Patterns from other countries

Most sweater patterns from the U.S. start with knitting the back and then go on to the fronts/sleeves. I bought some James C. Brett patterns last week printed in England and they start you out with knitting the Left/Right Fronts, then the sleeves and then you knit the back at the end.

What I’d like to know is…does it really matter what order you knit the parts in? Just so they all get done eventually, right??? This might sound like a weird question, but I want to make SURE before I start. I’ve never used a British pattern before.


As long as you get all the parts knitted up, I don’t see how it could matter. I’ve actually had the front pcs and the back all in progress at the same time on long circular needles. If work all around at the same time, I can be sure the length matches. I think with a complicated pattern stitch I’d probably not do it this way. If I want color changes on the same row on every piece, it works well.

It doesn’t matter at all, some people start with the sleeves which can be used as a gauge swatch. I think patterns may start with the back as that’s the largest piece (unless the front is all one piece) so you get that out of the way first.

If it’s a drop shoulder sweater, it helps to have knit the back or front first (or both). That way you can measure the length of sleeve that you need from the end of the drop and avoid making sleeves that are too long. For a drop sleeve, I usually knit the front and back, join them and even knit the neckband, then measure the sleeve length.

Yep and for a drop shoulder with no shaping, you can even pick up the sts around the armhole and knit to the wrist to get the length right - less seaming that way.

I’m so glad you made that point as it’s exactly what I’m planning on doing! My only concern is that I plan to have side seams and sew up the the sleeve (worked flat) at the same time as the body. How would it work to make the sleeves to what I expect for cuff length, keep them on a cable and then go to working in the round to finish the sleeves? I did get some of those hair doodads with claws for clipping to try it on for fitting but I expect that for sleeve length checking it will be more accurate after the seaming is done. Or maybe not, and I’m trying to solve a problem I won’t even have.

You don’t have to knit the sleeves in the round, just knit them flat and sew up with the side seams. You could also sew the side seams first, or knit the body in the round to the underarm so there’s no side seams, and knit the sleeves in the round too.

Thanks! I plan side seams because of short row shaping for the front to accommodate my… you get the idea. That’s the only reason I’m not doing it in the round. Coping with short rows and working in the round seems like to much and I’m not sure how it would work. It will be a cardi BTW.

Okay, side seams for you then. But the sleeves can be done either way.