Mitten Thumb Question

Hello all: Well I have completed a mitten and I am starting work on its mate. I have a question about the thumb. The directions have you knit onto a scrap piece of yarn the stitches where the thumb will go. Then you take these same stitches, put them back onto the left needle and knit as if nothing has happened. There were nine stitches; however, when I pulled out the scrap yarn, I ended up with the nine stitches on the bottom and seven stitches on the top. I should have had nine and nine. Did I miss something? I increased two stitches but that made little holes that I needed to stitch up later. I really don't want to do that again. Suggestions?



QueerJoe's picture

Nine and seven is a big difference. If it's a problem with the pattern that doesn't leave nine stitches on the top, then I would try and modify the pattern so it worked out correctly. If I couldn't do that easily, I would just do what you did and increase.

There are ways of increasing without leaving holes. If you pick up the yarn between stitches to make a new stitch, make sure you knit into the correct side of the stitch so it twists and doesn't leave a visible hole.

Otherwise, you could always increase by knitting and purling into the same stitch, which doesn't show a hole either.

jwhassjr's picture

I don't believe you should have ended up with seven stitches on top, however I also don't think you should have nine on top and nine on bottom. If I'm correct, after you knit your nine stitches onto your waste yarn, transfer them from the right needle back to the left and knit through the stitches of waste yarn, you will end up with nine live stitches on the bottom row and eight live stitches on the top row.

Why? You have to take into account the anatomoy of knitted stitches. They're a series of interlocking loops. Take a look at two rows of stockinette stitch, you notice that one top row stitch consists of its right arm going through the left arm of the stitch one row below it, and its left arm going through the right arm of the neighboring right stitch one row below it. Because of this, you will loose the right arm of your first upper row knit stitch and the left arm of your last upper row knit stitch (making one complete stitch), when you unthread your waste yarn to free up your live stitches. The other arms of these two stiches are attached to your stitches making up the hand.

If you ended up with seven on top and nine on bottom, you may possibly have knit two of the waste yarn stitches together when going back across to reconnect the live yarn. That's only a speculation, and the only logical one I can come up with. If your interested, there's a video tutorial of this type of mitten on diy network's website,2046,DIY_18180_32897,00.html

Give it a look see and see if it helps you with your next mitten. As an aside, I don't prefer this type of procedure for mitten thumbs. I find it easier and less tedious to make a thumb gusset, thread my thumb stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and continue knitting in the round finishing the hand. Then I go back and pick up the stitches and make the thumb. I like the finish of this approach, as well as the contour: it really fits the hand better.

Good luck, and I hope I was able to help rather than confuse you.

Buck Strong's picture

Thanks so much guys! I'm I'll check out the video as I am fast approaching the spot for the thumb.

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I am always unsure when I read questions like this. A mitten is an incredibly basic shape and I cannot really understand what the pattern is calling for. I have looked through my basic mitten patterns and can't find anything like you describe. Is this a proprietary pattern from a legitimate company that has been thoroughly tested and written by professionals, or is it a scrap of typing. Pattern writing is one of the most difficult aspects of the whole craft, and a specialist form of communication in its own right. More information required please.

Best wishes, John

I knit, therefore I am

I knit, therefore I am

MMario's picture

I've seen this technique used for mittens - it's much like an "afterthought" heel on a sock

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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