I hate knitting flat. This is mostly because I just plain hate to sew up sweaters.
I have been doing some reading on knitting boards lately and it seems that people are passionate about whether or not to knit sweaters flat and then sew them up, or to knit them in the round. One lady commented that she only knits flat because she is a seamstress and simply cannot imagine constructing a garment in the round.
I found that really peculiar. You see, I am also a seamstress. The only thing I can figure is that the person discussing this tends to follow patterns exactly. I’ve noticed people who prefer to knit in the round have a high tendency to be their own designer as well. I’m sure there’s some Elizabeth Zimmerman influence there!
So, yeah, I prefer knitting in the round. I can add design elements for shaping, make choices about yarn, gauge and other things to control how the garment ultimately hangs, and just like the classical look of sweaters knit in the round, anyway. Oh, and I suck at seaming sweaters, as you can see from the pic at the right! That was the last sweater I knit flat. It was six years ago!
However, there are genuine advantages to knitting flat, if that’s your fancy. Your project is more portable. Since you’re working in a minimum of four pieces you don’t have to lug the whole thing around with you. Yes, you can knit the sleeves separately up to a point when knitting in the round, but there’s no doubt that ultimately the project will become a bit heavy and cumbersome come the finish. You can block your project before you sew it up to get a neater look. If you screw up, you might very well only have to correct one piece. Makes frogging easier without having to chuck the project.
Not that those advantages are enough to make me switch from knitting in the round, but they might be for many!