Hello and a question!

Hi, thank you for allowing me to join your forum.
I’ve been knitting many years, and I’m not a bad knitter. I’ve just recently returned to knitting as I’m knitting for my grandchild due in April.
I’ve knitted five cardigans but finished none! I’ve sewn them up, done bands but can’t, however hard I try, sew the sleeves in. It seems that the sleeve open8ng is much smaller than the armhole opening. I’m positive I’m following the pattern properly but no matter how I try I just can’t get this right.
Can anyone give me some advice before everything goes in the bin! Thank you.

Hi JaneyM and welcome to the forum,

Don’t bin the cardigans! There’s likely a fix. Can you give us a link to one or two of the patterns you’ve used? Even a pattern name will do. Not the whole pattern please because of copyright restrictions.

What style armhole are you making? Is it shaped, set-in sleeve, raglan sleeve or a drop shoulder?
If you’d like you can post a photo of the almost finished cardi. Just use the up arrow in the center top of the Reply box.

Thank you. They are Debbie Bliss patterns, and One Sublime. They are all I set sleeves. A few stitches cast off, a bit of shaping then straight. I’ve double and triple checked the measurements and they are correct. Is it better to cast sleeves off on a larger needle, if so how much larger.

Usually it’s so few sts cast off at the beginning of the sleeves (and the armholes) that it really won’t make much difference if you cast off with a larger needle. If it’s a substantial number of sts at the top of the cap and If you’re a very tight knitter you could try going up 2 needle sizes for the cast off.

Is it possible that the sleeve cap itself is too short? Even if it isn’t, you could try lengthening the sleeve cap there before the decreases or bind offs at the very top of the cap.

Thank you so much for that. I am a fairly tight knitter. Could you explain to me what you mean by increasing the sleeve cap? Where would I add the extra rows, because that does sound like what I need to do. The sleeve definitely looks smaller that the armhole opening. I really appreciate your help, as I was losing the plot tonight. It’s a while since I knitted baby clothes and can’t recall having problems like this, although I think I’m more careful with my sewing up these days!

OK, good. Here’s a drawing of what I mean. I’ve found myself in the same situation and had to take out the top of the sleeve cap and add length.

So usually you bind off a few sts on each side to start the sleeve cap, then maybe there’s a few decreases at the beg and end of the row. Then maybe you knit a few rows without decreases and finally bind off at the top of the cap. This can either be a total bind off or occur in steps. What i’m suggesting is to add rows in the section where you knit a few rows without decreases. It may not take very many rows to make the sleeve cap long enough fit into the armhole.

I can’t really figure out why there is so much shaping to a baby sweater. It’s not like they need Dior couture. They look fabulous in anything.

By the way, congratulations on the expected new grandchild. Terrific news.

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Thank you, I really appreciate your detailed explanation. That makes sense and would give me the extra I need to fit the armhole. I will try that.
This is a very longed for baby. My daughter is 36 and has been trying for years and suddenly out of the blue she fell pregnant. We’ve had a few scares but she’s now 19 weeks and doing great. She told me on the eve of my 60th birthday, it was the best ever gift. She’s our only child so this baby means the world to all of us.


Wonderful! Good luck with the sweaters. It’s such a delight to knit for grandchildren and this one is special.

I find when I have problems with the sleeves i pin them by dividing into sections and it usually fits in. Good luck lets see some pictures


I’m going to take a deep breath and have another go today. I do think I will have to add extra rows as it seems very tight. I will let you know. Thank you.

Well by following all your advice I got the sleeves in! Not 100% happy with them but they look ok! I W going to post a picture once I’ve pressed it! Thank you for all your help.

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Great news! We’d love to see photos.