My pieces have been joined and I’m working on the armhole shaping. More time has been spent plotting the darned arm hole curve than has been spent knitting the sweater. According to my math and graph paper, the only way I could keep the set-in seam look was to decrease every row… which means wrong-side decreases.
Not a single sweater pattern that I have knit up-to-date has included decreasing every row or wrong-side decreases. I’m not sure why. Wrong side decreases are easy to learn and decreasing every row looks just fine. But, I really was trying to avoid going against convention and I couldn’t figure out how. To avoid decreases every row, you must do double decreases every other row which looks a lot like a raglan sleeve!
As far as wrong side decreases go, there’s the p2tog which is easy and gives you a wrong side k2tog. And there’s the SSP tbl (slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, purl through the back loop) which gives you a wrong side SSK. The SSP tbl was only tricky at first because I was confused about purling through the back loop but there were plenty of online videos that straightened me out.
As far as I can figure out, the reason there aren’t a lot of bottom-up set-in sleeve patterns available is because the armhole curve requires non-conventional decreasing which makes me uncertain that I’m going to like my outcome. Keep your fingers crossed for me.