About sleeves…

People sometimes comment that cocoknits runs a bit narrow through the upper sleeve. There is a reason!

The arm looks as big as what you encase it in…if you knit 3″ of ease into the upper sleeve, guess what? Your arm looks 3″ bigger around than it really is. For more on this, see The Sartorialist’s post on sleeves and knitwear, he’s talking about menswear, but the same goes for women… a fitted sleeve can drop 10 pounds off the figure.

This does not bother most thin, young women. But as we age we need all the help we can get! Compare the photos below:

Try knitting your upper sleeve with 0-2 inches added to your upper arm measurement. You don’t want negative ease, that’s not good, either! But a sleeve that just fits is the most flattering. Look at schematics to find the size that best fits your upper arm and knit to that measurement. The rule of thumb is the thicker the yarn, the less ease you want.


  1. Joan DeWolfe

    I applaud you for the sleeve being closer to the arm measurement, nothing looks more home-made than the look of extra width in the upper arm. Joan

  2. Liz

    I completely agree that the slimmer fit sleeves look heaps better, but if I make the sleeves narrower (less stitches) aren’t I going to run into difficulties matching it to the body shaping?


    • It certainly helps if you choose patterns that offer a slim-sleeved silhouette. More about this coming in the book I’m writing…stay tuned;-)

  3. Hi Julie! I’m doing research for a pattern I’m writing, and I came here because I knew you’d have the answer about sleeves. 🙂 Do you know how much ease is in the sleeve in the right? I’m attempting a “slouchy yet fitted” look for a set-in sleeve, and I’m torn between 1.5 and 2″ of ease. Thank you!

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