Joining Sleeves in the Round

While I’m still working on my Sun-Ray Ribbed Jumper, I’m not progressing as fast as I did when I was home sick (with nothing else to do) vs. when I’m back at work.

Thanks for all of your well-wishes btw.  Felix and I are still coughing a bit, but I feel so much better than I did before, I may even start jogging again this week.  :)

Back to the Jumper…

I’ve been knitting the Sun-Ray Ribbed Jumper in the round, from the bottom up.  I always reference Ravelry when I begin any new patterns to see if there’s any errata or modifications that other folks did that may be worthwhile.

I prefer knitting in the round, but I saw that one lady on Ravelry, Aafke, even was able to join the sleeves while working in the round (ie no seaming) since this is a raglan-styled knit.  This intrigued me to no end and I set upon the task of joining in my sleeves to the body of the jumper, while working the yoke, all in the round.

Aafke only noted what rows that she joined in her sleeves – the same row where you cast off (or decrease) for the armholes.  But I had no idea how to go about such a task.

I did a Google search and found exactly what I needed along with this helpful diagram:

Image via Vogue Magazine
Image via Vogue Magazine

The stitches in red circles are the cast off stitches and the points where you join in the sleeves.

It’s really a simple idea but looks crazy to accomplish, well… to me it did.  You knit across the front bodice of your jumper, place a stitch marker then knit across the sleeves, all on the same circular needles.  Continue around the sleeve, across the back of the jumper, and across the other sleeve to the point where you started the row (on the bodice).

Diagram via Vogue Knitting

Like I said, it sounds easy enough, but it was a bit tricky to do since you’re dealing with extreme curves at either side of the sleeves.  I learnt my lesson quick and am knitting this on two sets of circular needles.

Here’s my sleeve on the left and the body of the jumper on the right.

I knit my sleeve in the round with double-pointed needles.  After knitting this second sleeve I proceeded to write out all the row-by-row directions so that I wouldn’t get mixed up.

On this pattern the ribbing on the sleeve is different from the ribbing pattern on the jumper.  So at each sleeve, I switch to a different set of directions, but re-writing them all on one piece of paper makes easy work of keeping it straight.

I took this photo after I worked a few rows.

I really had to figure out how to do this, and get my needles straight before I could stop to take some pictures for you.  (I didn’t want to lead you astray by showing you the ‘wrong’ way how to do this either.)

I have two sets of circular needles, each end stops around the mid-point of the sleeves.  And I have 4 stitch markers noting where I joined in the sleeves.

Before the ‘beginning of the round’ was at one underarm-side seam of the bodice.  When you join in sleeves, it’s much easier to use the ‘armpit’ marker (aka the new marker you placed when you began one sleeve) as the new ‘beginning of the round’ since that’s where my pattern changes.

Yes, I will be off by just one row, but it’s really not that big of deal in the long run, I doubt I’ll even notice at the end.  heh  The back of the jumper will have 1 more row than the front.


There are 4 stitches on the bodice underarm and another 4 stitches on the sleeve’s underarm that are not worked and were placed on a scrap piece of yarn.  This gap is what allows you to knit around the curve of the sleeve, since it provides some room to maneuver.

At the very end, I’ll have to connect these two sections together so that I don’t have huge holes.  There are many ways to do this so I’ll research a bit more when I get to it.  But I know you can graft them together, join them with a three-needle-bind-off, etc.

Detail Shot:

Do you see my row-by-row instructions I’ve written under the jumper?

The row count for the yoke of the body doesn’t match the row count for the sleeves, unfortunately.  At the end, I found that I had 4 rows, in excess, at the sleeves so I will just decrease them when it’s least inconspicuous.  If I’m feeling ambitious, I could always work those extra sleeve rows as short rows so that the body row count would stay the same while I’ve introduced some additional rows to the sleeves.

*Note*  I do realize this isn’t a full-out tutorial and may not fully understand my steps.  This is my first time doing such a task, but feel free to ask any questions if it’s not clear.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.  It finally felt like Spring in Chicago, which was so nice and lovely to open my windows for some fresh air again.

In: Knitting

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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