Knitting two sleeves at a time

I finished Knitty’s Daisy sweater recently. I had to knit two sleeves in the same way (all sweaters have identical sleeves, I know!). After one sleeve is knit, I had to make sure the other sleeve is an exact replica. If I made a mistake in my first sleeve, I have to repeat that in the second one. Moreover, patterns specify sleeve length by inches rather than by rows, so I have to measure the second sleeve against the first one.

Looking at these problems, I was wondering if I can knit two sleeves at the same time. I will have to manage two balls of yarns which means yarn tangling and untangling. Other than this problem, is there a reason why I shouldn’t do this? I haven’t heard of anyone doing this before and may be there is a compelling reason for not doing this?

I’ve never done it, but one of the women at my LYS always does sleeves two at a time using a magic loop. I’m sure someone will come along and tell you how, or you could look at Amy’s video.

Good luck!

Knitting 2 sleeves at once is not as uncommon as you think; lots of knitters do so.

You can use either the magic loop (1 one needle) to do it or 2 at a time on 2 circs. Deb already pointed you to the ML video. Here are a couple web sites for the 2 circ method.

Both these methods assume you want to knit your sleeves w/out seams, as a circle or tube.

However, if you just want to know them flat, 2 at a time, you just need a needle long enough to hold all the stiches. A circular needle will probably work better for you then straights.

As to the 2 balls tangling, put each one in a zip lock bag. This will help keep them from tangling.

I agree. I always knit both sleeves at the same time unless they’re knit right onto the sweater.

If you want to knit them flat, circular needle is necessary to hold all the stitches, and I’ve found that putting a stitch marker between the two sleeves helps me to remember to knit the second sleeve. If I put it down between sleeves, I’ve gotten mixed up.

With this kind of knitting, the strands generally don’t tangle much, and the baggies do help.

Thanks Marilyn. Thanks for the zip lock bag tip. When I was knitting the visit, I was working with two separate balls of yarn and had a hard time keeping the yarns free. I can use your tip next time.

When I was knitting two sleeves flat, someone suggested that I pin the sleeves together. One safety pin across the gap did the trick–usually placed a couple of inches below the needles. That helped remind me to keep on knitting across both sleeves (using a separate ball of yarn for each of course) and not turn and knit back on the first before I knit across the second.

I always do both sleeves at the same time. I haven’t had much problem with tangling as I rotate the ndls clockwise/counter-clockwise every other row. I also use plastic ‘boxes’ that grapes and other fruit come in (with holes in them…pic attached) that are perfect for keeping the yarns separate. (I use a lot of recycled thrift sweater yarns that are machined threads so am frequently confronted with the potential for tangling.)


You can also double-knit 2 at a time.
The in the round sock method.

For flat I would do it like standard mirror image double knit projects (ws to ws) , since you’d be turning there wouldn’t be a gauge problem of having one arm all knit and the other all purl.
Carrying both strands together is easier than what you have to do with the sock method (ws to rs).

Thanks for all the tips. cam90066, your plastic box tip is too good. I am going to try it out.

Mike, thanks for the link. I didn’t know you could knit two at a time, one inside the other. Now, that is scary!

I also knit sleeves two at a time - on two sets of needles…

I knit both sleeves at the same time, instead of a Figure 8, its more of a schmoo shape (like a bowling pin) with a single twist of the cable between the sleeves (to cut down on spreading the stitch you end on and making ladders)
When I make my CPB I make it with 2 skeins at once, then as I knit one sleeve, I have the same amount of yarn for the other. If the strands get twisted, you just spin the ball.

following intricate patterns is easier. You do one row twice, then its done. you can even do color changes if you REALLY wanna go a bit Psychotic (just kidding)
you do have to keep track of the pattern AND the decreases (and color changes, patterns within patterns, etc.), but as soon as U can wrap your brain around the complexities, it is fun.

feel free to bug me if you have questions about how I do it, I M hooked on this way of doing my sweater sleeves (and socks, and sometimes multiple hats)


I always knit both sleeves at once. I knit them flat with a pair of straight needles, rather than in the round, and since I knit baby clothes they fit easily on one needle.

It seems to go faster when I do both at once. The yarn tangling isn’t too big a problem, just gently untangle every few rows, or as you go.

The main thing is that you don’t put your knitting aside when you have only knit across one sleeve, as when you come back it can be hard to remember or work out which sleeve you’re up to. Always knit across both sleeves before putting your knitting aside. That way you won’t get confused.

I am definitely going to have to remember this way of knitting sleeves when I get up to that part. Thanks for the idea peoples :yay:

I almost always knit my sleeves at the same time. I typically use 1 circular needle and I make sure that I never stop between sleeves as I’m knitting across or else when I pick it up, I’m not sure if I’m going forwards or backwards. However if this happens, the worst is that one sleeve has 2 more rows that the other. Depending on the size of the yarn/needles this could be a big deal or not. I hate those types of mistakes in my work, so now I just make sure that I can knit to the end of both sleeves before I begin the row.