You were warned…

I warned you we were going to talk about pompoms this week.  I fully realize that this is ridiculous.  There are actual problems in this world and the last thing we should be spending time on is fluffy yarn balls.  And yet…somehow here I am…full of opinions about pompoms.  Perhaps it’s a distraction technique.

Alright, first things first, I really like working with a pompom maker.  You can technically do it without (something about forks or circles of cardboard or even your fingers), but I’ve never been able to make a pompom I like that way.  So given that I make a fair number of these, and given that I’m unspeakably picky, I want a form.  Specifically, the Clover forms (I’ve tried others, I don’t like them as much, they either broke on me or had rough spots that snagged the yarn and were frustrating to work with).  Even more specifically, the 55 mm one that is The Perfect Hat Pompom Size.  I have no idea why they don’t make this one for the US market or include it in their multi size packs.  I really really wish they did.  But thanks to the glories of the internet, you can find it online (all the stuff I use to make pompoms is over here in one big amazon list if you want to track any of it down, but if you hate amazon links, you can search for it and find it too).

Besides, if you use a pompom maker, you get to enjoy a moment like this, where it looks like you’ve trained caterpillars to march in formation.  And really? I kind of like that.

But the main thing I want to say is that you’re not using enough yarn in your pompoms.  Not nearly enough.  Every time I post pictures of my pompoms, I get folks saying ‘mine don’t look like that.’  About 90% of the time it’s because they aren’t using enough yarn (the other 10% of the time it’s because they’re not trimming them carefully enough, but we’ll talk about that on the next post).

You need to use more yarn than you would ever imagine possible.  Assuming I’m using the same yarn for the hat and the pompom, and assuming I’m using the 55mm form, the pompom easily takes about one third as much yarn as the hat.  If I were using the slightly bigger (and oh so much easier to find) 65mm form, it would take pretty much half as much yarn as the hat does (that’s because the amount of yarn goes up with the cube of the radius of the pompom, so a tiny increase in the size of the form means a huge increase in the amount of yarn you need…another reason why tracking down the right size form is a good idea, it will save you yarn in the long run).  So…use more yarn.  Use LOTS more yarn.  Use so much yarn you can barely close the pompom maker.

Then all you have to do is trim them.  That’s how you get from this…

To this.  We’ll talk about that next time!