Plotting A Sleeve

So it came to my attention today that I may have blown right past a whole "How to Plan a Sleeve" lesson. My fault, entirely: I just get so excited when it's time to cut the knitting. Allow me to back up the Permission Denied truck: Here's how to plan your knitting for stranded colorwork, drop-shoulder sleeves.

Measuring for drop-shoulder sleeves is twitchy: where will the armhole seam end up on my body, anyway? Halfway down my arm? Don't worry; there's a way to tell.

Below are two worksheets which should help. (click them to embiggen) Take some measurements and do some math. Fill in the blanks and you'll be ready to proceed with sleeve-making.

To take your Wingspan measurement, you'll need the help of a friend. Face a wall with your arms spread out and touching it, like the illustration above. Keep your body as close to the wall (touching it) as you can. Now have your friend measure you from wristbone to wristbone. That number is your Wingspan. Do the math above to find out your desired sleeve length.

To determine your armhole depth, divide your finished chest measurement by .25. Your sleeve top will measure twice this number, or .5 of your finished chest measurement.

Now that you have these numbers, you're ready to determine the desired finished measurements of your sleeves. Specifically, you need numbers for the wrist (cuffs), the top (also your armhole depth), and the length:

Now import your armhole/sleeve top and sleeve length measurements from the first worksheet. Make a command decision about the size of your cuff and fill that in.

Translate your measurements into stitches and rows by multiplying by your gauge (Thanks, Swatching!). Now you know how many stitches you'll start out with at the cuff, and how many you need to end up with at the top. The only thing left is to determine how many increases you need, and how often they'll happen. Here's the math (Hang in there; we're almost done with The Maths):

# of sleeve top sts minus # of cuff sts = total number of increases, divided by 2 = total # of increase pairs.

# of sleeve rows divided by # of increase pairs = increase interval (every ____ rounds)

And that's it! Fill in the blanks and your sleeve "pattern" is written. You are now free to knit your sleeves, two at a time. Don't forget to add 5 or 6 steek sts in between the sleeves, omitting them from your actual sleeve stitch counts. And remember, when you knit two sleeves at a time, each increase round will have a total of 4 increases: one adjacent to each side of both steeks. 

Enjoy! And holler for help if you get into the weeds. I've got your back, my friends.