As a designer I receive many emails, phone calls and messages about what I consider to be straight forward knitting techniques. I have decided to use my blog to delve into these processes and techniques in detail. Techniques like the Kitchener Stitch, short rows, seaming, and today’s lesson…. Attaching sleeves to a bottom up sweater that has been worked in the round. Many sweaters are worked this way with a body and two sleeves worked separately and then joined to work the yoke.
Step one: work your sweater pattern up to your underarm
Step two: work both sleeves up to your underarm
Step three: typically (as in my pattern Linnea) the “round beginning” marker is at the center back, basically with a bottom up circular sweater you will divide it into 4 quadrants, then subtract two sets of underarm stitches (your pattern will give you all this information) then divide this new number by 4. Say hypothetically you have 100 sts, each quadrant would be 25 sts, say you want 10 sts under each underarm, you now have a total of 80 sts, divide this by 2 and you should have 40 sts for the front and 40 for the back. Your marker is at the center back so you would knit 20, place the next 10 side stitches for your underarm on a holder, and then JOIN your sleeve (make sure you have also put 10 sleeve underarm stitches on a holder too!)
This joining is where people are stumped. If you read ahead in a pattern sometimes it gets confusing, but if you are at the the actual underarm gap it will be much easier.
As the pictures show, you want to always have the right side facing you, in this case (and in most cases) the right side of the fabric is the smoother stockinette stitch side. When you reach the gap, hold your two sets of underarm stitches together, and simply knit across the right side (smoother side) of your sleeve. When you finish the sleeve stitches join to your body again on the other side of the underarm held stitches. Repeat this for the second sleeve! Once you have knitted a few inches of your yoke this funny business will all of a sudden make perfect sense and become a sweater.