I'm about to start a new sweater (Nancy Salcedo's Men's Lattice) and am wondering if it would translate into a pattern I could knit in the round.
I convert patterns from flat pieced to seamless from time to time. It's easy to do but needs a bit of a think along the way. My advice is to learn to steek because it's the only way to do this properly. If you knit circularly up the arm holes and then change to flat knitting, there will be a difference in guage and usually appearance. Don't fear the steek! They are easy and painless. They used to be "exotic" with little said about them. Now, there is information on them all over the place.
Not a big problem, just takes a bit of forethought. Not my strong suit, but I'm on the sleeves of one where I did the same thing. The pattern called for knitting flat, back first, then front. I doubled the cast on and knit in the round to the bottom of the arm holes, then back and forth on the back, then back and forth on the front, then seamed it together at the shoulder. Did the neck, then I picked up around the arm hole (the pattern had called for measuring from each shoulder, place marker, and pick up between) and now I'm doing the sleeves. Seems to be working great.
This is a simple pattern to convert into circular knitting. Every other round (the purl row) is all just knit from the front. Be sure to use a marker in some way to indicate whether this is the pattern round or the plain knit round. Watch if there are any seam (edge) stitches, which you would not include should you do this in the round.
I don't do seams, and when I found a lace pattern for a vest I liked, I determined to knit it in the round. Not a problem! Just do the front and then the back, and the front again. However, this pattern also had some lace stitches ON THE REVERSE ROW which meant I had to do them in reverse from the front! It took a bit of doing, but I studied how the stitch was made, from the back side, to be able to duplicate it from the right side, and it worked out quite well. I did finish it and didn't have to do any seams!!
The only trouble is, when clothes sit in the closet for a long time because of our climate, they seem to shrink a lot, and it doesn't fit me now. (that's my theory, and I'm sticking with it) Maybe if I DID have a seam, I could knit an insert to make it a bit wider. Hm....
Here’s a link to a PDF from KnitPicks that talks about converting from flat to circular knitting:
Hope that helps and good luck!
Ron summed it up the best. The only thing you may need to do is eliminate any edge stitches that the pieces call for, since they are often used to make sewing up easier. Lots of luck...I look forward to hearing how things turn out.
Just be sure to do your gauge swatch in the round, too. You don't have to make a large swatch. You can knit ~4 inches in the gauge pattern, then slide your stitches to the right end of the circular needle. Then just bring the working yarn across the back (like you would with I-cord, but with lots of slack). This will be equivalent to working on the right side for every row.
Excellent advice. The guage when knitted flat will never be the same as when knitted in the round.
I am sure it would be easy to do the sweater in the round. The pattern has you purl every other row so you would just knit on those rows. And the sleeves are picked up and knit downward. You could make steeks in the arm holes.
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