Advice for making sleeves easy

Here are some tips for knitting sleeves:

l If you work the increases 2 stitches in from the edges, seaming your sleeve is a breeze because you have a straight line of undistorted stitches to work with. To do so without throwing off your pattern, add 2 selvedge stitches (border stitches that add stability) on both sides of the piece. Then knit these 2 stitches at the beginning and end of the rows, working the increases and pattern stitches between them.

l Using two balls of yarn and one (circular) needle, cast on for two sleeves and work them both at the same time. Doing so ensures that you end up with identical pieces. Just cast on the number of stitches required for one sleeve. Then use the second ball of yarn as you cast on the same number of stitches on the same needle. Work each sleeve with its own ball of yarn.

l If you're working a sweater with a dropped shoulder, you can pick up stitches along the armhole edge of the body and knit from the armhole down to the cuff, saving yourself from having to sew the sleeve to the body. (Find out about picking up stitches in Chapter 17.) Check to see how many stitches your sleeve is supposed to have when you've worked all the increases. This is the number to pick up. Work a good inch before you begin decreasing.

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