Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How to Puff Sleeves

I'm happily and busily seaming the Rebecca sweater right now. Yes, I'm happy about it. Unlike so many other knitters out there, I love finishing sweaters. Finishing is not as exciting as knitting the pieces, but finishing is thrilling to me. It's the point when an object stops being yarn and starts being a garment. Just as I love watching pieces take shape as I knit them, I love watching a garment take shape as I sew it together and do the final finishing.

Last night, however, finishing started slowly. After doing a three-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams, I started to pin the sleeves into place. While pinning, I suddenly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. If you hadn't noticed, this sweater has puffy sleeves. So, the sleeve caps are much too big for the armholes. Obviously, I needed to find a way to gather the sleeves so that they are properly puffed and so that the sleeves would fit into the armholes!

I looked at the directions. "Join shoulder seams and sew sleeves into place." Great! Dear Editor, could you please at least acknowledge that sewing these sleeves might be a little more tricky than normal? Maybe say something like, "This sweater has puffy sleeves. Good luck with that!"

After futzing with the sleeves for several minutes trying to figure out how to evenly gather the sleeves, I tried putting an inverted pleat in the sleeve. It worked perfectly. I'm so darn proud of myself.


Coming up next time: The world's longest meme


Elizabeth said...

The Rebecca sweater is looking really good - looking forward to seeing the finished product! I love the color you chose.

amylovie said...

You are one fantastic finishing female! The tuck is perfect.


Stephanie said...

Very nice. Please post a picture when it's done so we can see the whole thing! :)

Jennifer said...

It looks fab!

Pumpkinmama said...

Love the pleat! I am a knitting anomaly too - I love the finishing process as well.

helen said...

oh laura, it is fab! it would be tough to gather a knit sleeve in the traditional sewing/garment construction manner