Quick and Easy Way to Prevent Holes at Thumbs, Sock Gussets and Underarms

How to Prevent Holes in Sock and Mitten Gussets and in Underarms of Seamless Sweaters

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 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.

How to Prevent Holes in Sock and Mitten Gussets and in Underarms of Seamless Sweaters

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. It is usually easier to cross them to the right.

Watch how this method works for preventing holes at both sides of a thumb.

Here’s how this method works step by step:

STEP 1. Work to one stitch before the potential hole.

STEP 2. Insert the tip of the right needle from right to left into the second stitch from the tip of the left needle.

STEP 3. Pass this stitch over the first stitch from the tip of the left needle, but don’t drop it off. Keep this stitch on the right needle.

STEP 4. Return the passed stitch to the left needle.

STEP 5. Knit or purl the crossed stitches depending on the pattern you follow.
Remember to keep the stitches crossed as you work them.

This method works equally well for keeping the holes away from thumbs, sock gussets and underarms.

All we need to do is cross the stitches around the potential hole in the first round after we finish the gusset or pick up reserved stitches to make a thumb, or in the first round of working the body or the sleeves of a seamless sweater.


To download a Quick Reference Card about this method, as well as full PDF versions of other tutorials published in 2024, click here to join the Club 2024.

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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.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Simple Way to Prevent Holes in Gussets and Underarms | 10 rows a day
Simple Way to Prevent Holes in Gussets and Underarms | 10 rows a day
Simple Way to Prevent Holes in Gussets and Underarms | 10 rows a day