When I initially began knitting sweaters, the concept of seamless, top-down knitting, in the round was pretty unconventional.  Even for baby sweaters.  Patterns instructed you to knit the sweater in pieces and then seam the parts together.  There was little opportunity to try-as-you-go and you hoped that after all was said and done, the thing would fit ok.  I loved the knitting, it was the finishing that gave me the blahs.  Seaming all those pieces together and then getting the tops of those sleeves to fit exactly right into the armhole, gah! I did a lot of fudging back then… I’m talking pre, pre Ravelry days when I was pregnant with my son and put on modified bed rest. Most of my seamed sweaters had a bunch of fabric squished together near the armpit. Unsightly and uncomfortable!

Then the whole world of seamless knitting opened up to me.  Circular needles, magic loop, top down, hurrah!!  Not only did I enjoy the whole process of knitting the garment, but finishing was a breeze.  

Audrey 5

I was happy and vowed I would never seam another sweater.  Yeah, that didn’t quite work out!

My Aidez was knit in pieces and then seamed together

Aidez 12

The Wee Wildflower baby sweater was the same

Wee Wildflower 1

I even seamed all the little bits and pieces for my Dottie Bunny

Dottie 5

Shockingly, I don’t mind seaming anymore!  I’ve learned how to accurately ease set in sleeves.  No more (or very little ;)) fudging! Yes, I think I’m beginning to feel like a grown up in the sweater knitting world.  I love the structure and reinforcement seams give to a garment, especially one that’s been knit using a heavier weight yarn.  Seams give your handknit sweater a tailored fit.

Aidez 1

Seams? Bring it!

Twigs Willows 1

The latest sweater on my needles is Twigs and Willows from Alana Dakos’ book, Botanical Knits (did you hear, she’s preparing for Botanical Knits 2??)  The Twigs and Willows sweater is seamed!

Does this mean that I won’t knit anymore top down, seamless cardigans? Nope, you gotta love the fact that when you choose to take the seamless route, you knit, knit, knit and when you bind off that last stitch, you’re done!

However… seamless or seamed, it’s those pesky sleeves on their own torturous “island” that trip me up every time!   You’re nodding your head in agreement, no??

5 thoughts on “Seamed Vs. Seamless

  1. Tanis

    Sometimes you just need a seam to make the sweater fit right… sometimes you don’t! I love that we have options. And I totally echo what the above commenter said, I love me some perfect mattress stitch!


  2. affiknity

    I entered the knitting world when top-down, seamless sweaters were almost accepted by the knitters community, so I have very little experience with seamed sweaters. I am sure seams exist for a reason, but I am happy with seamless knits, because seaming is so scary.


  3. Aparna Mulgund

    I am a fan of seamless knitting. I have not knit too many sweaters, but once I entered the world of seamless sweaters, I knew there was no going back. I am too lazy to finish the seaming right away and with seamless I am ready to block after the bind off.
    Love your work. You tend to finish projects in short order.


  4. Jocelyn

    I am in awe of knitters who piece together their knitting. It’s a labour of love. And yes, I appreciate that you get a better fit with seamed garments. I’ve been reading Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter book and although I am nodding in agreement, I just know that it will take everything I have to push me to knit in pieces. Magic looping has provided a very cushy comfort zone for me, but I know that in order to grow as a knitter, I must do everything at least once, specially seaming a garment. I did mattress stitch the blanket we gave to Stephanie and that sort of gave me an insight on how neat it really is, well depending on how straight your seams are of course! Can’t wait to see Twigs and Willows, been eyeing that one off the book.


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