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Remix/Remodel May 4, 2010

Here’s an archived post that’s been getting some traffic lately, so here’s a reKnit

HOW TO: Convert an In-the-Round Sleeve to Flat Knitting…

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CeCe sleeves knit with ggh *Bali*

Because the Muse whispered DOit in my ear, this piece is being knit flat. The pattern instructs me to knit this CeCe sleeve in the round, which I’ve done for three (omg, I’ve made 3!) sweaters so far.

Those sleeves are very pretty. They have no seams.

And, IMHO, the knitting went very slowly.

More slowly than, say, knitting them FLAT [and taking a few minutes to seam them later…

Now you might be wondering how, in fact, many of you have written to me asking this, to convert instructions for circular knitting into instructions for flat knitting.

A Sleeve is the perfect teaching aid — not too complicated. Not too big.

Easy Peasy Circular-to-Flat Sleeves

– find the initial stitch count given for the circular sleeve. For example purposes, we are going to use the number 60.

– Take that number and add 2 stitches — [60 + 2 = 62]. These 2 sts are needed to balance the width dimension you remove by seaming. So, sixty-two stitches is your beginning stitch count for your flat sleeve.

– Now go through the rest of the sleeve instructions and highlight any numbers referring to stitch counts for your size. If there is a stitch pattern to be worked (like lace in the CeCe pattern) be sure to account for those 2 extra sts when you establish the stitch pattern. Ususally, then, the next relevant stitch count doesn’t occur until all lower shaping is done. Knitting flat does not affect the lower sleeve shaping – work all INC as given.

– Now we are ready to make the sleeve cap. Look at how many sts the pattern recommends you bind off for the underarm area. For example purposes, we are going say that the circular pattern says: “BO the next 16 sts”.

– Divide that stitch count by two. 16 / 2 = 8.

– To balance the st count for the cap area, you need to take away the sts you added for the seam allowance above. This is easily accomplished by adding one more stitch to be bound off per side edge — remember you are now binding off at the beginning of two rows to get the proper shaping in that area.

– So from our example above, the original count called for is 8 sts per edge. To take away the seam stitch, that stitch count now becomes 8 + 1 = 9 sts to be bound off per armhole edge. So instead of binding off 16 sts, you will bind off 18 sts total.

Here is an extra tip: when I cast on any pieces with seams, I extra length in the long tail cast on — it measures about a yard of yarn. This will become my *thread* to seam the sleeve. I wrap the yarn around three fingers, then secure with a twist-tie to keep it from tangling in the work…

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