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Old 07-08-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
David
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Shortening sleeves with blocking. How?
Hello.

I hope someone can help me! I am almost finished my first sweater for a friend and much to my chagrin, the sleeves look like they're going to be way too long (and I haven't even blocked the sweater yet!). The body fits him wonderfully but the sleeves are killing me.

I was planning on blocking the sweater, testing it out on him (basting the sleeve seams) and if the sleeves are truly too long, then I will unravel them at the cuff and reknit the cuff minus however many rows I need). Will this work? I'm just wondering if it will look ridiculous since I was increasing sts up the sleeve.

Should I shorten the sleeves before blocking?

I'm scared to do anything really.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
MerigoldinWA
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Quote:
I'm just wondering if it will look ridiculous since I was increasing sts up the sleeve.
Trying to get the picture. It sounds like from this that maybe you knit the sleeves from the cuff up. Is that right? What kind of sleeve is it? Raglan, fitted, or what?
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:35 AM   #3
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Can't you undo the basting (I would use safety pins) and frog it off the shoulder end?
If you knitted cuff up there should be plenty of rows at the shoulder for adjusting length.

That's what I would do, I wouldn't bind it off until you are sure the length is right so you can easily frog it or add more.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:54 AM   #4
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In keeping with what Merigold asked, the top/cap of the sleeve will dictate how much you can alter that part to adjust the length. I have long arms and have had occasion when the finished sleeve ends up too short on me. Plus you have to allow that elbow action will cause the sleeve to pull up a bit once the garment is worn. A sleeve that's a bit too long at first might shorten just enough to be the correct length. I've gotten really good at undoing the wrist ribbing, and reworking back down to my desired length. I've also not had any issues with the increases given you're usually only talking a few sts at the seams and will adjust for any transitional incs you might've done from rib to sleeve pattern.

HTH,
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:32 AM   #5
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A few thoughts:
1. If you began the sleeves at the cuff and gradually increased as you went up the arm, then yes, I think unravelling at the cuff and picking up stitches higher up the sleeve and just knitting the cuff there might look a little off. If your sleeve circumference was 10" at the cuff (I'm just making up round numbers) and then higher up the sleeve, it's 20", it will look funny.
2. To reiterate some of the other posts-- what kind of a top of sleeve is it? Raglan, set-in, drop?
3. I would take care of this before blocking.
4. In inches, how much too long are the sleeves?
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone so far for the detailed responses!

The sleeves are raglan (and were attached to the body of the cardigan at the armpits) and were knitted from the cuff up. It would need to be shortened about 1", which makes me question whether it is worth shortening at all. It seems like a lot of work just to get rid of 1 extra inch, no? The idea of shortening the sleeves from the top makes me shudder (based on the way they were worked in), so I thought unravelling from the cuff was the best option. Maybe he'll be ok with sleeves a bit longer... This is good info to know anyway even if I chicken out and decide not to touch it.

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3. I would take care of this before blocking.
Why, brittyknits?
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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1" may not be that bad.
Sweaters are worn in colder weather and cardigans are worn over cloths. The colder weather means it will probably be over heavier cloths than you are trying now.
Plus you need a little extra length for movement.
If the cuff is tight enough to keep from sliding over the hands it should be OK.

If it's not OK you could try rolling the cuffs under and putting in a temporary stitch to see how it looks.
The sweater I'm working on now has a rolled under neck that looks pretty good in the picture.

Your thread made me realize why I like top down sleeves besides that they start out slow and go faster towards the end when I'm sick of working on them.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
t would need to be shortened about 1", which makes me question whether it is worth shortening at all.
In Maggie Righetti's book 'Sweater Design in Plain English' she adds 1" to the sleeve length measurement to account for the elbow bending action so your sleeves sound as tho they might be about right. From your initial post I was thinking you were talking 'down over the hand' kind of extra length.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Righetti's book, it's a great resource, esp as to understanding the properties of knit fabric. From my exp, making a sleeve a length that looks good when first tried on, means in no time it'll be too short as the fabric stretches, pulls, etc from movement.

ETA: If you're not already familiar with Jared, check out his blog at brooklyntweed.blogspot.com and his sweater designs. Lots of fab pics of his work that might help you gauge the sleeve lengths he does on his pieces.

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