This program should generate pretty accurate instructions for knitting a plain raglan sweater based on your yarn gauge and measured dimensions. It produces machine knitting instructions for all panels.
The program is a separate web page inside of an iframe. When you are content with your pattern, most browsers should allow you to right click inside the iframe and print only the iframe. You can then print this to a PDF file or to paper. The page seems to fit pretty well to paper.
The default dimensions above produced the sweater pictured to the right.
These settings are for the gauge of your yarn and tension. Accurately measure a swatch of fabric that has been washed. You can measure as long as you like, just put in the stitches counted in the number of inches you measured. I like to keep measuring until a stitch is even with an inch. Make sure to not include stitches near the border of your swatch.
You may change the title of the pattern from the default.
You may select inches or centimeters as your unit of measurement. These are mostly used by the yardage estimator. Everything else scales with the units properly.
These settings are for the front and back of the sweater.
The body panel height is how long the sweater will end up being. The calculations will take into account the width of the raglan sleeve at the neckline to reach the proper body length. Measure from where the trapezius connects to the neck to the desired length.
The ribbed bottom hem is customizable. I usually go for 3.5" at the bottom. You can increase this if you want a sweater with a tall ribbed hem, for example, up to the bossom.
The width of the sweater is how wide one body panel will be. Measure around the chest at the armpit and divide the measurement by two for this value.
The armpit depth is a vertical measurement from where the trapezius meets the neck to where the armpit lines up. Drape the measuring tape from the neck straight down to the ground, and line up the armpit with the measuring tape. Add one or two inches to the measurement for some looseness in the sleeve.
The first two settings assume that the sleeves will have a ribbed cuff that will be folded back. You can set the circumference of the cuff and how tall the ribbed cuff will be. The rest of the calculations used for the sleeve do not consider the cuff height, so if you want a ribbed cuff that will not be folded, make sure to subtract it from your sleeve length.
The length from the neckline to the wrist is considered as without the ribbed cuff. If you expect the cuff to not be folded back onto the sleeve, subtract the height of it from your measurement for this value.
The circumference of the sleeve at the armpit will be where the sleeve first meets the body. It's a good idea to leave a little room in this, so the sweater won't tend to "bat wing" when a person lifts up her arms.
The number of stitches used for the back, sleeves, and front is automatically calculated using the desired total neckline circumference and some ratios. The ratio defaults seem to produce a comfortable and natural neckline. You can adjust the ratios as you desire, however.
The total circumference of the neckline you want should be left a few inches looser than measured, especially if you make a short ribbed neckband. A turtleneck can be made more loose, as a cowl, or tighter with variation of this setting.
The ratio of the sleeves to the back determines how many stitches will be in the sleeves. If the formula determines that the back should have 40 stitches, and the ratio is 25%, then each sleeve will have 10 stitches on the last row.
The front neckline is patterned using a simple stair-step decrease of one decrease every row. The ratio determines how many stitches are decreased from the center. If you have 40 stitches in the neckline and a ratio of 25%, then ten stitches on each side of the neckline will be decreased over ten rows. A higher ratio will make a deeper, V-style neckline, while a ratio near zero will make a boat neck.
The number of stitches that will make up the complete neckline are listed in the instructions for the turtleneck. Make sure your machine has enough needles to work the neckline.
The source for this program is available here.