Thrums are the bits of yarn that litter the floor after you cut your weaving off the loom. Sometimes the bits are small and only of use to the birds for "feathering" their nests. An excellent use, by the way, and the birds seem to appreciate them. Sometimes the bits are much longer as in the warp left over at the end of my newly woven rugs. I would have woven on and used up more of the warp but I ran out of thick wool rug yarn. There wasn't enough length to do another rug and I wasn't quite ready to pull down all those old blue jeans from the loft and figure out how to cut them in strips for a blue jean rug. That is on my agenda but hasn't quite risen to the top yet.
The last of my warp was 30" long. Plenty long enough for a nice bread cloth which is what usually happens at the end of a run of kitchen towels. But in this case, it's just a pile of thrums.
I use thrums from my kitchen towels to attach tags to our hand dyed and hand woven yarn. Only the natural colored ones, interestingly, because they make me happy and I don't have to worry about the tie not matching the color of the yarn. That's one of the few areas where my OCD comes out. That and arranging the bottles of shampoo and conditioner on the window sill in the shower. Now that I think about it, that may be too much information. But moving on...
I have woven with my thrums, particularly on the Saori loom which somehow encourages being free and easy with your weaving in general and using up your left-overs in particular. I have a couple of panels that decorate my windows and doors that were woven this way and I love them.
The thrums could be a metaphor for life, I guess. They could represent the leftover bits of our lives that get seperated from us and lost along the way. Or found and cherished and used. Hmmmm. I'm not feeling particularly metaphorical today. Mostly just practical right now. If I kept all the thrums from all my weaving projects I would die with barrels of nearly useless bits of yarn that my children would have to deal with. Nope. These thrums will go in the trash to make way for the next weaving project. I'm thinking cotton kitchen towels. I don't weave with a lot of cotton since I really love the cotton/linen blend of cottolin. But I have these cones of naturally colored cotton that would be stunning.
The rugs are off the loom and it's sitting here empty. You can't leave a loom empty for very long or it starts to whine at you. I'd better get moving!