Knitting gussets are not something new to me. I have knit 100’s of pair of socks with gussets. Also, knitting sweaters are not new to me. However, I’ve never knit gussets on a sweater. Therefore, I will be focusing on the gussets I just worked for a sweater.
I’ve been plugging along on my January Gansey sweater from the Olive Knits Knit-A-Long for a couple of months. You can read more about my sweater here. This pattern has three sets of gussets. The first set is in the underarm portion, where the body meets the sleeve. The second set is on the shoulder working up to the neck. The third is paired on the sleeve section paired with the first pair, these work together.
Why do I want a gusset anyway? A Gusset, which is a weird word if you ask me, is an expanse of fabric intended to relieve stress in a tight fitting area of your clothing. Such as the heel of a sock or the underarm of a shirt.
When knitting gussets you typically create a triangle by increasing or decreasing your stitches. This triangle gives you the extra stretch you need for both comfort and movement.
As I previously mentioned I’ve knit sock gussets quite a bit. The sock above is my explanation for sock sections. I use this to clear up terminology for sock sections when teaching how to knit socks. Each section is represented by a different color. The dark pink color on this sock is the gusset. If you are interested I have my basic sock pattern available for free on Ravelry here. I also have a few videos to demystify some parts of the sock. The heel turn reflected as the turquoise section. And, how to pick up the stitches to work the gusset section of the sock.
Back to the sweater. Knitting gussets for the underarms are done as two parts. The first part begins a couple of inches short of where the arms will go. You work a pair of increases centered at each side of the sweater body. Usually, this increase [and decrease] section is alternated with a non-increase round. You continue with these two rows until you have increased to the desired number of stitches.
The second part of this gusset is worked on the arm, working a pair of decreases centered under each arm, alternated with a non-decrease row. You will decrease until you have eliminated the increased stitch count from the first triangle. There will then be an inverted triangle on the body of the sweater mirrored by a triangle on the sleeve creating a diamond.
Knitting gussets are pretty straight forward. You can adjust the size of the gusset to your preference by working more or fewer increases and decreases. This is a great way to help get that perfect fit.
In the January Gansey sweater, the shoulder gussets are worked after you have seamed the shoulders and before working the neck. The gusset is done on both shoulders seperatley. You create a triangle in the same way you worked the body gusset, with increase rounds alternated with non-increase rounds. Once you have completed knitting the two shoulder gussets you work the neck section of the sweater.
I knit the gussets this time to pattern’s instructions having never included them before in a sweater. I’m a little concerned about how the shoulder gussets will lay. These gussets seem to be…Puffy? As my sweater is currently unfinished, I’m working the first of the two sleeves, I haven’t blocked it. Blocking knitted garments relaxes the fabric and evens out your stitches. This may smooth out the shoulders gussets.
Since I’m unsure of how I feel about these shoulder gussets I have not woven in my ends. This will allow me to back out the neck and adjust the gussets if I am still not happy with them.
January Gansey KAL
The January Gansey will be the first sweater I did as a Knit-A-Long. And I didn’t finish it within the KAL time frame of 8 weeks. However, I am finished knitting gussets and on the sleeves, with just a few weeks more I’m nearing the Once I’ve worn the sweater a few times I will review how I like the gussets and whether I made any additional changes.
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I’d love to know if you have knit any sweaters with gussets and what you think. Have you ever worn clothing of any kind with gussets? Maybe you didn’t even know what a gusset was. If so I hope I helped you learn a bit about gussets.