Learn How to Knit a Sleeve in the Round

Learn How to Knit a Sleeve in the Round

Knitting a sleeve in the round can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, with the right techniques and a little patience, you can easily knit a sleeve that looks professional and fits perfectly.

First, let’s talk about the benefits of knitting a sleeve in the round. When you knit a sleeve in the round, you eliminate the need to seam the sleeve later. This not only saves you time, but also creates a seamless and polished look. Additionally, knitting in the round allows you to easily try on the sleeve as you go, ensuring a better fit.

Before you start, you’ll need a set of double-pointed needles or a circular needle, depending on your preferences. Make sure you have the correct size needles for your yarn and the desired gauge. You’ll also need stitch markers to mark the beginning and end of each round.

Pro tip: Before you begin knitting the sleeve, take accurate measurements of your arm, wrist, and upper arm to ensure the perfect fit.

To start knitting the sleeve, cast on the required number of stitches onto your needles. Join the round by knitting the first stitch of the cast-on row together with the last stitch to form a circle. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

Now you’re ready to start knitting in the round. Follow the pattern instructions for the desired stitch pattern and stitch count. As you work, make sure to use stitch markers to mark any increases or decreases specified in the pattern. This will help you keep track of your progress and ensure an even and symmetrical sleeve.

Choose the Right Yarn and Needles

Choosing the right yarn and needles is essential when knitting a sleeve in the round. The yarn you choose will determine the feel and appearance of the finished garment, while the needles will affect the gauge and size of your project.

Consider the yarn weight: The weight of the yarn will influence the drape and warmth of the sleeve. Thicker yarns, such as bulky or chunky, will create a dense fabric, while lighter yarns, like lace or fingering, will result in a more delicate and lightweight sleeve. Take into account the season and the intended use of the garment when selecting the yarn weight.

Check the yarn fiber: Different yarn fibers have unique characteristics that affect the durability, softness, and stitch definition of the fabric. Wool is a popular choice due to its warmth and elasticity, while cotton is great for summer garments because it is breathable. Silk, alpaca, and blends are also options to consider. Read the yarn label to understand its composition and care instructions.

Consider the needle material: Needles can be made from a range of materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. Each material has its own feel and properties. Metal needles tend to be smooth and slide easily, suitable for fast knitting. Wood needles have a warmer touch and a slight grip, making them ideal for slippery yarns. Plastic needles are lightweight and may be more comfortable for people with arthritis or joint pain.

Choose the needle size: The needle size will determine the gauge and the size of your sleeve. Refer to the pattern or gauge swatch for the recommended needle size. If your gauge does not match the pattern, adjust the needle size accordingly to achieve the correct measurements. Remember that the needle size can affect the fabric’s drape, so choose the size that gives you the desired result.

By considering the yarn weight, fiber, needle material, and size, you can choose the right materials for your sleeve knitting project. Remember to also take into account your personal preferences and the intended outcome of the sleeve.

Cast On and Join in the Round

To knit a sleeve in the round, you will first need to cast on the required number of stitches and join them to form a continuous circle. Follow these steps to cast on and join your stitches:

  1. Select your preferred cast-on method: There are various cast-on methods you can choose from, such as the long-tail cast-on, the knitted cast-on, or the provisional cast-on. Decide which method you are comfortable with.
  2. Prepare your yarn and needles: Make sure you have the appropriate yarn weight and needle size for your project. Refer to your knitting pattern for the recommended materials.
  3. Make a slipknot: Start by making a slipknot with your yarn. This will create the first stitch on your needle.
  4. Cast on the required number of stitches: Using your chosen cast-on method, cast on the required number of stitches onto your needle. Ensure that your stitches are not too tight or too loose.
  5. Join in the round: To join in the round, slide your stitches towards the other end of the needle, making sure they are not twisted. Insert the needle into the first stitch you cast on, making sure it is the same way as the other stitches on the needle.
  6. Create your first round: Knit the first stitch of your cast-on row, making sure to keep the tension consistent with the rest of your knitting. This will complete the formation of the circle.

Congratulations! You have now cast on and joined your stitches in the round, and you are ready to start knitting your sleeve according to your pattern. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and enjoy the process!

Work the Ribbing

Once you’re ready to work the ribbing on your sleeve, follow these steps:

  1. Start by turning your work inside out so that the wrong side is facing you. This will make it easier to work the ribbing.
  2. Using the smaller circular needles, begin by casting on the required number of stitches for the ribbing. This will usually be a multiple of the ribbing pattern you’ve chosen, such as 2 or 4 stitches.
  3. Work the ribbing pattern of your choice for the desired length. Common ribbing patterns include 1×1 ribbing (alternating knitting and purling stitches) or 2×2 ribbing (alternating two knit stitches and two purl stitches).
  4. Continue working the ribbing until you’ve reached the desired length for the ribbing. This is typically around 1-2 inches, but you can adjust it to your preference.
  5. Once you’ve finished the ribbing, you’re ready to move on to the main body of the sleeve. This may involve changing to larger needles and/or switching to a different stitch pattern, depending on your pattern instructions.

Working the ribbing on your sleeve not only adds a decorative element, but it also helps to create a snug and stretchy cuff. Follow these steps carefully to ensure your ribbing looks clean and professional.

Switch to Stockinette Stitch

Once you’ve completed knitting the ribbed cuff of the sleeve, it’s time to switch to the stockinette stitch. The stockinette stitch is a classic knitting stitch pattern that creates a smooth, flat fabric with a “v” pattern on the right side and a purl pattern on the wrong side.

To switch to stockinette stitch, you will need to start working with the main stitch pattern using knit stitches for the right side and purl stitches for the wrong side.

  1. Begin by knitting the first round of the stockinette stitch. This means you will knit every stitch in the round if you are knitting in the round or knit one row and purl one row if you are knitting flat.
  2. Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for the desired length of your sleeve. Keep in mind that the stockinette stitch has a tendency to curl at the edges, so you might want to consider adding a few rows of ribbing or a different border stitch to prevent this curling.
  3. Remember to always knit the right side and purl the wrong side when working in stockinette stitch. This will create a smooth and flat fabric.
  4. As you work, make sure to keep track of your rows using stitch markers or a row counter. This will help ensure that your sleeve is symmetrical and matches the length of the other sleeve.
  5. When you have reached the desired length, you can finish off the sleeve with a bind off, or continue on to any other shaping or finishing instructions as needed for your specific project.

Switching to stockinette stitch will give your sleeve a different texture and appearance compared to the ribbed cuff. It’s a versatile stitch pattern that can be used for a wide range of knitting projects.

Shape the Sleeve

Shape the Sleeve

Now that you have cast on and begun knitting the sleeve in the round, it’s time to shape the sleeve to fit your arm.

  1. Start by knitting several rounds in the established stitch pattern. This will serve as the foundation for the shaping.
  2. Next, begin the shaping by decreasing stitches evenly across the round. This can be achieved by knitting two stitches together or using any other preferred decrease method. Make sure to evenly distribute the decreases around the sleeve.
  3. Continue knitting several rounds in the established stitch pattern between decrease rounds.
  4. Repeat the decrease round at regular intervals, decreasing the same number of stitches as before, until you have reached your desired sleeve length.

Remember to regularly try on the sleeve while knitting to ensure the proper fit. Adjust the number and frequency of decreases as needed to achieve the desired fit.

Once you have reached the desired sleeve length, you can either continue knitting in the established stitch pattern or switch to a different stitch pattern to add visual interest. Alternatively, you can also add ribbing or a cuff at the edge of the sleeve.

After shaping the sleeve, you can finish it off by binding off all the stitches and weaving in any loose ends.

Congratulations! You have successfully shaped the sleeve of your knitted garment. Now you can move on to the next step in completing your project.

Try It On for Size

Once you have completed knitting the sleeve in the round, it is time to try it on for size. This step is crucial to ensure that the sleeve fits properly and is comfortable to wear.

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Remove the stitches from the stitch holder or waste yarn and transfer them onto your double-pointed needles or circular needles.
  2. Put the sleeve on, making sure that the cuff is at your wrist.
  3. Check the length of the sleeve. It should end at your desired point – whether it’s just below your elbow or at your wrist.
  4. Try bending your arm and moving it around to make sure that the sleeve allows for comfortable movement.
  5. Check the width of the sleeve. It should be snug but not too tight, allowing for some ease of movement.
  6. If the sleeve is too long, you can easily adjust the length by unraveling a few rows or binding off more stitches. If it is too short, you may need to add a few rows. Make sure to adjust both the cuff and the top of the sleeve accordingly.

It may be helpful to have someone else look at the sleeve while you are wearing it to get a different perspective and ensure that it fits properly. Make any necessary adjustments before proceeding with the finishing steps.

By trying on the sleeve and making any necessary adjustments, you can ensure that your finished project will fit you perfectly and be ready to wear with confidence.

Finish with Ribbing

Once you have reached the desired length for your sleeve, it’s time to finish it off with ribbing. Ribbing is a stretchy and decorative pattern commonly used for cuffs, hems, and necklines in knitting.

Here is how you can finish your sleeve with ribbing:

  1. Switch to a smaller size circular needle or double-pointed needles, depending on your preferred method of knitting small circumferences.
  2. Knit the first round in a *knit 2, purl 2* pattern.
  3. Continue knitting in the *knit 2, purl 2* pattern for the desired number of rounds. You can adjust the number of rounds depending on how long you want your ribbing to be. The typical length for ribbing is about 1-2 inches.
  4. Bind off all stitches in pattern. You can use a stretchy bind off method like the long tail tubular bind off or the sewn bind off to ensure a neat and flexible edge.
  5. Weave in any loose ends using a tapestry needle.

And there you have it! Your sleeve is complete with a beautiful ribbed cuff. Remember to repeat the same process for the second sleeve if you are knitting a pair.

Now that you know how to knit a sleeve in the round like a pro, you can confidently tackle any knitting project that requires sleeves. Happy knitting!

Bind Off and Weave in Ends

Once you have finished knitting the sleeve, it’s time to bind off and secure all the loose ends. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Bind off: Start by knitting the first two stitches. Then, using your left needle, lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle. Knit one more stitch, and repeat the process of lifting the previous stitch over the current stitch and off the needle. Continue this bind off pattern until you reach the end of the round. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail.
  2. Weave in ends: Thread the tail of yarn onto a tapestry needle. Starting from the bound off edge, neatly weave the tail through the stitches of the bind off row, making sure to catch the yarn tails as you go to secure them. Continue weaving the tail in a zigzag pattern across the bind off stitches until you reach the beginning. Pull the yarn snugly to secure it and trim any excess.

By binding off and weaving in the ends, you will ensure that your knitting is secure and tidy. This will also prevent any unraveling or loose ends from showing once the sleeve is worn. Now your sleeve is ready to be attached to your garment! Repeat these steps for any additional sleeves you may have to knit.


Can you explain the process of knitting a sleeve in the round?

Knitting a sleeve in the round involves using circular knitting needles to create a seamless tube. You start by casting on the required number of stitches and join them in a circle. Then, you knit in the round, following the pattern instructions, until you reach the desired length for your sleeve. This technique creates a smooth and seamless sleeve with no need for sewing.

What type of needles do I need for knitting a sleeve in the round?

You will need circular knitting needles with a length suitable for the circumference of your sleeve. The needle size will depend on the yarn and the gauge specified in your pattern. Make sure to check the pattern instructions for the recommended needle size.

Is it difficult to knit a sleeve in the round?

Knitting a sleeve in the round can be a bit challenging if you’re new to circular knitting. However, with some practice and basic knitting skills, you can learn to knit a sleeve in the round like a pro. It’s important to follow the pattern instructions carefully and take it one step at a time.

What are the advantages of knitting a sleeve in the round?

Knitting a sleeve in the round offers several advantages. First, it creates a seamless tube, which eliminates the need for sewing seams later on. Second, it allows you to try on the sleeve as you go, making it easier to adjust the fit. Finally, knitting in the round produces a more polished and professional-looking result compared to knitting flat and seaming.

Are there any alternative methods for knitting a sleeve in the round?

Yes, there are a few alternative methods for knitting a sleeve in the round. One option is to use double-pointed needles instead of circular needles. This involves dividing the stitches evenly onto three or four double-pointed needles and working in the round that way. Another option is the Magic Loop method, which involves using a long circular needle to work small circumferences by pulling out a loop of cable and using the free needle tip to work the stitches. Each method has its advantages and is a matter of personal preference.


LKC 18 Sleeves – increasing through stocking stitch

Try This Easy Set-In Sleeve Knitting Pattern!

Set-in sleeve crew neck sweater | Step by step machine knitting tutorial | Free pattern, all sizes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *