As I’ve been knitting I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I want to tackle the sleeves. As I see it, I have three options, each with their pros and cons.
- Modified drop shoulder
- Set-in sleeves
If you recall, I’m modifying the sleeves so I can reduce some of the bulk. Drop shoulders always add bulk. But, on someone who has a torso that’s much bigger than their shoulders the drop shoulder is even less flattering. Why? As people get larger, their shoulders get larger at a much slower rate than their torsos.
A quick check at the CYC’s Women’s Size Charts shows that for women whose bust measurements range from 28 – 42 inches, their shoulder width only ranges from 14 – 17.5 inches. That means, while the body of their garments increased 7 inches (7 inches for one half of the body, say, just the front), their shoulders only increased half of that. The amount of additional fabric in the underarm area has doubled!!
What this means is that the larger your torso is, the more difficult it’s going to be for a drop shoulder silhouette to look good on you.
The drop shoulder has got to go.
In addition to modifying the sleeve, I’m also adding in some shoulder shaping. This will also help with the extra underarm fabric. Shoulder shaping mimics the actual slope of our shoulders. You’re going to get a better fit any time you can make the garment mimic your shape more closely.
OK, on to the sleeves.
Modified drop shoulder
- Most similar to the original design. I could even keep the shoulder saddles, which I consider a real plus.
- Least disruptive to the cable patterning.
- Easiest modification to execute.
- Will still leave some extra fabric under the arm.
- Hardest to estimate the true look of because I don’t have any sweaters that fit this way.
- Best fit — will eliminate the most bulk.
- I couldn’t retain the shoulder saddles. Well, technically I could but I think they’d look very awkward.
- While I like the way this sleeve fits, I’m afraid it might change the overall look of the sweater.
- Will eliminate some bulk
- Fun to knit — each row gets shorter!
- Since it’s knitted from the bottom up, I’d have to figure out how to knit the sleeves so the cables match up. While not impossible, cursing and hissy fits will certainly be likely.
- If set-in sleeves would change the look, raglans will change the look even more.
Given all that, which way do you think I should go? Before I drew up the sketches I was strongly leaning toward the modified drop. But after looking at the sketches, I’m seriously reconsidering the set-in sleeve. Although, I keep getting stuck on that saddle shoulder. Hmm…