Knitting a top-down raglan is great because you can try it on as you go.

…or so I’m told. I’ve finally gotten back around to working on the Kauni sweater. After almost a month of neglect (it has sat untouched since the plane ride back to the US until about a week ago), it’s finally started moving again. Still slowly, but it’s moving. I had expected to be pretty much home free after starting the body in the round. With only a little bit of side shaping, I figured it would be easy sailing to the hem.

And then I tried it on.

And now I’m not so sure.

I’m beginning to think that the worst thing about a top-down raglan is that you can try it on, and then obsess over whether it’s really right or not all the way from the armholes to the hem.

See, the tape measure says it’s right. Comparing it to sweaters that fit me well says that it’s right. The shape is fine, and actually looks really good. But when I put it on, it looks too big.

I have a tendency to worry about things being too big, because most of the sweaters I’ve knit for myself have ended up bigger than I’ve intended. But this time the tape measure agrees with my calculations and my swatches, and tells me that this is the right size, even if it looks big and floppy on the needles. And, of course, just having needles in it makes the edge stretch and do wonky things, so it could be perfectly fine. Without the rest of the fabric there to weigh it down, it’s hard to tell what it will look like when it’s finished.

But now I’m worried.

As I see it, there are four options:

1) Frog back to the armholes, “fix” a problem I’m not sure is there, and pray that it doesn’t end up too small. (Which would be a really, really annoying way to be reminded to just trust the darn swatch already.)

2) Aggressive side shaping that may or may not look good, but that will reassure me that I’m not making a tent.

3) Knit it as is, have faith in the swatch and the measurements, and just steek the silly thing if I have to. The way it’s knit, I can easily take out about 1.5 inches under each arm just by steeking and making side seams. I’ll know how the body fits before I attach the sleeves, so this should be pretty easy.

4) Embrace the bagginess of raglans, knit it as is, and glory in a too-big but comfy sweater if that’s how it happens to turn out. (I have been known to do this…my favorite sweater is easily 2 or 3 sizes too big. Still, I was hoping that I’d want to wear this one out of the house…)

I’m leaning toward #3. One and two seem like there’s a lot of room for regretting my lack of faith later (though, of course, there’s the equally high probability of kicking myself for not listening to my better judgment, too). This is a tight fabric with all its slip stitches, so it’s not likely to stretch much at all, unlike the other sweaters that have grown to half again the size predicted by the swatch once washed and worn. Alpaca Oblivion, I’m looking at you…

Number four is tempting, but again, I’d like this to be something that I wear out in the world, not just when I want to be comfortable at home.

And three. Well, I hadn’t planned to steek it, but I am really sure that this yarn can take it. When I picked the sweater up the other day, I realized that there were 5 stitches at the armhole join that I had somehow never put on the stitch holder, and they were still sitting exactly where they’d started, after being stuffed into and pulled out of a bag, stretched around the needles hundreds (literally) of times while I knit almost  6 inches of fabric beyond them. If those stitches didn’t go anywhere, there’s no chance that a sewn steek will be a problem.

I sound like I’ve made up my mind, but I really haven’t. I’m wondering with every stitch if I should go back now (because I don’t want to pull back later). I think it’s ok. In fact, it’s probably perfect. But now I’m worried.

All because I got to try the darned thing on.