The thing about sleeves…a cautionary tale in three parts.
The thing about sleeves is that they’re expected to be identical (or symetrical, depending on the pattern, but that’s not the important part of this lesson). They should be the same length, width, and (if they are patterned) finish at the same point on the pattern. I have, in three of the five jumpers/cardigans I have knitted, flubbed all three of those expectations.
The first cardigan I made was Vermillion Cliffs (ravelry link).
Now, this cardigan…it took me over a year to make it, so I guess it isn’t that surprising that my gauge changed quite significantly, and luckily in the end it did block out. (I still need to make a second one- slightly longer in body and sleeves). So noharm donw in the long run. Still a bit strange, bit there we go.
My incredibly tacky rainbow cardigan (ravelry link).
Now, having half learnt my lesson from last time, I did wait months between sleeves on this thing. I did, however, knit them one at a time. *cough mistake #2 cough*. I’m not sure what went wrong (at the time I blamed gauge, but I guess I could have spaced my increases differently, but I really do think I followed the pattern the same for both sleeves). What happened was that on the first sleeve, the increases were spaced far enough apart that they finished right before I had to start decreasing for the shoulder. So when the second sleeve came around I happily finished the increases and then started decreasing immediately. Leading to one sleeve being quite a bit shorter than the other. *facepalm*. So I frogged back to the start of the shoulder shaping (this yarn is NOT designed to be frogged), and knitted straight until it looked the same length as the first sleeve and then I did the shoulder shaping. Much better (but guess what I found when I sewed it all together after blocking? Yep, the second sleeve was then slgihtly longer than the first. It showed a bit until I sewed the buttons on, and that really does a good jop of straightening it all out and hiding the fact).
I have no idea at all how this mistake came into being. The cardigan I am currently working on for my friend (ravelry link).
(You can’t really see it in the pic, and I figure it won’t be really noticeable, but one sleeve has two more rows of the pattern than the other)
So, I learnt my lesson (and mentioned it to you guys on here when I started) and knitted most of the sleeves TAAT on a circular needle. Then , when it came to split for the shoulder shaping, I did them one at a time, figuring that there weren’t that many rows, and I wasn’t measuring, so they should end up the same, right? #no.
Somehow, I added an extra 2 rows to one of the sleeves. ?????? How, I have no idea, but clearly I can’t be trusted to do sleeves at all. The only reason I didn’t do both sleeves shoulder shaping at the same time was because I didn’t have them set up nicely on the needles to do it. Lesson learnt, next time move stitches around so you don’t have to do anything one at a time!
So, when knitting sleeves: always do them TAAT. Even when shoulder shaping. Move stitches around, and don’t trust yourself to pattern match about 20 rows.
Honestly, it’s a wonder how I can get matching socks!