Wednesday, 15 March 2017
All about thumbs
My daughter needed a new pair of mittens for her growing hands. She loved the fish pattern and colours from the last pair I made so I simply enlarged my pattern. I have a basic pattern that I use for all of my mittens. Each pair that I knit for her I write down how many stitches I used at the key points and that assists me in estimating how many stitches I need to enlarge another pair. (I also write down what yarn and what size double pointed needles I have used.) I only use double pointed needles to knit mittens. After knitting to where I want to place the thumb I estimate how many stitches I will put on a stitch holder. This is approximately a quarter of the total number of stitches you cast on. For this pair it was ten stitches. Immediately after placing them on the holder I will cast on the same number - ten stitches. I will then finish knitting the mitten. After the mitten is knit I will return to knitting the thumb. I put the stitches on the stitch holder on two double pointed needles - dividing the stitches equally between them. For this pair of mittens I put five stitches on each double pointed needle. Than I picked up ten stitches - putting five stitches on each needle. I now have four double pointed needles with five stitches on each of them. I will now knit these twenty stitches with a fifth double pointed needle until I have knit to the top of the thumb. ( You will have to try the mitten on to determine this.) At this point I will divide the stitches equally between two double pointed needles. For this pair of mittens it was ten stitches on each needle. The shaping for the top of the thumb is: knit 1, slip 1, psso, knit to the last two stitches on the needle and k2tog. I repeat this on both needles until I have 8- 10 stitches left - roughly half of how many stitches I started with. This is counting all the stitches on both needles. I will than do Kitchener stitch ( There are some excellent video's on utube demonstrating this finishing stitch.) to weave the opening shut. There are many other possibilities of doing this - but this has through trial and error become my signature way. I like to keep things simple and I look for repetitive patterns and I use proportions to assist me in this way.