Ah sleeves! I know they’re a bit of a slog, but they’re definitely necessary for the cold winter nights…brrr.
I found these went pretty quickly as they’re just Stocking stitch (stockinette for my American friends) – and when worked in the round, this equates to just knitting all the time, which requires even less thought.
I used double-pointed needles (DPNs) to knit mine until they got too big around, then switched to a long circular (80cm) to work in magic loop. You could also use a 40cm circular at that point if you don’t like magic loop.
And rather than transferring stitches to waste yarn after knitting them I kept them on a long circular needle, so they’re already on a needle when it comes time to do the joining round.
I really like seamless increasing for any shaping on a jumper – I find a M1R and M1L work really well and blend with the rest of the knitting nicely. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing remembering which is which though…so here is how I teach it on my workshops.
M1R – hint ‘right back’
Using your passive needle, pick up the strand of yarn between your stitches from back to front, now knit this stitch as normal (from the left side of the strand).*
M1L – hint ‘left front’
Using your passive needle, pick up the strand of yarn between your stithces from front to back, now k1 tbl (through the back of the loop). *
*If it’s making a hole, rather than a twisted bit of knitting, then try working the stitch the other way (knit for ktbl, or ktbl for knit).
The picture below shows the bit of yarn you’re picking up to make the new stitch – the long horizontal bit between your actual stitches.
Counting Rounds Between Increases
The hardest bit of doing sleeves is counting your rounds between increases, to make sure you’re working the correct number of rounds inbetween.
If you look at the M1 increase that we’re using, just after you’ve made it, you will see that it looks like it is already two rows tall – there is the stitch on your needle, which sits on top of a twisted loop (which is the bit of yarn you’ve pulled up between your stitches).
So, if you’re counting your rows –
First, locate the twisted looking stitch where the new column of stitches begins.
Second, find the stitch above this one – this was your last increase round – and then move up one more stitch. This is your first round of knitting after your last increase.
If you count stitches moving up from there (including the one on your needle), this will give you the number of rounds that you have knit.
I often find it useful to clip a locking stitch marker into my last increase stitch so I know where to begin counting from.
Promising yourself a chocolate after each new increase round will also make the process more enjoyable – you’ll have your sleeves done in no time!
Happy sleeve knitting! I’d love to see photos – I’m @petitchoufleur on Twitter and Instagram.