A Piece of Scrap Yarn
You know that line in a lot of my mitt patterns? The one that says ‘set thumb stitches aside on a spare needle or piece of scrap yarn?’ Yeah, I’d really sort of suggest you take the piece of spare yarn option. I know that means you have to dig out a bit of extra yarn (hint, don’t use the yarn you’re knitting with, use a nice thick one of a different color) and a needle, and sometimes that’s too much of a pain, but if you can, it’s the best choice.
Why? Two reasons. First, when you try on the mitt, the bit of spare yarn will curve and bend around your hand (your hand being played here by the lovely Rosamund). Second, when you start working over just the hand stitches again, the scrap yarn will let the fabric on either side of the thumb stitches smush up closer to each other than a stiff, straight spare needle will. That will help you have a tidier transition to the rest of the hand (which in turn makes it easier to pick up extra thumb stitches later). It’s totally the better option!
This post brought to you my my feeling that, if I was going to bother finding a darning needle and doing it right, I might as well tell you guys about it too.