Make it seamless!

    
Kathleen's top-down seamless
cardigan, in progress!

Seamless knitting and I have a love/less-love relationship. When the method first became popular again several years ago (it had a little lull after Elizabeth Zimmermann and Barbara Walker made it famous), I knit sweater after sweater in one piece.

Then I got tired of knitting on such a huge piece, so I went back to knitting sweaters in pieces. I liked how each piece was more portable than the huge one-piecers. (Disclaimer: I usually knit a 48- to 54-inch size, depending on the ease I want, so my seamless sweaters are pretty sizey.)

But I always go back to the seamless knitting technique because there are so many great patterns written using it. I'm working on a seamless sweater right now (shown at right)—a top-down cardigan. It's my own pattern, one that I'm developing as I go. I am keeping notes, though, so maybe I can get it published! I'm working on the sleeves now, and to finish it off, I'm going to knit a wide seed-stitch border for the front.

In the new book The Art of Seamless Knitting, Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein have pulled together a group of beautiful designs, plus plenty of information to help you understand seamless knitting, convert pieced sweater knitting patterns into seamless sweaters, and even step-by-step instructions on how to design your own seamless knits.

It's a fantastic book. Here's an excerpt, all about top-down construction worked in rows (versus in the round), which is how I knit my sweater.

Top-Down Construction Worked in Rows

To work cardigans seamlessly from the top down, cast on stitches for the neck and work back and forth in rows to the base of the armholes, shaping the neck and armholes along the way. Then work the lower body in one piece in rows to the lower body all in one piece in rows to the lower edge. To finish, work the sleeves (in the round) to the cuffs.

Raglan Shaping
Cast on stitches for the neck and shape the neck as desired while working back and forth in rows, increasing along the raglan lines to the base of the armholes. Place the sleeve stitches onto holders and work the remaining body stitches in rows to the lower edge. To finish, work the sleeves in rounds to desired length.
   Circular-Yoke Shaping
Cast on stitches for the neck and shape the neck as desired while working the specified number of increase rows to the base of the armholes. Place the sleeve stitches onto holders and work the remaining body stitches in rows to the lower edge. To finish, work the sleeves in rounds to desired length.
Dolman Shaping
Provisionally cast on stitches for the back right shoulder and sleeve and work back and forth to the base of the neck shaping. Repeat for the back left
shoulder and sleeve, joining the two halves at the base of the neck and working in one piece to the base of the armholes. Then pick up stitches from the provisional cast-on for the front, work the front to the base of the armholes, shaping the front neck as desired. Bind off the front and back sleeve stitches together, and then work the remaining body stitches in rows to the lower edge. Work the lower body (above right) in one piece in rows to the lower edge,
shaping the waist and hips as desired.

There's so much to learn about top-down sweaters! Reserve your copy of The Art of Seamless Knitting today and we'll send it to you as soon as it's here!

Cheers,

P.S. I don't have a name for my sweater design yet. Help me out and leave me a suggestion in the comments!

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