How to increase the sleeve width properly?

Hi Everyone!

I need to increase the width of the sleeve to 18 inches. Here are the pattern guidelines:
Tension: 20 st and 28 rows= 4" on US #7
18 st= 2 1/2" in Cable Patt on US #7

Now the schematic shows that the sleeve width is 15 inches; casting on 98 stitches and ending with 46 stitches (which equals 6 1/2") for the sleeve cap.

I was able to figure out that I need to increase my cast on to 116 stitches. The problem I am facing is the sleeve cap. If I follow the pattern shaping, I end up with 64 stitches left. How do I end up with the same measurement or should the sleeve cap be larger, since I increased the width of the sleeve?

And do I have to change the front and back because of the sleeve width increase?


If you’re increasing the width of the sleeve to accommodate a fuller upper arm the cap most likely needs to be consistent with that. (Unless you have small, narrow shoulders but larger upper arms.) Your larger cap will need a slightly larger armscye so that you’re not trying to squeeze too many sts (too much fabric) into too small an opening. Your upper cap diff is nearly 4" (46 to 64 sts) which is too much to ease in, IMO. You can map out the new numbers on knitters graph paper (to gauge) to determine your BOs/decs of the slope and then transfer those to the armscye shaping. (This is what I do when I design or alter.)

ETA: just checked my copy of Righetti’s ‘Sweater Design in Plain English’ and she suggests (for larger upper arm, if that’s your case) to do a large number of BOs on first BO row…and subsequent rows. And don’t attempt to exactly match the armscye numbers…just go for fit. (Okay.) Sounds like she’d work add’l BOs in an effort to reduce the sleeve down closer to the orig cap shaping.


Okay, if I understand this correctly… I should increase the number of the first bind off, which is now 7 stitches for the next two rows.

If I increase this to 10, will I have to change the front and back at the first arm shaping as well?

Yes, you’ll have to increase the BOs to 10 sts for that too. If you look at a pattern, all pieces have the same number bound off.