Thrumming Along


I was recently commissioned by a friend to knit some thrummed mittens for her and her two boys. They are wonderfully warm mittens, perfect for these frigid Cow Town winters. I still had lots of bright colours of Cascade 220 and some taupe-coloured Merino roving left in my stash  so I was able to start on them right away. I decided to do them in a random stripe pattern of four colours. Since I’m terrible at being random or overly creative when it comes to these things, I hit up the handy-dandy Random Stripe Generator, input the colours and rows I wanted, and refreshed away until I found a pattern I liked. Also, since I have a terrible memory, I looked up the Yarn Harlot’s thrum tutorial. Then I did a swatch to figure out how many stitches and rows per inch (aka stitch gauge and row gauge) I had for my yarn and needle choice and did a little math to determine how many stitches I needed. I made a chart in Excel and added my stripes, thrums, thumbs and decreases and badda-bing, badda-boom, I had myself a pattern. I’ll include the chart here for anyone who might be curious, but with the warning that you have to do some reading between the lines (or just go ahead and ask me questions) if you’re going to try and make a mitten from it. I’m also going to show a little detail on how to make thrums.

Lets start with the chart…

The V’s represent where the thrums are added. Dashes are purls.

And now a brief tutorial on how to make a thrum. The usual advice is to make up a bunch so that you can just reach for them when you need them, and that is certainly most efficient, but I am neither usual nor efficient. I usually make enough for a row when I get to a thrum row, it breaks up the monotony.

Pull off a small piece of roving about 3 inches long (our lovely Queen for scale).
Fold each end in to the middle.

Give it a twist. I like to give mine a little more twist just as I’m about to use it as I find they like to untwist if left to their own devices.

And then a little about how to add the thrums…

Insert needle into stitch to knit, place the thrum over the needle, bring the yarn around like usual…
…then pull the yarn and thrum through the loop as usual.
On the next row, knit the thrum and yarn together through the back of the loop.

And then you knit and knit and knit some more. And then you have oh-so-cute, oh-so-warm mittens.

Furry on the inside
Happy on the outside.


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