First Mitten Troubleshooting

Hi I am making a pair of mittens for my 4yo dd, and almost all went well until I had finished the thumb increases. I put the thumb stitches on a piece of yarn as directed in the pattern, and then it said to cast on some stitches to bridge the thumb.

I did that then somehow the yarn was on the LH needle (magic loop). So somehow I think I turned the knitting and started knitting with the yarn coming from the RH needle so the circle would join and I ended up with a row of purl sticking out. No big deal to experienced knitters but I had a lot of trouble getting back to where I was…

What should I have done?

Also what is the best increase for thumb increases in a mitten?

Thanks for your help.


For the knit or cable cast ons, put the needle with the working yarn into the left hand, cast on the sts, then put it back in your right hand. For a backward loop cast on, just leave the needle in the right hand and put them on.

Best is the easiest and most comfortable for you.

Ok, I finished one mitten and there was a hole in the thumb gussett. Why? How can I avoid it?


You can use the yarn tail to weave it shut. It sometimes happens with the bind off/cast on method. Another way to do that for the thumb is knit the sts with another yarn instead of binding them off. Then move those sts back to the left needle and knit again with the mitten yarn and continue the hand. Then undo the scrap yarn and put the sts on the needles for the thumb. It’s basically the same thing as binding off and casting on, but it should be a lot smoother.

Could it be that when I picked the thumb stitches up again I should have picked up more extra stitches? I didn’t pick up too many because the thumb would have ended up HUGE.

This is an extremely common problem. Most people do 1 of 2 things.

  1. Go back and close up the hole with yarn when you’re done with the mitten.
  2. Pick up extra sts for the thumb, and then when you knit the first row for the thumb, knit 2 together enough times to have the correct about of sts. Also, when you pick them up, twist the sts so that they are as closed as possible. This is what I do.

Thanks Sandy, can you explain how to twist the stitches or direct me to some visual instructions perhaps? I just made the 2nd mitten and picked up more stitches and avoided a big hole, but the 2nd mitten is quite a different shape LOL! Oh well it was a learning experience, at least they were only small mittens for my 4yo… and she is happy with them!