Thrummed Mittens

As I’ve mentioned before, I hate being cold.  Last winter, I made myself a pair of stranded colorwork mittens in two colors, red and gray.  These mittens are pretty great, but still leave something to be desired in terms of total warmth.

Mitten, yarn, and pile of thrums

So this year, I decided I would make the warmest mittens known to man (and woman).  I would make thrummed mittens!!  Thrums are short lengths of unspun wool knitted into an item, creating one side with a fluffy layer of fiber.  I purchased a Fleece Artist Thrummed Mitten kit from work.  I’m pretty lucky, getting to choose my favorite colorway before they ever hit the website!  I began knitting at once.

Inside the mitten

The thrums are fairly easy to do, once you get the hang of it; I knit them into the stitch below the next stitch in the round I was working.  On the next round, I would tug the ends of the thrums to make sure they were even and snug.  The thrums are done every 5th round, with three stitches between them.  Even with this sort of spacing, the thrums quickly form a soft, dense cloud of fiber on the inside of the mitten.

Thrummed Mitten Kit, Red Fox colorway

 The kit comes with 125g of 100% Blue Faced Leicester aran weight yarn and approximately 60g of 100% BFL roving.  It also includes the written pattern for the mittens in sizes from Child to Adult Large.  I made the adult small size, and modified the pattern once I got to the thum gusset.  I didn’t like purl columns framing the thumb, so I chose to use “increase one left” and “increase one right” on either side of the thum gusset every other round.  I really like how this turned out.  I also modified the decreases for the tip of the thumb and fingers, mostly because I left the pattern at home and had the knitting with me.  I couldn’t wait to check pattern, so I made it up as I went along.  Another modification I will make on the next pair that I knit will be to add a few inches of K1P1 ribbing to the wrist to form a snug cuff.  I didn’t do that with this first pair because I didn’t know how much yarn I would have leftover after following the pattern.

Giving the Thumbs Up!

Now, I’m a firm believer in the warming power of the thrum!!  I have plans for another set of mittens for a friend, as well as some knee-high boot socks.  Fleece Artist also makes a Thrummed Sock kit.  The kit uses Marina (65% Merino, 20% Kid Mohair, 10% Nylon, 5% Silk) for the yarn, and Silk Merino (50% Silk, 50% Merino) for the roving.  The kit produces an average women’s medium sock, reaching to the lower calf.  Since I want knee-highs, I’ll skip the kit and get two skeins of the Marina, and one or two lengths of the Silk Merino roving.  I’ll use a basic toe-up sock formula, knitting in the thrums with the same spacing at the mittens.  I can’t wait!  Winter, this year, I’m ready.

5 thoughts on “Thrummed Mittens

  • October 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm
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    Those are awesome! They’ll be great if we (fingers crossed) get the CDC back … can you wear them under wristguards? I wonder if the roving would felt if you sweated in them …

  • October 27, 2010 at 11:47 am
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    i don’t think they’d fit under wrist guards, but i’ve been mulling over the design of mittens that would fit over them! we’ll see how that turns out!

    as for the felting, my guess is that it would matt together, but not necessarily felt, which implies a shrinking. but even if it did happen, i bet it would be rather nice, actually.

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  • December 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm
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    I am having trouble finding roving at our local yarn stores. Could I use a bulky weight yarn instead?? Thanks!

  • December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm
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    hmm…i’m not sure how bulky yarn would work. you could use it like a thrum, but it will probably come untwisted, which might actually be a good thing!, depending on the yarn. i think it’s worth it to try; i’d suggest a 100% wool yarn for the thrums.

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