Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Generic Mittens: The Thumb

I can't wait to finish these mittens - I love them so much I want to wear them now! I've finished one thumb and just have the other one to go. I had said to my dd that I only had one more thumb to finish. "How many thumbs have you knit?" she asked.

step one: how many sts
Remeber your calculation for Thumb Gusset Sts from step 3 of "Generic Mittens: from Wrist to Thumb"? I had 18 sts - you might have an odd number. Add two to this number - these are the sts on the outside of your markers. Now add two more - these are the sts you'll be picking up. That would bring me to 22. Sometimes I pick up more sts if I feel the gap looks too big - maybe 4 sts, like I did this time. I had planned to decrease back down to 22 sts for the thumb, but I forgot.

If you're doing the other kind of thumb, the one without the thumb gusset, you'll need to refer back to your calculations too. Pick up an equal amount of sts as you have on your stitch holder. You might also like to pick up an extra sts on each "end" to help close any gaps that may form there.

step two: transfer sts from stitch holder
I put 8 sts on each of 2 needles and 4 on the last of the three dpns. I picked up 4 sts and put them on the needle too.

For either type of thumb, once you've transferred your sts from the holder to your needles and picked up the required number of sts, you'll knit even until your thumb is long enough.

Here's my thumb sts ready for knitting

step three: start knitting the thumb
I usually start knitting my thumb at the top left point (see photo above), starting with the sts I picked up. This time I didn't trust myself to get the st pattern right if I started there, so I started at the bottom point, where I could read the pattern from the previous rows. Knit in your chosen pattern until the thumb length equals Measurement #6: Thumb Length from "Generic Mittens: Getting Started". If you're knitting for yourself, you can also just try the mitten on at this point and stop knitting when your knitted thumb is as long as your flesh-and-blood thumb.

step four: decreasing the thumb tip
Do a round of k2tog. Then break your yarn, thread the end onto a darning needle and pass the tail through each of the remaining sts. Pull tight, draw tail to the inside of the work and secure the end. Depending on your pattern you may need to adapt this decrease row. For my mitten pattern, I needed to do the decrease row using my CC, so I ended up having a MC patterned row as my final row. Other patterns might require you to (k3tog, k1) instead of k2tog around. Do what looks best!

step 5: finishing
Weave in and trim all your ends - in my case there are 232 ends to weave in. It may take me a while. Block your mittens if you'd like to, or if you're like me and have problems waiting, wear them immediately!

I may do that even before I weave in all the ends. I'm trying to convince myself they are just like thrummed mittens this way.


Tam said...

Your mittens look gorgeous! That is a lot of ends to weave in!!! Thanks for the tutorial.

Felicity said...

Soooo many ends! And there's part of why I don't like working with colour.

Those look amazing, though, so I may have to try out that trick anyway.

Thanks again for the tutorial!

Julie said...

so gorgeous!! I like the idea of leaving the tails out there as thrums. :)

Fantastic Fords said...

This whole series was very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write it.