I gave a presentation to the Windy City Knitting Guild last night.  I told them about the trends that I saw at TNNA (The National Needle Arts show).  One of the shifts is toward top down garments; no one wants to do any finishing!  I get that!  When you construct a garment from the top down it's knitted in one piece: no sleeves to sew in and no seams to sew.  Garments can also be constructed this way from the bottom up.  It's all very clever and there are many exquisitely talented people out there doing some wonderful design work.  We are teaching a Top Down class at the store right now.  Each person is knitting a baby or child's sweater to learn the construction and will then have the skills to design a sweater for themselves.  Each of the little sweaters is unique and wonderful.  I will post pictures of them when they're finished in a couple of weeks.  I'm so excited about this method I wanted to share it with the Guild but realized that to distill it into a half hour or 45 minute presentation doesn't really do the subject justice, so instead I explained how to knit a top down hat.  I used the Belly Button Method of starting knitting in the round -- hence the title of this post.  This method was in(un)vented by TechKnitter, one of my personal heroes.  Here is the link to her post on this topic http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2009/09/knitting-from-center-belly-buttons-and.html

Look for the hat pattern later today or tomorrow.