This is the body of my Garden Windows cardigan, all ready for a sleeve. The shoulder stitches are on scrap yarn and I'm ready to pick up stitches at the underarm. I used the "backwards-e" cast on for the underarm stitches.
First I put the held stitches on a knitting needle, then I count the underarm stitches and make sure to start picking up at the halfway point. I insert my needle in second row below the underarm edge for a seamless look. This does not create an uncomfortable ridge inside the sweater, as you might imagine.
I start two rows below the middle of the underarm cast-on row, pick up the number of stitches called for, knit around the top of the sleeve, then pick up the last half of the underarm stitches. Of course if you have any special tricks like picking up a couple extra stitches and then decreasing them on the next round to avoid gaps where the picked-up stitches meet the live stitches, feel free to implement them here.
There are also alternative cast-ons for the underarm stitches. I found the "backwards e" cast-on to leave very little ridge after I picked up the second row below, and picking up that far down seems to eliminate any problem with gaps. Any provisional cast-on would also work for a seamless look. The Chinese waitress cast-on was recently recommended, but I haven't tried it myself.
Below is a photo of the child's version of Garden Windows as seen from inside the underarm. The ridge curls up and is not noticeable to the wearer. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good photo of the outside, but it really looks seamless!
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