Posts from the Yarnologue

WIP: Sleeve Island

“Sleeve Island” is the phrase many knitters and crocheters use to make that part of their sweater creation more appealing.

IMG_3447Sleeve island is usually populated by fruity drinks with little umbrellas and cute people to bring you said drinks.

It’s also another indication of the aversion many knitters and crocheters have to making pairs of things. The other famous aversion being Second Sock Syndrome.

Strangely, I haven’t heard catchy phrases related to knitting a second glove or mitten. Maybe they are something boring like “second glove syndrome”.

Personally, I don’t get Second Sock Syndrome, but Sleeve island is usually a long, cold exile.

IMG_3449That is why as soon as I finished the first sleeve on my Tucked Pullover I plunged right into the second one. The sooner I get it started the sooner it’s done!

As you can see, the sleeves are worked by picking up stitches around the arm hole and knitting down. This is pretty awesome because I won’t have to sew them onto the sweater later.

However, as I was working the second sleeve, I kept getting tangled up in the first sleeve. At the end of each round I had to lift the sweater up very high, almost the length of the sleeve, to be able to turn it.

Then inspiration hit.

IMG_3450I shoved the first sleeve into the body.

My knitting life improved greatly. The first sleeve was no longer flopping around and getting tangled in my working yarn because it was contained by the body.

Another sleeve management technique, and a way to make Sleeve Island more bearable, is to knit your sleeves two at a time. Knitting your sleeves two at a time takes just as much actual time as knitting them consecutively, but it feels faster since they are finished at the same time.

Knitting them at the same time also eliminates the need to repeatedly measure or count the second sleeve to ensure they match.

If you do knit your sleeves at the same time on one long circular needle, or in the round on two circulars, I urge you to place a stitch marker between them so you don’t accidentally knit them together.

Crocheting sleeves as the same time can be accomplished by working several rows on one sleeve, then working the same number of rows on the other sleeve. By jumping back and forth you’ll keep them in synch.

IMG_3455As you can see, I did not work my sleeves two at a time, although it is my preferred method.

Between picking up the stitches and working short rows for the sleeve cap shaping, it just seemed easier to work the sleeves the traditional, single sleeve method.

Happily, it’s been smooth sailing. The second sleeve is drawing to a close. Soon I’ll be working on the neckline, and then I’ll have a new sweater!

Do you dread your stay on Sleeve Island? How do you make the task more enjoyable?



2 thoughts on “WIP: Sleeve Island

  1. jan says:

    Most of the sweaters I have made required sewing them in, although I have made a couple that are knit from shoulder to wrist. I never heard nor thought to knit 2 sleeves at the same time. How? Maybe another blog or a lesson on Tuesday.

    • Ann says:

      You need a long circular needle and two balls of yarn.
      Cast on one sleeve, place a stitch marker, cast on the second sleeve.
      It gets more complicated if you’re knitting them in the round, but it can be done.

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