Last night I sat down to start putting my sweater pieces together.
The original pattern has the body (a tube with waist shaping) knit in the round to where the batwing sleeves start, then you work flat, increasing on both sides every row. Finally the left and right shoulders are worked separately, with stair-step bind-offs worked from the sleeve’s cuff edge to the neckline.
First of all, I didn’t want a seam at the neck-to-cuff line above or below the arm. Therefore when I was doing the knitting, instead of binding off 9 sts at the beginning of each rs (or ws) row, I worked the row in short rows, finishing with one row back across, picking up the wrapped stitches. That left me live sts all the way from the neck to the cuff edge of each arm.
Usually when I’m doing a sweater, I’ll work a 3-needle Bind-Off on those live sts because I like the stability it gives the structure of the sweater. In this case I really didn’t want a thick ridge down the whole length of the sleeve, so I grafted it closed.
Here you can see the sleeve graft in progress. Instead of fighting to keep an even tension as I went, I used a long strand of yarn and worked the Kitchener stitch loosely on a few inches’ worth of stitches, then used my darning needle tip to catch the new stitches and snug them up to match the surrounding tension. Then I’d work another few inches, and snug it up…etc.
The next step in the pattern would be to seam the underneath of the sleeves. But in my case, because my sides were open, I wanted to close those first so I’d have a clear end point when seaming the sleeves.
I stopped mid-mattress stitch to go to bed, so tonight I hope to get more done, if my school work allows. I’ll try to seam both sides, then graft the underside of the sleeves, even those they aren’t live. The backwards-loop cast-on used to increase at the underarm should be flexible enough to disappear into the grafting without too much bulk underneath.
Here’s a view of one completely grafted shoulder. That’s the top (with the lower neckline) at the top, and the back at the bottom. This would be the left sleeve, and the wide white area has my grafted seam down the middle; so that white part would sit atop my shoulders and run down to the end of the sleeve.
The sleeves aren’t supposed to have cuffs but I’m 99% sure I will be adding 1×1 ribbing in white, just like the neckband and lower band. I’m going to try it on first, though, the only thing that would stop me would be if the sleeves were already too long.
And then my sweater will be complete!
And that’s a good thing!