Can You Thrum Crochet?

My Thrummed Crochet Mittens Pattern is one of my best older patterns. And yet, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. I think part of the reason is that a lot of people don’t even know the thrum meaning, let alone how it applies to crochet mittens. Therefore, people overlook this design that can keep you so incredibly cozy in the coldest of months. So, what is thrumming with yarn? And can you thrum crochet?

thrummed crochet mittens pattern-2

What Is The Meaning of Thrumming?

Obviously, if you look up the thrum definition, you’ll find lots of different answers. Most people think of it as a humming noise, for example. However, we want to talk specifically about the thrum meaning in yarn. If you’re bicrafty, then you might know that thrum knitting is much more common than thrum crochet. However, in both cases, it means the same thing:

When you thrum crochet or knitting, you add little bits of wool roving onto the inside of your stitches. The entire point is to make what you’re knitting or crocheting that much warmer.

Knit Picks offers a really great thrum definition for crafters that includes the following features:

  • Use a short length of unspun roving.
  • Work this roving into your knit or crochet stitches along with the yarn for the project.
  • Leave the ends of the roving loose, placed evenly on the wrong side of the work.
  • The point is to create an extra lining that adds warmth to your knit or crochet project.

The History of the Yarn Thrum

According to Juliet Bernard over at Love Crafts, thrumming dates back to times as early as the beginning of crochet. She writes that the beginning of yarn thrumming likely started in the 17th century. Specifically, she says that Elizabethan sailors worked bits of wool into knit caps in order to stay warm. After all, there weren’t a lot of options for keeping cozy on the cold water, especially in northern areas where the temperatures are unbearable cold for months at a time.

Can You Thrum Crochet?

Knitting has a long history. It’s got an especially long history in Scandinavia and other very cold areas. Therefore, it’s no surprise that people sometimes know about thrummed knitting but ask, “can you thrum crochet?” The answer, as you’ve surely already guessed is, of course you can.

How to Add a Thrum to Crochet Project for Extra Warmth

Obviously, my Thrummed Crochet Mittens patterns uses this technique. If you purchase the pattern, you’ll have everything you need to know to complete it. However, I also have an old video that will at least give you a sense of how can you thrum crochet:

As you see in the video, here are some of the basics for how to thrum crochet:

  • Take a piece of unspun roving.
  • Tear off just a little piece of it at a time. It should be about the same width as the yarn you’re using for your project.
  • Fold the left end of the roving to the middle of the roving. Then do the same with the right end, so that both ends fold in to the middle.
  • Rub this center together to create a bit of felting so that the ends stick to the center.
  • This gives you what looks a bit like a bow. Each end of the bow is a crochet thrum tail.
  • Insert the hook into the stitch where you will add the crochet thrum. Add the thrum center to the throat of the crochet hook, working it together with the yarn you’re already using for the project, to secure the roving in place.

Make Your Crochet Thrum Extra Secure

Tip: Depending on your stitch, you can further secure the roving in place. For example, when working a crochet thrum with a double crochet stitch, you’ll yarn over and pull both the yarn and roving through. Then, before you yarn over and pull through again, you’ll actually wrap your yarn counterclockwise around the roving to further secure it. Then you can continue the stitch with your yarn. The crochet thrum is nice and secure to keep the inside of your project warm.

how to thrum crochet

The Difference Between Thrum Crochet and Thrummed Knitting

When you ask, “can you thrum crochet?” the answer is actually “yes, but”. The “but” refers to the fact that it’s just slightly different than in knitting. In knitting, of course, you have lots of live stitches on your needle at the same time. As a result, you can work the stitch and the thrum together once and then again on the next round. However, in thrum crochet, you only have one live stitch at a time. Therefore, you have to really secure that thrum in there. That said, thrummed crochet is the same concept as thrummed knitting.

Thrummed Crochet Mittens Are Extra Warm and Cozy

Now that you understand what thrum crochet is, you can probably see when and why people use this technique, right? Adding roving to your stitches creates such extra warmth for your projects. It worked on the insides of those sailors’ caps back in the 17th century. And it makes my thrummed crochet mittens extra warm and cozy. Therefore, if you live in a cold place, are traveling to one, or are the kind of person who always has cold hands, then it’s worth it to learn how to make thrummed crochet mittens.

Get My Thrummed Crochet Mittens Pattern

My Thrummed Crochet Mittens pattern was originally published in the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Crochet. Sure, that was quite a long time ago. However, these timeless mittens are sure to keep you warm and cozy today, too. Moreover, I’ve updated the pattern since. It includes stitch charts as well as notes to help make everything easy for you.

The thrummed crochet mittens pattern is available for sale on Ravelry. It’s available in four different sizes so that you can get the exact cozy fit for your hands. You’ll use DK weight yarn. However, since you’re adding the crochet thrum, they feel nice and thick. This crochet winter mittens pattern uses one of my favorite crochet stitch patterns: the single-double crochet stitch, also known as lemon peel stitch or griddle stitch.

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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