Separation; No Anxiety

Today I'll show you how the rubber meets the road when you knit conjoined sleeves. Here are my Permission Denied sleeves, all done, with characteristic stockinette roll at the top edge (happens to us all).

Once I've knit the sleeves to their proper length(s), I bind off the steek stitches on the last round, then move all the remaining live stitches to two separate waste yarn holders (hiding under the rolling top edge here).

The first steek will have lots of yarn tails adjacent to it, just like the body tube did. The other steek, which falls in the center of each round, has none. So that's the one I'll secure and cut first.

Here are my sleeves, partially separated. Notice the naturally-occuring jogs in each round, adjacent to the steek? Ha ha, I don't care. The're going away! Watch this!

Here you can see the second steek, with more sexy yarn tail combover action. Now that my piece is opened up flat, I can manage the tails and secure it, just like I did with the body tube.

Gratuitous scissor shot, because, well, Steeks...

Woot! Twins, no longer conjoined! The one on the right is showing you its insides.

Now I block both sleeves the same way as the body tube. In the case of this yarn, a gentle shot of steam is all I need. Your mileage may vary, of course.

And now things get a little surreal. I've done all this knitting in the round, only to end up sewing seams! Trust me: It's worth it. I just sew regular old mattress seams with yarn, working from the right side.

See? By cutting and sewing, I can match my sleeve seams with surgical precision. No jogs in the bands or motifs.

I promised you wouldn't have to weave in any ends: Here's where I wave my magic wand and make them disappear! Thanks, bias binding!

TIP: Pre-cut bias binding comes pressed out to 1" wide. I usually have to re-press the edges so it measures 1 1/4". No big deal to do, and it makes covering the cut steek edges easy. To sew, just use a sharp sewing needle and thread with a bit of beeswax or this stuff on it. Only catch the surface of the floats when you do this - don't stab all the way through to the right side of the work.

Only one more magic trick left to perform on the sleeves. I'm going to knit a facing onto the top edge of each, which has a little gusset on it for underarm ease. This knitted facing actually serves to cover the cut edges of the armhole slashes, after the sleeves are mounted. 

I place all the live stitches back onto a needle. Then, with any color yarn that strikes my fancy, I work 7 rounds in reverse stockinette. I cheat and hold the knitting wrong way 'round, so I don't have to purl. At the beginning and end of every round, I increase 1 st to make a cute little mitre.

This mitred gusset will cover the base of the armhole slash at the armpit, just like a plumbing flange covers the edge of a pipe. Don't worry if it doesn't make sense yet; all will be revealed in the next post. Just smile and knit your facing. TIP: Bind off the facing with a needle a couple of sizes larger than the one you knit the gusset with. That way the bound edge won't pull in too tightly.

Here's my sleeve, all finished. Underarm seam happily matched and sewn? Check. Cut edges, knots and yarn tails cunningly hidden by bias tape inside? Check. Armhole gusset worked, with adorable wee mitre for the armpit? Check Check.

Commencing sleeve insertion sequence in 3, 2, 1...