One of the greatest things about knitting is the possibility to work different groups of stitches separately to shape our projects any way we want. We do it when we make a gusset on a sock or a mitten, when we split stitches at the underarms of a bottom-up seamless sweater or leave stitches of the sleeves on hold in a top-down raglan sweater. It also happens when we reserve stitches for a thumb in a European-style mitten.
The not-so-great thing is that when we bring those groups of stitches together to keep working on the project, we often end up with a hole in a spot where the stitches are joined.
That hole appears because the edge stitches of one or both groups get loose. One of the ways to fix this issue is to redistribute the yarn. We discussed this method in this tutorial.
Another simple way to keep that hole from appearing is to cross stitches in the place of join. We can cross them to the right or to the left. Both ways are equally efficient in preventing the hole.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you both ways and you choose the one that feels more comfortable to you.
You can also watch every step explained below in this video.
No matter whether you decide to cross stitches to the right or to the left, remember to cross them in the first round of working both groups of stitches. It will be the first round of working the body and the sleeves of the top-down sweater, the first round after you finished to make a gusset, or the first round of the thumb of a mitten.
STITCHES CROSSED TO THE RIGHT
Work to one stitch before the place of join. In my swatch, the hypothetical place of join is marked by a locking stitch marker.
Insert the tip of the right needle from right to left into the second stitch from the tip of the left needle.
Pass this stitch over the first stitch from the tip of the left needle and keep it on the right needle.
Return the passed stitch to the left needle.
Knit or purl the crossed stitches depending on the pattern you follow. Just remember to keep the stitches crossed as you work them to give that pesky hole no chance.
STITCHES CROSSED TO THE LEFT
Work to one stitch before the place of join.
Keep the yarn at the back of the work and slip two stitches purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.
Insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into the second stitch from the tip of the right needle.
Pass this stitch over the first stitch from the tip of the right needle and keep it on the left needle.
Slip the other stitch from the right needle to the left needle.
Knit or purl crossed stitches separately according to the pattern instructions.
As you see from the photos of a mock mitten (also shown in this part of the video tutorial), crossing stitches makes a huge difference. The hole that you see on one side of the thumb disappears on the other side of the same thumb where the stitches are crossed.
We used this simple trick twice during the Everyday Tee knit-along – when we crossed stitches before we separated the stitches of the front from the stitches of the back (it happened in the second part of the knit-along, and then again when we joined the stitches of the front and the back to work the neckline in the last part of the knit-along.
If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:
“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book
Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.
“Neat Side Edges” Book
Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.
Dealing with Unfinished Projects
Dictionary of Knitting Symbols and Abbreviations – E-Book
Eastern (Russian) Knitting Simplified
How to Shape Neckline Without Binding Off Stitches – E-Book