Mind the Gap
Published On: July 7, 2023

I warned you I was going to indulge myself and talk about the nerdy bits of these mitts, so let’s just do that. Let’s talk about how to handle that little gap you can sometimes get between the hand part of the mitt and the thumb part of the mitt.

When you make a mitt, you (generally) set some stitches aside for the thumb, finish off the hand, then come back and make a tube for your thumb using the stitches you set aside. BUT, if you just start making a tube with your set aside thumb stitches and nothing else, you’re going to get a gap between the hand and the thumb.

And yeah, you could use your tail to neaten that up when you’re done and that works fine. But I generally prefer to pick up some stitches to bridge that gap. But sometimes, you’ve got some sort of patterning going on on the thumb. And the number of stitches you need to smoothly bridge the gap may not be the number you need to keep whatever is happening with the stitch pattern on your thumb lined up.

I firmly believe the best way to handle this is to pick up…however many you feel like you need to span the gap (being sure it’s at least as many as you need to keep the thumb in pattern). Just go wild, take as many as you want (I’ve never felt like I needed more than six or seven at the very outside, and often just three or four is fine). Then decrease away any extra stitches (above and beyond what you need to keep your stitch pattern in line) on the first row of knitting.

So here, because the thumb is in 2×2 ribbing, and because the set aside thumb stitches start with two purls and end with two knits, I need to add stitches to the thumb in sets of four. But if I felt like I needed six stitches to span that gap, I’d just go ahead and pick up six, then decrease two of them away on the first round of thumb stitches.

That keeps that spot between your hand and your thumb nicely filled in, no awkward holes, no uncomfortable ridges, but still keeps the stitch pattern nicely lined up.

This is, loathe though I am to admit it, one of those things that is best done with video (I know, it pisses me off too). So you can wander over to instagram to see me waggle my hands around and point at stuff, should you be so inclined!

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