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.


In Case You Don`t Procrastinate…

…then you may be interested in starting to make Christmas stockings now, rather than my chosen time in early December. Now, on the one hand, if you start now then you should have nice, tidy, complete stockings for Santa to stuff. BUT, if you delay like I d0, when fall comes around next year you will have a selection of stockings in various states of completion, which allows you to make an impromptu tutorial blog post. See, it`s all part of the plan.

I had someone who obviously does not procrastinate (cough… Amanda… cough, cough) ask me if I had knit Christmas stockings. Well, yes, of course, everything in my house is knit. So I decided to dig them out of storage, take a few pictures and share them here. Since I came across the aforementioned mishmash of complete and incomplete projects, here comes the tutorial!

For the pattern I used the free Cascade Yarns W104. It calls for up to 10 different colours of yarn but I used 5. Cascade 220 is a great yarn to use as it comes in a bunch of great colours, is durable and high-quality, and not unreasonably priced. It really is the workhorse of yarns if you ask me (and some people actually do). The pattern is more like a recipe, giving you the basic instructions and charts and letting you choose how it all comes together. It is knit in sections of fair isle, using two colours at a time. This is not as scary as it sounds, but does take some practice. The colour you are not knitting with at the time gets carried along in the back, which leads to `floats`of yarn. I used duplicate stitch to stitch the names on afterward (which only looks okay since the high contrast between the navy and white shows any imperfections).

Since these floats could get caught by whatever Santa chooses to put in there, I decided to line the stockings with pretty material. I traced the outline of the stocking onto the material, cut it out (leaving a seam allowance) and sewed it up with right sides together. I turned the stocking inside out and tacked the liner in place at the toe and heal.

I turned the stocking and liner right side out, flipped the top of the liner towards the gap between the liner and stocking and hand-sewed the liner to the stocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I braided three strands of yarn together and wove them through some of the stitches at the top of the stocking to hang them from the mantle. All that`s left after that is to hang them by the chimney with care.