9 Techniques For Sweater Construction (And Project Ideas to Go With 'Em!)

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You probably know there's more than one way to knit a sweater: You can knit the pieces flat then seam it together, you can knit in the round, you can work center-out or go sleeve to sleeve...and the list goes on!

Here's a rundown of popular approaches and the skills you'll need to tackle them stress-free.

Seamless

If you just plain don't like seaming up your pieces, there's an answer: A seamless sweater is the way to go.

Construction: Knit from the top down in the round (or even sometimes bottom up!) with minimal assembly

Skills: Knitting in the round

Pattern: The Seamless Artemisia Sweater from The Seamless Artemisia Sweater with Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

Cuff-to-Cuff

Usually reserved for more casual, laid-back styles, knitting a sweater from cuff to cuff often produces a finished piece that's loose and extra comfy.

Construction: Cast on at the edge of one cuff and work your way across to the opposite cuff

Skills: Seaming

Pattern: Novel-Long Sweater Kit by Laura Nelkin

Flat with Seams

Working flat pieces is handy if you like to knit on the go, since you don't need to carry the entire sweater around in your bag. This method is used for both pullovers and cardigans.

Construction: Worked from the bottom up; pieces are knit flat, then seamed together at the sides and sleeves

Skills: Seaming

Pattern: My First Sweater from My First Sweater with Amy Ross

Top-Down Raglan

Raglan means that the sleeves are actually part of the neckline, offering a pretty painless construction for those of us who don't like to seam set-in sleeves.

Construction: Worked top down and in the round in one piece

Skills: Knitting in the round

Pattern: The Brickyard Swoncho Kit by Erika Flory

Top-Down Yoke

The name says it all on this one! This particular top-down sweater is seamless and has pretty colorwork patterns on the yoke.

Construction: Knit from the top down, starting at the neck and ending at the hem

Skills: Knitting in the round, stranded colorwork

Pattern: The Good Egg Sweater Kit by yellocosmo

Bottom-Up Yoke

This style of yoke sweater is knit seamlessy from the bottom up. You'll knit the body up to the sleeves, then knit both sleeves, and join those three tubes to start working on the yoke.

Construction: Knit from the bottom up, joining the sleeves and body to work the yoke

Skills: Knitting in the round, stranded colorwork

Pattern: Sipsey's Folly Sweater from the Custom Yoke Sweater with Amy Detjen

Steeked Cardigan

Sure, you could knit a cardigan flat and seam the pieces together. But if you're knitting colorwork and want to avoid purling, try the sometimes-scary task of knitting in the round then steeking your sweater. (If you've never heard of steeking , it just means taking a pair of scissors to cut your knitting. It's not as frightening as it sounds!)

Construction: Knit in the round and then steeked to create the cardigan

Skills: Knitting in the round, standed colorwork, having the guts to cut your knitting

Pattern: Throughstone Sweater from the Throughstone Sweater Knit-Along with Bristol Ivy

Steeked V-Neck

Steeking isn't just for cardigans. You can also simplify shaping a V-neck by knitting a sweater in the round, then cutting out the V.

Construction: Knit in the round and then steeked to create the v-neck

Skills: Knitting in the round, having the guts to cut your knitting

Pattern: Fearless Child Sweater, from the  Simple Sweaters: Stranded & Steeked with Amy Detjen  

Picked-Up Armhole Stitches

Are you a pro at picking up stitches ? This is the sweater construction method for you!

Construction: Worked in one piece from the bottom up, then stitches are picked up at the armholes for the sleeves

Skills: Knitting in the round, picking up stitches

Pattern: Tealeaf Sweater from The Tealeaf Sweater Knit-Along with Bristol Ivy

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9 Techniques For Sweater Construction (And Project Ideas to Go With 'Em!)