Spindle spinning and weightlifting do not mix. Ouch.
I am on Sleeve Island on the sideways knit sweater. Soon I’ll have to do the math for the armscyes, following the excellent advice in this Knitty article for designing a set-in sleeve.
My shoulders are proportionally broad for my body and my bust is proportionally small, so set-in sleeves are the only kind I’ll knit for myself. Raglan sleeves make me look like a football player, while drop sleeves create a charming gumdrop silhouette. I think my next project will be to learn to do set-in sleeves from the top down, the way you can see in this post by Little Purl of the Orient.
My very first cardigan, Bristow, had set-in sleeves. I didn’t know they were supposed to be hard to seam in, so I just followed the directions and never thought about it. There’s something to be said for ignorance, which is why I’m strongly against difficulty ratings for patterns. Lists of the skills required, sure. But not a difficulty level, because I feel that would frighten away new knitters and keep them from developing new skills.
I’ve found that the best thing to do for set-in sleeves is to mark the middle of the top of the sleeve and pin it to the stop of the armscye, so you know whether you’re easing in too much or too little by whether you have similar amounts of sleeve and armscye as you get up to that halfway point. I’m sort of a sloppy, intuitive finisher in general. This isn’t good with most things, but with set-in sleeves that sort of easygoing attitude makes the whole thing less stressful.
Bristow in action at my in-laws’ for Christmas. Lessons learned? 1) If you have a family tendency to wide upper arms, avoid sweaters with textured patterning along the arms. 2) Alpaca and silk yarns are ideal for winters Up North.