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Closing Thumb & Finger Gaps
If you're a glove and/or mitten knitter, you've no doubt seen the little holes or gaps that appear around the base of the thumbs and fingers of your projects. There is a way to prevent those holes, and it is a good technique to have in your knitting bag of tricks.
Photo 1 shows a glove that needs a thumb. Fifteen thumb stitches that were placed on hold while the rest of the glove was knitted are now placed on double-point needles. One stitch that was bound off is in the center of the gap between the held stitches. The rest of the gap comprises the spaces between the bound-off stitch and the held stitches, spaces which mysteriously get bigger and bigger while waiting to be made into a thumb. The challenge is to fill those spaces.
First, attach the yarn to the beginning of the held stitches on two needles and knit them. For this glove, we're going to pick up five stitches in the gap -- the one bound-off stitch and two stitches on each side. You'll make the stitches on the sides by picking up two strands and knitting them through the back loop, creating a tightly twisted stitch. Which strands to pick up is not an exact science; you basically just need to dig in.
For the first stitch, perhaps pick up one side of the last held stitch and the strand between it and the other side of the stitch, and for the second stitch, the other side of the stitch and the strand between it and the bound-off stitch. If it doesn't look like picking up these particular strands will solve the problem, pick up others. The point is to choose two adjacent strands at the edge of the gap that will form a stitch that looks like it belongs. Photo 2 shows two strands picked up and ready to be made into the first new stitch. With a new needle, knit these strands through the back loop. Once that stitch is made, pick up two more strands and also knit them through the back loop.
Now you can pick up and knit the bound-off thumb gusset stitch as shown in Photo 3; then make two more stitches on the other side of the gap. Once you have your five new stitches, slip the last of the previously held stitches onto the needle with the new stitches; then knit the first of the previously held stitches onto this needle. Photo 4 shows these seven stitches.
Knit the stitches on needles 1 and 2. When you get to the needle holding the seven "gap" stitches, work the first two together with ssk (slip 1, slip 1, insert the left needle into the front of the slipped stitches and knit them together through the back loop), knit 3 and k2tog (knit 2 stitches together). Now you may proceed to knit the thumb to the desired length, decrease according to your instructions and close the top.
Voila! A hole-less thumb -- or perhaps, an almost hole-less thumb. If you find that you still have a bit of a gap (see Photo 5), use the tail left from adding the new yarn to close the gaps as you weave it in (Photo 6).
|Photo 5||Photo 6|