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We are now ready to make the thumb!

There is a slight error in the thumb part of the mitten pattern.

"Thumb ... Pick up all sts on thumb holders...dig into the mitten fabric above thumb opening and pick up 3 sts over where you cast on the one st before starting the hand...Join... 14 (16,18) sts."

When you look at the thumb opening, you will see "live stitches" on your yarn holder, and then you will see the sport where you added a stitch to work the hand in the round after you separated the gusset stitches...... How you pick up stitches will help you to make any gaps in the fabric disappear so that your resulting mitten will be warm as toast.

So........put your stitches that are being held on waste yarn back on 2 needles.....1/2 on each for the moment. Join your yarn in, at the LEFT (front side facing you) of the last stitch you have just put on the needles, leaving a 6" tail you will weave into the inside of the mitten later on. Place a marker here..this is the beginning of the round for the thumb. (safety pins work great...you can put them right INTO the fabric and not on any needle)

Turn your work so that you are looking at the INSIDE of those stitches just placed on 2 needles, and with a third needle, dig into the fabric above the area where you made 1 stitch when you worked the hand part of the mitten, in this manner:
*Poke your needle through the fabric...under the top edge of the knitting, from front to back (outside through to the inside)...wrap your yarn around the needle as if to knit, and pull that loop of yarn through to the front of the fabric and leave it on the needle. One stitch made.* Do this 2 more times so you have 3 sts on your right needle.

Pick up your fourth needle. You can redistribute your sts to even them out better at this point if you'd like.

Continue working around the base of the thumb on those 14 (16,18) sts till you come to your marker. Now, the directions say:

" Round1: knit around and decrease 2 sts by k2tog above two spots where sts seem loose at "sides" of the thumb: 12 (14, 16) sts."

You will knit the first four sts of the round, decreasing 2 out, before continuing around. This closes any "gap" in the knitting where you picked up sts.

"Knit around evenly on these sts until work clears thumb nail. *k2 tog* repeating around until 6 sts remain. Close as for top of mitten."

Clear enough? When you decrease the top of the thumb, you can forget the marker and just keep knitting 2 together until you have 6 sts left on your needles (it will be very awkward). Then you cut your yarn and run it through those sts, pulling the opening closed.

DARNING

I will take a minute and talk about finishing ends off. I like to run my leftover yarn...at least 4" of it, through the inside of the mitten, catching the yarn under the inside half of the stitches(so it won't show through on the outside). If you split the yarn in the knitted stitches with the point of your needle, it stays put better. I run the yarn in one direction for 2", and then in another direction for 2". If you are hiding your beginning yarn, run it through the inside of one of the knit ridges in your ribbing back toward the cuff. I don't knot natural fibers (except for cotton and superwash wools), as the resulting wearing and washing will full the ends into the fabric. Besides, it feels smoother on the inside that way.

Make 2nd Mitten.

WASHING

I find that handspun yarns have a wonderful tendency to soften when washed. Soak your mittens in warmish soapy water (I use leftover shampoos with good results) and soak/rinse in the same temp. Roll in a towel and squeeze out excess water. Dry flat. If your mittens are too long a tad too wide, run them through the washing machine with a load of sturdy clothes (jeans work great) and they will full/shrink a bit. If your mittens are just too wide DON'T machine wash....they will shorten considerably! Consider ripping out the top back to the decrease rounds (or thereabouts) and add a few even knit rounds before starting the decreasing for the top.

Hope you are all enjoying this learning project. I use this style knitting pattern in all of the original mitten patterns I create and market at COUNTRYWOOL. So, when you are feeling braver and want to try some fancy stitch or color pattern, you can feel confident that you know what my patterns are like.

I enjoyed sharing Cyberspace with you...ain't the Internet grand?!?


This material ©1999 Claudia Krisniski
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