Converting a knit flat to knit in the round

I’ve taken a pretty simple shell pattern that is knit flat and I’m doing it in the round. The pattern tells me that 1 stitch on each side of the front and of the back are not included in the measurement because of seaming. The front and the back are knit the same to the armholes. So instead of casting on 110 (55 for the front and 55 for the back) I cast on 106 (subtracting the 4 that aren’t included in the measurement). I’m feeling confident to this point.

However, I’m about to get to the armhole shaping. It says to bind off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows. I’m thinking I should only bind off 3 on each side since I didn’t cast on 1 stitch on each side, which will then put me back to the “printed” number of stitches and then follow the pattern exactly from that point on.

Does that make sense to do it that way? I’ve thought this through and through and it seems to be the right way to do it, but I’ve never converted a pattern before.


Sounds right to me! As long as you remember to do that on both left and right sides on the front and back, that should end up being the same as the pattern. Good luck!

When you bind off, remember that since you’re knitting in the round, instead of going back and forth, you may need to adjust your technique.

What I mean is, binding off from right to left is natural for most knitters. Binding off from left to right is not done as often. In a traditional straight needle sweater, this isn’t an issue. You’re starting a new row when you turn at the end of the old one, and binding off is easy. Here, there will be no “end” and turn around point.

That that make any sense?

Well when I actually get to the shaping for the armholes, I’m going to switch to knitting flat because … well, because I can’t think of any other way to do it. laugh

Thanks so much for the comments and letting me know I’m at least on the right track. This has been a learning experience and I’ve run into some issues that i should have dealt with differently but overall I think this will be cute. It’s the Seed Stitch Shell from the spring/summer 2005 Vogue Knitting magazine.

Well, yes, you DO have to do the rest on flats, come to think of it, but I didn’t know if you were using the circs for that row where the bind off takes place.

I love circular knitting and convert as many patterns as I can. I just finished a top down raglan with no seams at all. My dream sweater!

Happy stitching!

Yep, when you get to the armholes I’d suggest dividing the stitches in half, put half on a stitch holder or whatever, and do the front and back one at a time.

what am I missing - why can’t you do the sleeves in the round?? (I have a pattern that calls for this) :thinking:

You most certainly can. Use circs or DPN.

In most cases, you’ll knit from the cuffs up, but you can also do top down sleeves - raglans most often.

Hi Mrs Bear,

What kind of gauge change do you notice when you convert a flat pattern to a round one?

Do you simply make a gauge swatch to check it, or is there an approximate formula you can use?

When you take the project from circs to straight needles to make the armholes, etc, do you find that your gauge changes?

I’m thinking about converting a cabled sweater pattern from flat to circular…