Time is relative when you’re knitting sleeves

I am in sleeve purgatory.

sleeve purgatory

It’s only the beautiful colours and the promise of a lovely finished object that’s keeping me going…

When I knit sweaters, I usually choose sleeveless or cap-sleeve patterns. In part, because I’m at a time in my life where I frequently overheat and the thought of wearing wool on my arms makes me immediately start to sweat.

But also because knitting sleeves just isn’t any fun.

They’re longer than the body of the sweater. There’s very little interesting shaping to be done. And when you knit top-down (my favourite construction technique because it saves one from having to seam the pieces together later), sooner or later there won’t be enough stitches on your needles to allow for knitting with a single, circular needle. (Yes, I’ve tried those itty bitty circulars. There’s so little needle on them that my fingers cramp up before I’ve managed even half an inch of knitting.)

My all-time favourite yarn; Enya hand-dyed by SaffronDyeworks

While I love my double points for socks, knitting sleeves with them is torturous. What with the entire body of the sweater having to be whipped round and round ever other row and the sleeve itself never seeming to grow despite the hours spent in knitting it.

And to top it all off, there are two of them. Two sleeves that need to be exactly the same length, turning otherwise mindless television knitting into a constant attempt to remember which row you’re on. (Does your family like to yell random numbers at you when they know you’re counting stitches or rows?)

You can tell how much I hate knitting sleeves just by looking at my next planned project. Look ma, no sleeves!

Cranberry Capelet by Thea Colman

The pattern is Cranberry Capelet by Thea Colman. Click on the photo above to go directly to the pattern page on Ravelry.

Of course, the excitement of starting something new is probably distorting my view of how long I’ve been knitting these sleeves.

Because, of course, time is relative when you’re knitting sleeves…


About fitknitchick

Fitness professional, scientist, mother of three, avid knitter and collector of fine yarns, FitFluential Ambassador
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8 Responses to Time is relative when you’re knitting sleeves

  1. Maite says:

    The best system I’ve found for knitting sleeves and getting them both the right length is to knit both at the same time. This works quite well when seaming and setting in sleeves. It also works when doing seamless bottom up construction. I just knit Owls from Kate Davies Designs and when I got to the sleeves I used the magic loop method rather than dp needles. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to cast on and knit two at a time (socks, mittens, fingerless mitts) so I figured, why not sleeves! It takes a bit to get the hang of it (ripped out and started over several times) but very rewarding once mastered.


  2. I recently learned how to do the magic loop method. LOVE it!!


    • fitknitchick says:

      It’s on my list of things to learn. Still not sure how it will help me with top down sleeves?


      • I’ve only recently learned the technique, so I’ve only used it for socks thus far. The magic loop method is great for allowing you to use a long circular needle when you are only working with a few stitches. When I did a pair of socks using the magic loop method, I was using a pair of 40″ (100cm) needles and it worked great! I did a quick search on YouTube and found a video where a woman is knitting a top-down sleeve using the magic loop method. I’m not sure if it will help, but here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv3YDmqnQzA


  3. The previous video I linked shows working the sleeve cap with the magic loop method. Here’s the next part of the series where she shows knitting the tapered part of the sleeve, also using the magic loop method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TgyGjUAK1Y


  4. Pingback: Self-striping yarns: the rabbit hole of fibres | Fit Chick Knits

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