Friday, March 27, 2015

Introducing the Spiffy Raglan Sweater!

My raglan sleeve sweater pattern generator is now available!

The Spiffy Raglan Sweater pattern generator is now in my shop.

About the Calculator

This is a customizable sweater calculator and pattern generator that lets you input your body measurements and desired ease to create a pattern. Sleeve length and overall sweater length is completely up to you.

The pattern created is a top-down raglan sleeve sweater with optional boatneck, crew neck, or V-neck neckline.

Any yarn can be used, since you just need to know your gauge and the math is done for you.

The pattern has body shaping, but it can be omitted by putting the bust-waist-hip measurements as the same measurement.

File Type

The calculator is a Microsoft Excel document.

Don’t have Excel?
  • I recommend LibreOffice for your computer (it's free!)
  • Search for free apps for iphone and Android devices
The calculator has been tested in Excel and LibreOffice.

Call for Testers

Want to be a tester? I'm giving this calculator away for free to the first five people that contact me about testing. Just email me at info(a)spiffystitches(dot)com or leave a comment on the bottom of this post with your contact information.

For anyone else, this pattern is available in my shop for a small fee, since I put a lot of hard work into it.

Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator Walk-Through

Welcome to the Calculator!

If you look at the bottom of the window, you will notice that there are several tabs. The Calculator will open up on the Introduction Tab. There is a lot of useful information here on how to use the Calculator.

Just click the different tabs to get to the different part of the Calculator.

The Calculator Tab is where a lot of the math happens. Under "Ease" use the dropdown menu to pick your desired ease. Fill out the "Measurement" column with your body measurement (or with a sweater you are trying to replicate). If you are unsure about what to measure, read the notes on the far right.

Pick your desired neckline type from the dropdown menu in the orange cell.

Set you gauge based on your test swatch in the blue cells.

Below is an example using my measurements, with loose ease, boatneck neckline, and a gauge of 5.56 sts and 7.70 rows per inch:

Once that is filled out, the Calculator will calculate "Target" and "Finished" sweater measurements. There will be a difference between the two because of rounding of stitches, etc.

The Ease Tab has the different ease settings, you can enter a custom ease percentage in the purple cell.

You can use the Diagram Tab to visualize your sweater. This tab can also help you when you are trying to figure out what to measure for the Calculator Tab.

The Pattern Tab is where the real magic happens. Once you are happy with your sweater calculations, you can stay on this tab. It creates easy to read (and print) instructions for you to follow.

Lastly, the Yarn Estimator Tab estimates the amount of yarn you need based on total number of stitches, gauge, and how many yards or meters per skein your yarn is.

Happy Knitting!

Update Posts

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spiffy Raglan Sweater

I finally have the time to post about my latest knitting project, a lovely raglan sweater that I created.

I wanted a sweater that would be stylish and classic. At the same time I wanted the fit to be just right. I turned to sweater calculators for help, but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. So, I ended up building an Excel calculator to create raglan sleeve sweater patterns.


The Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator (by me!)

I plan to post the calculator on Ravelry for download, so more on that to follow. *Update*: I've put the Calculator in my shop. Enjoy!

With my calculator, I was able to input my body measurements, pick the amount of ease I wanted, and set my gauge and *tada* my very custom pattern was born.

Here is what my settings were in the calculator:

I went with a simple boatneck for the version I made, but I've also allowed for crew neck and V-neck collars. I love the clean lines of my boatneck version.


The yarn I used for this sweater was Cascades Heritage 150 Solid in Plum. It was a dream to work with and the overall sweater is just the right weight to layer over a shirt if I want or just to wear it by itself.

I used about 1.75 skeins of yarn. There is a yarn estimator that is part of the calculator and it estimates 2 skeins, which would work.

Overall, I'm very happy with my sweater and my calculator and my yarn. I think this is my best sweater yet. I wear it at least once a week and it is very comfortable.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Minoru Progress

I've been working away on a Minoru for spring. I wanted a jacket for spring and fall that was a bit warmer than my field jacket, cooler than my winter jacket, and with a better fit than my first Minoru jacket. I used my experience from my other Sewaholic patterns to alter the pattern for a better fit.

At first, I was planning to make a cotton twill jacket with some sort of plaid flannel lining. I bought my fabrics online, but then changed my mind. I wasn't that happy with the plaid, but I couldn't find anything nicer for the lining. I decided to use some of my Liberty lawn from my stash.

To make it warmer, I bought some thin batting and quilted it together. I then bought some navy lining fabric and basted that to the batting for the sleeves. I love how it looks so far.

I then cut out my cotton twill for the outer jacket. I had all my pieces cut out and was ready to add front pockets when I started to go "hmmm...". I picked up my lining and my outer jacket pieces and held them in my hands - I realized that it was going to be one heavy jacket.

I changed my mind and decided to find something lighter for the outer jacket material. So, I purchased some Supplex online and I'm waiting for it to arrive. I feel a bit silly for having spent money on twill and flannel and then using neither. But, at least I can use the twill pieces for bags and other small projects and the flannel can be pjs. If I'm going to make a new jacket, I want to actually wear it.

I just hope that I can finish this jacket before summer is here!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Projects

I've got a lot of big projects on the go! I thought I would share some of my progress with you.

I'm working on a special sweater calculator and making a sweater with it! It's taking a lot of math and excel tricks. But, once I'm finished it I plan on uploading my work on ravelry for others to use.

I'm also knitting the Kaffe Fasset Mystery Knit-a-long Afghan for my living room. It's not so much a mystery to me (since many other knitters are now finished), but it's still a lot of fun. It's also a great way to use up some of my stash. Here are my squares so far:

I have enough yarn for about 1/3 of the afghan. The rest I bought from Art of Yarn online. The yarn arrive very quickly and with a lovely thank you note.

I love all of the colours so much! Once I'm done the afghan, I plan on doing a cross-stitch pillow. I got this lovely Futurama cross-stitch kit for my birthday.

Besides that, I'm also making a spring jacket (a new and improved Sewaholic Minoru) and teaching myself guitar. Whew!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Doggie Raglan Sleeve Top

Although the snow is gone here, it's still a little chilly and my little doggie needs a new outfit. I decided make a copy of a bright orange hoodie that she wears often.

Using my brown packing paper, I traced the sweater and added 1/4" seams allowances. I used a flexible ruler to make sure my seams matched up. Here is what the final pattern looked like:

I used some grey knit fabric from my stash. It was really quick to cut out and sew. Sewing when the pieces are so small and having the perfect fit isn't an issue.

I decided to make a shawl collar instead of a hoodie. It was a bit tricky figuring it out, but it worked.

My doggie loves her new sweater. She looks pretty dignified in her shawl collar.