My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


More on Sleeves

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.

Make sense?

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.


  1. google is my friend ๐Ÿ˜‰ henry is looking maaaarvelous! almost friday…

  2. Wendy, as busy as your life is now, you are a wonder-woman to be sharing so much helpful information with us as Henry VIII grows! Your blog is more informative than most knitting workshops I’ve attended! Now, if only we could do a Google search on “what Wendy knows”! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It’s funny because Google is how I first found Wendy! I was searching for “Wendy” guernsey yarn. Wendy being the brand name. Up popped Wendy’s blog. I love Google. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for the first chuckle of the morning Wendy…

  5. I checked Google, but a search on the term facing is insane.

    What does facing/self-facing mean/what does it refer to?

    I’ve made a Philosophers sweater with steeking, so I might have already done it, and don’t know.


  6. You deserve a wonderful, relaxing Easter doing what you enjoy the most.Have a good one Wendy!

  7. Um, thanks, Wendy. Using google I found that you actually did answer that question about dye lot when I asked it last month. (For some reason I never saw the answer.) In the immortal words of Gilda Radnor, “Never mind.”

  8. Just found your site Wendy. I have to agree with the others comments about your busy life, and what a great job you are doing with your blog. I’ve been able to pick up very very many (lots) of good tips. I am on my second pair of socks, and was doing a google search for “sock knitting patterns” and found your “Toe Up” pattern. Then I searched from there. Yes, I’m a guy, and yes I am knitting socks. I’m on my 2nd pair of socks since I learned. Ok, now the question: ? How do I keep the “line” that forms between my dpn’s when knitting in the round on dpns ?” I’m going to be checking your “blog” from now on every day I can ! -dennis in East Tenn.

  9. Alright… A Bart Simpson graphic to steal… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hank looks great. Just started my own Gansey sweater as the first sweater project in 12 years of knitting. Maybe a nice Fair Island next..

  10. Dennis, I just sent you an email about the lines. I just asked that question recently on the socknitting list, so I figured I’d help out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. R Hickerson says:

    Anybody know of a sweater company called EAST TENN?

    Love that Bart Simpson piece.