It might seem strange to add sleeves now. . . but I’m thinking about yardage and stripes. If you were to make the skirt next and then run out of a color, you wouldn’t have it for the sleeves. This could be bad. . .
In order to make sure you have the right colors for your sleeves, let’s make them now.
Your Assignment: For this week, we will make the sleeves as written without picking up those provisional stitches to make the cuffs–save that step for next week. So, just the knitting. No seaming, no setting in! We’ll do that a bit later.
1 & 3. The Sleeves in the Two Ellas & My Tweaks: In both Ella patterns, the sleeves are saved for one of the last steps. . . this is conventional, but not so great if you are worried about running out of a particular color necessary for matching a stripe pattern in the bodice. . .
The main difference between the two patterns is that in the original, I have a more traditional increase scenario, asking you to increase every 6 & 8th rows. This means that first you increase on the 6th row, then the 8th, then the 6th. . . you get the idea. For the revised pattern, I have you do the first increases every 6th row, then switch to every 8th. The results are virtually the same, just easier to keep track of. Same number of increases, so everyone please follow your patterns as written with regard to how many increases for your size.
2. What You Need to Know:
Fit: I have you cast on the sleeves using a provisional cast on. Here’s my reasoning. Not all people and their arms are alike. When you case on this way, once you finish with the sleeves and sleeve cap, you can return to the provisional stitches, pick them up and work down as far as you like (more about this in next week’s post).
Matching Stripes: You may have your stripe sequence all mapped out. . . if this is the case, you will want to count down from the bodice BO to the approximate number of rows below the BO and match that pattern as you knit up toward the armhole BO.
You may, like me, not know what you will do. If this is you, you will want to match stripes beginning with the stripe pattern you do know–that of the bodice. In short, match the stripes beginning with the CO for the bodice.
In my latest Ella, I only matched the sleeve stripes with the bodice beginning with the armhole BO. This way, I didn’t worry about gauge, only about matching the stripes where the sleeve meets the body. Number of rows per color must match exactly.
Let’s tackle sleeve length first: please take a moment to look at the schematic either in your pattern or here in the blog. Is the sleeve, as written, about right?, too short? If so, no worries. But what if it is too long? If too long, please identify by how much. It may be that all you will need to do is change those increases every 8th row to every 6th row. In any case, a little easy math and work with your row gauge will tell you that you should increase every ?th row.
What about width or circumference? As I mentioned last week with regard to the armhole depth, I intentionally made the armhole depth for larger sizes less deep than most size schedules or charts would have a designer do. I did this in response to lots of feedback from ladies who pleaded that I not make the arms too baggy.
Thus, in the sleeves, as with the coat in general, I am assuming at least 2 inches (or more) of positive ease. This means that the sleeve circumference is at least 2 inches greater than the circumference of your own arms. Basically, if your arms are larger than the pattern but the armhole depth works for you, this means you will need increase faster and make more increases. When you are done, you will have a sleeve that, at the BO will be wider than the pattern or schematic reports. You will have more stitches to get rid of in order to make the sleeve fit nicely into the existing armscye. This is possible but you may need some help working out the decrease scenario so the fit is just right.
5. What Fun! These sleeves should keep you busy this week. . . but if you do need something to do, start making some Bling Flowers with which to decorate your coat . . .
Making matching flowers to decorate a felted bag will Ella-fy your bag. My picks? Vintage Bag (large), Bowling Ball Bag (large), The New York Bag (new and officially launched soon. . . stay tuned!), Bedouin Bag, Nomad Bag . . . I could go on.
What are your picks?