If you've never had the chance to try traditional Austrian traveling twisted stitches, you might want to play with this. By knitting into the back of the pattern stitches (which twists the stitch), the pattern just leaps out at you---even with this dark yarn that ordinarily wouldn't show much of a pattern.
I grabbed my favorite dp needles (pointy, knitpicks metal) and cast on. I don't think I had knit more than three rounds and I already had had to rescue stitches that had dropped off the ends several times. BLAH. This is NO FUN.
Tip #1: Be sure you are using the right equipment. Just because you have a favorite set of needles, they might not be the right ones for your project. Once I switched to some old (one slightly Freddy-chewed and sanded) Brittany birch needles, my stitches stayed put and I didn't have a single one slide off again. (phew.)
The pattern calls for placing markers around the thumb gusset as you make it, but doesn't mention putting markers around the pattern. Tip #2. I always put markers around a pattern that is 'inset' into something....because I'm a daydreamer and will knit right through what is obviously a pattern transition if I don't have a marker that I have to move. Dark yarn makes it sometimes harder to see where the pattern actually starts; of course, that could just be these old, cataract- infused eyes.
Now for the fun part. The traveling stitches just 'move' two stitches either to the left or the right. You could knit into the second stitch (remember--in the back of the stitch) and then knit or purl (whatever the chart says to do) into the first stitch and pull them both off the needle (right lean), but it's very very fiddly and gets even more fiddly when you do a left travel lean. It's much easier to 'cable without a cable needle'. This is the most liberating thing I've ever learned to do, and I've gotten very good at it over the years because I'm too lazy to get off my duff, rummage in the gadget bag, and find a cable needle.
These are the 2 stitches we're going to twist. I've moved them from the left needle to the right needle without knitting them.
With your left hand needle, grab the first stitch you slipped from the back...
here's the scary part (knitting is just a thrill a minute, right?!)...pull the right hand needle out of both stitches...the second slipped stitch will fall into thin air (see it just sort of hanging there? It's not going anywhere if you don't panic and pull on your knitting ---PROMISE!)
Now, grab it with your right hand needle and slip it back on the left needle. You have now reordered the stitches and you are ready to follow the pattern. What I like so much about this is you actually SEE which way the stitches will be leaning...and you don't have to pay a lick of attention to the cable charts that say slip a stitch and hold to the front/or to the back....just LOOK at your knitting and you'll do it the right way. Ta-Dah. Easy Peasy. (Traveling stitching are a great way to practice this because you do so many. Big cables work exactly the same way, but you re-order more stitches.) Yep. Tip #3: cabling without a cable needle.
Tip #4: Never put mitten gussets on a 'holder', just slide them on a piece of yarn from the project that is in the closest basket/bag---size of the yarn doesn't matter. I know. It's still a 'holder' but not the metal-ly thing that won't let you try on your mitts. (and once again, you don't need to get up and find your gizmo bag and track down the tiny holder that ALWAYS is in another project, anyway.)
Tip #5: When adding a new skein of yarn into a project that is knit in the round, carefully identify all the places (in advance) where that join could take place...never just use the spot where you happen to run out of yarn. I joined the new ball on the gusset seam here, which was actually my second choice; my first choice was where the patterning started. I knit right through that not realizing how little yarn I had left and heaven forbid(!!!) I certainly wasn't going to tink back, so the gusset worked fine. When both mitts were finished, I couldn't tell which mitt had the new ball added.
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I was knitting with a friend last week who is a wonderful knitter. She was lamenting having to cast on 300+ stitches for a new shawl she wanted to start. You use two balls of yarn, right? Then cut off one ball and knit with the remaining one, right? Somehow this little tip had never crossed her radar. It got me thinking about some of the short-cuts/tips/can you really call them tricks??? that we all use without giving them much thought. There are a gazillion of them out there.
I'd LOVE to hear some that you all use!!!!!! Please share!