1. I finished the yoke/sleeves of Kiama.

2. I love it, I sewed up the sleeves of it, and I would be very happy with it, except for one little thing.

3. Despite the fact that there has been very little change in the matter in question in more than 25 years…

4. I apparently don’t know how long my arms are.

118 thoughts on “Discovered

  1. They’re sneaky, those arms. I am restraining myself from buying this yarn – Maryland Sheep and Wool is barely over 10 days away, and I am preparing for yarn overload.

  2. Three-quarter sleeves? Seven-eights? One and a half length sleeves?
    Start a new fashion trend!

  3. the arms are harder than they look! I like three quarter length sleeves–they’re always a wearable length unless the two sleeves don’t match.

  4. Would it be better or worse if you had one sleeve perfect and the other was huge? Conceptually that is, because it certainly would be less ripping back if one of the sleeves is correct.
    I’m thinking a lopsided monkey arm would be funnier than a full on gorilla.

  5. I have the same problem with my torso. I keep thinking it’s shorter than it is. Beautiful yarn!

  6. *snort* you can’t call it artistic and edgy? Ah well. At least it’s not two left arms.

  7. Now, they could have changed. After all, you’re hauling suitcases through the airports quite a lot these days, and the weight could have stretched your arms a bit!

  8. I have the same problem with every sweater I knit. It’s not the length of the sleeves in question, it is where on the sweater the sleeves attach and you just can’t know without trying it on & by then, the sleeves are the wrong length…. can somebody figure out a fool-proof solution? I thought not.

  9. At least that is a fairly easy fix. And, we all think we are bigger than we are.

  10. Better than misjudging your midsection. That one is always a total bummer for me…

  11. I too have this problem except I am a slow learner and don’t know until after the darn things are all sew into the sweater. Is there anyway of undoing the sleeve from the cuff up and then shotening them ?

  12. AH! Sleeves have always been the bane of my existence! No matter how much I measure as I go, they’re either too short or too long.

  13. My husband once told me he wanted a sweater he could fold back the cuffs on–at 6’8″, he had never been able to. I knitted him an Aran that has an 86″ wingspan to it and it does the job perfectly.
    I, on the other hand, having short arms, have never had that problem.
    So: is this post an off-the-cuff remark?

  14. Arms, eh? For me it’s the length of the body. I swear I measure the stupid thing fifty times before I decide it’s long enough, and even add a few extra inches just to be safe. But by golly if I don’t lose a few inches when all is said and done! Somewhere there’s a pile of spare inches hiding around here, and if I ever happen to find it I’m going to slap it.

  15. I’m improving my ability to get it right. Measure from center of my back to point where I want the sleeve to end; from this number, subtract half the width of sweater back. Result should be length of sleeve to armhole, that is, the point before any sleeve-cap shaping takes place. However, I still finish knitting the first sleeve and pin it to the body of the sweater (pinning all body seams together too if I haven’t already committed to them) and TRY THE THING ON. Then I alter the sleeve, if I must, and knit the second sleeve to match. This system has been great for my temper, let me tell you.

  16. Just when I am beating myself up over a knitting mistake that shouldn’t have happened,I read about one of yours! Love it!

  17. I seem to have this problem with the length of my feet. I even stop and try on the sock before I complete the toe. Sometimes it is just right, but many times it is just a little too short. I have tried several ways of making notations on the pattern telling me when to start the toe, but I am not always successful in getting it right.

  18. Somehow it’s reassuring that even the great Harlot makes these types of mistakes.
    I have gorilla arms but have often made my sleeves too long (I forget that yarn may stretch). Many of my sweaters now have fold back cuffs as a “design feature”.

  19. This is a not directly about sleeve length, but when I knit my first sweater in over twenty years last fall, I knit the sleeves at the same time on a long circular so they would match (it was a lace/cable pattern and I was afraid I’d never get them to match otherwise) and it worked great! I was very pleased with myself.

  20. So did you cut and pick up and finish from the bottom or was that possible given the geometry?

  21. Ouch. Ripping out hurts. But, you’ll never wear it if it isn’t just right… This debate always makes my fingers twitch. Maybe, its all about enjoying the knitting, and not the knitted thing just this moment? Now, if I could convince myself of this fact, rather than want my sweater done right now, all would be good.

  22. Too short send it to me please … too long just turn over as a cuff.
    Hugs and love

  23. @ least you found out BEFORE bind-off. Freudian that you wish you were taller w/longer arms?! Hmm…

  24. It’s the yoke, blame the yoke.. remember these look like 1/2 to 3/4 length sleeves.. good luck

  25. Knowing the length of your arms seems, at first glance, like it should be simple.
    It’s not!
    It depends on how wide the shoulders of the sweater the sleeves will be attached to are, and not only the width, but how wide those shoulders will be once there are sleeves attached to weigh them down and stretch them, thereby adding width to the shoulders and length to the sleeves.
    Length of sleeves also depends, to a smaller extent, on the shape of the top of the sleeve. I like shallow curves for set-in sleeves, because when you move your arms, it doesn’t change the apparent length of the sleeve as much. A deep curve at the top of these sleeves will change the sleeve from looking way too long to way too short in less than two seconds!
    The very best logical solution is to knit top-down and make them just right every time.

  26. Agree with Johann…and how the sleeves fall from the shoulders will change the “appearance” of length.
    But, if they are too long (keeping my fingers crossed), I would just cuff them!

  27. I suffer from the same problem concerning my leg length. Hmmmm….surely those pants will be fine….they’re a petite length and my legs aren’t really all THAT short… Only to discover that sometime in the last couple of years someone decided that petite length pants needed to be longer.

  28. arm length? well, one would think it would stay the same… but with global wierding (I read that was a better term than global warming) and all, maybe other things are changing too?
    Nice colors – I like the way they seem to be blending. A close-up of the finished fabric would be very rewarding to see (hint hint)

  29. Oh, do tell how the yarn dealt with frogging. I have a ball of bamboo that looks like it went through the trenches because it got ripped a couple of times during swatching. Excellent job of test knitting that yarn; that is what you are doing, right? ; )

  30. That’s ok, even though it only happened once and it’s been almost 6 years now, I clearly still think I’m pregnant. Most of my knitting is for others, but when I make something for myself I always start out with a size at least 2 sizes too big. If I’m willing to accept my error, it’s usually when I’m more then halfway done. I have a cotton Aran in my closet that I refused to accept it true size while knitting and is now big enough for 2 of me (circumference wise, it’s actually about an inch too short if you can believe that). What makes us so unwilling to accept our true size, no matter what that may be?

  31. perhaps you could have your arm length tattooed on on your wrist.
    or if you think it’s your age, you could switch to measuring in inches instead of centimeters. you wont have to count as high.

  32. I always mess that up. I tend to knit them longer than necessary but I guess it’s better than too short. At least I can roll them up. It’s just crazy that I do that ALL the time!

  33. Um. Oops. I’m impressed with the reknitting part, though; I tend to try to pretend it was a design decision, and then either trail my sleeves in my soup, or call them “bracelet length”.

  34. I think my sleeves turn out just the length I want them no more than 75% of the time. The other 25% usually ends with folding up at one end of the spectrum and figuring out some kind of edging at the other…I loathe frogging and avoid it whenever possible!

  35. That explains why I’m having more and more trouble reading all the time! Of course there is nothing wrong with my eyes… my arms must be getting longer.

  36. Any tips on sewing up? I could use some inspiration and some suggestions on the best approach. Your work is looking good!

  37. As a knitter, I believe arms should be shorter. As a mother, I believe they should be longer. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am currently on sleeve one of my Tea Leaves Cardi and contemplating 3/4 length (as I always do when knitting sleeves).
    It is looking great! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  38. Oh, man! I busted out laughing! ‘Cause it’s not as if they’re hard to find when you need to measure them, is it? That is so funny!

  39. The problem might be at the pits. There’s a pun here, but I’ll refrain.
    Thank goodness you can just pull the string back until you reach the proper length. And then measure a few more times.
    I just pulled out something, knit about the same amount back up and then realized I had made exactly the same error again. Good thing I like to knit, because many times, I do it twice.
    Lovely knitting, as always.

  40. I have gorilla arms, so no sleeves are ever long enough (except for men’s stuff). I got used to pushing all sleeves up to my elbows so that no-one would notice they were too short. My late mother however, had the uncanny knack of producing sleeves that were the correct length for both me and my 6 foot 2 inch father. It was even more remarkable because I never saw mum use a pattern, or check her tension, but everything always fit – except for the jumper that Dad shrank – never let a housework-challenged 60-something male loose in a wash-house with an automatic washer and a pure wool jumper. The only good part of the story was that Dad didn’t like the drier, so the jumper didn’t end up kiddie-size, but it stretched width-wise and shrank length-wise, so it was unfit for public consumption, but it served Dad well for many years as a gardening jumper until it fell apart.
    So while I can sympathise about sleeves being the wrong length for arms, its in a slightly different way. And then there’s feet. Why do I insist on making socks to pattern for an “average” women’s foot when I take a size 11 (43). Seriously. I have had feet this size since I was 13. After 30 years you would think I would remember my feet are anything but average!

  41. Too funny. I have the same problem with my feet. Of course, part of the issue is that they really aren’t exactly the same size, which I notice every time I buy a pair of shoes and one feels tighter than the other. So socks are never a given.

  42. I have an aunt who for years has been trying to get my mother to knit her a sweater. My mom has refused, mainly — I think — because she likes watching her sister-in-law finally not get something she wants.
    Still, my aunt persists. She is not a tall person, so as an enticement to my mother, my aunt waves her arms in the air and yells, “SHORT ARMS! SHORT ARMS!”

  43. I love how there’s pretty much an even split between commenters who think you must have knit them too short and commenters who think the sleeves must be too long. I’m curious to hear which one it actually was.

  44. Hmmm…you’re always telling us you’re awfully short, so I guess you knit them too long. But I must say – not enough people try 3/4 length sleeves. They really work for me, and you save a bit on yarn. Maybe they’d make you look tall. Ish.

  45. I do that with legs. From time to time buy an item that is meant for somebody built on stilts, unlike me who is more akin to a Shetland pony.

  46. I made a sweater for my daughter, who has short arms like her mother. Knowing this I made the sleeves 2.5 cm shorter than the pattern (after I had measured!). They were 12 cm too long. So I took 8 cm off. Perfect fit! If there is a mathematical formula that can cover this, I think I need more wine to understand it.

  47. I’m just wondering, for all of us here, since we’re so ‘woolly’, would there be a risk that we could felt a little in a hot tub…..(I’m already totally sure I don’t do soap very well, so who knows what other risks are lurking?). That could account for changing arms, don’t you think?
    Your knit looks scrumptious by the way, too bad we don’t have ‘touchscreen’.

  48. Because I have less muscle on my shoulders now, sleeves that used to fit are now too long.
    I suspect that blocking makes sleeves longer and shoulders wider, each of which will alter the fit.
    Top down, it’s the only answer.

  49. COuld you mention how you tied on a new skein for this yarn? Wool with the basic spit/slice is so easy but I always have trouble with the novelty yarns or linen. Looks great, sleeves or not!

  50. well, try knitting from the shoulder down! Then you can make pant legs out of them if need be.

  51. I know that feeling. I’ve been trying to convince myself either that I need to give my olympics sweater to my mother, or to add another 6 inches to it because it’s uncomfortably short.
    The sleeves, however, are perfect (and 4 inches longer than the sweater. That’s what I get for believing a pattern rather than my own two eyes.)

  52. Remember,Stephanie, that it’s spring and the frog pond is always very noisy in the spring!(just like the otters).

  53. hmmm. that seems to be quite a conundrum there. Yessterday after doing my sociology homework for 2 hours. I decided to take a break and so, I sat and knit. It was hard to even count to three so i know how you feel (maybe not in the same way but both of our projects ((as mant other knitter’s projects)) include numbers in some fashion) . Well I do hope that you remember how long your arms are. As for me.. well.. I am stuck counting to the magical number of (actually) 50 but trying to get past the number three. I hope you have more success then I am having! ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. hee hee he he *snort*. That is funny. I agree with Karen, that three-quarter length sleeves are the way to go, because they always will fit! Too funny.
    Thanks for the laugh!

  55. Hee hee he he *snort*. That is funny. I agree with Karen; that three-quarter length sleeves are the way to go, because they will always fit! Thanks for the laugh.

  56. Ha! So funny. I just finished a sleeve with two different sweaters. It was sort of intentional but not really (long story–not for the comments).

  57. It may be worth measuring them every day for a week… just to make sure they’re not still growing… or shrinking….

  58. I keep doing that with my torso. I think, though, that I shorten my sweaters because, subconsciously, I’m hoping to be able to show my tummy one day…Like the kids do ;D

  59. The fabric is beautiful. Looks like the yarn has held up ok to the stress of frogging.
    Trying to picture …. is it one piece being sleeve/yoke/sleeve? If there is no shaping for the yoke & neck it should be easy to adjust.
    I hope it’s just a case of frog to correct length & cast off again.
    Can’t wait to see it finished.
    I like it very much! ๐Ÿ˜€

  60. I’m guessing from the unraveledy bits that they were too long… at least you got some knitting time out of them??

  61. Isn’t it nice that arm length doesn’t change though? So many other things on my body have that its a relief to find something the same. Also why I love shoes.

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  63. Ah, but I think arm length changes. My arms are shorter when I am trying to reach that needle I dropped behind the couch, they are longer than they used to be when I am 3/4 done with a sleeve and seems to be taking forever.
    Besides, remember how long your arms were when the kids were toddlers and you were carrying one of them and the 27 tons of gear that accompanied all outings? Remember how short they were when you tried to reach one of them BEFORE she put something nasty in her mouth?
    Given that, I always hold my sweaters up to my arms because, dammit, they do change!

  64. Funny. I have the same problem. I have sleeves on the needle now that I keep telling people are “almost there” because I have to spin more to finish them up. Everytime I look at them, thinking I just have to do the caps I realize they’re only about 4 inches long (they are supposed to be long sleeves). Mine’s denial, I’m sure.

  65. Laughed right out loud!
    Thanks for helping me not feel so bad ripping back a garter stitch baby blanket!!!

  66. Hey there Stephanie-
    I was wondering if you could direct your massive fanbase to a way cool knit-and-spin-athon. One of my buddies out here in Austin who went with me to your signing out here came down with a rather nasty case of breast cancer and is trying to raise money to help with some of the bills. She’s an awesome person, and she’s a knitter.
    Her page is here:

  67. Bwa ha ha haha ha ha ha h ha
    nope… I never did that………..
    until AFTER I learned to measure the length of a sleeve while it hangs freely from the needle, I did that all the time. A sleve length measured whil laying flat will grow!

  68. I’m doing a striped sweater for my husband — stripes of varying widths, in somewhat random order. I did the body from the bottom up, pausing at the armholes, and then started the sleeves, both at once, bottom up. I don’t quite know how they’ll come out, length-wise, and it’s important to me to have the stripes match across arms-and-body. So I did a provisional cast-on at the (approximate) wrists; then at the very end I’ll go back and do the wrist/cuff as needed to fit. That’s the plan, anyway…

  69. Have you gained or lost weight? Because that can make a difference. You wouldn’t think so, but it is true.

  70. Oh, gosh. That *is* a drawback.
    Hopefully, you won’t also have to remember how to count to 3. We all have our limits.
    (Hope it turns out dreamy. Missed your blog!)

  71. About arm length… Have you ever noticed that no matter how tall the parent or how tiny the toddler, their arms are always long enough for them to hold hands as they walk side-by-side?

  72. Well, if they are too short, I like to add a little lace edging in a situation like this. It can be very simple in the case of a tweedy yarn like this. If they are too long, a turn back with an edging that attaches it to the sleeve is in order. If I just fold them back they keep coming undone and make me crazy. So I attach them as a design feature….

  73. I seem to have the same issue with the length of the second sock. I also may have to admit that you are right with the slipped stitch on the edge of the heel flap. I don’t think that I even want to know why I resisted trying it for so long.

  74. With the side-to-side construction of this sweater, and the character of the yarn, I’m wondering if the addition of the body will pull in and affect the apparent length of the sleeves. Not trying to offer false hope, just looking at the construction schematics.

  75. Im expecting my first grandchild, and would love to make your booties. Which pattern are you using? Thanks

  76. After an entire post about the merits of a relatively tight gauge, I’m having a hard time seeing this knit fabric as the type you’d strive for. Is this some sort of paradox sweater? Maybe the short arms would have been perfect after all, just to spite you.

  77. At least you know WHERE your arms are! I don’t seem to know where mine are, or my back, or my shoulders for that matter. I have finished the top part of this sweater and stitched up the sleeves, and now that it is time to pick up stitches for the bottom, I can’t for the life of me figure out where all those stitches come from. Aaaargh!

  78. I’m about to start Interweave Knit’s “Betty Tee” with Origami. Everything you have said makes me feel good about my purchase. I think this will work well for this large scale entrelac. Thank you!

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