This year my gifts of choice are fingerless mitts and convertible mittens. While I've been knitting them up, I've developed a couple of tricks that I'd like to share with you all. I think in the end there might be a couple of patterns up as well (but not until after Christmas, much more Christmas crafting to go!).
I have 2 tips to share with you all. The first one is how to fix that kind of step you get after casting off in the round. You can see it here:
This happens because technically you don't knit in the round, you knit in a spiral so the stitch you're making is always going to be 1 stitch higher than the next stitch. This is why there are steps on your stripes on hats and mittens and the like.
My solution for this is basically inspired by the sewn bind off. I don't know if this tip is out there somewhere else, but I put together some photos anyway.
So, after you finish binding off (I always do it in the rib pattern even though it's a pain in the butt) pull the yarn through the last loop to finish. Thread your tapestry needle and go through the first little bump from the first stitch you bound off
Pull through. Next step is to go back to the last stitch you bound off and go through one of the legs of the stitch (this will be the stitch that was passed over the last one). I usually go through the inside leg.
Pull tight (you'll almost be pulling the first bound off stitch through the last bound off stitch).
Weave in ends as normal et voila!
Simple, but it works.
My next tutorial will be my method for the gaps around the base of the thumb where you pick up the stitches. Don't worry, I've already taken the photos so it should happen sooner rather than later. ;-)