Confessions of a Thrum Hoarder

  Pile Of Thrums
  Leftover thrums from weaving
project past.  

I started weaving on a rigid-heddle loom. I loved how quick and easy it was to warp, how much fun it was to do hand-manipulated designs, and how little loom waste I would have at the end of each project. There might be a few inches cut off at the end, but that was usually about it. I knew weavers talked about these things called “thrums” and constantly tried to find uses for them, but I didn’t truly understand what they were or why it was so hard to just throw them away.

Imagine my surprise when I cut my first project off my multi-shaft loom and there were feet of thrums. Well, maybe 18” but still. Four hundred and eight 18” pieces of perfectly good 8/2 cotton yarn. The thought of throwing out all this perfectly good yarn (204 yards of it) made me feel ill, and so I knotted it a bit and saved it.

As I have woven more projects my thrums collection has steadily grown to include scrumptious alpaca, wool/silk blends, silk, and thousands of yards of 8/2 cotton. Sometimes I use these thrums, but it’s usually just a few at a time; I might use them as spacers between dishtowels, to tie my embroidery shears to my loom, or to tie bundles of yarn on my warping board.

Now, as you might imagine, I have quite a bit of leftover yarn still taking up room in my stash and spilling over my shelves. But there’s hope for me yet! Robyn Spady has found a way to turn thrums into fun jewelry, and she’ll be giving a web seminar about this very subject on June 12. For the web seminar she’ll teach viewers how to take sad bundles of yarn and turn them into something wearable, giftable, and even sellable. She even great ideas for fabric scraps, and goodness knows I have plenty of those as well.

If you’re like me and can’t bear to throw away perfectly good thrums—and I do hope I’m not alone in this—consider checking out Robyn’s webinar so you can learn new ways to put your scrap yarn to good use. 

Christina Garton

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