Over the years I’ve designed a lot of sweaters with seams and I can still think of a slew of reasons to like pieced and seamed knitting, but that’s not where this discussion is heading. As I’ve mentioned previously, I started out preferring to knit in the round. The first few sweaters I ever designed were seamless, following Elizabeth Zimmerman’s bottom-up and percentage method.
There is a lot to like about bottom-up knitting. I love that the piece gets smaller and smaller as you approach a project’s conclusion. I like that stitch and color patterns can be established before you start shaping into them, and I tend to prefer the look of decreases over the look of increases in a yoke or raglan. Citing these reasons, I have steadfastly clung to bottom-up construction when designing circular seamless sweaters – UNTIL NOW.
Below, bottom-up seamless designs from previous volumes: Breena, Calcite, Zolfo, and Kindra.
I couldn’t help noticing the extreme popularity of top-down knitting on Ravelry. Designers have gone well beyond the basic top down patterns I remember from way back. I guess I was a bit jealous, but I also didn’t want to compromise the look I was going for. Finally, after letting the idea rumble around in the back of my head for a while, I started sketching ideas for shapes that I thought would be interesting candidates for top-down knitting. As is usually the case when I do something new (to me) the ideas started flowing and I sketched more and more things to try. The result is Norah Gaughan Vol 13, Top-Down.
Below, a few top-down seamless designs from volume 13: Merle, Gibson, Lowry .
I’ve got loads more to say about the different approaches I took and how much fun it was knitting the ones I knit myself and how my whole way of thinking has changed, but I’ll save some for another day…
Are you hooked on top-down yet?
Volume 13 is printed and shipping to stores (note that some stores request delivery of booklets earlier than others). The PDF is available to stores who can sell PDFs on their website. You can also get the booklet PDF in LYSs through the Raverly In-Store program. Ask you local retailer if they participate.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen the audio slide show yet…link.