Gaps around thumb gussets are the bane of any civilized knitter. But what is a knitter to do besides leave a super-long tail and weave them all closed after?

Here is my solution, a stitch that I call the 5-in-1 Pickup in my patterns (or the smaller 3-in-1 pickup, good for bulky yarns, though I sometimes use it for worsted weight, too.)

What should it look like?

Most thumbs are increased from a single stitch, and when you put those thumb stitches "on hold" and cast on to create the rest of the hand, you cast that stitch back on. Then, when you are ready to create your thumb, you pick up your held stitches, including a single stitch where you cast one on. Unfortunately, this method tends to leave gaps on either side of the cast-on stitch.

This technique fills in those gaps with some extra stitches that you quickly decrease to the single stitch originally called for. The result looks like this:

For this one, I used the Double Central Decrease (DCD) instead of the Central Chain Decrease demonstrated in the video. Either one works, it just depends what look you are going for.

For this one, I used the Double Central Decrease (DCD) instead of the Central Chain Decrease demonstrated in the video. Either one works, it just depends what look you are going for.

Fngring Wght 5-in-1.jpg

How to Make It

Knit thumb stitches to cast-on stitch "gap".

5-in-1 Pickup

Rnd 1: On edge of gap, pick up bar from row below the one you are working. Place on left needle and knit into back loop so it twists. Knit 3 sts across cast-on edge (be sure middle st is in cast-on st). Pick up bar from row below, place on left needle and knit into the back loop so it twists.
Rnd 2: Knit around. When you reach the five picked up sts on next round, ssk, k1, k2tog.  
Rnd 3: Knit.
Rnd 4: CCD. Continue as per pattern.

Location of the bar that you pick up when working the 5-in-1 Pickup.

Location of the bar that you pick up when working the 5-in-1 Pickup.

3-in-1 Pickup

Rnd 1: On edge of gap, pick up three sts across cast-on edge (be sure the middle st is in the cast on st).
Rnd 2: Knit around. When you reach the three stitches you picked up, work a Central Chain Decrease (CCD). Continue as per pattern.

There will be a small gap where you first joined the yarn to begin knitting the thumb, which you can easily close when you weave in your end.

This may also be used between fingers on gloves, though it does add a little extra bulk.

Happy gap-free knitting!

Featured Patterns

If this tutorial was helpful to you, please spread the word.