Originally Posted by Shandeh
I'm not sure if it's the same as your pattern, but I made mittens before, and left some stitches on a tiny stitch holder while I continued making the hand part of the mitten. When the hand part was complete, the stitches on the stitch holder were then used to make the thumb. I think they are telling you to put your stitches on scrap yarn, because it makes it easier to hold when you're knitting the rest of the mitten.
I completely agree! I was taught to use a safety pin to hold stitches and did it that way for many years. I now use a piece of yarn (I think cotton yarn works great for this)
and I find that it's much easier to put the thumb stitches on the needles from the yarn, rather than when they are on a pin or holder.
For anyone who is new to knitting mittens in the round
, I have passed this link onto quite a few who thought it was a good starter mitten pattern, you may find the same:
Basic Pattern for Children's Mittens