Eliminating underarm holes when knitting top-down sweaters

Always a problem, I used to try to close and camoflage these holes by weaving yarn ends in after the fact. Then I viewed this great technique shared by Fruity Knitting's clever and talented Andrea Doig. Been using it and loving it ever since!

To use this method, I start with a provisional cast-on when separating the sleeves from the body of the sweater.

After separating, I worked my sweater body and am returning to the provisional cast-on to work the sleeves, but you can use this technique just as well if working sleeves first.

Above see provisionally cast-on sts on my right needle, and sleeve stitches, still on hold, on the left.

Here, now with sleeve stitches on the right needle and provisionally cast-on stitches on the left, you can clearly see two rather long strands between the two needles. These are the strands to pick up.

Pick up the first strand inserting the right needle from back to front.

Pick up the second strand inserting the right needle from front to back.

Now we've begun knitting; work to 1 stitch before the first picked-up strand and slip 1 knitwise, then insert the right needle purlwise into the back loop of the strand, as shown above, to knit those two together.

This is a modified ssk, in which the first stitch is slipped knitwise and the second slipped purlwise. The result is that the strand is twisted which tightens it up a bit.

Knit the next 2 - strand plus stitch - together as they lie. Because of the way this strand was placed onto the needle, it is already situated to twist as it is being knitted.

Look Ma, no holes!