Sleeve Troubles

Hey there,

I just finished all the pieces to a sweater and have started assembling. I basted in a sleeve and found it nearly reaches my fingertips. They are set-in sleeves. How should I correct this? I need to lose about 2 inches. Should I redo the shoulder shaping and adjust the decreases so that I get rid of the 2" there (that is, take the excess from the top)? Or should I unravel the entire cap shaping, take out the 2" from the body of the sleeve (just below the bound off stitches at the armhole), then continue in pattern for armhole/shoulder shaping? It seemed to match up fairly well when I basted it together.
Also, I could use a little advice on which stitch to use for the sleeve seam, and also for joining the sleeve to the sweater. I made this out of a DK bamboo/silk. Also, how much should the seam allowance be?

Thanks tons,

It may be less work to cut off the BO and unravel, or if the cuff is ribbed, cut it off, and reknit the lower edge of the sleeve.

The seam allowance is one st on each edge, see the video on Mattress stitch under Finishing on the Tips page.

It may be easier to undo the cuff and redo it as Sue says, but for me that is scarey and I’ve never done it. If you are feeling adventureous that is a good idea. If you’re a chicken like me (pock-pock) I would undo it to before the shoulder cap shaping and take the 2 inches out and then reknit the cap.

Sew it together with the right sides all facing you and yes, mattress stitch. It is not always as straight forward as it sounds on a sleeve, but sewing in knitting is quite forgiving I’ve found.

So wait, if I cut off the bottom, I unravel to live stitches, right? Then I start knitting, but won’t it be upside-down? That may be a stupid question, i haven’t been knitting very long. Will i have to reverse the pattern for a lace band on the cuff as well? (go from row 6 back to row 1) then finish with the rib. Well, that would seem like the way to go - lots easier than having to redo the whole cap.

You hadn’t mentioned the lace before. I’m not sure that all lace can be done backwards and still look like it should. Maybe some can be. You could do a sample of the lace repeat backwards and see if it looks all right.

How is the sleeve made? Lace right at the edge? Or where?

You can start knitting where the lace turns to the rib and make the cuff in the rib pattern.

Here’s the pattern:

K1 P1 for 10 rows for rib
K st st for 6 rows, inc 1 st at each end of 5th of these rows
Lace Band:
Row 1 (RS): K2tog, yfwd rep to last st K1
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K2, yfwd, sl 1, K1, psso rep to last st, K1
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Inc in first st, then as Row 1, rep to last st, inc in last st, K1
Row 6: Purl

Then the rest of the sleeve is worked in stockinette with increases every 6 rows until you start shaping the cap.

Just cut off the ribbing and unravel the 6 rows of stockinette, then knit the ribbing again and bindoff. You don’t have to touch the lace part, though you’ll lose the stockinette between the rib and lace.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT! I feel your pain, being 5’ tall…gorilla arms (sleeves) have always plagued me!

I would NOT mess with the armhole shaping AT ALL. You need the armhole (cap) to be an exact match to the armhole shaping of the body.

I would bite the bullet and rip out the sleeve caps, and 2" down past the armhole bindoffs (thereby removing the 2" before the armhole shaping begins).

I knit a sweater this past winter…and I had to knit 5 sleeves to get two good ones. The E-N-T-I-R-E sleeves.

Frogging (especially for proper fit) is a part of the knitting process.

:grphug: BEEN THERE, DONE THAT! :grphug: Group Hug!

I agree with ArtLady. I’d do it over. You may need to rethink the rate at which you do the increases so that you get your full width for the sleeve cap.

Thanks everyone for your help. Artlady, I’m 5’3" so I know what you mean about getting things to fit for petites. I guess one of the beauties of making your own stuff is that you can tailor it to just the right fit, but I guess that means things like frogging will be part of getting it just right. At least I had the sense to baste it and try it on before sewing it all in place. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out, and if I manage to do it without ripping my hair out while I’m at it.


Yes, you are so right. I remember for my SYLVI coat…
last set of new sleeves I added [I]more stitches to the upper arm.

[/I] The ‘as per pattern’ sleeve was rather a stove pipe look. At one point, I had 4 sleeves in front of me! I had extra yarn…so I didn’t frog sleeves 1 & 2 until I was sure that sleeves 3 & 4 were gonna be ‘keepers’!! The fifth sleeve I knit was a re-do of sleeve #1. I liked the re-do, so went on to make a match for it…then didn’t like either one of them…so after that, I just bit the bullet and knit two new sleeves based upon my INTEL! Oy. But now the sleeves are perfect. And I did finally frog sleeves 1 & 2. I used the yarn for the flower petals and bobbles and collar! Not a waste after all!

Join my world of knitting and re-knitting! :teehee: