How to increase in pattern for a sleeve?

Hi All,

This is my first post; however, I’ve already learned a lot by reading the explanations and help on this forum and by viewing the knitting videos - so first things first… Thank you! I love this website!

I am a novice knitter, and am a bit confused by the pattern instructions I’m following for increasing a sleeve. I’ve read posts with similar questions to mine (and I apologize for repeating the questions). I think I understand in theory what I’m supposed to do, but I’d like to check on the details.

Here’s the part of the pattern that I’m on:

Rib Pattern (multiple of 6 sts plus 5)
Row 1 (RS): *K5, p1; rep from *, end k5.
Row 2: K1, p3, k1, *k2, p3, k1, rep from * to end.
Rep rows 1 and 2 for rib pattern

(I’ve already cast on 53 sts and worked k2, p1 rib for 1 1/2"…) Change to larger needles and work in rib pat, inc 1 st each side (working inc sts into rib pat), every other row 5 times, every 4th row 8 times - 79 sts.

Here are my questions:

  1. Should I increase on the following rows: 2, 4, 6, 8 , 10; then 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 34, 38, 42?

  2. How do I work the increases into the pattern? Should I expand outward, but always retain a K stitch on each end, or just keep expanding outward regardless of whether a K or P is on the edge?

For example, would the stitches look like this on the first 5 rows?:

Row2 (55 sts): [color=red]K[/color]KPPPKKKPPPKKK… PPPK[color=red]K [/color]
Row3 (55 sts): [color=red]P[/color]KKKKKPKKKKKP…PKKKKK[color=red]P[/color] (or should 1st and last sts be K too?)
Row4 (57 sts): [color=red]KK[/color]KPPPKKKPPPKKK… PPPK[color=red]KK[/color]
Row5 (57 sts): [color=red]KP[/color]KKKKKPKKKKKP…PKKKKK[color=red]PK[/color]

  1. Which type of increases would be best, and where should I insert the increases (I was taught to increase one stitch in from each edge to keep the selvage consistent for seaming)?

Thank you in advance for your help!

yes, i would increase 1 in from the edge too, well, actually, i do it on the first stitch and the second last stitch usually, but 1 in from each edge would be fine too…

I would use a kfb as an increase, then on the return row, i would work them into the patterning, if your really concerned if the stitch you are about to increase is a purl stitch you could work a purl increase, but personally i wouldn’t bother as they are on the seaming edges and you’ll get the patterning back next row.

As for when you increase, i was initially gonna say yes, you are right, but then i started thinking too much, and now i have no idea… :teehee: I’m having problems with the every other row 5 times, every 4th row 8 times - 79 sts. part. My issue is, should there be a ‘then’ in front of the every? I’m assuming there should be or else you would be increasing in some rows twice, and i’ve never seen this on a sleeve, so i would, after much ruminating, say yes you are right, this is how i would do the increases too…

Now go get knitting :teehee: ([size=2]if i’ve led you astray, and you find it looking bodgy, please let me know and i will spank myself)[/size]

Thank you for your help. Yes, you are right - I was missing a ‘then’:

…every other row 5 times, THEN every 4th row 8 times

Do you also know if how I was planning to expand with the increases looks correct?

Should I always keep a ‘K’ on each edge since the pattern seems to call for that (and may make sewing up the seams less confusing for me)? or should the edge stitch just be a ‘P’ or ‘K’ depending on where I’m at in the pattern expansion?


You’re right except for figuring which rows you inc on. The first one is Row 1, every other one would be, 3, 5, 7, etc. Odd numbered rows. Don’t worry about keep a K st on the edge; the edge stitches will be part of the seam and won’t be noticeable. The main part is adding your increases into the pattern; it’s easier to do on the end of the row, a little harder to see at the beginning of the row, but since you do them one at a time, it’s not too hard to keep track of.

Thank you for your help! I finally completed all pieces of the sweater last night, but have not cast off yet because I’m not sure of the proper way to do so.

The WS and the RS have different patterns, so if I just finished with a WS row, do I cast off:

a) according to the RS pattern?
b) knit the knits & purl the purls?
c) other?

Does it matter?

Do I cast off the sleeves the same way as casting off the front/back of the piece?

Thanks again!


You would cast off on a RS row if the row you just finished was a WS row.
Cast off in the RS pattern, and unless the pattern says different, I’d do the same cast off you used for the front and back.

Looking forward to a FO picture soon!!


Thanks Mary! It might be awhile before I’m able to send a picture since I now need to learn how to seam the sweater, and then insert a zipper - yikes!

I haven’t found too much information on the web on how to insert a zipper - if anyone knows of a good tutorial or online video, I’d appreciate it!

Someone recently posted one right here.

Thank you Ingrid … and Stephanie - that’s an excellent reference!

oops :oops: - I mean thank you Ingrid for the reference to the tutorial and thank you LAURA for the tutorial