Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thumbs For Our Mittens

Now we need thumbs for our mittens, right?

And I don't think I can improve on the directions shared in this video by Knitpicks for picking up the stitches for the afterthought thumb!  Clear and simple.  Well done!  Our friend Rachel at Treehouse Knits also has a tutorial that would help you work these stitches, be sure to check her out (and watch her podcast if you don't already!!!)

Below are my stitches, all picked up.  I do this exactly as the Knitpicks video mentioned above shows except that I normally use dpn's, or whatever is easiest for you. At this point, my waste yarn is still on the stitches, but I'm about ready to carefully remove it

Now here is the thumb opening, waste yarn removed ~

See my awkwardly drawn red circle in the photo?  That's where I would begin knitting around for the thumb.  For years I made the beginning of the thumb round at the "edge" but by moving it to this spot on the underside of the thumb it was just a little neater, at least in my knitting!  In the picture below, I've tried to show how this would be - the white needle is needle 1 (beginning of round), the red needle in the background is needle 2 and the green needle is needle 3.  I would be just ready to start the next round in this photo

So I pick up my yarn at this point and work all the way around in plain knitting, making sure my stitches are all facing correctly and picking up one, or even two, stitches in those corner spaces IF it seems I need to.  There seems to be two different thoughts on that says you should do this to close that gap and another that says it will tend to distort the thumb if you do.  Make that decision for yourself.  If you end up with a "hole" or gap at the corners, similar to those on the gusset of a heel in sock knitting, you can always close it up after finishing using a tapestry needle and bit of your yarn.  

Back to the thumb...if I have chosen to pick up extra stitches, I would knit another plain round and on the following round, decrease those extras by simply knitting two together.  From there on, nothing fancy, just knit until it is the length you want to cover your thumb, then knit 2 together all the way around.  Break the yarn, leaving a length of a few inches, enough to thread onto a tapestry needle, draw that through the remaining stitches and snug it down.  

For the fingerless mitts, we do exactly the same as for full mitten as far as picking up thumb stitches, only this time you're only going to work that thumb till about the top of the knuckle.

Just like for the top of the mitt, I then did the I-cord bind off, following the Craftsy tutorial here.  Or mimic whatever you did for your mitt (garter rows, ribbing, etc.)

Now turn your mittens inside out and darn in the yarn ends.  What could be easier!

So tell me about your mittens!  Have you cast on?  Have you finished them up?  Have you joined the Basket of Mittens KAL 2018 on Ravelry?  Are you tagging them on instagram #shareacupmittens and #basketofmittenskal2018?  Do you have questions or any helpful tips?

I'm feeling an overwhelming urge to cast on a new pair myself ~

Part 1 of the mitten recipe here

Part 2 of the mitten recipe here

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I love your mittens Cary! I had never thought to use an afterthought thumb! What a great idea.