Having made a couple of top down baby jackets (right) and the occasional jumper in the round, in recent months I've been increasingly contemplating how to reduce the required number of seams in any garment.
This can be reasonable straightforward for the body of any garment that doesn't have any, or very much side shaping, such as this beaded cardigan - I knitted the back and both fronts as a piece up to the armholes.
Or this man's aran, where I knitted the body plus the arms in the round up to the armpits - it was particularly pleasing this one worked because seaming a man's jumper can be a mamoth task.
There is a certain amount of working out to do. I usually reduce a back or front of a jumper by 2 stitches each when deciding to work a jumper in the round to account for not having a seam. For cardigans I reduce the total number of stitches by 4 - 2 for the back and 1 each for the front.
This of course depends on the pattern - if I'm adapting a lace or aran (still to experiment with colourwork) it may be that I only reduce a back or front by 1, as with the men's aran.
Apart from saving on the sewing up there are other advantages - in particular being able to try on the garment as it grows and ensure sleeves are just the right length. This in turn gives an opportunity to go up or down a needle size for bust or waist shaping if necessary.
But it is a matter of trial and error. I'm trying out a ribbed top in the round at the moment but I'm not sure whether I'll like how the rib increases work/look/sit so may yet be ripped out and I'll be forced to succumb to the seam.
Over time, I am building up a clearer view of what will or will not accept this adaptation and so it will hopefully stand me in good stead both in reducing the sewing up time and in thinking about designing garments.