I'll have to take another picture sometime later of the squeaker trying them on. This is what thrummed mittens look like - the picture on the left demonstrates what a thrummed mitten looks like when it's inside-out. You knit in bits of roving or, in this case, individual locks of sheep's wool, to create an inner layer. The fluffies (thrums) felt together with use.
I mentioned in the comments section of my post about yarn that when I begin a project, I think about the properties the garment needs and match it to a specific fleece in my stash. I have quite a few, but not so many that I can't refer to them by name. I really should label them, but for now I know them by sight and touch. "Smutface," "Teddy," "Caesar," "Lucy Lu" and "Mikey" are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
The above mittens are made of Mikey (red) and Lucy (moorit). We've gotten a lot of use out of Mikey's fleece. If you recall, I used him to make the Cookie's coat last year. Mikey has also been featured on my blog in praise of my wool combs. I chose these two specifically because Mikey was soft and warm and white so I could dye it red, and Lucy is extra extra extra soft and excellent for anything meant to be worn close to the skin. I've gotten a lot of use out of Lucy, too. I used her to make this shawl when I was pregnant with the Cookie.
It's pretty obvious here that this yarn is pretty slubby; that's because I just used my hand cards instead of combing it out. Using my English combs takes considerably more time, and the important thing here was utility, with color following close behind. The Squeaker has a favorite color, you see.
I intend to connect them with a length of i-cord, and then do that thing where you string them through the sleeves of the kid's coat so they don't get lost. Because let's be honest: the Squeaker is three.
I mentioned before that no one really knits or spins to save time and money. After I wrote that, I asked myself the question, "So...why do I spin?" I think it has to do with quality and control. Sure, I could just go out and buy a pair of mittens at Wal-mart. But to my knowledge, Wal-mart doesn't keep 100% wool thrummed red mittens in stock. (I see that you can purchase them from etsy for around $25, though.) I could also wax all philosophical about the value of clothing oneself with the work of one's own hands, or rage about the poor working conditions in Bangladeshi sweat shops. But maybe not today.
Mostly, though, I knit because it's fun.