Long color change yarns versus thumbs

So we talked about this once before.  When you have a long color change yarn, and you’re knitting a mitt with a thumb, you have to make a little decision there in the middle.

Normally, you (or at least I…) make a mitt by knitting a tube (for your wrist), making it a bit bigger (to make space for the base of your thumb), knitting a bigger tube for a bit (to get up to where your thumb and hand split), setting aside some stitches (they’ll turn into the thumb later), knitting some more of the original size tube (for the top of your hand), then joining on new yarn and knitting a tiny tube (for your thumb).

If you have a solid color yarn, that’s all cool.  But if you use a long color change yarn, the color will have changed from when you set aside the thumb stitches to when you knit come back and knit the thumb.  You’ll have used yarn to knit the fabric that covers the top part of your hand, and the color will have changed over that stretch.

So on color change yarns, what I like to do is figure out how much yarn the thumb will take and set that much yarn aside at the same point I’m setting aside stitches for the thumb, then join the yarn back on for the top of the hand.  It doesn’t completely eliminate the jump (you still need two pieces of yarn, so that’s impossible).  But it does minimize it (because instead of the jump being however much yarn you need for the top of the hand, it’s only however much yarn you need for the thumb, and the thumb takes way less yarn).

It’s optional…it might even be insanely fussy.  But it makes me happy, and I suspect I’m not the only one!

Oh, and don’t worry, there’s a more detailed version of this with math and stitch counts in the pattern.  But the general idea works for any mitt, and it’s not something I see a lot of folks talk about, so it seems worth mentioning!


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