Thursday 11 May 2017

Smaller Sleeve, Top Down

Yesterday, looking ahead, I realised that I have a couple of easy weeks in May without too much activity. That was a mistake. This morning I woke up with a sore ear and that feeling that a cold is imminent. Yuck. It's just like going on holiday and getting sick. So before I take a couple of days off to enjoy ill health (ha, ha) I wanted to show you something.

Many curvy women find that the sleeves of sweaters don't fit. One of the major finds for me when I was writing the Need A Plus Cardigan book was that bust measurement does not necessarily relate to arm measurements. Irregardless, the designer has to still come up with a set of sizes based on bust measurement. Lots of times the sleeves are too big.

If you measure your sweaters, including store-bought double knit jackets you wear, you will probably find that you do wear a large range of sleeve sizes. But you are probably trying to knit your new sweater with an inch to two inches of ease around the sleeve. The schematic is indicating that for your size you are going to get a certain size of sleeve. If you need the sleeve to be smaller, stop increasing on the sleeve about an inch from the bottom of the yoke (one inch less stitches on the sleeve than the pattern says you need at the bottom of the yoke). But what will happen? Won't it distort the raglan line. Yes it will.

I just happen to be knitting a sweater with this feature. I've stopped increasing on the sleeve. Here is a photo of one of the back raglan lines. Can you see where it changes?

Here it is with the black line indicating where the raglan line would have continued and the red line showing the deviation.

Here is a close up.
Doesn't this look remarkably like what your set-in sleeve armhole would look like at this juncture?
I think it's actually an advantage to have the raglan line swing in toward the armpit. I'm working it into the pattern I'm working on now.


  1. Yes it does look more fitted. I have dne some patterns where if knitted up strictly according to pattern, the raglan line ends up at the waist! and that was for 2x and 3 x sizes.
    It appears that most raglan designers design for themselves(medium) and then just use a generator for every size above that.
    You are a 'thinker' when it comes to designing/fitting techniques, and I thank you for that, Deb.


    1. Thanks t_a, I really enjoy the challenge of making garments fit. I think I am an engineer at heart.


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