Ah the beautiful Afterthought Thumb on my Muckle Mitts! Technically this isn’t an afterthought, since we did think about it by knitting waste yarn into the spot where we’ll make the thumb later, See my last post “Waste Yarn, What Yarn?”. When I learned this thumb, I found picking up the stitches around the waste yarn confusing.
So let’s go through it step by step.
[Above] Here we see the 8 stitches of waste yarn knit in between Rnd 11 and Rnd 12 of the chart.
Using one of my smaller needles I’ve picked up four stitches above the waste yarn, picking up the Right Hand leg of each stitch. Picking up the Right Hand leg of the stitch will mount the stitch correctly on the needle, handy when we get around to knitting it.
[Above] Here’s a close up, see the outlines of the Right Hand leg of the stitch…now of course the point of the needle is obscuring the next stitch that we need to pick up…the difficult thing about still photos..but the turquoise outlines indicate the Right Hand leg of the stitches we will pick up.
Note: It is not the end of the world if you don’t get the correct leg of the stitch, you’ll be able to compensate when you knit it later. The worst thing that can happen is that the stitch will be twisted, which won’t really matter in the great scheme of life.
[Above] Now I’ve got all 8 stitches positioned on the needle.
[Above] I’ll leave that needle in place and pick up 8 stitches from below the waste yarn. Again, I’m picking up the Right Hand leg of each stitch, so they will all be positioned correctly for knitting. I’ve got 3 stitches on the needle and I’m just picking up the 4th stitch with the tip of the needle.
[Above] Ok – 8 stitches each on both needles. Next we”ll remove the waste yarn
[Above] To remove the waste yarn un-pick the orange stitches….sort of slide the orange yarn out. I use another needle to kind of yank it gently out. Like chimpanzees use a stick to get ants from an anthill…a little like that anyway
[Above] Here we go, the waste yarn is all the way out, leaving a gaping hole, but hello, all the stitches are safe and secure…even those wonky looking chartreuse ones. As frightening as they look they are fine, we’ll deal with them later.
[Above] Here are those scary stitches up close. The reason the chartreuse ones look so weird, is because the yarn we see at this point is both the stitch and the float. Don’t think about it too much or your head will ache, just trust me – when we knit them everything will be perfect.
[Above] Now we need to put the lower stitches on two needles so we can begin knitting. We’ll name our needles: Needle #1 Lower Right, Needle #2 Lower Left, Needle #3 Up Top. Time to knit!
[Above Left] Using my Main Color yarn, in this case Natural White, I’ve knit across Needle #1 and just finished knitting across Needle #2.
Needle #2 is in such a crazy perpendicular arrangement to facilitate the next step…
At the corner here, between Needle #2 and Needle #3 we’ll pick up a stitch. Insert the tip of your working needle under a stitch or two of the body of the mitt, in the corner between Needle #2 and Needle #3 – knit a stitch onto Needle #2. Sometimes I find it easier to use a spare needle as shown, to knit this “picked up stitch, and then place the stitch back on needle #2.
[Above Right] We now have 5 stitches on Needle #2.
[Above] Time to knit Needle #3. We’ve turned the work, Needle #3 is on the bottom of the picture now. I’ve knit the first stitch..but…Horrors! The next stitch to knit looks so messy!
[Above] Not to fear, just knit that wonky Contrast Color stitch. See the new stitch on the Right Hand Needle? It’s fine and dandy.
[Above] I’ve knit all the way across Needle #3. See? Not wonky. Pretty pretty!
[Above] Now, pick up the corner stitch between Needle#3 and Needle #1, just like you did before. If you’re using an auxiliary needle, make sure the stitch goes back onto needle #3.
We have 4 stitches on Needle #1, 5 stitches on Needle #2 and 9 stitches on Needle #3 for a total of 18 stitches.
[Above] Okey Dokey! I’ve knit all the way around the thumb opening once. We’re looking at our thumb right side up again, with Needle #3 at the top.
[ Above Left] Now it is time to begin ribbing. We’ll work a K1 P1 rib for 5 rounds and then cast off in the rib pattern.
[ Above Right] Done – Ta da!
That wasn’t so hard now was it? Just knit it is my suggestion, don’t think about it too much before hand and you’ll be fine. Too much thinking and worrying is paralyzing and damn it – your hands are getting cold!
Want a tutorial for eliminating holes in the corners of your afterthought thumb? Read: