The earliest sweaters were knitted in the round, on multiple double-pointed needles, producing seamless garments that were custom made to fit the wearer. Sweaters made with multiple colors, such as Norwegian pullovers, were usually knit as plain tubes and cut open to create neck and armhole openings, while others made with single-color texture patterns, such as British fishermen’s ganseys, were shaped as they were knitted.
Traditional Norwegian sweaters are made with a plain tube for the body, worked in the round, and no special technique is used to shape openings for the armholes or neck. Knitters would simply knit the body tube to the length they want, then cut slits to make armholes and cut a scoop shape out of the front of the body to make a neck opening. Cutting your knitting, or “steeking,” can be scary enough when we have special stitches placed in the locations to indicate where to cut, so I’ve added these for the armhole openings, and I have also used added steek stitches combined with decreases to shape the neck opening.
The sleeves in a traditional Norwegian sweater are often knit from the cuff up to the armhole, then sewn in place. Because many of today’s knitters, especially those who choose to knit in the round, prefer not to sew seams, I picked up stitches at the armholes and worked the sleeves down to the cuffs, reducing the finishing in this garment to a minimum.
This sweater features traditional circular knitting with modern neck shaping, still worked with steeks, and sleeves picked up from the armholes and knit to the cuff, to eliminate sewing seams.