My least favorite thing to do when knitting a top-down sweater is the sleeves. I simply do not like knitting in a small circumference. I am not a big fan of double-pointed needles or magic loop. Using two circular needles is another good option, but it is still not my favorite. So, before I talk about how I chose to knit the sleeves, I will link all the options for knitting sleeves in the round so you can pick your poison.
- double pointed needles - Elizabeth Smith makes it look easy here!
- magic loop - great Cocoknits video
- two circular needles - I have done this, and it is pretty easy
- two 16-inch circular needles - If I must knit sleeves in the round, this is my favorite method. I use this if I have a patterned or fair-isle sleeve.
One note: many people (including me), when knitting a small circumference in the round, tend to tighten up a bit. Of course, you will not know this until you have knit a few inches, but I highly recommend checking the gauge on your sleeve before you go forward. You might need to go up a needle size for sleeves.
How do I knit my sleeves? In 2016, Karen Templer wrote a blog post called How (and why) to knit top-down sleeves flat. After reading this article, I was a convert. You have to modify a couple of things, but nothing is complicated, and the blog post takes you through the process step by step. For those of you with a 100% aversion to sewing up a seam, skip this option and dive into the first four options listed above.
Here is my sweater with one sleeve done and seamed and the other in the process.
Whether knitting the sleeve in the round or flat, I use my chain row counter to ensure I knit my decreases in the right place.
My sleeve is complete and ready for seaming.
A simple mattress stitch is all I need to finish up the sleeve, and the Teddy Bear Sweater is ready for blocking.