Ever since I started knitting, I have had a mental block about set-in sleeves. If I am completely honest with myself, it is because my first project was the Tilted Duster (which still isn’t finished) and I had a hell-of-a-time figuring out how the sleeves were to be sewn into the armscye. Having sewed much in the past (and continue to), I was annoyed with myself that I couldn’t do it and have basically avoided them ever since. Until now. I decided that 2011 was the year to conquer my fears and learn how to not only seam but set-in sleeves. No more avoiding patterns or modifying them so that I won’t have to set-in a sleeve.


For those of you who are afraid of set-in sleeves just like I was, I used this tutorial from Berroco that was excellent at demonstrating the sewing technique. From Knitty, since I didn’t have a pattern (I have been designing this from the get-go and will share more later), I used these articles (Part I, Part II and Part III) from Jenna Wilson to figure out the math and ensure my stripes would match-up.


This was my armscye prior to sewing up. You can see that I have stripes (6 in total) to match up.


Once I had pinned it and matched up the stripes, I put it on my lovely dress form to ensure the sleeve cap would fit appropriately.


Since this is a granny sweater and meant to be loose fitting (I added 4 inches of positive ease to be body), I decided to use the 3rd method described by Jenna to design my sleeves. I cast off 10 stitches once my sleeve was the adequate length and on every RS row thereafter, I decreased a stitch at either side. The reason why I chose this method (since the others tend to fit better) is because this is a loose fitting sweater and I don’t need a close fitting sleeve to finish it off. For my first foray into sleeves, I didn’t think I needed anything more complicated.


In the final 12 rows, I decreased every row 3 times then skipped a row and repeated 3 times in total (4 rows, 3 times = 12 rows).


Taking the time and practicing a few times, I am really happy with the results. I even took the time to sew on the buttons since this baby is almost finished.


If you are still with me after this longer-than-intended post, I bought a shirt in Vegas back in April that I am knitting this sweater for. I don’t wear any red but I saw this t-shirt and had to have it – but of course I needed to knit something to go with it! My good friend helped to chose the yarn and here I am: Almost done!


Photos are coming once it is dried from washing it this morning.

2 thoughts on “set-in.

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