Sleeves too big for arm holes

Ok so I used a ultimate sweater machine to knit a sweater. I followed the instructions to a tee even making a test swatch. Well when I was finished I ended up with sleeves that are too tall for the arm holes. I have been hand knitting a while and I remeber overhearing a conversation at my local yarn shop about fixing some problems by first using a sewing machine and the cutting the excess knitting away. I have loooked at my project several time and I think this could be done…if indeed sewing with a sewing machine is enough to keep the stitches from unraveling. Does anyone have any input on this method? Just curious before I go sewing and then hacking away at my sweater. Lol

Sounds like that scary “steeking” thing I’ve heard about but never had the nerve (or need) to try. I don’t know how it’s done, but that should give you somewhere to start.

Good luck!

Yes, that is called steeking. Its best done with 100% feltable wool, but can be done with other yarns if they are well secured.

I’m not sure how you’d use it for this problem though… Can you just ease the top of the sleeve into the sweater instead?

I don’t know enough about steeking to say one way or the other what it can be used for, I just remember my girlfriend getting a “repair job” from the yarn store that involved a customer who ignored the warning about taking time to save time and checking gauge. As a result, the lovely cabled sweater she’d made for her husband came out large enough to house a tribe of pygmies from some obscure island nation in the Pacific rim. Seriously. I’m an even six feet and about [ahem] 185 lbs and this thing swallowed me whole. So unless this woman was actually married to the entire offensive line of the New England Patriots, she overshot it a bit.

I digress.

Anyway, Wendy was understandably reluctant to start cutting on this sweater, but she’d already gotten enough yarn out of the sleeves to make a Lhasa Apso and there was STILL a wad in the armpits the size of a baseball. The length was easy enough to fix (which is where the Lhasa came from), but the circumference… not so much.

So she read, and consulted and studied and plotted and measured and finally steeked. And in the end, the customer went home with a sweater sized for a mere mortal and a life lesson to TAKE TIME TO SAVE TIME. ALWAYS CHECK GAUGE!

So I know it’s been done (at least once), but don’t ask me how she did it. Actually, I couldn’t explain how she does most of the repairs she does.

In fact, this might be the route the OP wants to take. Go to the LYS and see if they have someone either on staff or that they contract such work out to and let THEM do it.

You might check and make sure it’s the sleeve cap that’s too big and not the sweater body that’s too short. If that’s not the case and the sleeve cap is just slightly too big, you could try gathering the top of the cap a bit and easing it into the opening as Jan suggested. If the sleeves are knit from the cuff to the shoulder, could you take the upper part of the sleeve out and re-knit it to a smaller size? Steeking is certainly a possibility. It would require stitching over the area inside the proposed cut line a few times with the sewing machine set on very short stitch lengths.

it is the sleeves caps that are too big but very much so.

i did it over the weekend i went ahead and sewed and then cut my sleeves. i think it worked i will add pictures and a detailed description of how to do it very soon

So glad this worked for you. Yes, please do post a picture and any helpful information you can. I’m sure others will have this problem, and solutions (other than frogging and reknitting) are few and far between.