Sleeves first or body first?

What do you start with when making a sweater? (Not the kind of sweater that you knit all in one piece, of course! ;))

I have yet to make my first sweater and I was wondering if there is any advantage in starting with one or the other.

here’s my theory. i knit the back first since it’s usually a big blob of stockinette. then i knit one sleeve, then the front. then another sleeve. i’m alternating big pieces with smaller ones so i can break up the monotony of the big pieces. make sense?

I tend to do the sleeves first. For some reason, maybe because of the increases, they drive me crazy. If I get them both done at once, I’m sure to finish the rest of the sweater.

It also gets me used to the pattern and allows me to check my gauge for sure.

I’ve heard a suggestion to start with a sleeve; that way you can tell if your gauge is going to match your swatch and be right and if the stitch pattern is working out. If you have to rip out, there’s a lot less stitches.

My knitting instructor carries it one step further, she does the sleves first INSTEAD of a swatch as the sleeves are much more forgiving and you can tell after a few inches what your gauge is. Of course that doesn’t work if your gauge is WAY off and you use a different needle size. But my experience is that I usually adjust the pattern to match my gauge so it works to start with the sleeves. Also, I hate sleeves so like to get them done FIRST.

Maybe you’re where I heard it from; it was to do them instead of a swatch.

I’m glad you said this! I finished the back of my first sweater and plan on starting a sleeve next. I can’t face doing the front right now. :teehee:

haha, i do this too. i think this is part of my problem with the norwegian style round yoke sweater that’s been on the needles forever. you do the body first and then both sleeves. oh, and the other problem is i decided to rip back both sleeves after doing them. 4th sleeve syndrome is no joke! but anyway, yeah, i think try to leave the most interesting thing, which is the front, to the last.

I usually work my cardigans as one piece across front,back and front then I work the two sleeves with two balls of yarn on one needle. That way I know the sleeves will match.( I hope):stuck_out_tongue: I tried one with three separate balls for the three main pieces but that just got to be a tangled mess.

I’m with the the others, Sleeve first, to check guage and pattern, then back.
In this way also, at this stage, you will have good idea of yarn quantities needed , as you have done approximately half the garment/half the yarn.

Half for the sleeves? Mine usually work out to about 1/3.

Oh, I meant 1 x sleeve + back = approx. half

Oh right, I see what you mean now.