Best Increase for Sweater Sleeves

I've set aside my first project (a K2 P2 scarf), and jumped right into project 2 - a sweater. Why I think I can do a sweater this early on, I'm not sure! :-) It's a raglan sleeve pull-over. I have finished the front and back pieces, and had no great difficulties with the decreases for the armholes. I am now struggling with the sleeves. I seem to be creating holes which appear close to where my increases are. I've tried both the M1A and M1L methods shown on, and still seem to get the holes. The pattern says to increase 1 stitch each side. Could my problem be creating new stitches too close to the edges? Are there any suggestions on the type of increase that is best for this?

TheKnittingMill's picture

Hey Bernie! I just noticed your last name. That's a VERY common name in my neck of the woods (South Louisiana), except we tack an "x" on the end. It makes sense being that our Cajun ancestors were exiles from Nova Scotia. Sorry...back to your question. As you saw on there are a myriad of different increases--some more "invisible" than others. First, when you make the M1 increases make sure you are knitting the leg of the stitch that's furthest away from the point of the left needle to twist the stitch (the opposite of how you would usually knit the stitch if you're not a combination knitter). If you don't twist the stitch as in the video, you will definitely end up with a hole underneath that newly created stitch. Now, that being said, it does leave a tiny hole even if you knit the M1 increase correctly. The size of that tiny hole depends on the yarn you're using, your tension and the size of the needle. Either way, blocking tends to aid in making it a bit more imperceptible. The two increases I use are Elizabeth Zimmermann's backwards loop method (where you just cast on a backwards loop--either toward you or away from you--on your right needle) and KRL/KLL (videos on The former is quick and easy, creates a stitch completely independent of the adjacent stitches and can be paired. The latter is the most "invisible" and the one I use most often. This is assuming you're knitting in stockinette. When I am knitting garter stitch I use knit front and back. Hope that helps!


Kenny's picture

Go Mill Go!!!! I will tell myself one day..... the day I knew Millard, and now he's a knitting guru.

Everything Millard said it true.

Without much more information we cannot see how the holes are forming. A picture perhaps?

Now general rules in my book for decreases or increases, are they are 2 to even 3 stitches away from edge. this makes seaming a lot easier. (Don't worry, you're not at that stage of the sweater yet)

I try and make the most invisible increase or decrease regardless of what the book tells me, unless there is a definite purpose for using that increase they want you to use.

These come from me, Mill pretty much explained everything that I was going to say already. GO MILL!!!!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I second Kenny...great advice, Mill. I try to work my increases and decreases a couple of stitches away from my centerline. It helps make a smooth line and is easier to keep track of where I'm at. Lots of luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

kylewilliam's picture

if the piece you're knitting is solid, I usually knit a stitch or two in from the edge, then to increase I lift the stitch below and put it on the needle, then knit it as normal - it's sort of like doing EZ's "backwards loop" increase but in the row below - it works and is invisible....

(hopefully that makes sense)