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Thrummed Alpaca Mittens for Chrissie and whatnauts

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This is a pair of thrummed alpaca mittens that my daughter, Bexter, knit for me. They are very warm in cold climate weather. They certainly are bulky but that is the point...all those lofty air pockets inside act as wonderful insulation. My fingers do stay toasty warm in these. (Kisses, sweetie!)

Thrum is the word used to describe the yarn waste from weaving, which was often added to mittens or other such for added warmth or could be used as decorative adornment on other items.

Most knitters these days use roving (the semi-processed wool before being spun into finer yarn; fibres go in different directions) or combed top wool (all fibres parallel) or fleece for thrumming materials when making warm mittens like these.

The pattern of the internal thrumming on the outside of the mittens almost looks like hearts (the v of each stitch). The thrumming itself here is the roving that is pulled through the stitch to it's mid point with ends left free. (In this case, it is also alpaca.)

The field is art glass, saved as a pattern. (And yes, those are disembodied arms...)

I do consider these to be functional art!


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Thank you for the information, Bexter. I understand about sharing copyrighted patterns. It is a no-no.

Bexter explains the process well.

One of the yarn dyers I really like has a free pattern here: (note, I can't vouch for it, I used a different pattern for the ones I made and I bought it from the designer in a kit, I'm not comfortable sharing that pattern)


I sent this on 2 several friends of mine and they are quite impressed with her work, but never heard of thrumming either. I'll check your daughter's puzzles.


If you like her knitting, check out her postings under user Bexter. She has just started posting puzzles of her knitting. I'm sure she and you would understand each other very well!


My frozen fingers would like those mittens! I knit but never hurt of thrumming. Your daughter does beautiful work. I love my bamboo needles, especially the circulars and the ones you can use for the magic loop.


The next time I get an urge to knit, I'll check out bamboo. Thanks for the tip.


Mom's are puffier then they need to be, you don't have to make them that incredibly puffy. I did it in her case so she doesn't freeze her hands on her cane. I plan on making myself a pair for outdoor use (i.e. shoveling, dog walking, etc). Honestly, for driving, use driving gloves, the leather patches help stick to the steering wheel which is way better then having your hands slipping on the wheel when you need to be in control. If it's super cold out, I may put on a pair of fingerless gloves over top which still leaves the leather on my fingers exposed to make contact with the wheel. Then when leaving the car, I switch to better outdoor gloves that will keep my hands warm in the cold.

As for the tight stitches, do you normally knit on metal or plastic or wood or bamboo needles? The metal ones aren't for everyone, some people feel they knit too tight on them as they find them too slippery. I hated metal at the start for that reason. I liked (and still like) bamboo needles: a bit of slip but bamboo helps grip the yarn so I wasn't so afraid of losing the needles. Also when they get too grippy, rubbing them with a piece of waxed paper helps give them back a little of the slip.

Knitting in the round: while DPNs make you look like a rockstar knitting away on 4-5 needles, it honestly isn't hard. You're still only knitting on two needles at a time, the other 2-3 are just placeholders at that moment. Also there is the option of knitting on 2 circulars or the magic loop method (one big circular).


Well it's good to know I'm not the only one who hasn't heard of these thrummed mittens. But it does sound as if they'd be a little too thick to be useful. I wouldn't be able to drive in them, nor shovel. And if I'm not doing one of the above, I try not to be outside very much in the winter. I do have some very thick mittens I can use when it gets really cold, and if gets really, really cold then I can put a pair of thin gloves on first.

Although I know how to knit, I'm a lousy knitter. No matter how hard I concentrate, my stitches are very tight and I've never tried anything other than 2 needles. My crocheting skills are better, but not useful for thrumming.


Never heard of this either. Interesting. Thanks.


Once you figure out how to hold the leash around the bulky mitts, Jan! Acutally, tons easier to clip them (dog leads) around your waist anyhow. Thank you for popping by to appreciate them and, man-oh-man do they come in handy today at our -14°C (6.8°F). The windchill puts it at -21°C (-5.8°F). brrrrrrrrrrr! *shiver* it's going right through me today...they even had to put a blankie on me at the dental office. lol Some days I boil and others I freeze...can't somebody get my internal thermostat fixed, please!


These are amazing! And perfect for long walks with the dogs in such cold weather. Kudos to your daughter! :)


whatnauts, if you knit, you need to make yourself a pair of these (especially in your winter climate). If not, find someone who does to do it for you. While you're not going to be picking up dimes, it'll keep your fingers so much warmer than you would expect. Like I told Chrissie, worse than living in a freezer since there is no windchill in there. You guys must get a great deal of it with nothing much blocking those winds!! brrrr.


Thanks Chrissie for showing the interest...not something that you can pop out to the nearest department store and buy, that's for sure. Alpaca is very soft and warmer than sheep's wool too. I think it's great that younger people are now getting back into the "arcane" arts. In fact, the social networking site for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, dyers won an award for being the best community networking site. Let me look for it.... found it:

And yes, my daughter just got me on that one too! LOL


Thanks! It's really easy to do actually, spend some time at the start making up a bunch of thrums and then start knitting. Mom's are a bit larger/fluffier then normal, but her hands get cold in the winter holding her cane.


Wow, your daughter is very talented. I cannot believe that I've never heard of this technique, particularly because I live where the winter is like living in a freezer. Well, worse, actually.


So THAT'S thrum! Brilliant knitting, Bexter... the ends do look like little hearts - just shows how much you love your Mum :-) Thanks for 'splainin' the arcane art, Michelle. There is always something to be learned in the great Jigidi University.


Hi, Queenbee...we crossed. She's a good one...I think I'll keep! I posted this for foxymoron since she didn't know what thrumming was and was going to keep it private but I am proud of the work my daughter does so thought that I would share...


Fixergirl: you can make thrummed slippers! Thrummed headband?


But lyndee, you look like you could be wearing thrummed mittens in your avatar! It's a wonderful idea if your hands get as cold as mine do...I don't need to put on several pairs of mitts when I have these on. I thank you on behalf of my daughter. While I may have taught her how to do simple two needle knitting when she was younger, she has far surpassed my abilities. She has a lovely, even stitch that I envy! (She has made me some lovely socks too...and in these days of one size fits all, the luxury of having socks fitted exactly to your foot....*sigh*'s wonderful!)


Very interesting!! It's always good to learn new things!! Thankyou for showing us the finished product!! Your daughter shows her love in a beautiful way!! :)


Thank you Fixergirl, I am proud of her and so appreciative too. I don't suppose that you need them much in California unless it gets cold up in the mountains up in the north?


I don't knit (I crochet) but I have never heard of thrumming. What a great idea. Makes a world of sense too. These look very professional.

They are lovely, my compliments to your daughter! I have not yet approached the art of thrumming (partially because I currently live in California).