Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A treasure trove of plus-sized patterns

She's done it again! Deb Gemmell, the designer of the Deb's Cardigan (AKA Top-Down Plus-Size Raglan Sweater, the one we're currently doing as a KAL) has published 22 ample patterns! The following is a sampling of these sweaters, many of which are top-down and seamless - and yes, I know you just love that!

#611 - The Classic Cardigan, sizes to 52-inch finished bust size

 #403 - Summer Braids, sizes to 56-inch finished bust size

#422 - J.J. Jacket - sizes to 54-inch finished bust size
Remember that most of these garments are knitted from the top-down and therefore will be easy to upsize... you just knit downward until the front and back can be joined under your armpit.

I hope you'll support Cabin Fever and Deb Gemmell because they really support us!


  1. I've been looking at Deb's website trying to decide what I'd like to try next. The ones done from the bottom up with the reversed raglan shaping are interesting. I keep wondering how it works at the neckline.

  2. "Remember that all these garments are knitted from the top-down and therefore will be easy to upsize... you just knit downward until the front and back can be joined under your armpit."

    Another trick, which I've found can hugely improve the look of raglans, is to knit down until the sweater reaches your underarm area, but doesn't quite stretch to meet. Then, when you join the body, work across the first front, remove the stitches of the first sleeve, CAST ON A FEW INCHES OF STITCHES, join to the back and knit across, and then repeat that with the second sleeve. Finish the body as usual.

    Then when it becomes sleeve time, put your stitches back on the needle and PICK UP THE SAME NUMBER OF STITCHES OVER THE AREA WHERE YOU CAST THE STITCHES ON, and work your sleeves in the round as usual. I did this in the last raglan I made, and it completely eliminated the excess fabric and bunching that you can sometimes get in the underarm.

    (Disclaimer: I'm not a plus size, although I am busty and on the high end of regular sizes. I do think this technique would still work with plus sizes, though, although you might have to experiment with how many extra stitches to use. I cast on almost 3 extra inches of stitches in each underarm of my last raglan, and while it seemed excessive at the time, it turned out to be the most flattering raglan sleeve I've ever made.)

  3. several are bottom up

  4. I'm working on the Braids Cardigan now, using Ultra Alpaca. Great pattern, well written. I LOVE the way the vent edges are finished on the longer sweater--very neat and easy. It's coming along slowly, mostly because it's getting big enough now that it doesn't fit in my tote bag easily and I do most of my knitting away from home while in meetings or waiting for my kids. The torso is bottom up, but still seamless; stitches are picked up for the arms, which are knitted down to the wrists. Thanks for highlighting Deb's patterns, Julie. I really like her designs and LOVE that she's thinking of us ample ladies!

  5. I'm intrigued by KatyHC's underarm trick in the comments above. Katy, do you have a blog or pictures showing what you do? I think I'm picturing it right in my head, but not positive. I'd love a way to reduce the extra fabric under the arms. I carry most of my weight in my belly and some in my bust. Thanks to gravity and my 50 years, my bust has headed south, so I often have lots of extra fabric above the girls, sitting in my armpits.

  6. Thanks Julie for putting this up. When Lyn and I started we had to decide where we would situate ourselves in the knitting industry and we decided to position our patterns beginning with a Ladies medium/large and go up. Mostly we have done that. Otherwise they are worked in one piece, top down or bottom up. It's a fun place to be.

  7. (Reply to Ann up above!)

    Ann, I last used this trick in a ChicKnits pattern from Bonne Marie Burns (who pays a lot of attention to shaping in her designs). You can see the final result here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Katinka/velynda/photos,

    The bottom three pictures should hopefully give you an idea of what I was trying to describe. In the last one, I placed a bit of brown yarn over where I'd cast on the extra body stitches (and later picked up the corresponding sleeve stitches). I think why this works as well as it does is because you're actually adding those stitches directly to the spot where they're needed (the underam), rather than to the fronts and backs.

    Good luck! :)

  8. (Too Ann again!)

    Sorry, there shouldn't be a comma at the end of the link in the above post!