I’ve had to make some difficult choices as I’m designing and knitting this sweater. The first choice was construction. My favorite sweater construction method is hands-down the bottom-up raglan because it’s easy. I don’t have to plot any sleeve curves and there isn’t any seaming. However, my daughter really prefers a set in sleeve because it just looks better on her.
It seems that there are a million new ways to knit a seamless set in sleeve. Some of them are in the round from the top down. I’ve tried a couple of these methods. They look beautiful straight off the needles but then stretch out of shape over time. Without the bind off stitches at the shoulder giving the sweater support, my sweater would stretch and sag off my shoulders. When I first started knitting sweaters, I thought I was clever and innovative by leaving the back neck stitches live instead of binding them off for the collar. This was a mistake because I was removing the required structure for the neckline and my sweaters would stretch out of shape at the neck.
With this particular sweater, I’ve made sure to bind off and seam at the shoulders. But, now I’m trying to decide how to proceed with the sleeves. Do I want to knit each sleeve separately and sew them into place? Or, do I want to try a new method of picking up the stitches around the armhole and use short row shaping to knit a sleeve in place? With my shoulder seams ready to go, I think that knitting a sleeve in place shouldn’t hurt anything. I found a great tutorial at bygumbygolly.com. Has anyone tried this? I think I’m going to go for it and see what happens. Maybe I will have found my new favorite sweater construction method. Stranger things have happened. 🙂