Thursday, November 18, 2010

Magic Thrums

Two posts in a week? Who do I think I am? We'll I've caught an acute case of knitting fever and have to share. It involves thrums. And the magic loop (not Harry Potter related, even though we are mere HOURS away from HP7Pt1). I'm currently working on a pair of thrummed mittens.

Hopefully they'll look something like this:

Earlier this evening I described the mittens as "regular mittens with warm, wonderful cotton candy inside." In hindsight that description just sounds sticky.

Interweave Knits does a better job:
The original fleece-stuffed mittens came from Labrador and Newfoundland in eastern Canada. Small pieces of unspun sheep's wool were twisted, and then worked in every few stitches to create a fleecy lining.
Both Madeline and Alex made these mittens last winter and I've been dying to make some. Madeline was generous enough to share her extra roving for my project. Alex also shared tidbits from his spinning endeavors. I've had the roving for awhile but didn't have any yarn the correct color to knit the actual mittens. Luckily, today I was gifted a skein of wool from my friend Caitlin.

The perfect brown and big as a baby.

Once I had my hands on the appropriate yarn, I wasted no time turing my roving into thrums. This involved pulling off small sections of wool and twisting them into something resembling an infinity symbol.

Repeat until you have oodles and oodles of thrums. No matter how inviting they look, resist the urge to curl up on top of them.

See, my cotton candy analogy wasn't completely off.

With thrums complete, the fun part begins. I've knitted my first row of thrums in and the inside looks like this:

Another fun thing about these mittens is that I'm knitting them using the magic loop method. This method involves using an long circular needle rather than a standard set of double pointed needles. It's a fairly popular knitting method but after a failed attempt last year, I've been a bit scared of it. Turns out there was no need to fear the magic loop. Please be reminded that there are still many reasons to fear novelty yarn. That remains unchanged.

I am so excited about these mittens. Thankfully I finished my physics homework before the yarn arrived. I foresee two solid hours of knitting before class tomorrow morning!

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