Yesterday Karen asked in my comments:
“When you write that you are working the sleeve from the top down, was that your own choice? All the instructions I have tell me to knit sleeves from the bottom up on 3 double pointed needles. I just finished a two-color baby sweater and the sleeves were not so pretty — they turned out bumpy because of the increases and had 3 “lines” going up the sleeves where one needle ended and the next began (if that makes sense). It was a Norwegian sweater and had a facing at the end of the sleeve.”
Traditionally, fair isles have sleeves that are made by picking up stitches around the steeked armhole and knitting in the round down to the cuff, decreasing as you go.
Dale of Norway sweaters have sleeves that are knitted in the round from the cuff up, increasing as you go. You then sew them into the armhole and sew the self-facing over the cut edge of the steek on the inside.
On a baby sweater, you normally can’t knit the sleeves with a circular needle because the circumference of the sleeve is too small for the smallest length of circular needle. But you could knit it using two circulars, or by doing the trick of pulling out the loop of the cable of the circular needle while you work. What’s that technique called? The Magic Loop?
Could you alter a sleeve up pattern to be knitted from the top down? Sure you could, and pretty easily, reversing the shaping. But there are a couple of things to remember. Dale steeks are simple two lines of machine stitching around the area where the armhole will be, then cut open. I’d be hesitant to pick up stitches around such a narrow steek. If you want to pick up stitches and knit down from the armhole, you might want to cast on extra stitches for a wider steek.
You also want to pay close attention to your row gauge before you change direction on a sleeve. Your instructions may tell you “increase 2 stitches every 4th round until you have 60 stitches, then work straight until the sleeve measures 8 inches.” You need to know approximately how many inches of straight knitting is at the top of the sleeve after the last increase so that when you knit from the top down, you can knit “x” number of inches before starting your decreases, and end up with a sleeve of the proper length.
My darling Hank is a very easygoing fellow. He’s letting me use a 12-inch circular down to the very end, even in the cuff ribbing. No dpns for me. Wheeeeeeeee!
And Now For Something Completely Different
This is not meant to imply that I thought the sleeve question was a stupid question. It was a good question. The graphic was sent to one of the email lists I read.
Well, I thought it was funny. So sue me.