Finished Project - Mittens and a question

Here is a photo of a pair of mittens that I have just completed. They are knit using 3.75 mm needles and the yarn is malabrigo merino (colour amoroso). I like the way they turned out except for where I picked up the stitches for the thumb. Any tricks to give a better result? The picked up stitches resulted in holes. I am going to darn this closed. I haven't knit mittens for many years. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Image icon Mittens.jpg581.33 KB


PieintheSky88's picture

So cute! I'm on a real mitten kick right now...

*All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today in any scene.*
~Meryl Streep

*All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today in any scene.*
~Meryl Streep

Bill's picture

Beautiful mittens!
love the colouring...think I have that in my stash to make some fingerless gloves...
I've heard people suggest picking up extra stitches then decreasing in the next row..or knitting into the back of the picked up row to tighten it...
but I'll bet you get lots of good advice from the list...

Chris Vandenburg's picture

Paul, Paul, Paul...............

You do not know how close I came to tagging your post as "offensive". Merely because I didn't knit those good looking suckers myself!

Great job buddy. I just may have to consult with you someday.


"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

davidUK's picture

I knit into the back of the stitches which could try Elizabeth Zimmerman's thumb trick (it's in her book, Knitter's Almanac) You knit a row of thumb stitches in another wool and then take them out revealing stitches for the thumb so there's no actual picking up of stitches - you're just going back to proper stitches.

Hope this is helpful - I haven't tried it but read about it and it seemed a good idea

All the best


ronhuber's picture

Those are beautiful mittens. Lovely choice of colour and they look so warm. When I pick up stitches for the thumb, I have a real good look at the knitting. If there seems to be a space I will pick up an extra stitch and often pick up two stitches between needles. When I meet them on the second round I knit into the back of them and on the third round I reduce all the stitches I have to the correct number. Sometimes I have as many as 6 or 7 extra stitches to reduce on the third round.

bobshome's picture

Great looking mittens - I don't have good advice regarding the holes but I do use ronhuber's method and it works beautifully.
However I discovered those disturbing holes on my first pair of socks around the heel - I soon discovered they disappeared in the first wash!! Love it. So don't worry just toss them in the wash. They'll come out softer and probably even more perfect, if that's possible.

albert's picture

Lovely work, Paul! It's always fun to knit with a variegated yarn, watching the colors develop.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Really nice mittens, Paul. I often pick up an extra stitch in the running thread to help close the gap, sometimes knitting it together with the first stitch on the thumb. (And last stitch also, if needed - it's a bit trickier but doable.) - I do something similar for socks, but often just add a couple of stitches, decreasing them away as part of the overall gusset. - Another trick I "unvented" - later finding it in a German knitting book from the 1930's - was casting in a few extra stitches and knitting a diamond shaped mini-gusset at the base of the thumb and palm. Besides giving it a nice tailored look, this helps ease the stress at that point. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

paultheknitter's picture

Thanks for all the great feedback. I am looking forward to my next pair of mittens so I can try the for a better thumb. I have already started a pair of socks and a dishcloth plus a couple of other things I have on needles so the mittens will have to wait a couple of weeks.