Thursdays Are For Spinning has been usurped this week by Ravellenic knitting.  I’m going away this weekend and I’m not sure the thrums will travel well.  I want to get as much knitting done as possible in case I decide to leave them behind.

Instead, I took a whole whack of photos (one-handed with my phone, so they are not fantastic) during my last “thrum row” in the mittens in order to bring you this little tutorial on thrumming.  You can add thrums to any project, typically they show up in mittens and slippers, but keep in mind you will need to add extra stitches to account for the thrum bulk.  If you are trying these for the first time, it might be easier to start with a pattern that includes thrums, like I have.  A quick Ravelry search yielded 5 pages of patterns, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one you like!

So, to thrum: knit on your chosen project until the first stitch where you would like to add a thrum.2014-02-13 14.54.29


Here we are, ready to thrum.  The pattern I’m working from spaces the thrums out so you get just enough coverage without too much overlap.

Then, you pull off a bit of fibre.  I find it is a good idea to make all the thrums ahead of time, that way you know you have enough!  In terms of the kit I had, doing that also helped me figure out the right size of the thrums.  My final thrums ended up much smaller than I thought to start with.  Attenuate the fibre until it is nice and airy, then fold the ends in so that the thrum will stay together better in the mitten.

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Final thrum shown here with my beloved, old-as-sin 1st generation iPod nano for size.

Next, twist the centre of the thrum until it is roughly the thickness of your yarn, or a little larger if you like the puffy look.  The thrum will likely untwist a bit on the needle, so keep that in mind.

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Then put the twist of the thrum over your index finger.

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(This one was particularly hard to photograph one-handed!)

Insert your right hand needle into the stitch on the left hand needle just like a regular knit stitch and mount the twisted thrum on the right hand needle.

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Oooh that is really blurry, sorry about that.

Now knit a normal knit stitch (however you do that), and pull both the yarn and the thrum through the stitch when you do so.

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Repeat until the whole row of thrums is finished.

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On the next row, whenever you come to a thrum, knit it together with the yarn stitch by knitting through the back loops of both.

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If you do it correctly, the thrum will be seated in front of the yarn, hiding it from view.  The “puff” end of the thrum will be on the inside of the fabric.

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And that’s it!  Thrums galore.  A word of warning: the tension created by knitting with thrums and the pulling they require to get everything into place does put quite a bit of strain on the hands.  If, like me, your hands are particularly sensitive to “tense” knitting, maybe take your time with a thrummed project.  I’m already feeling the twinges in my fingers and wrist so I’m having to back off a bit.  Still, the result is too fun not to continue!

If you give thrums a try thanks to this tutorial, why not post a like in the comments so we can see the results?  I’d love to see what other kinds of projects people work thrums into!

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