Converting seamed cardigan to seamless?

I’m knitting a sweater for my mum and am considering converting the pattern to seamless. Since this is a cardigan, I can’t exactly knit in the round, but I’d like to do it as one panel if that’s possible? The pattern calls for the sweater to be made in 5 pieces (back, front left, front right, and two sleeves) and then sewn together. I would like to change the pattern to knit it in one piece (preferably with no seams).

The pattern is Anne’s Cardigan and I’m using Knitpicks Hawthorne yarn in fingering weight. She chose Alameda colour :slight_smile:

This is what I was thinking in general (along with questions):

[B]Casting on[/B]: The pattern is knit from the bottom up and calls for CO 154 (back) and 82 (each front panel). I could cast on 318 stitches and place markers to set off each panel. Then, work across. [I][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]For the waist shaping, would I still increase/decrease where the pattern says, just in the appropriate panel?[/COLOR][/I]

[B]Armholes & Sleeves[/B]: I was wondering if I could place the rows on a spare cable instead of binding off. Then I could knit the sleeves on seamlessly in the round later. [I][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]Is it possible to convert these to knitting in the round when the pattern has them knit flat?[/COLOR][/I] I’ve seen something sort of like this done here. I realise that I would need to do short rows. Each sleeve has a lace pattern on the top. [I]Having never worked short rows before, can I do a short row in a lace pattern?[/I] Or is this a bad idea?

[B]Button band[/B]: at the end the pattern calls for picking up “3 stitches for every 4 rows” along the front and neck and adding a band of K2 P2 ribbing with the button holes. [I][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]Could I add this ribbing as I’m knitting the regular panels instead of adding this later?[/COLOR][/I]

Lastly, I have the book Circular Knitting Workshop by Margaret Radcliffe. While this isn’t exactly knitting in the round, she mentions that an advantage of knitting flat is better support for fitted garments (page 81). [I][COLOR=“RoyalBlue”]This seems to be a rather fitted sweater so is this whole idea of changing the pattern really not a good idea?[/COLOR][/I]

Whew! This was a longish post. Hopefully it makes sense. I am new to sweater knitting, so I am probably over complicating things.DDD Thanks for any advice/opinions!


That is a gorgeous sweater! So you want to make pullover?

Hi Jan :slight_smile:

No, I want to keep it as a cardigan. I’d just like to do it as one long piece, if that makes sense. I would still have to knit both a front side and a back one, but I would like to eliminate the seams if I could… or at least as many of them as possible.

You can do this and the plan that you have sounds good. Usually, a stitch is lost at the seams but to add in 2 more stitches over 318 isn’t a substantial difference, so yes, a cast on of 318 will work.
I’ve worked patterns in which the entire sweater is worked a one piece to the armholes then worked back and forth separately on the back and fronts. I join the shoulders with 3 needle bind off wherever possible.
I don’t see the short rows as a problem on the sleeves since the lace is down the center of the sleeve.
You can knit the button bands as you go (they’ll be oriented up and down rather than sideways).
Yes, the biggest problem is the stabilizing effect of seams. You’ll have the seam at the shoulders but not at the sides. Sometimes the lack of a side seam results in “biasing” but you may want to give it a try anyway.