Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Knit Tip :: Cuff-Up Sleeves In The Round

Fall is definitely in the air. This past week I've been freezing my butt off. So long Summer, it has been a blast! At first I thought I was sick (ugh...again) because the sun was out and the afternoons were gorgeous, but the air has been incredibly crisp. I've spent the last few days living in my thickest hoodie while huddling under blankets (ok fine, I am sick again...stupid allergies!). With such chilly weather upon us I've found myself reaching for an old WIP that I haven't touched since the start of June: my Belfast Hoodie. And I totally understand why. It's cozy, it's warm, and it's halfway done. 


Even though I didn't leave myself any notes as to where I had left off, I was able to figure out fairly quickly that I had completed the body up to the point where I had to join the sleeves, and the sleeves themselves needed only a few more rows each before they were at the desired length. Sweet! 

Wait, did I say sleeves? As in plural? Yes, yes I did. These tips I'm about to share with you aren't new and I definitely didn't come up with them, they are ones that I've picked up over the years to help me avoid not only second sleeve syndrome but uneven sleeve lengths and wonky spacing of the increases. The feeling that the sleeves are knitting up lightning quick is an added bonus. 

This, my Friends, is how I knit my sleeves when the pattern requires that I knit them cuff up. I knit the sleeves Magic Loop, two at a time on different cables, and using two sets of interchangeable needle tips. For clarity: this is not like the two-at-a-time sock knitting method. It goes like this: I cast on the first sleeve as you normally would and knit the cuff, then I switch out the left hand needle with a tip that's a size or two smaller. Why? It makes moving the stitches onto the left needle so much easier and somewhat faster. Always make sure your right needle is still the correct size for your project, since that's the needle you knit onto and determines your gauge. I usually keep a needle gauge close by, just in case. Or, to make life even easier (and if you have the tools to do this), use a set of tips that are in a different colour from the ones you are using for the whole project. 

I set the cuff aside and then with a second cable, I attach the correct needle size first and cast on the second cuff before I screw on the smaller tip on the other end of the cable. That way I'm guaranteed to cast on using the right size needle. Then I knit the cuff as I did for the first sleeve. When the cuffs are done, I continue on by knitting sections: I knit x amount of rounds or inches and the first set of increases on the first sleeve, set it aside and knit the same on the second sleeve; I go back to the first sleeve and knit the next grouping of rounds or inches and the increases, set aside and knit the same on the second. I do this "sectional knitting" until the sleeves have reached the desired length and when I'm done, voilĂ ! Both sleeves are knitted up and ready to go. 

I hope that all made sense!

♥ Happy Knitting! ♥


  1. Interesting. I love sleeves so much more now that I do them two at a time, but I do them both on the same needle, like socks. Except if they're striped. Your technique would be a good solution for working on two at once if there's more than one colour involved!

    1. If I can refrain from casting on all the socks, or if I have 2 sets of sock needles on hand, I'll knit my socks this way too. I've tried knitting socks and sleeves on the same needle but found it too cramped. For some reason I need major elbow room! But whatever makes sleeve knitting more enjoyable (and fast!) gets a thumbs up in my books! :)

  2. I love this color. Sorry your allergies are making you ill. Do rest and get well soon.

  3. it's totally allergy season, I spend every morning wondering if I'm getting a cold or if it's 'just allergies'! Sorry you are feeling less than awesome. And I loved reading about how you knit your sleeves!! I like knitting my sleeves flat, no matter what the pattern calls for, and then seaming them. I find it keep s the sleeves from bagging out anywhere, and gives them some good structure.

  4. Nice tip! It makes so much sense and I'm going to try it on the sweater I just started!


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