10 thoughts for setting in sleeves

  1. Set-in-sleeves are not scary.
  2. They are not all that easy, but neither are lots of other things. They are not harder then working a cable or knitting lace and I’d bet you can do at least one of those.
  3. It is not unreasonable to set in the same sleeve 3 or 4 times before you’re happy with it. I do this every time.
  4. If after several tries it still doesn’t look right, re-knit the cap so that it will. Its not your fault, the designer’s fault, or the yarn’s fault, (at least not usually) sometimes these things happen. Two to four rows more or less will almost always fix it.
  5. If the arm opening is too big, pull back the sleeve cap and add a few rows with out decreases somewhere after the first quarter and before the halfway point of the cap.
  6. If the sleeve cap is too big for the body rip the last few inches of cap and decrease more aggressively.
  7. Always start sewing from the center of the top. Ease across the shoulder/first inch or two, then match row for row body to sleeve as much as possible. It is not always possible, if so see #8
  8. Basting can be very help full. Using a bit of waste yarn, start at the underarm and tack down every inch or so until you get to the last inch or so from the curve at the top, where the ease should be concentrated.
  9. I always sew any seams before setting in sleeves. I learned this from a book about couture sewing and I have no doubt that this works better for me. That said, there are lots of people who prefer to sew sleeve caps into place before they seam and that works better for them. Chanel always set in sleeves to seamed garments though, I’m just saying…
  10. Its amazing what a difference good soak and little blocking make.

January is getting to me this year much worse then usual.In the last post I whined about the weather and little has changed, I am still complaining about the weather except that instead of snow now we’re getting arctic cold.  Last night, -25 degrees F, and today’s projected is high 0… Bleck. I am doing my best to knit my way through, and yesterday I even managed to finish something (yay! more on that later).

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6 Responses to 10 thoughts for setting in sleeves

  1. Heather says:

    thanks for sharing this. i have set in sleeves many times, but always dread it when it’s right over the horizon.

  2. Camille says:

    Thank you for this post! Cables and lace don’t scare me anymore, but sleeve caps and armscyes…ieee!

  3. olga says:

    oooo I hate January this year too. Seems like it has already lasted 3 months instead of 25 days. bleh.

  4. elena gold says:

    january weather is really getting to me as well, though here its just constant grey instead of that freezing cold! I lived in east calais for a year, and I don’t miss that winter too much. This was a really useful post. I’ve had great luck with EZ’s directions for seamless set in sleeves, but I’ve been wanting to practice set in sleeves as sometimes it can just be the right choice. Good tips, thank you!

  5. Estella says:

    Great post. I totally agree with #9. I always sew my sleeves before setting them – I learned to sew before I knit and that’s how you sew. I told this to a knitting friend recently and it surprised here – I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

  6. Yoda says:

    It never would of occurred to me to pull out the cap and either add/or take back a few rows but wow, what an neat trick!
    Love your blog!