A better fitting sleeve

I have talked to a lot of knitters, especially plus-sized knitters, to ask if they knit sweaters for themselves. If they don’t, why not? The answer quite often is they can’t get a good fit between their bust size and their sleeves. We are all sized so differently that with standard sizing, it is still up to you, the knitter, to figure some of this out.

That is why I have written the Any Gauge Raglan Pullover pattern. It’s going to give you the correct sleeve size you need, irregardless of your bust measurement. Big bust, small bust, thin arms, heavier arms, it doesn’t matter. It’s all based on your own measurements, whatever they are.

The bottom of the yoke is where it all happens. What I call the Great Divide.

Here’s where this pattern differs. The sleeve stitches you put on spare yarn do not rely on the Raglan Markers to delineate the size of your sleeves. The Raglan Markers are a guide. They do not mark the definitive edge of your sleeves.

I don’t know what size you are, so I set up the raglan markers at the neck so that they might suit a lot of people. You figure out the exact number of stitches you need to go around your Upper Arm. My Upper Arm measures 13″ around (about 1″ bigger than the standard size charts indicate for my bust size). So I put 13″ worth of stitches on spare yarn. For my gauge that was 68 sts.

Can you see that my sleeve stitches are inside the Raglan Markers?

My sleeve is around 1″ smaller than the Raglan Markers would indicate.

How can this work? For the Any Gauge Raglan Pullover pattern, at the Bottom of the Yoke you have the exact number of stitches to go around the Actual Measurement of your Bust + 2 Actual Measurements of your Arms. If the Yoke was left here it would fit as a second skin. Nice, eh? OK, maybe not. So we don’t leave it there. Ease will be added for the sleeve and the Body at the underarm when you join up the Front and Back.

Because I have the exact number of stitches needed for the yoke to fit me like a second skin, once I’ve divided off the sleeves, the rest of the stitches, including those inside the raglan lines, will be Body stitches. Where the raglan lines are doesn’t matter. They are there to increase the size of the Yoke only. Your sleeves might be outside the raglan markers. That is still great.

Ease will be added at the underarm to make your sleeves and Body the final size. But there is much more to the Ease question than this. It’s coming up next week.

Is this clear as mud? The Great Divide is a very exciting moment. There are many modifications you can make here to get a good fit.

Cheers and stay safe. We’re in lockdown so lots of knitting time around here.

Any Gauge and Gauge-Free patterns by Deb

Deb on instagram

Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

6 thoughts on “A better fitting sleeve”

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