design, sweaters

Arm Hole Shaping & Decreasing Every Row

TulliaArmSeam2My pieces have been joined and I’m working on the armhole shaping.  More time has been spent plotting the darned arm hole curve than has been spent knitting the sweater.  According to my math and graph paper, the only way I could keep the set-in seam look was to decrease every row… which means wrong-side decreases.

Not a single sweater pattern that I have knit up-to-date has  included decreasing every row or wrong-side decreases.  I’m not sure why.  Wrong side decreases are easy to learn and decreasing every row looks just fine.  But, I really was trying to avoid going against convention and I couldn’t figure out how.  To avoid decreases every row, you must do double decreases every other row which looks a lot like a raglan sleeve!

TulliaArmSeamSo, here’s what the every row decreases look like so far.  I don’t think it looks so bad.  Maybe when I get the yoke done, I’ll see why I shouldn’t have done it this way.

As far as wrong side decreases go, there’s the p2tog which is easy and gives you a wrong side k2tog.  And there’s the SSP tbl (slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, purl through the back loop) which gives you a wrong side SSK.  The SSP tbl was only tricky at first because I was confused about  purling through the back loop but there were plenty of online videos that straightened me out.

As far as I can figure out, the reason there aren’t a lot of bottom-up set-in sleeve patterns available is because the armhole curve requires non-conventional decreasing which makes me uncertain that I’m going to like my outcome.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

14 thoughts on “Arm Hole Shaping & Decreasing Every Row”

  1. You knit fast! You know I never realized that wrong side decreases were unconventional… When I design something I just do whatever works. I even used them on my yellow baby sweater…


    1. I think your way makes the most sense! And, your baby sweater looks great! I think I’ve read too many knitting books and have these “rules” stuck in my head. I swear that I’ve read in several different places that it’s preferable to make decreases from the right side of your work and I’ve been hung up on that “rule”. But, I kinda like the way the every-row decreases have stacked up to make the sleeve appear to be set-in. 🙂


  2. Hi Andresue! What a great blog you have got. Finally somebody isdiscussing the intricacies of this obsessive activity!!! My favorite subject is …gauge! I,too lose sleep over increases and decreases, glad I am not alone. Just a quick comment on decreases on the wrong side: I do them if needed. I do p2tog and p2tog by inserting the needle from the LEFT hand side, which gives it ‘the other’ slant. Glad to have found you!


    1. Hi! I’m so glad that I’m not the only knitter obsessed with all the intricacies of knitting. I sometimes wonder if I come across a little too OCD. lol. Thanks for the tip about the Left handed p2tog! And, nice to meet you!


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