Sleeves for Amanda and charting your plan

I am a visual person. Therefore, anytime I start something new, I like to have a visual representation of the final object and how I am going to get there.  A map, a diagram, a blueprint, they are all works of art all to themselves. Since I was planning on doing a few adjustments to the pattern, I wanted to document my thought process, sizes, increases, calculations and to have a running checklist of where I am at.   The point is to create one sheet of paper that tells me all I need to know about a given piece of knitting, in this case, a sleeve by creating a reference guide.

My Amanda was going to be somewhere between a medium and a large. The pattern has one sleeve length for all sizes and I have looooooong arms – 20 inches to be exact.  17 inch sleeves  start looking more like 3/4 sleeves on me and at that length I tend to pull them up.  Considering the honeycomb pattern on the sleeve, that bulk was not going to look well pulled up, so it needed a change.

I started with the medium 9″ (51 stitches) cuff but wanted to end at the roomier 13.5″ (112) at the biceps.


If you need alter the length or want to start with a smaller cuff like I did, you can play with the above division to get your rate of increase.  Make sure to end with the 89 stitches on top of the sleeve through, otherwise you will need to recalculate your yoke as well.

I did play with these numbers quite a bit to get a zero remainder. If you like to increase on the knit side only, you would need to make sure the quotient (result | 7) becomes an even number. Since the pattern calls to work the 57 stitches for 3 1/2 inches until the increases start, I could easily remove 7 rows from the equation to get the even 112 for a 0 remainder.  What that means is that my first increase will start at row 7.

Because the pattern had an error in the sleeve cuff count, cites 50 stitches yet 51 are needed for the 1×1 ribbing, I also calculated out the rib to sleeve increase below.


If you want to learn more about the formula, take a look at Cheryl Brunette’s YouTube channel.  She does a great job explaining it and gives a few ways to use the same “formula” for vertical and horizontal increases/decreases.  Specifically, she has a “How to knit a sweater” playlist that goes over all the calculations you might need.  Here are a couple of videos that talk about the increases.
How to Knit a Sweater Part 7: The More-or-Less-Right Formula
How to Knit a Sweater Part 8: Pick up and Knit the Sleeves

And now, on to my charts.

Sleeve chart – Take 1


This was my first take at creating a one page reference for my sleeve. I got a lot of useful advice from Karen Templer’s Fringe Association – check out her post on chart annotations.  I created the chart in illustrator, left and right cables were color coded and rows were numbered.  At this point, I had manually added in the M1 increases by adding in lines and checking them as I go along.

I had a couple of issues with this version:
  1. The M1s weren’t very clear
  2. I got to row 40 and didn’t know how to continue marking off the following rows
  3. The dark left/right honeycomb cables, which are both knit looked just like the knit/purl diamond pattern crossovers. Big no no.

Sleeve chart – Take 2


This was much clearer and the lighter honeycomb pattern was much better.  The black crossovers would now indicate purl stitches only which made it easier to remember.  Now I was using slashes for done rows and circles for stops. I also indicated the M1 increases with pink dots! So much easier to keep track now.

version 2 Still wasn’t perfect:
  1. I really wanted to see the lines darker were my markers are. Often I would count the diamond purl stitches to double check my position on the chart.  You can see above, I lined them with my pencil.
  2. I was missing my increases on the left hand side! Aghhh.  I was only looking on the right and didn’t always check on the left.
  3. Needed to add how to make a M1R and M1L at the bottom of each side to remind myself.  Since in my calculations, there will be front and back increases, might want to indicate that on the chart as well.

Sleeve chart – Take 3


For the second sleeve, I moved all my numbers to the right, with the lighter ones representing the opposite direction.  I wasn’t missing any increases now.  Adding the lines for stitch markers also helped in getting orientated.  Missed adding the M1 reminders which might be the next step.

Getting close with version 3:
  1. Needed to add the M1 reminders. I can never remember M1L and M1R and since I have to do them from both sides, knit and purl, it helps to just look.  For the purl, you inverse the yarn.  So a M1L becomes a M1R and vice versa.
  2. Still not sure if I will modify the neckline so more measurements might be needed or the yoke might need it’s own piece of paper.

Sleeve chart – Take 4


I think this is it so far.  I have one more diamond to go before the sleeves are complete.  Since I started with the sleeves, I am still not sure if I will be team seam or team seamless… I’ll keep you posted.

Will you be altering your sleeves for Amanda? What do you do to keep track of your pattern? Would love to know!

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