3/4 Sleeves for Everyone!

People ask me all the time about finding the right length for a 3/4 sleeve for sweaters like my Bentley Cardigan. Watch my little how-to video to find out your perfect length!

Sweater patterns may give you a specific length for sleeves, but you can always adjust it based on your arm length. This tutorial gives you a the tools for finding the spot for a 3/4 sleeve (which is less about 3/4 of your arm length as much as it’s based on half your elbow to wrist length). You can always go a little longer or shorter for comfort, but having a ballpark measurement that works for YOU is a great place to start. Everyone’s arms are a little different in length, and while a pattern (even one of mine) may give you a specific length, it’s more ideal to find your own sleeve “sweet spot” and adjust the sleeve accordingly.

I like to try on sweaters as I go to gauge the fit, and this is a great way to judge sleeve length, too. Knit the sleeve until it looks like you’re right around the elbow (we’re assuming we’re talking about a top-down, seamless sweater in this scenario), try it on and check from there. Note: Depending on the tools you use to knit sleeves, you might need to place your sleeve stitches on waste yarn to accomplish this. Once the sleeve hits your elbow, place a locking marker and use your new measurement (for me that would be 5″) so you know how much further you have to go, adjusting the start of the ribbing accordingly.

Pssst: Don’t forget! Your sleeve may grow once you block it, so keep this in mind when deciding on the length. I like to work my sleeve about 3/4″ shorter than where I want it to end up to adjust for growth with blocking, but remember that the stitch pattern, gauge and kind of yarn will all affect this measurement. If you’re working at a dense gauge with a stitch pattern and/or yarn that isn’t likely to grow, work close to that 3/4 point right on the nose. But in most cases you’ll get a little growth, so you’ll want to stop a little shy of the final goal (between 1/2 – 1″ shorter).

Happy knitting!


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