Stash Dive KAL Sweater: Sleeves

So this is a little embarrassing (or perhaps you’ll find it reassuring?) but my gauge changed quite a lot when I was knitting my sweater! For sweaters that have got large amount of st st knit in the round this often happens to me as I don’t need to think; knitting round and round seems to relax me too much for my own good!

I realised this had happened fairly soon after starting but I decided to keep going as I was ok with the sweater being a few more inches oversized. For the body it worked just fine, giving a looser fit but it did mean that my neck was also wider. I corrected that on the last video by working a tighter gauge, wider neck edging that I’m happy with.

stash dive body

However now that I’m on the sleeves I need to become more careful. With an oversized body it’s a good idea to have the sleeves well fitted, even snug, especially at the cuff as it will make the whole sweater look less sloppy.

My original gauge was 26 sts per 4″ (10 cm), measuring my body this has loosened up to 23 sts in 4″ (10 cm). This means that the width of my body is 25″ instead of 22″. I’m assuming that the 3″ extra of ease will come out 1.5″ on each side of the body so I’m going to make my sleeve 1.5″ shorter, I will change sleeve length from 17″ to 15.5″.

How to Calculate

Upper arm = 15.5″; 15.5 x 5.75=89 so I will pick up 88 sts all around the armhole opening. (44 sts each side).

Cuff = 9″; 9×5.75=51.75 sts. I want a multiple of 4 for a ribbed cuff so I will reduce the stitch count to 52 sts.

So I now need to see how many decrease round I need: 88-52 = 36 decreases in total. I have 2 decreases worked on every decrease round so that will be 18 decrease rounds.

Now I want my sleeve to 15.5″ long. I will leave 2″ for the cuff and I will want to stop the decreases an inch or so from that so I’ve got 12.5″ for working decreases. Now I’ll use the row gauge to calculate how many rounds that is:

12.5x 32/4 = 100 rounds

Now I need to find the spacing.

100 rounds / 18 decrease rounds = 5.5 rnds

So I’ll do 9 decrease rounds spaced every 6 rnds (9×6=54 rnds)

and then 9 decrease rounds spaced every 5 rnds (9×5=45 rnds)

This will use up: 54+45 = 99 rounds.

Colour Sequence

I’m going to let my yarn amounts do a lot of decisions with this. I’ve divided all my remaining yarn into two balls using a ball winder and electronic scale. Now I know I can match my sleeve colours. IF I have enough of each colour I will do the following scheme but as the top of the sleeve is wider it seems likely that the top colour bands will be narrower and the bottom ones will be wider. When I’ve completed a sleeve I’ll update to let you know how it works out!

yarn in small balls

How To Work

Starting at the underarm I’m going to pick up 88 sts around the armhole opening, with 44 on each side of the armhole opening. I’m going to use a long (32″/80cm) circular needle for magic loop. (You find different ways of working small circumferences in the round here). Next I’ll join to work in the round and will keep knitting my stripe pattern in the round in the colour sequence I decided above.

At the same time I’ll work 9 decreases rounds every sixth round and then 9 decrease rounds every fifth round worked in the following way:

Dec Rnd: K2, k2tog, knit to the last 4 sts, ssk, k2. 2 sts dec’d every dec rnd.

Now I’ll just work the colour changes until I’ve reached 13.5″ and then I’ll work ribbing (K2, p2) for the last 2″. Remember to keep trying your sleeve on, if it’s too wide begin decreasing more quickly and if it’s too short work extra rounds. Just keep checking!


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3 thoughts on “Stash Dive KAL Sweater: Sleeves

  1. Thank you Carol for an excellent tutorial on sleeves. It is so clear and easy to understand. I always find this the most difficult part of making a sweater!

  2. I found that the armholes in my body are quite big for the circumference I would like at the top of the sleeves (biceps). I have about twice as many stitches (rows, if you would use every row) to pick up than the amount stitches that I want for the start of my sleeve. I am not sure how to solve this. What can I do best? Pick up the stitches (rows, in a ratio of 3:4) and then start decreasing more rapidly. Or should I pick up the stitches (rows, in a ratio of 3:4) and then in the second row decrease as many stitches as necessary to get the number of stitches that I want. Hope this makes sense.

  3. Hi Bianca,
    You’ll never pick up a stitch for every row as the ratio for rows and stitches is not the same. For my gauge it was around 3 stitches for every 4 rows so I picked up 3 rows and skipped one. If yours was different you might even find that it is 2 rows and skip one.
    In addition to this you can then begin decreasing more quickly so that you get to the sleeve size you want. Its ok with this style to have the top of the sleeves a little bigger, just decrease down to the size you want quickly!

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