Welcome back knitters, this week we’ll be talking all about the steps needed to join your Pascal sleeves to your sweater body and then begin working through the yoke – the final steps before steeking!
At this point you will have three knitted tubes to work with: two sleeve tubes, a right and a left, on waste yarn or stitch holders and a sweater body tube still live on your needles. To join these three pieces together first locate the “Union Round” section of your pattern, for the digital version of Pascal that will be page 10.
TIP: Lay your three knitted tubes out in front of you to make sure that you’re starting with the right sleeve and not the left – since you’re beginning your round on the front of your sweater, your right sleeve will be the first sleeve that you knit to.
After orienting yourself and your knitted tubes, pick up the sweater body and knit across the right front, your pattern will tell you exactly where to stop before you reach your stitch marker.
To form the right underarm, transfer the indicated number of body stitches to waste yarn or a stitch holder and remove the side marker – these live stitches will be grafted together later with live stitches from your right sleeve as a part of the finishing process. Next, place a new marker to indicate where your raglan shaping will be worked.
Now to join your first sleeve! Place your right sleeve stitches on a spare set of needles and remove the waste yarn or stitch holder that was keeping them in place, a short circular needle or set of DPNs work great for this task. Be sure to keep the separately held live stitches, those that will form the underarm, still on waste yarn or on a stitch holder to be grafted later.
To join these right sleeve stitches to your sweater body, simply knit across them taking care to maintain even tension on the strand of yarn that will now be connecting the sleeve and body together. Once you have worked across your sleeve stitches, place another raglan marker and knit across the back of your sweater body until the point in which your pattern instructs you to stop.
The left sleeve will be worked the same as the right sleeve; first you will transfer underarm stitches to waste yarn or a stitch holder, place a raglan marker, knit across the left sleeve stitches, place another raglan marker, and knit across the left front body stitches to complete the round.
And just like that, you’ve successfully joined your sleeves!
From the sleeve joining round to the final neck bind-off you will continue to work your sleeves and body stitches all on the same longer circular needle. This can feel like slow going at first since you’ll be working over more stitches now than you had before when working three smaller tubes, but rest assured that once you begin your raglan shaping things will begin to speed up again.
For Pascal, both single and double decreases are used for shaping the raglans: Knit 2 Together (K2tog) paired with a modified Slip Slip Knit (SSK), and Knit 3 Together (K3tog) paired with a modified Slip Slip Slip Knit (SSSK). You may be asking yourself, why use two different kinds of decreases? Well, K2tog and K3tog decreases lean to the right / while SSK and SSSK decreases lean to the left \ . In the illustration above, you can see that the right raglan shaping and left neckline both lean to the right, while the left raglan shaping and right neckline both lean to the left. We’ll use decreases that lean the same way to visually complement the slope of each section.
DID YOU KNOW: A raglan sleeve extends in one piece from the underarm to the collar, creating a diagonal seam. It is named after FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, who after the loss of his right arm in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 wore this style of sleeve to allow extra range of motion for his remaining arm. In later knitting-related history, Baron Raglan was responsible for ordering James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan (for whom the sweater was named) to lead the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava (for which the headwear was named) in 1854.
Join us next week when we’ll dive into the world of steeking, and be another step closer to a wonderful wearable heirloom. Share your progress this week in the comments below or in the KAL forum on Ravelry!