Instructions + me = uh oh

I think I have a knack for sticky wickets!

Instead of using the yarn indicated by the pattern I’m working (cartigan-style), I substituted another yarn that will shrink some (my guage shrank lengthwise). So, I thought I’d be clever (my first mistake? hehe) and added a couple inches worth of extra rows to allow for some shrinkage. The thing is, I eventually realized that by having additional rows between the armhole BO and the shoulder, I increased the size of the armhole.

So…I am making the sleeves wider to seam correctly into the armhole, but now I’m worried about what will happen when the finished piece shrinks lengthwise. The sleeve top is a width, not a length, so I don’t know if it will shrink proportionately. I’m afraid it’s going to come out funky.

If anyone has dealt with this I sure would appreciate tips!

If no one else was ‘clever’ enough to have this problem, I’ll let you know what happens in a couple weeks!


Per my experience…

Seaming the sleeve into the armhole will usually help stabilize those sts so they won’t shrink/distort as much as, for instance, a hem. Also, if you lengthen the armhole and upper cap, the weight of the sleeve and sweater body…if any length to the cardi… will pull vertically and potentially elongate them even further. Were it me I’d keep the armhole and sleeve cap consistent with the recommended size but allow for any extra length at the hems (sleeve and body).

Also, depending on style, the act of bending the arm (elbow action) may cause the sleeve to widen, and thus, shorten. Cottons also seem to want to grow width-wise…causing them to shorten…so st counts need to be adjusted accordingly.


I absolutely hate shrinking yarn. Cotton crochet thread is notorious for that.

But doing a yarn project in this type of yarn? I don’t. Not anymore. Not after I knitted my very first pair of socks for my father - using wool. And a year later they got washed in hot water and were good for nothing. :gah:

Maybe you could soak the yarn in hot water then send it through the dryer? In other words, pre-shrink it somehow.

If your sample shrank row-wise, guaranteed it will shrink stitches-wise also.


Thank you both, I feel educated!