Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Designing Your Own 102 -- sleeves revisited

One thing I really like to do to make a set-in sleeve -- especially when I'm not sure how long I want to make the sleeve (or not sure if my yarn will hold out to make a long sleeve) -- I knit the sleeve in from the top. That's how I did the Edelweiss sleeves.

Here's what you want to do (make sure you understand "short rows" before attempting this feat!).
  1. After seaming the armhole, use a circular needle and begin to pickup stitches around the armhole, starting in the center of the underarm bound-off stitches. Pickup stitch-for-stitch on the bind-off edge and any decreases for shaping; then pick up 3 of every 4 on the vertical edges.
  2. Count the number of stitches. Say you've picked up 72 stitches total. Divide by 3 (yes, you will be using lots of math in knitting, sorry!). This gives us 24 stitches.
  3. Now we're going to start short-rowing the sleeve top:
    -- knit the first 24 stitches, place a yarn marker, knit the next 24, * put yarn to front, slip next stitch, put yarn back, turn * (from * * is called wrapping a stitch) and purl back to the yarn marker.
    -- wrap the next stitch, knit back across ending with knitting the stitch you wrapped in the previous knit row (now you've knit 25 stitches)
    -- continue knitting in this way until you've knit all but the bound off stitches, then you're done short-rowing and you'll work even for a row or two on all 72 stitches.
  4. Work even for an inch than begin decreasing evenly both sides every 4th row till your sleeve is the length you want....
That's it -- you now have a short-rowed sleeve that is attached as you knit and fits perfectly! Magic.

You can do the same thing to make a cap-sleeve by increasing by 2 or 3 each time before you wrap the stitch....

Try it!

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