To cut yarn or not cut yarn

I am knitting the body of a sweater from the bottom up in the round, and once I reach the armholes, the instructions say to put 8 stitches on each side of the sweater on spare yarn to be grafted later to the sleeves. The sleeves are knit (in the round) separately from the body and then grafted to the body. My question is, when I set the body aside to knit the sleeves, do I cut the yarn attached to the body? Actually this yarn is still attached to one of the live stitches that is set aside for grafting. Also, since I am going to knit two sleeves in the round, do I cut the yarn on one of the sleeves and leave the yarn tail on the other to use for joining the body and sleeves together? I only have two balls of yarn so I am going to have to cut somewhere. :think: If it helps, the sweater is Paper Dolls. Thanks.

It depends. I don’t like to cut the yarn until I have most of the item finished, in case I have to make adjustments to the size or something, or if I want to use the yarn to continue knitting the yoke. In your case, leave the yarn attached to the body stitches, and use the other ball for the sleeves; when you get the first one finished, cast on the other sleeve from the other end of the ball. The grafting is done when you’re all finished, and you can use the tails from the sleeves for that when you do cut, and knit the yoke with the remainder of the body yarn and whatever’s left from the sleeves.

Thank you so much. I had not thought of casting on from the other end of the yarn ball. I will not cut anything.

After you make sure the sleeves and body are the right size, then go ahead and cut the yarn on the sleeves, making sure you leave enough of a tail to do the grafting.

I have one other question. Isn’t there a way to do this without leaving live stitches. Can I just bind off the armhole stitches on the body and the sleeves? Then after I join the body and sleeves, can I just seam the armholes together?

Yes you can BO the underarm sts and sew them together, but it makes a bulky seam. Instead of kitchenering them, you can do a 3 needle BO, which is less bulky but you don’t graft them. You still need the sts live though. Why don’t you want to leave them on holders/scrap yarn?

I am unsure of how the yarn that is attached to one of the live stitches will behave. I am afraid I will lose control of the stitches. It has been about two years since I knitted a sweater and I can’t quite remember how it all goes together. I am hoping it will come back when I get there.

If you leave a long enough tail for grafting (3 or 4 times the width of the 8 sts) that will prevent the sts from unraveling, just let it dangle. Once you have all the sts together on one needle for the yoke, there’s no way they’ll come out; just pull the tail a little if the st next to it is bigger and loose.

Thank you so much for answering all my questions.

I have made quite a few sweaters like the one you are doing that said to bind off stitches under the arm and I have changed them to keeping them live and grafting them, so I’m sure it will work to do it the other way too if that is what you would prefer.