Recently, we have had some roving and carded batts of wool and alpaca fiber come into the store. It was unexpected, so it kinda sat there for a day or two until we figured out what we wanted to do with it. While we were looking and playing with it, we noticed that some fiber was in pencil roving, which means the wool has been cleaned and carded in such a way that the fiber is in these long, loose tubes. Now, pencil roving is exceptionally useful for spinning since it is easier to spin than taking chunks off a batt, which are huge, flat mats of fleece. But pencil roving is also very good for knitting. It can be knitted as is using very large needles, or you can rip off little chunks, called thrums, and use them in your knitting. Thrums are used to add an extra layer of insulation in mittens or slippers. Since they are loose wool, the heat and sweat from one’s hands or feet cause the thrums to felt creating a cushion-y waterproof layer.
Here are some patterns which use thrums.
Joan James’ Thrummed Mittens are wonderful. They are knit in the round using either 4 needles or the magic loop, and other than that gap that happens where the thumb is created (we all know that ALWAYS happens) there is no sewing. This pattern uses worsted weight yarn and is available in a wide range of sizes.
Yarn Forward has created this nice pattern which they are offering for free. It also uses worsted weight yarn. It is only offered in an Adult Medium size.
Knitwriterepeat.com offers a photo tutorial on how to create thrums in addition to a very nice pattern. The tutorial shows the thrums knitted though the back loop to twist them in order to secure them. I haven’t found that necessary since I do a light felting as soon as I am done creating the mitten. Twisting the thrums is just a different way to make them.
For a different way to make mittens, or for those who dislike knitting in the round, here is a pattern for Thrummed mittens which are knitted flat and then sewn closed.
Or if you are a crocheter, Thummed Crochet Mittens might be more your speed. This lovely pattern from one of my favorite designers includes both a PDF pattern with charts and a youtube tutorial. What a deal!
But what if you would rather make slippers? I’ve got you covered!
Cadeautje Slippers are adorable. I am looking forward to making these. They use a chunky wool, and when combined with the roving, these slippers are not only warm but feel like walking on clouds. Ten sizes available in this pattern, from little kiddos to large men.
Retro Thrum Slippers are cozy little slippers made using garter stitch. The slippers are knit flat and then sewn closed.
Fleeced Boots by Julie Weisenberger is a cute pattern. I love the fluffy cuff and the cute line of stitches down the length of the top. These are made with Bulky or Chunky yarn with the magic loop.
I hope you enjoy these patterns, and let me know if you make any thrum creations.