I was intrigued when I got this KnittingDaily email one day. Thrumming? What’s that?
It’s a technique from Newfoundland created with warmth in mind (they need it there.) It uses unspun fiber, torn into small lengths and inserted into the knitting, to create an extra layer of woolly warmth.
I immediately wanted to try it.
A friend and I decided to do a thrum-along. It was a while until we could get together so I worked on making thrums. I figured why not make all my thrums ahead of time? I tried to calculate how many I’d need, and it seemed like I’d need almost 400. So I made over 400. Better safe than sorry, I always say.
To make the thrums I just tore off a length of fiber (it was some random white fiber I found, I’m not even sure what it was) and then tore it into smaller strips. I didn’t really have an exact science. I just went for lengths about 4″ long and pretty thin, so sometimes I tore them into thinner strips a few times.
I then folded them in on themselves – so the two ends met in the middle – and twisted the middle together.
I made a big Ziploc bag full.
I also started the mittens and got the cuffs done. So when my friend and I finally got together I was at the thrumming part. I helped her make some thrums then I tried to thrum my mittens.
The instructions in the Knitting Daily video actually didn’t work for me. The thrums weren’t making the nice little V shape of a knitted stitch. Instead I followed the instructions in the pattern I was using: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/thrummed-mittens-stuffed-mittens-or-fluffies
That made more sense and worked for me. I didn’t understand exactly what it meant by dropping the yarn, but my friend helped me figure it out. Basically, what you want to do is knit with the thrum itself, rather than your working yarn. It doesn’t leave a hole or dropped stitch or anything – the thrum just fills in for the yarn.
As you’re working, the thrums start sticking up out of your knitting!
It feels kind of funny to knit with it as the thrums are exploding. But the thrums are nice and soft, so I can’t really complain. The inside looks funny, too.
(See that yarn near the thumb? It was hiding in the thrums and I missed it when I was weaving in the ends. I’ll have to get back to that)
All in all this was a really fun project. I’m not sure I’ll ever have occasion to wear them, so I might give them away. But they were fast and easy and the result is super warm and soft. It’s like your mitten is filled with fluffy clouds. From what I’ve read, the fiber will felt with wear and that creates even more warmth.