I somehow managed to knit the body of a sweater in like 10 days, and am once again knitting sleeves. I also want to re-knit the cuffs of the last sweater, because I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm not really happy with them, and my current plan is to knit the sleeves of my next sweater before knitting the body, which means I have a little bit of a queue for knitting sleeves.

In preparation I measured a lot of sleeves of sweaters that I've knitted (and still have, to try and figure out what I like. Here are my conclusions:

  • I realized that regardless of the shoulder shaping, the length of the sleeve should be basically the same. This is based on the assumption that the shoulder fits, and sometimes you can compensate for an illfitting shoulder by modifying the length of the sleeve, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • I've been measuring sleeves, on drop shouldered garments from the shoulder seam to the cuff, and for other shoulder shaping, from the underarm to the cuff.
  • I prefer sleeves that are a little bloused (e.g. bigger, with a more aggressive cuff,) because I like to wear sweaters over shirts, so having a bit more room makes things more comfortable. Also having floppy cuffs is not great.
  • The sweaters that I like the most, seem to have 21 inch sleeves total with 1-2 inch cuffs. I try and spread the decreases out, as evenly as possible. The cuffs seem to be between 8 and 9 inches around (ideally,) and shoulder apertures tend to be between 18 and 20 inches around.
  • I'm tentatively coming out in favor of knitting all sleeves from the shoulder down to the cuff, but I do want to give it a shot going the other way at least a couple of times before I'm definitive on that subject. When you knit the sleeves first of a sweater, the process of knitting the sleeve dictates the yoke of the sweater, which means if you're off a bit in the sleeve the whole sweater seems off. Knitting sleeves after the yoke, means you don't have to figure out the entire sweater when you're knitting the cuff.
  • Separating thinking about the sleeve cap from thinking about the sleeve, is conceptually useful (sleeve caps take a while, the process of knitting them in the round is different,) even if this doesn't make a lot of sense when you're actually knitting or thinking about a garment.