That Second Sleeve

comments: 86






































Is there a stretchy cast-off that doesn't flare? Lately I have been making stuff that doesn't fit over anyone's head. Paranoid, I'm now stretchy-casting-on and -casting-off, though I find the look of it quite inelegant. Am I right in thinking the wrong side of a Jeny's stretchy cast-on looks better than the "right" side, or did I not turn it properly? And I don't like how the cuff is flaring (on my Bloomsbury Kids sweater, the terra cotta one above, which was inspired by this pin). That's too big, and I went down a needle size, too. If I weren't so lazy I'd start the second sleeve and get it over with. This sweater's construction is pretty rad. There's a lace panel down the center of the back, too. I think everyone says, this but I am so in love with Quince and Co.'s Lark yarn. I used it for the Dogwood Lottie (the pale pink sweater, also above) and it's just so squishy and soft and yummy and bouncy and makes you feel like you could knit all day (and night?). Until you get to the second sleeve, which not only is the second sleeve but also has a lace panel. . . . Bah. I watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix (yippee!) and knit as if in a trance. The lace isn't hard but it's still . . . lace. How awesome is it that a new season of Railroad Alaska starts on Saturday? I'm tempted to re-watch the entire season of Ice Lake Rebels. Now if I could only stay awake past 9:00 p.m., just think how much more knitting and TV-watching I could get in. Alas, now that the cold, dark, rainy nights are here there's so little incentive to stay downstairs and not crawl into my wonderful, lovely bed to wait for Andy to get home from work. At least I've limited myself to one mini-Snickers per night. That's one of the only things I like about Halloween. Mini candy.

Garter stitch is more my night-time speed, and night-knitting is all I have these days. Garter stitch also just . . . what's not to love. Knit knit knit. Then knit knit knit. Then knit knit knit. Etc. That's what I can handle. We've talked about this. When will I learn this? Apparently never. I finished the pom-pom flaps hat (which was inspired by this pin) by actually making and attaching the pom-pom. A couple of people asked me about the pattern that I used, which is in French. I used Danielle's translation, and I'm sorry I didn't put that on my Ravelry page initially. I'm not very good at adding notes to that thing. The hat was knit with Rebecca's gorgeous, gorgeous acacia-dyed alpaca-merino-silk yarn from Camellia Fiber Co. You've gotta be fast to get this stuff before it sells out. Her yarn is such a delectable treat. I spoil myself.

Clover Meadow had a very hard day yesterday. Thunder, pouring rain, and then later, once she had finally settled down, fireworks. The trifecta of canine misery.

Do you like caramelized butternut squash?

I'm on an organizing tear. So far I've gone through all my clothes, all of Amelia's clothes, all of the books in the master bedroom, the living room toys, and I'm about to hit the hats, gloves, and scarves next. I donated a lot of clothes and books. Now I have nothing to wear. I'd like several of these dresses and tunics, particularly this one and this one and this one. But they're too expensive. I went to the fabric store and bought some similar patterns and fabrics. I also got an idea for a gathered calico skirt. Now, I actually have to make the effort to sew. And start the second sleeve. But there's time. There's time now. I'm glad it's October. I feel much more like myself than I ever do in July.


Hi Alicia,

It seems to me that Elizabeth Zimmerman would recommend running a little elastic thread through the stretched out end on the inside if it had flared. I haven't got my knitting book that has different cast ons and offs right now. Loaned out to a friend. You might email Meg Swanson at Sorry I'm not more help! I've had the same problem.

Jo Anna

Hold out for the Toast sale, huuuuge reductions!

Can't really help on the cast off, but I can empathize with the second sleeve issue. But what I'm really interested in is your organizing tear. I've been trying to "curate" my closet over the last couple of years, and now I'm onto "interrogating" it. I just hope no one gets hurt.

Amelia is just SO adorable. How can you stand it? How can you not kiss those cheeks all day?

Elizabeth Zimmerman has a sewn cast off that is quite stretchy but tidy looking. I'm not certain which book it's in though. If you don't have her books, pm me at rav and I'll look it up for you. :) samm at ravelry

I'm loving the cooler, grayer times.. I have to whip out a baby hat for a birthday on Sunday.. wish me luck! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Alicia I too am in love with Quince, I have some lark and sparrow (the Belgian linen) I ordered as I could not get the equivalent here in Australia.

I did a nice stretchy cast off on a shawl recently which may help:

(wrong side)
P1, yo, P1 -- keep these sts on the right hand needle
Slip the 2 right most sts over the last knit st to cast them off
Repeat following sequence to end
*yo, P1, slip 2 right most sts over the last knit st

Good luck.

BTW to get over second sleeve syndrome (SSS) I knit both sleeves at the same time on the needle, that way they match or at least have the same error. :)

I'm so glad its October myself! I'm the exact same, I feel much more like myself during Autumn, and I absolutely love caramelized butternut squash! Great post, & beautiful photos :)

Meme's hair really got blonde over the summer...we couldn't get those beautiful highlights if we tried! LOL! I love roasted squash and pumpkin and all those fall comfort veggies. My problem is I put too much salt and butter on them. I think my taste buds are dying off. I'm making several Purl Soho hats which is all knit but you do the ear flaps with the I-cord after the hat is done. Yours is nice as it's all one piece. Sorry you're having trouble with the ribbing of the sweater. I'm no help but I'm sure there are others that will be.
Poor heart goes out to her...and all that at one time? Life is just not fair sometimes but I'm sure she is counting her blessings to have parents like you and Andy.
I love the colors you choose for clothing and decorating and everything. I too have been clearing out but now it seems I have a bigger mess. And I want to throw out my clothes but I'm afraid I won't have anything to wear but then maybe I will finally sit down and sew! I am curious what patterns you got because that is the style I and my daughter want to wear with tights or slacks. I told her I would make her some too. What was I thinking? I can't even get my cupboards cleaned! LOL! Enjoy this cozy, gorgeous Fall and thank you for the beautiful photography.

A tubular cast on and cast off are amazing. They take time to set up but are gorgeous on both right and wrong side and have similar stretch to the knit fabric itself.

If I'm using Jenni's surprisingly stretchy bind-off, I go down one needle size I find that eliminates the ruffley edge. You may need to go down 2 needle sizes. I forget where I read this tip but it really makes a difference. I've done this on toe up socks with great success.

Beautiful pictures!

I use the Interlock bind off for me toe up socks for that exact reason. Knitty has grat instruction for it. Tubular bind off is also an option for ribbing.

You take the most heart warming photos!They always make me feel all cozy inside :)

I just finished knitting myself a sweater and used Lori's Twisty BO for the neckline ribbing, I was very pleased with it.

And I love your pictures, I feel like I'm able to enjoy each season to it's fullest just by looking at your posts! :)

We all go through that 'too big head' syndrome - I remember - before I had children - a friend telling me she'd fairly tried to force her child's head through something she'd just finished knitting - before she stepped back and realised what she was doing!! I was shocked - until years later when I had my own kids and had the frustration of the 'head and knit-neck not being compatable syndrome' lol!!!

Jane in FL says: October 24, 2014 at 04:49 PM

I don't know if this has already been suggested but if you type in "stretchy bindoff" in your search box, you will find one that says something like "k2tog through back loop, put the stitch back onto the left needle and repeat across." Try this stitch for about 10 stitches and see if you like it. I found I needed to tighten my tension up a bit but that it truly is a very stretchy bind off and I love it. I have used it for wraps, cowls, sweater necks, etc. I am sorry I don't know who thought this one up or who put it on youtube. Hope this helps!

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Oh my goodness. I just finished the Lottie cardigan for my niece. I used Jill Draper's Hudson. The yarn is so squishy and soft! I can't wait to see it on her. My niece's name is Violet and the color I chose was Petunia. Perfect in every way!

Kate Dansie says: October 24, 2014 at 06:54 PM

Alicia, I LOVE your blog! And I love little Amelia's dolls and toys, and especially the doll swing. My little girl, Victoria will be 2 in December, and I'd love to get her one. Did you make it? If not, where can I find it?

The dresses: This one, this one and this one.
This one - not bad and think you'll good in it for the Fall Fairs.
This one - yuk.
This one - totally you.
Much love

Forgot to mention. When I knitted for my girls (UK knitting patterns) ribbed anything always said "Cast off loosely). This was 2 needle knitting back in those days. Hope it helps.

Oh Alicia, I love your multi-faceted posts. I wish I had a blog... it must feel so great to just lay down your thoughts and be done with them. :)

I like to use either a tubular bind off (good for binding off in rib) or Elizabeth Simmermann's sewn bind. The tubular bind off is also a sewn bind off.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.