Thrums? What do you need to know?
What the heck is a thrum?
A thrum is a little wisp of unspun fleece or roving that is knit into your project every so often. Thrumming makes the insides soft and fuzzy, and freakishly warm. This technique is most often associated with Canada’s Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (where they know warm)
So thrummed mittens are the thing?
Well, traditionally, but you could thrum anything. Hats, headbands, socks.
Does that mean that I can thrum a regular pattern?
Well, yes and no. If you look at something that’s been thrummed, you can see that the fleece on the inside is going to take up room. Usually the mitten would have a regular sized cuff, then increase a little bit to make room for the “stuffing”. If you can work out how to give yourself that little bit of extra room, then you could thrum a regular pattern.
I’m a spinner thinking about using some of the fleece in my basement. Is there fleece that isn’t good for thrumming?
When you make a thrum, you start by pulling off a piece of the lock or roving about 8cm or 3” long. If your fibre has a staple length longer than that, you might have some trouble. On the flip side, you need a staple length long enough that it will hold together. Look for a fibre that’s somewhere in the “medium” range. (Cotton is right out). Naturally you’re after something soft too…since this will be next to the skin.
How, exactly do I thrum?
Step 1. Pull off a wisp of roving or fleece about 3" long. Don't cut it off...just pull.
Step 2. Bring the ends to the middle so they overlap a bit.
Step 3. Give the thrum a good twist in the middle. The finished thrum should be about the same thickness as your yarn.
Step 4. Insert your needle into the stitch you are going to thrum, and put the thrum on the needle.
Step 5. Knit the stitch normally, bringing both your working yarn and the thrum through.
Step 6. Your thrum will sit on the needle next to the stitch it was worked with.
Step 7. When you come around to work a thrummed stitch on the next round, knit the stitch and the thrum together through the back loop.
Step 8. Give the ends of the thrum a little tug, to pull the thrum in tight.