The Details: Sleeve length

The Details: Sleeve length

Being a persnickety sort, I’ve written before about converting seamless-bottom-up sleeves to top-down and stopping to block top-down sleeves before finishing them off (among other sleeve-obsessive posts), all in the service of knitting a sleeve to hit exactly where I/you want it. The challenge with sleeves — no matter what you’re making or how you’re making it — is that no two sweaters fit or sit exactly the same way. It’s not enough to think you prefer an 18″ sleeve (and to know how to re/calculate the shaping for yourself), because an 18″ sleeve attached to an 8″ armhole will be an inch shorter than an 18″ sleeve attached to a 9″ armhole. And even then, depending on the density of the garment, the drape, the way it sits at the neck (what kind of neck), even two sleeves of the same length will hang differently. So I’m fanatical about studying a schematic (or plotting out my own course), doing the math — hopefully making sure I’m calculating rows, not measuring unblocked knitting — and so on. I take time to get things just where I want them, and I know how to do that. But then along comes a sweater like this grey Cline of mine, which presents a whole new conundrum.

It seems simple enough: The Cline pattern is designed for 3/4 sleeves, which is not my thing, plus I have long arms and compact row gauge. So if I knitted it as written, they would be more like elbow sleeves (as learned in my try-on). So I needed to add some length, but figuring out how much in this case is not straightforward. Cline has a very unusual sleeve shape — it reminds me of a stingray — and no normal spot from which to calculate measurements. Working from a simple shoulder-to-wrist measurement isn’t an option because the sleeve doesn’t start right at the tip of the shoulder (especially on me). But nor is it a regular raglan yoke-depth situation, where you can add yoke depth and sleeve length for the desired total. It’s something of a hybrid. So once again, the only way to get it exactly how I wanted it was to knit the lower part of the sleeves last. To do this, I did the following:

1.) Cast on the allotted number of sleeve stitches in hot pink waste yarn, as seen in the photo up top, and knitted into them, working in stockinette upwards. (In other words, skipping the cuff ribbing and starting the pattern on the next row.)

2.) Added 8 rows into the start of the sleeve, simply by knitting a couple of extra rows before each of the first few increases.

3.) Knitted the remainder of the sleeves as written, plus the front and back of the sweater.

4.) Blocked everything and seamed the sleeves into position, as well as sewing up the side seams, leaving only the unfinished sleeves unseamed at this point.

5.) Picked up the neckband stitches and knitted the ribbing, so the neck’s affect on the sweater’s hang would be taken into account — especially as I was deliberately cinching up the neck a bit.

6.) Clipped together the unseamed edges of the sleeves and tried it on, and at this point determined how much more stockinette I needed to knit downwards before starting the 2″ cuff ribbing (23 add’l rows, in my case).

7.) Removed the waste yarn and put those live stitches onto the needle to complete knitting the lower arm and cuff.

8.) Used the long-tail tubular bind-off, the world’s best BO, which I find faster and less fiddly than the equivalent version of the tubular cast-on. Same effect with less fuss!

The only thing I didn’t do, and should have, was take a moment to check what the cast-on circumference would amount to. It could actually stand to be 3 or 4 stitches bigger through the forearm (I do have slight Popeye arms) but I’ll see if I can do anything with that the next time I block it. And meanwhile, it’s totally fine!

If you missed it yesterday, here’s the full rundown on this fabulous sweater.

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PREVIOUSLY in The Details: Grafted patch pockets

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2017 FO 19 : Junegrass Cline sweater

2017 FO 19 : Junegrass Cline sweater

There was something so lovely about spending the last day of the year with this sweater in my lap, seaming the last of the seams, weaving in the final ends. Starting off a new year with a sweater I’ve wanted and needed for such a long time. When I think about how many grey sweaters I used to own (B.K., before knitting) and how long it took for me to make myself just one simple grey pullover … well, all I can think is I put too much pressure on the decision. Changed my mind too many times. Spent too long arguing with myself about what exactly the one perfect grey sweater would be, as if I’ll never be allowed another one. Thankfully I got over it and cast on this little gem in my treasured Junegrass, because baby it’s cold outside and this thing is A) cozy and B) versatile enough to wear every day if I want. And I do.

You’ll recall from when I tried on Christine’s that the sleeves were much too short for me and I didn’t love how the wide neck looked on my frame, so those are the only changes I made. To bring the neck in a little, all I did was pick up fewer stitches; and instead of doing the folded neckband as written (from live stitches), I finished it with my beloved folded neckband join. I’ll do a Details post tomorrow about what all I did with the sleeves. But other than that, this is straight off Julie’s fantastic pattern.

2017 FO 19 : Junegrass Cline sweater

I had seen a number of comments from people who’ve knitted this about how the raglans are seamed and that it’s worth it to do it as written. And I 100% agree. I was dubious about the backstitch at first (and could not make that look good on the shoulder seams, so did a standard head-to-head graft there) but once I got started on those long backstitched raglan seams, I didn’t want it to end. Not only does it look good, it was really pleasant to do!

As I was knitting this sweater, I kept thinking “I better love this garment, because the fabric is a dream come true.” As in, the sweater better be worthy of the yarn. Thankfully, in the end, they’re a match made in heaven.

Pattern: Cline by Julie Hoover
Yarn: Junegrass Batch One from Fancy Tiger Crafts (no longer available, see Batch Two)
Pictured with: black silk gauze shell and natural wool pants

Leather tool pouch and army Porter Bin from Fringe Supply Co. You can see all of my posts on this sweater hereInstagram posts here, and please like it at Ravelry if you do!

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PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Wool muscle tee

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Postcard from Florida

Postcard from Florida

So you know I had this idea that I was going to somehow finish all the finishing on my Cline sweater either before or en route to Florida last week, then maybe knit half of a whole ‘nother sweater while I was away — while also somehow wrapping up my log cabin swatch and plan? That didn’t happen. Once I got the first sleeve seamed on, it was clear I still needed to knit another 6 inches or so per sleeve (more on that later), in addition to the doubled neckband, the tubular bind-offs on the cuffs, and all that seaming. But more than anything, I didn’t want to feel pressured — to hear my omnipresent internal nag asking me what I had to show for myself at the end of each day. Of my vacation. I played a lot of Onitama with my sister and husband; cooked, made cheese and swam with my niece; walked the dog; filmed dolphins mating by the sea wall; watched the sun rise and set. I did finish the log cabin swatch. And the neckband and first sleeve. And the last bit of the second sleeve on the drive home. So my New Year’s Eve Day — a “feels like -5°” stay-inside kind of day — was spent largely sitting in silence, enjoying the rhythm of my tapestry needle gliding in and out of this exceptional wool.

Cline pattern by Julie Hoover in Junegrass Batch One from Fancy Tiger Crafts (no longer available, see Batch Two) | all Cline posts
Porter Bin from Fringe Supply Co.

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PREVIOUSLY in Cline sweater: Queue Check December 2017

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Queue Check — December 2017

Queue Check — December 2017

I had this notion that I was going to do a big forward-looking queue planning sort of post for today, but after so many hectic weeks I find I only want to think about what’s right in front of me at the moment.

I mentioned the other day that I expect to be wearing my grey Cline sweater by New Year’s, and I’m still on track for that, now most of the way through the second sleeve. (This photo is from Sunday.) What’s left is to seam it all together — a considerable amount of seaming in this case — pick up and knit the neckband, then finish the cuffs downwards, once I can see how it fits. I have a road trip coming up which should afford me the time to do all of that, except I’m still somehow hoping to have most of it done before I go.

– Once that’s done, I’m moving forward with the idea of replacing my Bellows (which I gave to my mom) with a new blue one, using my Harrisville Rhinebeck yarn. I took a sitting away from the grey the other night to knit this sleeve swatch and it’s interesting how differently the color reads from how it looked in the skein — not better or worse, but more of the purple tone comes through. I feel like it might be worn at home every night with my pajamas more than out and about, but either way I know this will be a fast, warm and well-worn sweater, and I hope to get it fairly well on its way during my trip.

– And then there’s the little matter of my Log Cabin Make-along project which I’ll be revealing and starting in earnest on Jan 1!

Both of those projects — textured/cabled cardigan and log cabin knitting — are so appealing right now, on the heels of the grey stockinette, and more than enough to satisfy my fingers for the time being. But out of curiosity, I took a look back at last year’s year-end Queue Check to see what I had said about what I wanted to make this year. Of the knits, two were since completed (striped raglan and camel Channel), one is on the needles (grey Junegrass pullover, above) and the other two are still next on the list in some form: big cozy shawl-collar (above) and big cozy turtleneck (i.e., my Charles fixation). From the sewing list, three of the four were completed (blue shirt, striped sleeveless tee, white linen shell) and the remainder is already/still at the top of my sewing list for January: a simple sweatshirt or two. Ok, technically I did make myself a sort-of sweatshirt, so I guess I completed that list, but I still want a good long-sleeved fleece and/or melton one.

So I guess I know what to do!

Have a magical weekend, everyone —

Cline pattern by Julie Hoover in Junegrass Batch One from Fancy Tiger Crafts (no longer available, see Batch Two) | all Cline posts
Bellows pattern by Michele Wang in limited-edition yarn from Harrisville Designsall Bellows posts

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: November 2017

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Poor photos of me in a dreamy Cline sweater

Poor photos of me in a dreamy Cline sweater

Since I posted here and on Instagram last week about trying on and casting on the Cline sweater, I’ve had a lot of people asking about the fit. Anytime I get to try on a sample of something, I snap quick photos in order to be able to reference them later if I’m ever actually knitting it. (Now where did the sleeves hit me? Did I like the length? The neck? …) I did the same here and, as usual, they were meant only for me and my camera roll, not for public consumption. I regret not having gotten better photos, but I get why everyone is wondering about this, so here they are for all the world to see! Tweaked as well as they could be. But certainly enough that you can see how it fit me and my big shoulders.

This is the sample size (gorgeous in this mushroom-colored Rimu), 47.25″, and my bust is about 34.5″ — so it’s roughly 13″ of positive ease. You can see the difference in how my shoulders fill it out, versus the original model with slightly narrower shoulders or darling petite Jaime, who also tried it on that day and just finished hers in the same size. So what’s oversized and adorably funky on Jaime looks like a more traditional fit on me.

This one was knitted by Christine, a professional sample knitter, who goes as @a2kiwi on Instagram and a2kiwi on Ravelry. I’m so grateful to her for letting me try it on — thank you, Christine! You can see her project page for it here, and all of her knits here. She’s incredible.

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PREVIOUSLY in Cline: Queue Check, November 2017

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