New stripey sweater

My thrumming adventure has been partially interrupted by a striped, stashbusting sweater for Beatrix that I started over a month ago. I decided to pair up some Knit Picks Merino Style with the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that Nova sent me last year to make a toddler cardigan. Sadly, I had to set this aside for a few weeks because I ran out of yarn – both colors, in fact (yes, that was great planning). Unfortunately, I only needed a few yards of each new skein so you will likely see these colors again soon in some hat or another.

"stwipey sweatah", complete with cwazy hair

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting Without Tears

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Hollyberry and Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in #06

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)

New stripey sweater

I regret that the severe yoke decreases show in spite of my careful blocking. I used three evenly spaced decreases to form the yoke and if I were to do it again, I would probably place four less aggressive decrease rows in there. Also, I skipped the back neck shaping and ended with a 2×2 rib collar. The knitting was terrifically mindless, the yarn was soft and I feel certain Beatrix will outgrow this far too soon for it to pill. I would neither recommend KP Merino Style nor DB Merino Aran for any project one expected to last, however. These are soft and fuzzy yarns, categorically not durable ones. Still, I am happy with the results.

Stashbusting sweater, done

Its initial reception was not good, unfortunately. Beatrix maintained, “I don’t wike stwipes!” Fortunately, a two-year-old’s preferences seem to change as quickly as her moods and this morning, she deemed it acceptable attire.

Returning to the thrumming activities, I happily report the mittens are done!

The last of the thrumming

And what a lot I have to say about them. I decided to go overboard on these to create the most densely packed, tightly knit, wind-proof mitten ever.

This is what 600 thrums looks like

Contrasted against the Yarn Forward mittens I made for Aaron last winter, these mittens pack an incredible amount of sheep. I made the 2008 pair with Lamb’s Pride Worsted on US 6 (4.0 mm) needles and each mitten contained 161 thrums. Of course I counted, you wouldn’t have? My only complaint about them is that the wind cuts through them on the coldest days. Consequently, I knit the 2009 pair with Ram Wools Selkirk on US 2.5 (3.0 mm) needles and nearly doubled the number of thrums. Each mitten contains exactly 300 thrums. I hope they will be sturdy enough to protect my aunt Therese from the bitter cold of watching early morning ice hockey practices and games.

Sheep explosion

Yarn: Ram Wools Selkirk with who knows how many ounces of Blue-faced Leicester

Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm)

For the cuff, I cast on 32 sts, worked 3” in 1×1 rib. I increased to 42 stitches, thrummed every three stitches, every fourth row. After a few rows of thrums, I added one pattern repeat below the thumb to make a little more room. There are 252 thrums in the mitten body and 48 thrums in the 24-stitch thumb. I worked three K1, K2tog decrease rows at the mitten top and one at the thumb top.

Now with twice the thrums!

The sheer volume of material stuffed inside is astounding to me. You can see the contrast with the old pair. On the whole, I cannot say thrummed mittens wear well. As you can see, Aaron’s pair (oh, who are we kidding? they’re really mine) is in dire need of a shave. They pill and fuzz all over everything. They also grow with time, as the wool inside packs down.

Last year's mittens, for comparison

I cannot so much as turn a door handle wearing thrummed mittens, much less wrangle a toddler. However, I do not fear for my extremities when it’s -10 degrees during my 5:30 a.m. runs. That’s really all that matters, right? Therese will only be able to wave and clap with her new mittens but isn’t that all one needs to do at a hockey game?

Mitten torpedoes

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25 comments so far

  1. Stacey_CrimsonPurl on

    That is probably the most honest feedback/review I’ve seen on those mitts. Thanks for that!!

    And the stripped toddler EZ yoke is precious!

  2. mai on

    she is too cute! those are redskins colors!!!! go ‘skins :)

    i love the mittens!

  3. Jen on

    Ah, it reminds me of when I knit a little dress for 2-year-old Daisy, who told me, on its completion, “Bwoo is ugwee.” She wouldn’t even try it on. Hopefully, Beatrix is less stubborn.

  4. sue on

    What a cute little cardigan, and the colors look nice togetehr too. My 7 yr old used to be the same, I dont like that (only because it wasnt the right color or something else), and then a few days later would wear it non-stop. They change their minds all the time about what they like and dont like I guess.

  5. Susan on

    Go Gryffindor!!!

    (You did the Harry Potter colors on purpose…right?)

  6. Britt on

    Elinor ~
    One of things I love the best about your blog is that you show handknits from a few years ago and critique the yarn, hold-up-ability, etc!

    It is super helpful and I’ve made different design decisions based on the experiences that you post.

    Thank you!

  7. Erica on

    I’m glad that Beatrix relented…the sweater looks great on her! I’ve had that same problem with yoke decreases. It’s so hard to tell how close is “too close.”

    There will be no chilly hands in those mitts, no matter how cold it is outside! The warmth seems worth it, even if they don’t wear incredibly well.

  8. wendie on

    I adore the stwipes and the thwums. And yes, very useful info as I venture into my own thrummed mitten territory. Although, mine are mostly for fun, as I don’t see any 5:30am runs in my future.

  9. yecatsml on

    I wish I could crawl inside the mittens! They look super cozy and warm – perfect for those early morning runs!

  10. Lisa on

    First – you run in -10 degree weather???!!! That’s some serious dedication!

    Beatrix’s sweater is rather cute on her, they are very Gryffindor style colors.

    Your aunt’s thrummed mittens look so cozy, who would care about the pilling?

  11. Chris on

    I love that tufty-topped picture of Beatrice in her adorable new sweater!

    Please let us know if the wind still cuts through the newest pair of thrummed mittens! I have a kit to make some, but if they wind cuts through them, plus I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my hands…

  12. Danielle on

    I so want to make a pair of these mittens in time to wear them this winter, but I also want to finish some of the WIPs and promised gifts that are yet to be knit. Oh, the dilemmas.

  13. whitney on

    I love that little cardigan!

    I also love your thrummed mittens. One of these days I really need to bust out my roving and make some.

  14. grumperina on

    Oh, sigh… why is your daughter so adorable?!? Between the cuteness of the sweater, her hair, and her little kid language (stwipes! ha!), it’s all too much! Also, those thrummed mitts are serious. I mean, is there even space in there for hands?!?

  15. Theresa on

    Those mittens hardly need hands in them!

  16. Vicki on

    Cute little cardigan! I made thrummed mitts for two of my daughters a few years ago… I wonder if they’re still wearing them?!

  17. tiennie on

    Cute cardigan and mitts! Is her hair starting to curl? She’s so adorable.

  18. Eliza on

    I love the mittens! (the sweater is nice too!) I made some thrummed mittens a few months ago, and wish I’d put in 300 thrums per mitten. And yours are so dense too! I’m sure she’ll love them!

  19. Rachel on

    You really do knit the most beautiful stuff!

  20. Alicia on

    Love the mitts! The sweater is adorable!

  21. gleek on

    i just love that ketchup and mustard sweater… and B in it :)

  22. Fearless on

    Once again, I’m cruising the snow-packed blogosphere and I stumble across your footprints hundreds of miles from home. ( What’s up with that?
    Speaking as someone who has fondled your thrums…
    …that didn’t sound quite right…
    …there have been plenty of mornings lately when I would have been delighted to have a pair of my own.

  23. Chris T. on

    Love your blog. Can you add me to your blogroll? thanks!

  24. twinsetellen on

    Completely sweet sweater and model. And that last photo of the mitts makes me smile!

  25. Haley on

    love Beatrix’s cardigan. very cute!

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