Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Art of Seamless Knitting

Saying "seamless knitting" to some knitters is like running the can opener in front of hungry cats. Everyone comes running!

There's a new great flavor for you sewing-phobic cats: "The Art of Seamless Knitting" by Simona Merchant-Dest and Faina Goberstein. "Do you have the pieces of a garment hidden in a closet somewhere just waiting to be sewn together?," the writers ask. "If you're like a lot of knitters, those pieces have been waiting a long time because you prefer knitting to sewing. That goes a long way in explaining why we design as seamlessly as possible, but there are many other benefits as well."

As seamless devotees will tell you, these reasons include:
  • Shorter finishing time
  • Reduced bulk, especially useful for chunky-knit garments
  • No concern about making front and back pieces the same length
  • For top-down garments, the ability to try on the sweater as you go
  • For in-the-round garments, the front side of the piece is always facing you so don't need to work purl stitches for stockinette
This book covers every conceivable construction method for seamless knitting: top-down, bottom-up, set-in sleeves, dolman sleeves, raglan, and more. The authors also provide instructions on how to customize a seamless pattern for your own shape and size - that's music to our ears, isn't it? While they don't offer comprehensive instructions in upsizing patterns, they do provide information about changing gauge to modify sizing and using your own measurements to design your own sweater.

My favorite pattern: Faina Goberstein's Cabled Cardigan, a gorgeous, snuggly, worsted-weight, collared cardigan that is custom-made for the colder days to come. This tunic-length jacket incorporates a variety of cables, including a particularly pretty braid that serves as the buttonband and then wraps around the fronts of the full collar.  The natural holes formed by the cable crossings serve as hidden buttonholes.

The back reminds me of the Edwardian cardigans Lady Mary might wear in Downtown Abbey. I love how the center cable loosens as it moves down the body.

Although the Cabled Cardigan only comes in sizes up to 50.5 inches, the a-line shaping accommodates hips up to 72 inches. The other sweaters in this book range in sizes from 54 to 59 inches.

Besides sweaters, "The Art of Seamless Knitting" also offers accessories such as these lovely Lace Stockings by Faina Gobertein. These lacy beauties are fit for a queen - or a winter bride who is not wearing heals. :-)

Whether you prefer seamless patterns or not, "The Art of Seamless Knitting" is an artful look at this growing knitting trend.


  1. Once again you've tempted me into more knitting patterns. Guess I MUST buy that book!
    Yep, the seamless knitting is better than catnip and Fancy Feast!

  2. Love it when they're seamless. Almost anything can be knit that way. We all love to knit but sewing . . . not so much.

  3. I hear that can opener!!! I ditto weaverpat!
    Now if we could only get rid of charted cables all will be hunky dory.