Adjusting length to finished sleeve.

Hi Folks,
I have finished and bound off both sleeves to my sweater all that is left is seaming and knitting the collar. Does anyone know of a way to shorten up one sleeve without having to rip out any stitches? If ripping is the only way to shorten it to match the other, Should I rip down past the decreases? It’s knitted flat from the cuff up.

Well, depends on how nit-picky you are and what will drive you nuts over time. :slight_smile:

Can you see how/where you got off on the length? Are they different because you waited too late to start the decreases or did you just knit too long on one? Or did your gauge change from one sleeve to the next? (Given the block texture, I’d think you’d be able to see exactly what ended up longer on one than the other.)

The best answer is to rip back to where it got off and reknit. That will always give you the nicest end result.

You could always pinch on the inside and make a tuck, which will add bulk but take out length.

Anyway to just fold up the cuffs to balance it out?

Where do you think the extra length is? Is it in the raglan shaping or in the lower part of the sleeve? Or do you think it’s just overall too long?
There is a way to shorten that involves snipping the knit sts and grafting or knitting down toward the cuff. I’ve used this to shorten sleeves (and sweaters) and it works quite well. Of course, I’ve been able to shorten at the cuff/body line.

@salmonmac I like your link but I think it may be a tad beyond my skill/patience level. Thankfully, I haven’t sewn on the sleeves just yet. I had the idea of simply seaming the top of the sleeve further down to take up the difference. While that trick might work with fabric it would add too much bulk on that shoulder.

@lewister My guess where I got too long is somewhere between the increases and decreases. This is what happens when i’m trying to measure while the piece is laying on a couch or other furniture. This video by Staci from Very Pink about adding in a lifeline as an afterthought might be of help since I’m fairly sure I will be frogging.

Speaking of frogging and re-knitting, any guesses where I should measure my own arm to get a fairly decent estimate for the proper length should I choose to shorten both sleeves. Frustration level permitting of course :grin:


I measure from the underarm along the inside of the arm to where I would like the sleeve to end at the wrist. Of course, there’s a bit of leeway there depending on the ease of your sweater. If it’s a loose fitting sweater, the measurement need not be tight against the underarm. I do this because I apparently have shorter than average arms.

If your sleeves are ok from the cuff to underarms (comfortable measurement) then you may only need to adjust the raglan shaping. It really helps enormously to knit both sleeves at the same time with two balls of yarn.
If it helps, I try to measure on a smooth surface: a table, a wood floor or a counter top.

2 sleeves at once sounds like a fantastic idea when I tackle my next sweater. This one took me a little over a year to get this far and most of it was done when I was laid up from work injuries for 3 months two separate times. After doing some arm measurements, I think I will rip down both sleeves to somewhere after the increases finish and knit even until I reach 2cm shorter than what the pattern calls for. Knit and learn I suppose.

Exactly. I know how hard it is to rip out all that hard won territory but some how the re-knitting seems to go fairly quickly. You could try out knitting the two at the same time if you want. Just remember to finish a row on both sleeves before putting down your work.
It’s a very good looking sweater and worth the effort.

Extra vote here for two at a time for sleeves. I have the worst time ever getting all the increases and decreases to happen in the same places on each sleeve. Best way ever to take care of that issue.

Good luck with the sleeve surgery and come back to show it off once you get it done!

Well folks, everything went well once I got the sleeves taken care of. Figuring out the instructions for the collar is my next challenge.

I should make another post. It won’t hurt my feelings if I have to frog the collar.

Great looking sweater in good looking yarn!
The collar is only picked up from the right edge of the neck to the left edge and not across that bound off flat section at the center front 26-30sts (depending on size). Once you’ve knit several inches, the edge of the collar will match up to 3/4 of that center bind off. Then you start shaping.