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way to shape top of sleeve

Posted by: zida (IP Logged)
Date: September 12, 2009 06:03AM

I am knitting a set-in shoulder cardigan with long sleeves & have a problem of shaping the top of the sleeves. Is there any standard way or formula to do it. (I'm using 8 ply yarn with size 4mm needle)


Posted by: KT (IP Logged)
Date: September 13, 2009 09:08AM

Calculating the cap shaping for a set-in sleeve is one of the more challenging issues in knitting garment. I'm not aware of any particular formula but what I tend to do is the initial decreasing is done to match the decreasing for the armhole shaping. When I get to about a third of the way up my armhole, I start doing some more decreases for about another third of my armhole length until I have about a quarter of original number of stitches which takes care of the remaining 1/3 of my armhole length.

I've read some suggestions that would work for a sewer which is to take some stretchy knit fabric and cut out a template of your garment armscye (armhole) and then work on the sleeve cap until you are satisfied with the shaping, then use that as a template for knitting your sleeve cap.

What specific issues are you having with your sleeve cap?

Posted by: zida (IP Logged)
Date: September 14, 2009 01:45AM

Dear KT, Thanks so much indeed for your response. Does it mean that the no. of rows of the sleeve top ( i.e. from armhole to top end ) is the same of what I do from armhole to shoulder of the cardigan?

Posted by: KT (IP Logged)
Date: September 14, 2009 08:09AM

I suggest looking at sleeve shaping information in books like Vogue Knitting or Maggie Riggheti's Sweater Design in Plain English. The line of stitches along the top of the sleeve cap will account for some of the length in the armscye so you do not knit a sleeve cap to the same number of rows as is in the length of your armscye.

Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: September 15, 2009 08:16AM

As KT suggests, a sleeve cap has to accommodate a lot of that filled-up area. Depending on where the seam is set, the sleeve cap may have to cover the entire shoulder. Thus it has to be considerably larger than the corresponding area of the body pieces. Even if is not a "gathered" looking sleeve the top must still be gathered slightly to fit smoothly.

Riggheti's book is a good reference to have around if you are going to be designing a lot of your own sweaters, but even Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns has a group of sweaters with set-in sleeves (all one style in that area) that you could use as a guide.

You could also invest in a couple of commercial jacket or dress patterns, depending on what sort of sweaters you are making, and work to those measurements. When I was starting to design my own garments I used my favorite commercial sewing patterns all the time.