Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pom Pom Madness + Thank You

Wow - you guys are great. I walked into the post office this afternoon and poor Jim - our postmaster sighed. I had 3 enormous boxes of Kids Embroidery books to ship out to all of you who bought them for Christmas gifts for your little friends. Thank you! Will help pay for a bit of the well bill that just came in the mail. (I still have some more copies if any of you missed out the other day.) 

For all of you interested in the water situation- after testing with the brand new pump - we get 3/4 gallon per minute. I think that is not too good but we are only 3 and we will continue to be careful. At least there is water pressure now and it is better than it was. We'll put off the hydrofracting for now.

Now to today's subject. I've been obsessed with pom poms lately. I can't stop making them. I predict that POM POMS ARE BECOMING A TREND! There's even a new book about them. Check it out here. The Peruvians have been using pom poms as incredible decoration for centuries. Check them out here. And here. And llamas in Peru wearing pom poms here. Pom poms are so festive and fun and bouncy - perfect smile making objects and nice for a Christmas decoration or to hang from the mirror in your car.

Making pom poms is so totally addicting and a fun way to work through your odds and ends of colors of yarn. I've been making multi-color pom poms, tweeded pom poms, solid pom poms..... I use a pom pom maker. I know you can make them by winding yarn around a piece of cardboard or your fingers but the pom pom maker produces superior pom poms. Did you ever think you would hear the term "superior pom poms"? 

Here's the other thing - if you use a pom pom maker, you waste much less yarn. I am very frugal and I always hated cutting away so much yarn when trimming pom poms into a circular sphere. Totally worth the investment.

For years I have used the Susan Bates pom pom maker. It comes as a set of 4 molds and is very reasonably priced. It is a bit fiddly but once you catch on, they work up fast. I have broken them, I shall admit. But the size mold that is shown in the photo on the left is my favorite size pom pom - about 2" wide and perfect for all kinds of trims.

Recently I picked up the Clover brand pom pom maker. It is shown on the right in the photo above. This is the Small kit and 1 5/8" wide.  I've been using it for a few nights and it makes equally nice pom poms. Downside is that the maker is more expensive than the Susan Bates and you have to purchase 3 different packages to collect the 6 different sizes. The fourth size is just too big - it would take a whole ball of yarn! Clover's pom pom makers are more of a financial investment. Other downside is they don't have my favorite 2" pom pom mold. The current molds make the following sizes:
Extra small kit: 3/4" & 1"

Small kit: 1 3/8" & 1 5/8
Large kit: 2 1/2" & 3 3/8"
Extra Large Kit: 4 1/2"
Where is the medium size CLOVER PEOPLE? Are you out there? Are you developing it?

What can you do with pom poms you wonder? Oh, there are so many great ideas. Check out what Martha suggests here. There is the new PomPom Magazine out of the UK. 

Pom poms make great gift toppers and Christmas ornaments. 
Hang a pom pom on a string for a fun wooly necklace.  
Play catch with a pom pom.
Attach a bell and give it to your cat.  They will LOVE it.
Make a pom pom wreath like I did several years ago. Must dig it out and hang it up.

I made it by using a glue gun and hot gluing a mess of pom poms to a large embroidery hoop. Vera supervised. Doesn't she look interested? 

Here's how I wind my patchy pom poms: Using random colors, doubling up the yarn if you want to make them quicker, wind small sections of the mold with one color. Then add a second color. There are now rules - as many colors as you want.

Here's how I make a tweedy pom pom: Using several colors at once, wind the pom pom. I find it best to use colors that are related - i.e. pink, purple, lavender, blue - to create a subtle tweeded pom pom. 


Here's a selection of different sizes in multi-colors. Maybe you need a pom pom maker for Christmas? 


The other morning the kittens had invaded my basket of pom poms. All heck was breaking loose. It literally was kitten pom pom madness. How fun. 


Frances said...

Hello from another pom pom fan. I've got two of the Clover kits, and am able to create the dimensions I prefer. Funny...I never came across the Susan Bates versions, so it was straight from cardboard to Clover for me.

I also love using a mix of colors. Endless possibilities.


Auntie Shan said...

I'm surprised that you didn't mention "Pom-Pom"-YARN..? Yes, it is out There... I've never used it, but I did see Someone wearing a scarf they had done up in it a few weeks back. Looked cute...

jayne said...

I would have loved to have seen those kittens with the pom-poms, I bet they had a great time!!!!!!

Sarah said...

My hubby keeps looking at your kitten photos and sighing. He loves Calvin so much and would really like another....

MicheleinMaine said...

Kitty pom pom madness! I love it.

Love your wreath too! Great idea and you can use it every year!

Jo said...

Thanks for this post. I hate making pompoms, and maybe this will get me past it.

Robin Allen said...

I love pompoms! There's a Japanese book of pomoms that's on my wish list: http://www.amazon.com/Kantan-Sutekina-Ponpon-Dukuri-Japanese/dp/4766122828/

This gal posted some pictures from the book: http://zakkalife.blogspot.com/2012/06/japanse-craft-book-how-to-make-pom-poms.html

I love the little apple.

mn_bird said...

Last night, I purchased a pom pom maker and a book for my 11-year old niece. She will love these as a Christmas present!