sweaters are traditionally knitted in the round.
After knitting, the armholes are cut open and the
sleeves [also knitted in the round, with a clever
little self-facing] are sewn in.
is not nearly as scary as it sounds and need
not be a traumatic experience. Honest.
you have finished knitting your sweater
body and are casting off the shoulders,
put a pin at the top of each side seam
to help you find it later. Steam block
the pieces and lay them out. Your pattern
may tell you the armhole depth, but just
use this as a guide. If your tension varies
slightly, your armhole will need to be
shallower or deeper. Measure the sleeve
top right before the facing to get its
height. Now use that measurement to mark
the armhole depth on the body and put
a pin at the point where the sleeve will
end. Put another pin in the same spot
on the other side.
stitch the steek area on the body using
a sewing machine. This is the area four
stitches wide where you will cut open
[gasp!] the armholes. Use regular sewing
thread and a straight stitch with normal
tension. I find it helpful to stitch the
steeks with a thread color that's slightly
different from the color of the sweater
so you can see your stitching lines.
at the top of the sweater, machine stitch
down to just past your pin, turn and stitch
a couple of stitches at a right angle,
turn, and stitch and back up to the top.
Repeat this process half a stitch out
from the first line of stitching, so you
have double stitching all the way around
your armhole. Repeat this process on the
other side for the other armhole.
is your stitched steek from the inside
of the work...
from the outside.
comes the fun part: cutting!
a sharp pair of scissors, carefully
cut open your armhole in the center
between the two rows of stitching. Stop
cutting just before the turned stitching
at the bottom. Be careful not to cut
into the machine stitching.
might be a good time to pause for a
the sweater is easy. Sew your shoulder
in the sleeves by pinning the sleeve
into the armhole, remembering that the
facing goes to the inside, and sew the
sleeve in, using your usual sewing method.
Then sew down the facings invisibly
on the inside.
steek is done! Your sleeves are in! You need
never fear steeks again. I always steam the
heck out of the facing and the seam at this
doesn't this make you want to knit all your
sweaters in the round and steek 'em?