Sleeves: Now With More Sass!

Having smugly cut open your knitted body tube, it will be time to turn your attention to making some sleeves.

For the purposes of our KAL, I'm going to ask you to knit them from the cuffs up. This is because there is a little magic to be worked at the sleeve tops, and I want to do it with you at the end. Just trust me; you'll like it.

The first consideration will be what type of sleeve silhouette you choose. The original Pattern-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named features kimono style sleeves which are worked from the top down (flat, of course) and shaped ever-so-slightly with a few decreases (6 total) giving only about 1" of difference between the sleeve top and the cuff. For the life of me, I cannot tell why the sleeves should be knit in the opposite direction to the body. The charted motifs would look different when oriented like A-shapes, rather than V-shapes(!). It must be some misguided Fair Isle thinking, which, I reiterate, this design is NOT.

So your sleeves could be straight cylinders, moderately-tapered flowerpots, or steeply-sloped funnels, depending on what you're going for. Once you've made that decision, calculate the number of cuff stitches you'll need (can be any odd number) and write it down. The math is like this: # of desired finished cuff inches X your gauge +/- 1 st for an odd # = CO.

I'm making traditionally-shaped non-kimono sleeves. I decided I wanted my finished cuffs to measure about 9 1/2 inches, so my CO is 61 sts for each.

I'm knitting my sleeves both at the same time, a Sexy Party Trick I hope you'll try along with me because 1. Your finished sleeves will have no jogs in their rounds. 2. They will match one another precisely. 3. You won't have to weave in any ends.

Let me just say that again: You won't have to weave in any ends. How often do you get a promise like that?

Here's how to start: If you know what your edge treatment will be, CO the number of sts you calculated and work it. If you haven't decided yet, do a provisional CO. 

Here are my two cuffs, worked back and forth in rows. They're simple faced hems, knitted in on the final row. All I do is arrange them on a circular needle like this, and knit across the first one. At the end of that, I cast on 6 new sts for a steek, then knit across the second one. Then I cast on 6 more new steek sts at the end of that, and join the whole thing (without twisting, naturally) for working in rounds. That's it! From this point I just work in rounds, increasing as needed on both sleeves.

Here are my two sleeves, growing along simultaneously:

Remember, when setting up the first row of the chart, you'll need to center the motifs on each sleeve, just as you did for the body tube. It's helpful to draw on your chart where the sleeve edges/increases land. Mine looks like this:

Here's another view of my conjoined sleeves, with one of the steeks visible:

I like to put stitch markers on either side of each steek. The first stitch marker of the round is a different color, so I can tell if I've worked both sleeves or not.

See how hard this isn't?