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More on the Top-Down Sleeve

I received this question about working pattern on a top-down from MJ, who has watched my youtube videos:

“…do you know/ is there a formula for knitting a lace pattern down the sleeve? I just cant work it out to make the sleeves match the front, or must your method be plain? The pattern is row 1: K, Row 2: 46 p…”, etc.

I have worked a K6P2 ribbing in the top-down sleeve, so I know some patterns can be worked, I’m just not sure all of them can. Here’s what I did:

I picked up stitches around the armhole to equal a whole number of pattern repeats (K6P2= 8 st. pattern repeat). I wanted a repeat centered at the shoulder seam, so I placed stitch markers 4 stitches on either side of the shoulder seam to mark off one repeat. I then placed markers 8 sts apart around the rest of the armhole. If you need to fudge this, do it at the underarm.

Then, as I worked the short rows back and forth on the sleeve cap, I let my stitch markers tell me where I was in the pattern. On the round after the pick up row, I worked the K6P2 rib up the first side of the armhole, past the shoulder seam, and to the marker for the first wrap and turn–so the pattern is set that far. Then I continue working the sleeve cap, paying attention to the markers to know whether I’m on a K or P stitch in my ribbing pattern. You’re adding to the stitch pattern one stitch at a time on every row.

The wrapped stitch can be worked as a knit or purl on either side–just remember the different ways to pick up your wrap next time you’re back there (pick up the wrap through the front on a knit stitch, and through the back on a purl stitch).

Lace I haven’t tried however. Yarn overs? Frankly, not sure how that would work. The key to any experiment with knitting is to swatch before you have a go at your sweater.

Top-down sleeves have been around awhile–has anyone else tried this?

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