Sunday, November 30, 2014

What the Heck is a Thrummed Mitten?

Well let me tell you, they are wooly wonderfully warm mittens. They are made with extra wool, called thrums, that are wrapped around the stitches at regular intervals as you knit along. That provides extra fiber inside the mittens to keep fingers warm and toasty.

I haven't started knitting Lil' Farm Gal's thrummed mittens yet, bit I did spend the better part of the day rolling thrums.

Essentially rolling thrums is a two handed operation, but since I was trying to take pictures of the operation, I tried to still capture the procedure one handed. Here I had a section of wool top, about 6 to 8 inches that I peeled off a strip about a quarter inch wide or so. Wool top is wool prepared for spinning in such a way that all the fibers are pretty much parallel. You can see here that the fibers are aligned quite nicely. Roving, where the fibers are more jumbled up is my preferred preparation for spinning, but nothing beats top for thrums.

Next I may slightly pull the fibers, if the strip is too thick.

This one above is pretty good and just folded for the photo. After the length of fiber is separated and straight, I tuck in the ends as shown below I want the finished bundle about four inches long.

Then you need to roll your little bundle of wool between your palms.

You basically want to slightly felt the wool, so it will hold its shape. This one below is nicely rolled. I need both hands to roll the bundle, so I had no camera hand left over.

When knitting the body of the mitten, about every third or fourth stitch will have a thrum wrapped around the needle and pulled through your stitch with the yarn.

The little ends will float inside the mitten, providing padding and extra insulation. Eventually all the ends will mat (felt) together inside the mitten, making it extra warm. Even warm when wet, because, hey, that's the way wool rolls.

I need to get started and maybe I can finish by Christmas.

I have enough thrums to last a while I think.

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