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Son Of A.R.A.N. Project

Part 11: Body

Copyright 2000 Janet Szabo. All rights reserved.

I mentioned in Part 10 that if you knit the sleeves first -- either completely or for at least 4 or 5 inches -- you can pick up the body stitches in the sleeve stitches themselves. Doing so completely eliminates the need to sew a seam at the underarm (if we had knit the body first, then the sleeves, there would have been an opening at the underarm which would have to have been sewn closed).

Imagine this, then: On my SOA, I knit the saddles, picked up and knit the back, then picked up and knit the front. I could have cast on stitches at each side for the base of the sleeve and continued in rounds down to the bottom of the sweater. Instead, I picked up stitches along one side of the front, knit across the saddle stitches which I left on a holder, then picked up stitches along one side of the back. Keeping the saddle stitches in pattern and the remainder of the sleeve in moss stitch, I began knitting the sleeve down to the cuff.

The thing to note here is that I knit the sleeve flat for about 2", then joined it and continued the sleeve in the round toward the cuff, decreasing as I went. Why did I knit that first 2" flat? It's kind of hard to visualize, but if you lay the sweater out as if you were wearing it, with the sleeve to one side as it should be, you can see that when you're ready to start the body you'll be knitting around the body stitches and picking up additional stitches in those flat sleeve sections. Doing so will give you the additional width you need to add for the body of your sweater (remember way back at the beginning when we took all those measurements?).

There isn't anything magical about 2" -- the top of my sweater measured 18" across and I wanted a chest circumference of 44". Adding 2" to each side makes the width of the body 22" which works out to the circumference I wanted.

Of course, if you don't mind sewing that seam at the underarm, there is nothing wrong with simply continuing down the body and saving the sleeves for last. Let's back up for a moment: you've knit the front and back down to the depth you want the armholes to be, making sure that they both end on the same pattern row.

Now you will knit across the stitches of the front, cast on enough stitches to equal the width at the base of the armhole (e.g., if you want to add 2" to each side of your sweater, you'll cast on 4" worth of stitches here), work across the stitches of the back, and cast on the same number of stitches on this side for the base of the other armhole. From here it's simply a matter of working down toward the ribbing. As ou get a few inches of the body knitted, you'll see that we've created a square armhole for our sweater.

I know it's a lot to visualize, so I will be happy to answer questions about this part.


Last Updated: April 25, 2000
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URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/soa/part11.html