you… but ONLY if Amy isn’t comfortable with being the hottest ‘chick’ in the room!

    I’m not loving the bell cuffs, particularly as they seem to be meant for 3/4 length. Maybefull-length or above the elbow (as on Kat), but otherwise they just look like something that was added Just Because.

  4. I love this one. I have the feeling I’ll be casting this on sooner rather than later! But I have a request: if the Gallery Girls don’t object, could you possibly list their heights along with their bust sizes? I know you sometimes do, but I often forget and end up looking through past Galleries to figure it out. I am unusually tall, so length is always an issue. Thanks!

  5. I agree with Karen P. about adding the model’s height–it would make a big difference in assessing the look.

    A note on the neckline: I agree with Sandi about pulling in the sides of the neck for some folks, but another place to alter is also the neck circumference for some smaller shouldered folks–Toni for sure, maybe Debbie, and remember that when a garment pulls across the girls, the neckline gets distorted. I call this the “neck to armhole” variation which is standardized to be longer than some folks, and needs to be considered.


  6. I think this sweater is a wonderful example of how great a squarish neck looks on just about EVERYONE! I have been puzzled for many years why there are not many,many more designs that feature a square neckline – not only pretty easy to do but FLATTERING! One would think, from perusing many knitting mags, patterns and books, that sqaure necklines were ugly or difficult because they are rare as hen’s teeth. (Oops. I kinda got on my soap box for a minute). I love the galleries – keep ’em coming!

  7. I’d like to see more info on how to fix other fit problems, such as rounded shoulders, large ribcage [COPD*], etc. Having a D cup doesn’t help, either, as sweaters [or blouses] slide up & try to choke me.
    I know short rows are the answer, but I’m not yet confident enough to change the design in order to fit me.
    However, on Fearless Knitting, I will be starting my first sweater, after Christmas, & it will be a Dale of Norway stranded colour pattern! Yes, I am definitely certifiable!
    Please, please, please any of you who are parents w/ children at home, I beg you not to smoke in enclosed spaces. I have emphysema, at 52 [have had it for 4 yrs, now, as well] due to the fact that my Mom smoked while I lived at home.

  8. Thank you so much for the Gallery. It really helps to see the fit of the patterns. I used to be pretty standard but middle age and a divorce kind of changed things and I’m more curvy than I’d like. I love the tunic and hope I can make it. I want to find a knitting group near where I live and so I can get help since I’ve started about 4 sweaters and have run into problems so they are still waiting to get finished.
    Love your website and all the info. It is so inspiring, fun and uplifting.

  9. In isolation the details are lovely and appealing. However, if one pulls back and sees the overall impact of having bell cuffs right at the waist viewshed, every model who has her arms down makes her waist look larger and lumpy. This apparel will need the rule: “One must never straighten her arms and must keep their hands on her hips at all times!”

  10. This is definitely a sweater that was sculpted for curvacious women! I think it looks incredibly hot on the ladies with curves…very ho-hum on the thinner gals. The vertical lines make the curves you want stand out, and those you don’t recede.

    I love the square neckline, and agree that I’d like to see more tops with it. I could stand to lose the bell sleeves though. Amy looks fantastic (understatement!) but her elbow in the side pic is giving me the creeps. Since the bell flares out, I’d make the sleeve end at the elbow, then the bell flares over the elbow, instead of making a second one. Then again, you’d run into the problem where they don’t line up with the waist properly. Again, I could stand to lose the bell sleeves.

  11. Personally, I think this style of sleeve looks best on the arm itself when the top of the bell is just above the elbow. Otherwise, it looks as though the sleeve was suppose to be wrist or knuckle length and someone ran out of yarn!

  12. I’m surprised at how much I like this look on several of the gals. I’m not 100% on the bells at the sleeves (cuz I’m not sure they’d work on me), but without them, it’s kind of a regular old sweater. I still really like it, though.

  13. Sandi, If you’ve already done this, please excuse my forgetfulness, but could you do an explanation of what styles and designs are better with positive ease and which are better with negative ease? I am getting confused as to how to select which size to select when starting a project.

  14. Could you along with height add some models with bigger chest sizes.
    I’m short,big chested, but not teapot am I.more a latte’ mug if you wish.

  15. I really enjoy the galleries, and the information that comes with them. I also see were I can order 4 DVD’s of the knitting daily t.v. show, however I was wondering if you are going to have this series on blue-ray, since that is what my machine is, and it gives a much better picture.

  16. I really like this sweater and thought it looked really good on everyone. I agree about the cuffs looking added on “just because,” but that’s a detail that it’s easy to leave out. I second the request to add height. Actually, the shoulder to hip measurement would be even better.

    Thanks to all the Gallery Girls!

  17. I love the Gallery! It’s really great to see each piece on various body types – some more like mine than in the magazine. 🙂 In fact, I’ve gotten more interested in some of the designs just because I’ve seen them in the gallery and could imagine them better for me. You are all Enablers!! ;D

    Question: the bust sizes given for the models – are those “fullest part” or are they “ribcage?” Just curious.

    Wonder if we could get some info on how to adjust the armscye when we with more “athletic” (I like that word) arms need to adjust the sleeves, and that size isn’t one of the sizes given?

  18. This sweater is what made me buy this issue! I love everything about it, and the gallery made me realize that I have been knitting sweaters with entirely too much ease. No wonder everything turns out baggier than I would like. Just think, I’ll be able to knit things quicker, using less yarn. Hallelujah. I have broad shoulders, and a large ribcage, so I think that the neckline will suit me fine. LOVE the sleeves!

  19. I love this sweater. I think it looks amazing on everyone. Personally I love the bell sleeves, too. =)

    It would be really great if you had someone with a 36″ bust in the galleries as well. Sort of in-between everyone else.