Picking up thumb stitches

Does anybody know if there is a way to eliminate the extra cast-on stitches after transferring the thumb stitches to a holder so that you don’t end up with difficult picking up of stitches later and holes where the thumb meets the body of the mitten?
Would what’s called an “afterthought” thumb solve this problem and are there any videos showing this?

The afterthought thumb may be a way to go, I don’t know of any videos, but it’s pretty easy. Knit till you get to the thumb sts, pick up some waste yarn and knit those. Transfer them back to the left needle and knit again with your working yarn. Then keep on with the mittens in the round. Take out the scrap yarn and put the sts on your needles and knit the thumb, you may want to pick up one st at each end of the sts where the upper and lower ones meet to avoid gaps, and if that’s too many, just dec them on the first round.

I’m confused – you mean I knit the stitches that are on the holder WITH waste yarn? Can’t I just transfer those original held stitches back onto my left (circular) needle?
Thanks for your help.

You don’t put any sts on the holder, the waste yarn acts as the holder after you’ve knit them again with the working yarn.

So knit to the point where you need to put thumb sts on the holder, only knit them with the scrap yarn instead, then slide them back to the left needle and knit with the mitten yarn.

Thanks! I see now – that’s pretty clever.

p.s. Sue, Found a link that might help the next person with this:

Sue (yarndreamer)

Thanks, I may put that in my tutorial links.

I am going to start knitting a pair of mittens for a young man and I love that trick. I may even try using the circular needle to knit the main part in the round