One of the test knitters for the Herringbone Toque asked for a mitten. I thought the thumb was impossible. I drew sketches in my notebook to prove that it was impossible. One night when I should have been cooking dinner I realized a way that might just work, drew the idea down on an envelope next to my computer, then made dinner all the while wondering if it would work. After the dishes were done, I printed the chart, turned on an old episode of Nova, and knit very fast. Lo and Behold, it did work. And black holes are cool.
The Herringbone Mitten is knit on the bias in three repeats, increasing near the wrist, decreasing and using short rows near the fingertips to shape the top of the mitten. When the knitting is done, the provisionally cast on edge is grafted in pattern to the last row, leaving a long slash for the thumb stitches.
The Thumb is made of two parallelograms, increasing at the top of the thumb webbing, decreasing near the wrist. To finish the thumb,