Set-In Sleeve Knitting Pattern EASY

set in sleeve

Knitted sleeve pattern which takes away the fear of knitting set-in sleeves!

Before I discovered the seamless knitting technique knitting in the round, I was always knitting sweaters with set-in sleeves. I tried many types of set-in sleeves knitting patterns until I found this simple pattern to get the best results without much effort. Not my invention, but I am eager to share it with you.

 Set-in sleeve knitting pattern I found in a Russian book by Margarita Maksimova “Azbuka vyazaniya” (”Knitting ABC”).

Less talk, more action!!!

Knitting sleeves flat. Example 1.

We will make simple decrease calculations based on the half-sleeve. The other side is identical. Depending on the gauge amount of numbers will change, fewer stitches – fewer numbers. I present an example of knitting sleeves flat. When you get to the point where you have to start decreases for the sleeve cap, count how many stitches are on the needle. For better understanding, look at the picture below.

sleeve cup knitting

Step 1. Count amount of stitches on the needle.

I have 54 stitches.

Step 2. Divide all those stitches by 2. Remember, we are calculating decreases for half-sleeve. If you have an uneven count of stitches, remember to add it to the top point O.

27 stitches.

Step 3. Divide all the stitches by 3. If you have the remainder, add it to the Part I.


Step 4. Part I. Split the stitches in 2 and 3. Remainder add to point A.

I have divided this way: 2-3-4.

Step 5. Look at Part II. Split into 1.

I have split 9 stitches: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Step 6. Part III. Split into 3.

I have split this way: 2-3-4.
There is no strict rule it has to be 3, it is general advice. Often a pattern will ‘tell’ the best way to distribute stitches.

Knitting decreases on the sleeve cup

Part I.

Start from point A.

Bind-off 4 stitches.

Knit to the end of the row.

Turn knitting and bind-off 4 stitches from the other side of the sleeve.

Turn knitting again and bind-off 3 stitches. Knit to the end of the row.

Turn knitting and bind-off 3 stitches from the other side of the sleeve.

Continue to follow the set-in sleeve cup knitting pattern.  In my case, I would bind-off 2 stitches on each side.

Part II.

Split all the stitches into 3 parts.

  1. The first part decrease by 1 stitch at the beginning and the end of the knit row (every 2nd row).
  2. The second part decrease by 1 stitch at the beginning and the end of every 2nd knit row (every 4th rows).
  3. The third part decreases the same way as the first part.

Part III.

Stitches in this part decrease the same way as in Part I. When you get to the last set of stitches (in my example I have 4 stitches – 2 from each side) bind-off altogether. Oh, if at the beginning an uneven number came up, you would have to bind off  5. Remember the stitch we added to point O!


Set-in sleeve knitting pattern. Example 2.

Well, let’s look at another example with different stitch count.

Step 1. Imagine you have 70 stitches, and you have to make a decreasing pattern for a sleeve cup.

Step 2. Divide by 2.

70/2=35 stitches for a half-sleeve.

Step 3. Divide into 3 equal parts. Remainder add to the Part I.

35/3=11 remainder 2. 11-11-13.

Step 4. Part I. Split in 2 and 3. Remainder add to point A.

Part I has 13 stitches. Let’s split them this way – 2-2-3-3-3.

Step 5. Part II. Split all stitches into 1.

Part II has 11 stitches. Let’s split them this way – 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.

Step 6. Part III. Split into groups of 3.

Part III has 11 stitches. Let’s split them this way – 2-3-3-3.

All the information above I put in the picture below.

Seti-in sleeve knitting pattern example

Mattress stitch sewing set-in sleeves

Finally, it is time to sew a set-in sleeve. With the method explained above, you will not face the situation where you are left with too much or too little fabric to sew in. For setting sleeve in the armhole, I use a mattress stitch.
Detailed information about how I do it in the video below!
If you don’t know how to execute a mattress stitch, you can look at the mattress stitch tutorial.

I hope this tutorial will take away the fear of knitting set-in sleeves as it did to me when I discovered it.

Set-in sleeve technical drawing

Here is another stitch distribution example. I helped someone with the set-in sleeve and this is how it ended. The person knit the sleeve cup following this pattern and it turned out brilliant! 

set in sleeve pattern

Sew set in sleeves knitting (attaching a knitted sleeve)

easy set in sleeve pattern

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