Field Marshal FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, was the Duke of Wellington’s military secretary, whatever that may be. He was apparently promoted to his level of incompetence, and is now remembered mostly for sending the Light Brigade into the jaws of death.
And of course for the raglan sleeve. His tailor de eloped it, we’re told, because he lost an arm and needed a more flexible type of jacket. The diagonal seam from underarm to neckline was the solution.
I’m thinking about the raglan because I’m deciding between what I think of as a normal raglan — a top down seamless construction, as discussed in the Crazy Lace class — and seamed construction.
The sweater above and the sweater below were both knitted in pieces and then sewn together.
The sweater below is a raglan knitted in one piece.
This seems more natural to me, more elegant, and even more correct. This may be because my grandmother knitted this type of sweater exclusively for 80-some years, using math and a special pamphlet to make the size and shape right. That’s one of my grandmother’s sweaters from the 1950s or so below. It still looks gorgeous.
Amy Herzog, one of my knitting heroes, says that seamed raglans are better. The seam, she says, provides structure. Without it, the seam may droop and not look nice. The seam gives the weight of the knitting something to hang from.
Huh? I have never felt that my raglans needed support.
I am thinking about doing a raglan allover lace cardigan with the Venus Blue Prism yarn #2 son and his sweetheart brought me from Colorado. Th only actual pattern I have found so far is a seamless sweater knitted from the bottom up, with decreases for the raglan seam rather than increases. The class has clear explanations for knitting the classic sweater my grandmother made, seamless from the top down.
But should I be looking for a pattern with seams? Allover lace is an investment of time and attention. The yarn in question is a slippery, super drapey silk without much elasticity. It might need the structure.