Monday, 7 January 2008

Part 2 of the 'waste yarn trick' - thumb gusset

Part 1 of the 'waste yarn trick' covered the afterthought or peasant thumb. Another common thumb is formed by working increases into a part of the hand to create a thumb gusset or thumb gore. The additional stitches are then put aside on a stitch holder or a length of yarn and knitted later to create the thumb. In the join on the inside of the thumb, new stitches are cast on. Later when the thumb is worked, new thumb stitches are picked up.

When I first started knitting mittens the casting off and picking up thumb stitches really bugged me. It takes practice to do it neatly but even for an experienced knitter there is still a 'break' in the stitches. Hence I have adapted the 'waste yarn trick' to suit the shaped thumb. Here's how;-

Step 1:Use a 20cm length of waste yarn to knit desired number of stitches (here 6).

Step 2:Slip the stitches just knit back onto the left hand needle.

Step 3:Knit the stitches again, but this time with the main yarn.

Step 4:Slip the remaining thumb gusset stitches onto the waste yarn (here also 6).

Step 5:Continue knitting as normal.

Step 6:Later unpick the waste yarn, placing the stitches onto 2 double pointed needles.

Step 7:Place the stitches that were slipped onto the waste yarn on the needles too.

Step 8:To avoid holes pick up a loop between the needles. Knit it together with the first stitch on the left hand needle.

I hope that you find this technique useful. I use it for all the gusset thumbs that I knit and get beautiful looking thumb joins every time. In fact I also use the technique for the fingers. Part 3 of the 'waste yarn trick' will cover this topic.

The IPOD glove/mitten pattern available here uses the 'waste yarn trick' to create the thumb, the fingers(in the case of the gloves) as well as the thumb slot that allows IPOD and mobile phone users to 'ipod' or send text messages without getting their hands cold...

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Blogger werouious said...

thanks SO MUCH for this advice. i'm making my first pair of mittens ever and this part of the pattern, more than any other, confused the hell out of me. i think after reading this and looking at the pics you took i have a pretty good understanding of how this works.

26 February 2008 at 18:58  

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