Once in a while, you may run into a glitch in sleeve-making if the pattern tells you to increase every so many rows and your row gauge is different from the designer's. Your sleeve may measure the correct length before you've worked all the necessary increases, but you end up with a sleeve that's the right length but the wrong width at the armhole.
If you're working an angled or shaped-sleeve cap, the top of your sleeve needs to fit exactly into the carved-out shape in the sweater body. To ensure that your sleeve is the correct length and width when you reach the armhole, graph it. (You can buy large sheets of graph paper at an artist's supply store or simply tape two pieces together lengthwise.) If you're working a cable or lace pattern that requires a certain number of stitches, graphing your sleeve offers the further advantage of helping you see when you've increased enough stitches to begin working the pattern over them.
To graph a sleeve, follow these steps:
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