Yup, that’s what it needed

So. That was fun!  I mean really rather more fun than someone who is ostensibly and adult should be having with a pompom.

I probably shouldn’t be this tickled but I absolutely am.

And yes of course you can pop the pompom out if you’re not feeling it.  But I think your day will be better if it’s on there.

Pattern soon.  Very very soon actually…like probably next week.  I basically need to block it and get photos. I’m trying to show you things much closer to when the patterns come out because I’ve heard waiting is no fun.  It’s got all the info you could want on how to do that stripe (no really…it’s easy…I’m scared of colorwork and I can do it, so you can too) and how to do clever detachable pompoms (though we’ll be talking about that here too when it comes out).


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Pompom time

The gray hat with the orange stripe clearly clearly needs a pompom. It’s meant for a pompom.  So let’s do this.

This is the first go on my newly discovered goldilocks pompom maker (not too big, not too small, just right), and so far I’m smitten.

As always, pompom happiness (at least for me…I suppose opinions could vary) comes from making sure your pompom is very very very densely wrapped.  I also like to use a scale to be sure I’m getting the same amount of yarn on each side of the pompom.  And really…I mean it when I say I like them full.  This is about 100 yards of yarn (it’s Clara by Manos in Meil), and it’s totally worth it.  That and sharp, tiny scissors are key.

And I’ve become a big fan of using jeans thread to tie off my pompoms.  It’s super strong, so you’re not going to break it by tying off tightly.  It’s a little thicker so you are not going to slice your yarn when you pull it tight.  And don’t worry…you can trim it down short once you’re done so you can’t tell it’s a different color than your yarn.

Plus it comes in handy for the next bit, which is getting the pompom on the hat in a clever way!  Which I will regale you with in nauseating detail just as soon as the pattern is ready!

Goldilocks and the ever-increasing number of pompoms

So you might remember a while ago I went and got Very Excited About Pompoms.  As often happens when I get excited about something, I got some tools (I’m a very firm believer in having good tools).

I found myself in possession of both the large and small pompom makers from Clover.  They work great…they totally make tidy pompoms with relatively little swearing.

But here’s the thing…the pompoms that the large set makes are, well…large.  Rather larger than I can sport on the top of my hat and still consider myself a proper grown up.  And the ones the small set makes are, alas, a bit too small.  What I needed was something in between.

Well, if you look closely at middle of the white part of the makers, you’ll see some little numbers.  Those give the diameter of the pompom maker in millimeters.  So the ones in that top picture are 85, 65, 45, and 35 mm across.  And what I really seemed to want was a 55 mm size.

And yes, you totally could make a larger pompom and trim it down, but that takes a surprising amount of extra yarn, and it relies on my ability to evenly trim down the thing and maintain the sphere.  That would do away with the ‘relatively little swearing’ benefit I mentioned above.

So instead I did a bit of googling, and behold, such a creature totally exists.  Now, I’m not at all sure why, but it seems like Clover only makes this size for the Japanese market.  But that’s fine with me, amazon sends it to me just the same!The model number seems to be Clover 58-641 if you want to try and track down your own.  I found mine here, but as of when I’m writing this, that listing is sold out…it also seems to come in this kit that includes some needle felting supplies.  There’s a different brand’s set here that includes a 55mm size and looks remarkably similar. I don’t have these exact ones, but they do have that size if you want it right this very second.

It is almost the same as my other ones, just with the addition of ridge lines dividing the circle into 30° sections.  This is genius, and I suspect I’ll be drawing similar lines on my other makers.  They come in handy for making multi colored pompoms or getting all crazy with the cheeze whiz and making flowers or ridiculously adorable little animal faces.  Not that I’d be into that sort of thing.  Nope, not at all.  I’m totally a grownup and would never be that distracted by shameless cuteness.

And the pompom festivities are not over.  I believe I’ve found the best way ever to attach a pompom to a hat so it stays on firmly (and isn’t floppy), but can be removed whenever you’re not feeling the pompom magic.  I need to do a bit more testing (and take a lot of pictures), but that’s totally coming up in the near future!

A sickness I tell you

So when last we left the hat it had gotten pleasantly tall.  But it whispered to me that we weren’t quite done…it needed one more little thing…

Yes, it’s true, I’ve fallen prey to the dread pompom sickness.

From what I can tell there’s no cure.  Luckily, with the right treatment, it’s a fairly manageable condition.

And the symptoms aren’t even that bad when the yarn is this pretty!

For anyone wondering, the purple one is Entrapment, the pink one just came out this week and is called is Misprision, and the blue one should be out later this summer, possibly even next month.  If you want to hear when it is, you can make that happen here.  And the yarns are all by Madelinetosh (vintage in smokestack for the background, various shades of Tosh Merino Light or DK for the contrasty bits).

Once you pom…

Sorry folks, didn’t mean to leave you hanging on the pom pom front!

The first round went pretty well.

Though I did learn a few things.  Namely, you want to fill that pom pom maker up as full as you can, and you want to be nice and tidy and keep your wraps straight and even as you go.  Also…the large pom pom is, well, rather large.

Hence a slightly smaller pom pom for the second go round…

I suspect the pink and gray hat will have this perched proudly on top from time to time!

I may end up getting the next smallest size of pom pom maker at some point…I’ll have to try wearing these and see just how comfortable I am having a yarn-y tennis ball perched on top of my head or if I’d feel more at home with something a wee bit more restrained…