How to Make and Insert Thrums

A flock of finished thrums

Thrums might sound like something that’s hard to make, but they’re not.  You do need to be a secure knitter who has the dexterity down for knitting in general.  If you’ve knit a hat in the round, you can absolutely handle any project that uses thrums.

Hey Knitters! Here's How to Make and Insert Thrums

There are different ways to make thrums.  Go look it up!  This is the way I like to do it.  In my opinion, this technique makes thrums that won’t easily come undone or lose fibers, and — when done right — is not too bulky.

Picture Tutorial on How to Make Thrums

Combed top makes fantastic thrums
1. Fluff out one end of the combed top

 

Pull out a small piece of combed top to make a thrum
2. Pull out a slender piece of combed top to begin shaping your thrum
At first the combed top will be too thick for a thrum
3. That piece of combed top will be too thick to make a thrum
Strip down the combed top to get a small piece for making a thrum
4. Strip down the combed top one or more times to get a thinner piece for making a thrum. Go thinner than you think — all that fluff adds up inside your project.
This wispy piece of combed top is see-through, especially at the ends
5. This wispy piece of combed top is see-through, especially at the ends
Pull the thrum at either end so that is is evenly see through from top to bottom
6. Gently pull the thrum from either end until it is evenly see through from top to bottom
Fold up the ends of the thrum to meet in the middle
7. Fold up the ends of the thrum to meet in the middle
Pinch the thrum in the middle and rub with your fingers to felt it into a bow shape
8. Pinch the thrum in the middle and rub with your fingers to felt it into a bow shape
This is what a finished thrum looks like!
9. This is what a finished thrum looks like!

Picture Tutorial on How to Insert Thrums

To add thrum to project, insert right needle into row below
10. To add a thrum to your project, insert the right needle into the row below
Wrap thrum instead of yarn over right needle, in the back
11. Wrap thrum instead of yarn over right needle, in the back
Pull thrum through stitch in the row below
12. Pull thrum through stitch in the row below
Insert right needle into stitch above where thrum was inserted
13. Insert right needle into stitch above where thrum was inserted
Stitch is knit! Next you will jump thrum over this stitch.
14. Stitch is knit! Next you will jump thrum over this stitch
After you jump thrum over stitch on the left, it is seated tidily into its new home
15. After you jump thrum over stitch on the left, it is seated tidily into its new home. Gently tug it in the back if you think it needs to be evened up.
Ta da! That's a thrum done
16. Ta da! That’s a thrum done

So sally forth and make some mittens!  Check out my Warm Paws pattern on Ravelry.  Thrummed mittens make an impressive gift without being impressively difficult to make.

Or maybe you’re an overachiever like me and want to take to the next level.  Thrums are also great inside hats and slippers!  If those ideas make your heart go pitter patter, be the boss and figure it out.

Get thee gone and knit!

Warm Paws Thrummed Mittens Pattern

Inside the Warm Paws thrummed mittens

Warm Paws is an easy to follow knitting pattern for making thrummed mittens.  What are thrummed mittens?  I’m so glad you asked!

Warm Paws Thrummed Mittens pattern

The term originally comes from weaving, where thrums are the leftover warp on the loom after a project has been cut off.  What to do with all that leftover yarn??

Thrums are traditionally loom waste

For knitters, thrums are tufts of wool knit into your project to create a warm, fleecy lining.  Thrums are great for mittens, slippers, hats, and headbands.  At first your mittens (or whatever you choose to make) will be really puffy, but, with use, the air is pressed out of the tufts of wool and you’re left with windproof, insulated mittens.

Inside the Warm Paws thrummed mittens

Materials for Your Thrummed Mittens

To make these mittens, you need about 200 yards of worsted weight wool and about 2 oz of unspun wool.

Materials for knitting thrums

Combed top is the easiest to work with — that’s the really smooth fiber preparation that is often sold in beautiful multicolored braids.

Hand painted combed top for making thrums

Roving will work too, if you want to use what you have around the house.  Because the fiber prep for roving is intentionally disorganized (for making woolen-spun yarn), it can be a bit more challenging to control, but I have done it and it’s not so hard that it’s not worth trying.

Wool roving can be used to make thrums

I also know someone who used a two-ply bulky yarn and cut it into short lengths to use for thrums.  She still wears those mittens, so it must have worked!

The pattern calls for US 6 and US 8 needles, but your mileage may vary depending on whether you’re a tight knitter or a loose knitter or winging it with something other than worsted weight yarn.

Heard enough?  You can buy the Warm Paws Thrummed Mittens pattern for $5 through Ravelry.

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Warm Paws Thrummed Mittens in progress