Having made a gazillion pairs of beauteous boot socks, I had a mega-tonne (well, not quite, but it certainly looked that way in the sitting room cupboard) of Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight left, and it was as I was knitting the leg of a sock that it struck me… that would make an awesome sleeve. This is the one I was working on:
So I found the cream and the blues and my measuring tape and set about measuring Ted.
He’s 6 – he’ll be 7 in August – and long and lean.
I decided that this one would be a bottom-up jumper, so: knitting from the bottom up to the underarm, then knitting the sleeves to that point, and joining them all on a circular needle to begin the raglan decreases up to the neck.
I worked out the gauge at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch and jotted down everything I could think of that I’d need.
Around his tummy: 24″
Around his chest: 26″
From the nape of his neck to his bottom: 17″
From underarm to wrist: 13″
From shoulder to wrist: 18″
From underarm to bottom: 12″ and
Around his upper arm: 9″
I used 4mm circulars (80cm) for the 2×2 rib and switched to 5mm circulars for the rest of the piece.
Taking his widest point (his chest), I cast on 130 stitches (26″ x 5 sts per inch). With hindsight, I might have added another 5 for ease, though it does fit perfectly as you’ll see.
I knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib on 4mm needles in Drops Nepal in cream and then switched to Big Delight and 5mm needles. The stripe pattern is 4 rows of Big Delight and then 2 rows of Nepal which 6-row repeat, most handily, is an inch.
I repeated this until I got to 14″ (13 x 6-row stripes and the rib) and then put it aside (on stitch holders or waste yarn, or even on the needles if you have enough pairs) to knit the sleeves.
Again, using Nepal and 4mm needles, I cast on 44 stitches (9″ x 5 stitches per inch, then minus 1 to keep the 2×2 rib simple) and knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib, switching then to 5mm needles and Big Delight. Since sleeves are always longer, I knitted 14 x 6-row stripes per sleeve.
So, to join the sleeves to the body:
First, I *put 10 stitches of the body stitches on waste yarn (this will be the underarm, which you will join to the sleeve with Kitchener stitch at the very end) and put 10 sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Then slip the remaining 34 sleeve stitches onto the main needles, then slipped 55 stitches from the body** and repeated from * to ** I then had 178 stitches on the needles and placed a marker for the beginning of the round.
Using Nepal, I knitted two rounds.
Then I knitted around once in Big Delight and on the next round, to divide for the raglan decreases, I placed markers before the last stitch of the last round and after the first stitch of the next, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32 and arrived back at the first marker.
For the 3rd row of Big Delight, I began the decreases (you can see them underway above), very simply: knit 2 together before and after the 2-stitch raglan (between the two markers either side of the sleeves)
For the 4th row of Big Delight, knit around making sure to slip the markers.
And I continued the decreases every other row whilst sticking to the 6-row pattern (4 rows of Big Delight, 2 rows of Nepal) until I had only 1 stitch left in the sleeve sections (between the two markers).
Then I switched to 4mm needles and Nepal for 6 rows of 2×2 rib and finished with a super-stretchy bind-off. There’s little worse than putting all that effort in and being unable to get the blasted thing over yer head! 😉
Maddeningly, Teddy was at school when it was finished (so inconsiderate!) so I had to wait until I was home from work and he home from school to take him back to the studio to get some pictures.
I think you’ll agree a) it’s very fetching and b) I may have overdone the pictures… Well – knitting and Teddy – two of my favourite things ❤
I absolutely love it!! I would like to know if there is any reason not to knit it top to bottom. Is it easier, or just your personal preference? I’m a little scare to knit my first sweater.
No reason at all! I like both ways 😊 I just hadn’t done a bottom-up in a while. Don’t be scared! Once you’ve done your first, there will be no stopping you! And each one is a learning experience ❤