Monday, 16 April 2012

Thrum Cap

I have always wanted to make one of these caps, not only because it looked life fun to knit but also because of its long connections with mariners.

I used a pattern from Wicked Woolens by Sally Pointer, who is widely respected in the field of historical and reproduction clothing. The patterns from Wicked Woolens not only come with clearly written instructions for the entire process of making the cap but also with extensive and valuable historical background and citations in text and images.

This style of cap can be documented back to the 16th century, in art, literature, personal and documentary writings. The shagginess is created by thrums which are the short lengths or trimmings off the loom or bits of fleece, worked into a knit stitch or knotted on.

For this cap, I used short strands of wool of various lengths of Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool in Brown Heather on 5mm/US 8 needles. The cap is a tall one and is knitted to
a very large size and then fulled (felted) down to the required size. The thrums become solid but flexible and as they stand out from the hat, provide a certain barrier from the elements. If the rain and snow does get through them, the knitted fabric below is thick and durable.

Here is the hat before fulling.

This type of cap was favoured by mariners and often became a designated one for the ship’s carpenter like Mr. Lamb in the film, Master And Commander – The Far Side of the World (2003). *

My thanks to my friend, Russell, for modelling the cap.

*The Making of Master and Commander – The Far Side of the World – The Official Guide to the Major Motion Picture, Tom McGregor, New York/London: W.W. Norton, & Company, 2003


That's a 7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

So fun! This is on my list of things to do. I am a bit frustrated w/ the pattern as it wasn't immediately clear about needing to have the thrums in addition to the yarn. I am going to use lion brand for the base and some jacob sheep wool I have for the thrums. Soon!

One More Stitch said...

Sounds terrific! I look forward to seeing photographs!

Edwin Yabo said...

It will be grate if you put together in one site all your mariners garments, do you think that is possible?
Thanks a lot, grate blog. Edwin