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That pesky underarm

March 28, 2017

We have long loved the bottom up sweater. For a pullover you work 3 tubes, attach them all together and the knit a yoke. For a cardigan it’s 2 tubes and a rectangle. Simplicity at it’s finest! The only problem is that pesky seam at the undearm, so here is a little step by step on closing it up.

All the sweaters from Heart on my Sleeve are worked from the bottom up!

(note: for tutorials on bottom up sweater you can check out our Antler Cardigan tutorial or our bottom up sweater tutorial for Heart on my Sleeve here)

  1. The underarm stitches from the body and the sleeve are on hold on waste yarn and there is a long tail from the sleeve. You will use the tail to work the Kitchener stitch seam.
  2. Insert needle tips or double pointed needles into the held stitches on each side; the needle tips should be on the side where the yarn tail is as you will begin seaming from that end.
  3. Remove the waste yarn
  4. Thread a blunt darning needle with the long tail from the sleeve and use Kitchener stitch to seam the live stitches together. Note that there are still little holes on either side of the completed seam.
  5. Use the darning needle to stitch up the hole. Then weave the yarn across to the other side and do the same to close up the last hole.
  6. Voila! A nice neat underarm seam has been completed!

1. The underarm stitches from the body and the sleeve are on hold on waste yarn and there is a long tail from the sleeve. You will use the tail to work the Kitchener stitch seam.

Insert needle tips or double pointed needles into the held stitches on each side; the needle tips should be on the side where the yarn tail is as you will begin seaming from that end.

3. Remove the waste yarn

4. Thread a blunt darning needle with the long tail from the sleeve and use Kitchener stitch to seam the live stitches together. Note that there are still little holes on either side of the completed seam.

5. Use the darning needle to stitch up the hole. Then weave the yarn across to the other side and do the same to close up the last hole.

6. Voila! A nice neat underarm seam has been completed!


More bottom up sweaters from TCK:

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2017 11:24 am

    Thank you! My armpits are always like… the armpit of the sweater! ;-) Just a detail, but when you say, “Use a darning needle to stitch up the hole”, what kind of stitch? This is where I just go for it and it often looks gnarly. Should one be trying to use mattress stitch? Or…?

  2. March 29, 2017 7:08 am

    How about top down sweaters? I prefer those, partly because it can be tried on while knitting to adjust length aNd width. :)

    • March 30, 2017 9:58 am

      Hi – top down sweaters usually have the sleeves picked up an worked down, so you pick up the underarm sts rather than grafting them

  3. TERRI MACDONALD permalink
    March 28, 2017 2:38 pm

    JUST WONDERING IF THE OLD GROWTH SWEATER AN BE MADE WITHOUT BUTTONS!!! ??? I LOVE ALL THE PATTERS AND THE SIZING! THANK YOU! KNIT ON!!!!

    • March 28, 2017 3:51 pm

      Hi Terri – are you looking to make it as a pullover? It can certainly be done! You just need to work the even chart rows as knits (since it will be in the round)

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