Easy Seamless Knitting

I'm just finishing up a top-down seamless tee-shirt and I can tell that I'm going to love it. I've been trying it on as I knit and adjusting the fit here and there. I added short-rows to the bust area, made the sleeves longer, and added short-rows to the hemline to give the sweater a dip in the front and back while staying a bit shorter on the sides. I love that look.

    
Equinox Raglan by Debbie O'Neill

It was such an easy knitting pattern, which was enjoyable in itself, but the changes I made added just a bit of challenge for me.

The editors at Knitscene magazine have pulled together some great information about seamless knitting—and some fabulous patterns—in the new eBook Easy Seamless Sweater Patterns to Knit. Here's some advice for knitting seamless sweaters:

Why Go Seamless?
A seamless yoke is actually straightforward by definition: a sweater with a yoke (the section of the upper body that encompasses front, back, upper sleeves, and shoulders) that has absolutely no seams.

By contrast, a non-seamless yoke has seams at the sleeve-body join. The stitch orientation of and number of rows in the sleeves usually do not align with the body, making continuous patterning on the upper body impossible. These constructions, such as the set-in or drop-shoulder, also feature shoulder stitches that need to be seamed, front to back.

The seamless yoke makes a great canvas for colorwork and uninterrupted stitch patterns-see the pullovers above and opposite. Seamless yokes can feature raglan shaping, which gives the appearance of seams without the bulk, or concentric shaping that has minimal obvious structure.

Top Down
Seamless yokes can easily begin at the top or at the bottom of the sweater. But for the knitter who wants to avoid seaming as much as possible, a top-down seamless yoke sweater is knitting nirvana. Stitches are cast on for the neckline and then increases are worked, either in diagonal lines (a raglan) or in a concentric pattern for a circular yoke. The body and the sleeves are separated; the sleeve stitches are placed on holders; then the body is worked in the round to the hem. The only seaming necessary is the underarm, which can, alternatively, be grafted. If a top-down sweater is looking too small or too big, place the live stitches on some waste yarn and pull the piece over

    
Sigma Tee by Melissa Wehrle

Bottom Up
Bottom-up seamless sweaters are great for the knitter on the go. In many of these patterns, the garment is worked in smaller, more manageable pieces. The body is knit in the round from the bottom hem and then set aside. The sleeves are then knit, starting from the cuffs, and worked to the desired length. With this construction, you have the added bonus of being able to knit both sleeves at the same time, if you choose. Another option with bottom-up construction is to knit the sleeves first and use your in-progress sleeves to check your gauge. Once the body and sleeves are knit, they're joined together in the round. The yoke is then shaped with decreases from joining round to neck.

—Amy Palmer, Editor, Easy Seamless Sweater Patterns to Knit

I love this knitting technique, and I know you will too. Download Easy Seamless Sweater Patterns to Knit now and get started!

Cheers,

P.S. What's your favorite sweater style to knit? Top-down seamless? Pieces? Bottom-up seamless? Let us know why in the comments!

 

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