How to reshape sleeve cap and armholes when row gauge is off

I’m knitting a cardigan with shaped armholes and sleeve caps on the sleeves. I’ve never done this sort of sleeve before…

The pattern calls for 18 rows/10 cm and I’m really off as I have 22 rows/10 cm. If I follow the directions for increases and decreases on the sleeves, sleeve caps and armholes, my cardigan will look different from the original, and I’m afraid the shoulders and upper sleeves will be too tight.

So I have to do some reshaping. I think I know how to do it but I’d grately apreciate some hints and some “don’t forget to think about…” before I start the actual knitting… Tips, anyone? :smiley:

It just takes doing a little math. If you’re nervous, you can draw it out.

Let’s say your pattern calls for an increase on the first and every 6th row for a total of 10 increases. If x’s are increases and -'s are rows without increases, it looks like


and you can see there’s 55 rows involved. At the required gauge of 4.25 rows to the inch, the shaping is taking place over (55 divided by 4.25) 13 inches. Thirteen inches of rows at 5.25 to the inch is going to be (13 times 5.25) 68.25 rows. So you need to somehow squeeze in 13 extra rows.

If you’re a perfectionist, you also need to find a way to accept that you can’t knit a row that’s one quarter the normal height, and so your sleeve will be one eighth of an inch shorter than the pattern. .

Inserting one extra row between each decrease gets us to 64 rows.


Look at the picture of the finished item and decide where the last four rows should be slipped in. If it’s just the average run o’ the mill sleeve, the increase can be more gradual at the start, so we can put one extra row between the first 5 increases:


So it would be increase, then increase every 8th row 4 times, then every 7th row 5 times.

Note: I’m writing this at 2:14 am in a fit of insomnia. :zzz: The theory is correct even if my drawings or actual math is off :smiley:

Thank you, TwoLeftNeedles! :smiley:

I was thinking about doing somehting just like that and I’m glad to see that I was on track.

Here are a few Knitty links by Jenna Wilson on sleeve caps that I just used to create my first pattern (long sleeve toddler shrug). The best link is the first one. The second link is the hypotenuse calculator created by Jenna. What a time saver!!! The final two links are Jenna’s previous two articles on sleeves and sleeve caps. I hope that you find these as helpful as I did! :smiley:


Before anyone jumps to any conclusions and wonders why anyone would need a hypotenuse calculator when they could easily do it themselves… The hypotenuse calculator doesn’t just calculate the hypotenuse in the ordinary sense. You enter your gauge in sts and rows, then you enter one of the following:

  1. #rows and #sts to get the hypotenuse in inches and centimeters, based on your gauge.
  2. #rows to get conversion to in/cm.
  3. #sts to get conversion to in/cm.

You could definitely do #2 and #3 by hand. But, #1 takes more time…
If you tried to calculate the hypotenuse by hand, you’d have to convert the rows and sts to inches before you calculated the hypotenuse (using the Pythagorean Theorem). The hypotenuse calculator speeds up this process as fast as you can type <Enter>. Wahoo! Armscye measurements aren’t so much of a pain with this little tool. :happydance:[size=6][/size][size=7][/size]

ooooooo!!! I hope KK reads this thread!!! She H A T E S math!!! And I :inlove: :inlove: :inlove: it !!!:happydance:

:shock: GAH!!

Thanks Jackie for the links and thoughts on the hypotenuse calculator. I’ll probably dig into it when my head is a bit clearer. :smiley:

But liking maths it probably won’t be too difficult to find the will and urge to read. :smiley: