Erin knows her way around thrummed mittens. She taught a class on how to make them and has made them for pretty much every family member, neighbour and casual acquaintance (we kid) in her life. She loves thrummed mittens and has even made herself a thrummed hand warmer for romantic walks in the snow.
Dubbele Dutch Knitting KAL (Fall 2021)
When we heard our friend Amanda at Dubbele Dutch Knitting was hosting a knit-along (or KAL) we knew we had to get in on the thrum fun. Amanda’s pattern was excellent to work with. She also included links to how-to videos too. If you have experience knitting in the round (using DPNs) this is a wonderfully accessible pattern. We completely recommend it for making your thrummed mittens.
Erin knit her pair of Thrummed Mittens using Custom Woolen Mills’ Mule Spinner 2 Ply and fibre from Lily & Pine. It was her first time working with Mule Spinner and she was impressed. Erin noticed that you can really feel the lanolin (naturally occurring oil from sheep) in the yarn. She used Chiaogoo DPNS. When you’re thrumming you want to make sure that you’re using a sturdy needle (no bamboo here). These fit the bill and had a nice combination of a pointy tip and smooth but not slippery texture. You’re also going to want to have a separate container of some sort for your thrums. Erin’s used tupperware, mason jars and even a smaller knitting bag for this. You’ll want to have your thrums pre-made and having a special container for them helps to keep things tidy.
Erin can often be heard saying she’s NEVER seen a bad colour combination of yarn and roving (wool fibre that is processed but not spun into yarn). She’s not lying! Erin does say that her favourite colour combinations are a grey background with a colourful roving (for the thrums).
Don’t be afraid to play with colour OR take it safe! That’s part of the fun of thrummed mittens—picking your colour combinations.
Colours of Thrums
If your roving is multicoloured you may want to consider a pattern for the colour of thrums. When Erin was knitting our sample she played around with a few different combinations for thrum colours. In the end, her brain was most happy with a row for each colour in an alternating pattern. We also love the look of completely random thrums too. Don’t be afraid to change things up (we know that means ripping it out) if you aren’t happy with the way something looks. We’re always changing our original plan to make the best project possible.
Another thrumming tip is that it is going to take you a while longer to make these. You’ll need to knit the mittens and spend time making thrums. It is a really fun way to spend time but you need to make sure you’re not thrumming under pressure!
We’re not gonna lie, Erin’s pair of mittens turned out a bit tighter than she was expecting (much to the delight of her 10 year old daughter). The first mitten she knit is just a smidge too tight across the back of the hand. This is totally normal (especially when you don’t gauge swatch like Erin)! Each knitter has their own tension in a project. Some folks are tighter knitters and some are looser. Erin’s normally pretty on gauge but—let’s face it—life during a global pandemic can be stressful. And, that stress likely flowed into her knitting. Erin’s promised a second pair to her mom so she’ll probably go up a needle size or cast on a few extra stitches. The pattern does allow you to customize the hand length as you go along. If you’re knitting mittens for someone with long graceful fingers be sure to take that into account.
Trying to decide when you’re ‘done’ knitting the main body of the mitten can be hard. Too short mittens stink (take it from us!). But, because these mittens are knit from the cuff up you can try them on once you’ve finished the thumb gusset and have your thumb stitches on waste yarn. (If that last sentence doesn’t make any sense don’t worry! Amanda’s pattern will guide you through!)
When you’re trying on your mitten to decide if you’re ready to begin your decreases at the finger tips be sure to put it on all the way. Erin often tells people to ‘jam it into their thumb pit’. That’s what she calls the bit that connects your thumb to your hand. It’s easy to ‘cheat’ and think the mitten is long enough if you don’t have it all the way down on your hand. Erin’s speaking from experience here because the process of opening up the top of a mitten stinks!
Thrum on Knitters!
We hope this helps you in your thrumming journey! Christine is the Queen of Colour and keeps knocking it out of the park with our amazing Thrummed Mitten kits here at Wool & Waves.
Let us know if we can help put together some colours for you. And, you can *always* contact us for help in creating this project.