So what exactly is a thumb gusset?
So far, I’ve shown you some of the techniques used in knitting the cast-on and the cuff of my Early Morning Mitts pattern. Now it’s time to talk about the thumb gusset. First off, according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the term gusset means “a usually diamond-shaped or triangular insert in a seam (as of a sleeve, pocketbook, or shoe upper) to provide expansion or reinforcement”. So what does that mean for a mitten or glove? Well, take a look at this photo.
See the highlighted triangular shape? The stitches between the stitch markers are the thumb stitches. Starting with just 2 stitches between the markers, I increase two thumb stitches every other row. These are paired increases because you make one at each “end” of the thumb stitch section and the stitches also lean in opposite directions. The paired increases I use are Make 1 Right (M1R) and Make 1 Left (M1L). You can watch videos to learn how to do M1R & M1L at knittinghelp.com.
So looking at the finished mitts, you see the thumbs are shaped out away from the palm of the mitt. It’s a little trickier to knit than an after-thought thumb, but having a gusset allows the mitt to fit the shape of the hand and thumb better.
Thumb gusset how-to
Once the cuff–up to the wrist–is completed, it’s time to start the thumb gusset while continuing to knit the palm section of the mitt.
My pattern’s instructions begin like this:
Round 1: Knit 1, place marker, M1R, Knit 2, M1L, place marker, knit to end of round. You now have 4 stitches between the stitch markers.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: Knit 1, slip marker, M1R, Knit 4, M1L, slip marker, knit to end of round. You see there are now 6 stitches between the markers…each increase round adds 2 stitches to the thumb.
This pattern of increasing thumb stitches one row, knit one row, continues until we have the total number of stitches needed for thumb. Then the thumb stitches are slipped to a stitch holder (I just slip the stitches to a piece of yarn with a tapestry needle).
Once you slip the thumb stitches to scrap yarn or a stitch holder, you need to cast on 2 stitches to make up for the 2 that you used to start the thumb gusset. Then it’s just knitting around until the palm is as high up on the hand/fingers as you like. For this pattern, I’m wanting to mostly cover my fingers–these gloves are especially nice for driving because they keep the fingers and palms so toasty warm, but the finger tips are still free which is nice for setting temperature or radio controls.
At the top of the mitt, I do another garter stitch ridge just like the ones on the cuff and now it’s time to bind off!
Having trouble understanding something in today’s tutorial? Leave a comment below with your question and I’ll answer it in a future post!
Coming up next…binding off the top of the mitt.
You need to know the special way to bind off the mitt and then it will be on to knitting the thumb!
As always, happy knitting!