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The case for seams

I know. Knitting in the round is faster. Purling is kinda awkward. It’s satisfying to be able to try your sweater on. And when you’re done knitting, you want to be DONE.

I hear ya, sister.

However, I prefer to WEAR garments that have been seamed - and honestly? I've come to find piece knitting easier and more satisfying - let me tell you more!


Seaming adds structure. This is a whole topic on its own, and I don’t want to get stuck here - but I do want to point out when it’s particularly critical.

  1. Your garment is heavy - you’ve used a dense yarn, or the garment is voluminous because it’s oversized or long.

  2. Your sweater already has a lot of stretch to it, such as in a ribbed fabric.

  3. Your fabric is already unstructured because it is made from slippery fibers, knit with loose gauge, or has little or no structural design elements (cables, picking up and knitting, or other design elements that add tension or firm edges).

A rich pink-red-rust colored sweater hem, with a deep rib and a textured cable.
Seaming the sides of this fingering weight sweater will give the oversized silhouette shape.

If you’re really attached to knitting your raglans in the round, there is a technique that lets you make the best of both worlds - basting your raglans. In this technique, you add a purl stitch where the seam would normally be, and then go back and ‘seam’ it out. This gives you the ease and speed of all right-side knitting and the structure of a seam. I haven’t tried this technique yet, but it’s high on my list!

Gauge changes

“Knit in the round until you reach the underarms - then split and work the front and back separately”. Sounds like you’ll be making two swatches - one for working flat and one for working in the round. Why? Working a purl stitch uses more yarn than working a knit stitch, fundamentally changing the fabric - most knitters experience a gauge change. If you’re knitting flat, there’s no agonizing over a gauge change.

Knitting sleeves in the round sucks

I said what I said! Knit 'em flat and seam, it’s faster and easier.


First, putting a sleeve on double-pointed needles in your proje