Arrgh... set-in sleeve

I have the pieces knit for the Gathered Pullover (Interweave winter 2007) and just cannot get the sleeves to fit the armhole. Going to try to reblock and try again tomorrow.

The sleeve is knit in the round until the sleeve cap and then knit flat. I think it would have been easier to seam if the flat knitting started a little earlier than the sleeve cap.

Need good seaming karma!


K, sounds like you have to ease the cap of the sleeve into the hole.
I’ll try to explain this as best as I can as it’s not like regular just straight edge to edge kinda thing…
First, fold the sleeve in half in the middle of the cap and the underarm, now take some stitch markers and place at those spots. Now, take those markers and match them up with the bodice seam and the shoulder seam, pin those in place (K sorry should mention here that pieces should be right sides together) Now that you have the centers matched up, you will match straight (no easing or gathering or stretching) from the underarm stitch to the point where you start the cap of the sleeve. Do that on both sides of the underarm center. Now comes the fun part. Easing the cap into the space allowed by the armhole, easing or squishing together the cap as you go, be sure to pin together. Do this on the other side of the top center of the cap. Now that you have it all pinned, you can now sew (with yarn of course) together, starting at the underarm center around to where you started.
Dont’ worry about it looking all puffy. Once you’ve gotten it all eased in it’ll sit on your shoulders much better than a plain straight to straight seam.
Hopefully this helps hun. I tried the best I could without pics.:thumbsup:

The shaping of a sleeve is a little tricky but there is actually not much ease from underarm to about midway on the front and the back, then, from this midway point on the front, all the way around over the shoulder to the midway point on the back, the hole is quite often smaller than the cap of the sleeve so you’ll need to ease, without puckering. The only time this changes is when you have a gathered cap. Hope this helps… Mary

I think you and I were posting at the same time…and pretty much said the same thing… sorry bout that!

That’s k mwhite,
I’ve sewn about as long as I’ve knitted so figured this was a dressmaker/seamstress type of element. :aww: Is all good!!!:slight_smile: :thumbsup:

Same here, the lil seamstress in me just jumped up, flew to keyboard and took over!

Candicane, we hope this info helps ya! :mrgreen:

Thanks for the help. I haven’t been back to the project. Decided I needed a little ice cream break and then went to bed! It seems like the armhole is bigger than my sleeve cap instead of the other way around, although my measurements match the schematic.

I have done a set in sleeve before and it wasn’t as hard, but the entire sleeve was knit flat.


Then you should be able to take up some in the shoulder seam. Put the sweater body on yourself or whoever it’s for and make sure that pinching up at the shoulder doesn’t make it too tight around the armhole. If there is excess or ease in the underarm/bust area, you can take it up some there and make your alteration more even, dividing the takeup amount between the shoulder and underarm.

I can figure out how to take it up at the shoulder seam and since I did a 3 needle bind off there, it shouldn’t be too difficult. How do a take it up at the underarm?

Thanks for all your help.


Kinda tricky if there isn’t a sideseam… If it were me, I’d use a crochet hook, attach a slip stitch, at the midway point, on the seam edge, and tighten it up by putting the hook into a stitch, pick up loop from live yarn, pull through, move over to next knit stitch and repeat, snugging it up as you go. Repeat until you get to the midway point on the other side. I’m not sure but if this doesn’t work, you can always pull/unravel the crocheted chain looping.

How much ease do you need to take out? I just worry that the sleeve will cling to the arm and the body will look like it’s too big. If it’s not more than 1 to 1.5" too big, the shoulder should take care of the problem, because you can take up 3/4" without it affecting the neck or yoke areas too much And, God forbid, you might have to remake the sleeves and and change the instructions.