How to Convert a Flat Knit Pattern to Knitting in the Round

by Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild Google
Knitting in the round eliminates bulky side seams.

Knitting in the round eliminates bulky side seams.

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Knitting in the round gives the knitter the luxury of not having to reverse the work, and creates pullover tops that do not require side seams. Some patterns, however, are planned for making flat pieces that will be stitched together. Patterns that have a plain or only moderately patterned purl row can be converted to knitting in the round if you convert the purl stitches to knit and vice versa for the purl rows, and leave out the extra stitches at each end that are added for seam allowances.

Items you will need

  • Knitting pattern
  • Pencil
  • Straight knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Large sticky notes
  • Round knitting needle
Step 1

Review the sweater pattern. Circle the seam allowance stitches for each row. Knit a sample swatch of the pattern, using straight knitting needles so you can see how it works following the standard directions.

Step 2

Make conversion notes for purl or wrong side rows on the knitting pattern or on lined sticky notes that you can attach to the pattern page. On the purl rows, every standard pattern purl stitch becomes a knit stitch, and every knit stitch becomes a purl stitch. Add the number of stitches for front and back, then subtract the seam allowance stitches. Cast stitches onto circular needle.

Step 3

Knit pattern starting from the bottom, using your pattern conversion notes for every second row. When you reach the arm pits, divide the stitches, placing the correct number of stitches for the front onto knitting holders. Knit the back according to standard pattern directions, turning the work as you would for a flat pattern. Place shoulder seam stitches on holders.

Step 4

Knit the front part of the sweater, again using the original directions and turning the work. Weave the shoulder seams together. Knit sleeves in the round by using double pointed needles instead of circular needles -- especially if knitting sweaters for small children. You can pick up stitches around the arm hole opening and knit the sleeve from the top down, eliminating the need for bulky seams.

Step 5

Pick up stitches around the neckline, and knit a the collar style indicated in the pattern.

Photo Credits

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