It’s “Thrumming!” along nicely!

Slipper under construction!

I was cruising around the internet this am and I started looking for information on Thrumming.  There is some information out there – from your basic dictionary definition:

thrum (t̸hrum)


    1. the row of warp thread ends left on a loom when the web is cut off
    2. any of these ends
  1. any short end thread or fringe
  2. Naut. short pieces of woolen or hempen yarn for thrumming canvas

Origin: ME < OE (in comp.), ligament, akin to Ger trumm < IE base *ter-, to pass over, cross > trans-, term

transitive verb thrummed, thrumming thrum′·ming

  1. to provide with or make of thrums; fringe
  2. Naut. to insert thrums in (canvas) to make a rough surface for preventing chafing, stopping leaks, etc.

Nothing about knitting there, but that could be where the original bits came from to add to our mittens!  No wasting of any fibre by our ancestors.

There are a couple of good photo tutorials, the Yarn Harlot has one for instance, but not really much basic information or history.  Those who have written about Thrumming agree that it was born in Newfoundland and area and the technique adds great warmth to mittens, headbands etc.  It has been around for a few hundred years and that is about it.  Bishop Rutt – in his book, A History Of Hand Knitting, p 190 – mentions that Channel Islanders, those from Guernsey and Jersey, originally took their knitting skills to Newfoundland sometime after the 1840’s.  Did they bring Thrumming or was it already there?  Some questions as to history and origins will never be answered – that is one of the aspects of our craft that is so fascinating.  It is full of stories and legends and not much documented history – it can be invented or “unvented” as we create.

The Thruming technique that I use is a little different – I knit the thrumms in place on the round that I am working, not the next one.  I have no problems with cutting the fibre – I guess that I am not really a purist in this area.  I also don’t play around making perfect little thrumms ahead of time – I make a few thrumms, using a cut and rip method and fold them in as I knit – it works for me and those that I have taught!

Right now I am working on some thrummed slippers for a class that is coming up in a couple of weeks – both a high-top and a low-rider version.  Lots of thrumms should make these as comfortable as a fleece lined slipper – I hope!

High Top East Coast Slippers

Happy Knitting


About letissierdesigns

March 2017 - My new site is now up and functioning. I can blog, share my thoughts and photographs, and sell my patterns! So much happening in my life and all is creative and forward moving! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Sept 2015 - I haven't updated this in a while! Still knitting, always knitting, I still teach and work at Mad About Ewe Fine Yarns. I also have designed for Vogue Knitting, Koigu Magazine, Zealana, Jimmie Beans, and Malabrigo, As of the beginning of 2015 I also became creative director of the Buffalo Wool Co., a new job that just flows along with what I already do. I am a knitting teacher and knitwear designer. I work full time in my LYS, Mad About Ewe Fine Yarns. I recently was 1st runner up in a Vogue Knitting Design Competition called the Magic of Mohair. My design was featured in the Early Fall 2011 Vogue Knitting. I will have another design in the Vogue Knitting Winter 2011 edition. I have recently purchased a Canon Rebel Camera and have started taking way too many pictures. I love this site for sharing my thoughts and pictures. Life is good!
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3 Responses to It’s “Thrumming!” along nicely!

  1. Pingback: Fibre Fest!…. | Le Tissier Designs

  2. Kezia says:

    Just came across your post on the history of Thrummed knit items. Thanks for posting that wonderful info.

    The photo you posted of the High-Topped East Coast thrummed slipper has really caught my eye… It’s gorgeous. Are you sharing/ selling the pattern?

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