Gigi Modifications :: Fitting the Sleeve

Hi, Knitters,
I'm back with more on my Gigi Cardigan knitting adventure.
Click here for the Gigi Cardigan Kits and custom buttons! There are still some left in the shop. Devin Ventre is the designer. 
After finishing the bottom short row shaping and ribbed edging, I moved to the sleeve finishing. My main concern with the sleeve is that according to the schematic, which is wonderful, I saw that for my size the sleeve circumference is listed at 16-inches. For me, I knew this would be too big. I prefer a sleeve at the upper arm to measure around 12-13 inches in circumference for this type of sweater. And for the short sleeve I didn't want the sleeve to flare out so much.
My plan to modify worked out great in the end. I put the held stitches back on the smaller size double-pointed needles (I used US size 7 for all of the edgings). Then I continued on with a rapid decrease under the arm.
Here's what I did step-by-step for the 38-inch bust size (this could be used for any size, the numbers will vary for the sizes but you'll get the idea) :
Rnd 1: I attached the yarn and purled all of the stitches on the needles, then I picked up the 8 stitches under the arm as directed and placed these on the last double-pointed needle.
Rnd 2: P2tog three times, purl to the last 6 stitches before the 8 picked up stitches from the previous round, then p2tog three times. 8 stitches remain on the last needle, k2tog four times. 
Rnd 3: P2tog, purl to the last 4 stitches of the round, k2tog twice.
I ended up with 56 stitches total in the end which is about 13-inches in circumference. I did the rib for 8 rounds total starting off with Round 4. 
Rnd 4: K2tog, k1, p2, then repeat (k2, p2) to the end of the round.
The main thing is that if you think the sleeve circumference is too big for you on any sweater or cardigan you can do this kind of rapid decrease under the arm to get rid of extra fabric and clean things up a little. Maybe your stitch numbers won't be the same as my size but you can get the concept here. 
Be sure to check the schematic to see if the sleeve circumference will be right for you! It may be just fine.
Photo from Devin Ventre
As you can see, the sleeves on the original pattern look great! If you leave everything as is in the pattern it will be beautiful. Sometimes if it's your first sweater, it's good to just follow a pattern to the tee to get your footing and then go from there making modifications. Devin has done a wonderful job with the pattern. It is clear and simple to follow.
I'll be back with a couple of buttonband tips, the collar modifications and a couple of tips for the pockets. I hope you are all enjoying your Gigi Cardigans so far. I have heard from a few people who already have a good start. Let me know how you are doing.
love, susan


  • Phoenix, The sleeves could definitely be modified for long sleeves. I would do some spaced out decreases (2 sts at a time) maybe every inch or so to the elbow and then knit straight to the desired length and add some 2 by 2 rib to finish off!

    Susan B. Anderson
  • Hello! Do you have any suggestions for modifications to extend the sleep to a full sleeve? Thank you!!

    Phoenix Ronan


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