Bell Sleeves

Ok…I have been thinking of plotting out a pattern, but I need some help. (Given that I am eyeball deep in projects I need to finish first, and I will likely never get around to this!)

How do bell sleeves work? If I jump on Sweater wizard, it tells me I can’t go any wider than the top of the sleeve. I like big bells reminisant of Renaissance. A bell that starts at the elbow and works is big and wide at the wrist.

Does anyone have any inspiring words…or experience to draw from?

Figure out how wide you want it at the wrist and cast on, then begin decreasing. You may or may not want any straight knitting, maybe above the elbow. Then do the top of the sleeve at the shoulder. Or if you’re working top down, start the increasing at the elbow and inc as many sts as it takes to get the width you want at the sleeve.

I’d adapt an existing pattern. Make a standard sleeve from the elbow up. Then maybe add a crosswise lace panel for 2-3" along the lower edge. Then pick up stitches along the lower edge of the lace. Increasing every other row to flare out the bottoms.

I looked up Sweater Wizard. Okay, I guess I’m behind the times. Cause I didn’t know there was a computer sweater program. I’ve just been keeping my old patterns that fit & altering them. I like fitted sleeves in the armhole. Not the dropped ones used in so many patterns.

I guess it would just be decreasing evenly across right?

There is a basic book of sweater patterns put out by Patons that you could find in Joanns or Patons website. It is basic patterns for basic sweaters with sleeves, without, and there is a pattern for a cowl necked sweater with bell sleeves. Maybe you could adapt that to what you are doing.

You could decrease evenly across every so many rows, or dec 2 sts every other row. You may have to experiment on a swatch to see which gives you the dec rate you like.

Hourglass from Last Minute Knitted Gifts has bell sleeves. You can get the book through the library. If you go with that on, many people added more rows and decreases at the neck; it comes out fairly wide and low cut.

Patons has a book with these sleeves, Patons #837, Next Steps Two and a free one.

And a couple below from Crystal Palace - you can adapt the sleeve shaping portion and use something else for the body if you don’t like the overall sweater.

There’s a few more in magazines that came up in a Ravelry search I did, you can look through them.

I actually have that book…I will have to look through it!

Look up its projects on Ravelry, I’m sure I’ve seen some mods where they made the sleeves even wider.

Oh,and Tubey has bell sleeves which you could make very large and do less decreasing.