So as far as I can tell, there are two secrets to good pompoms. The first is to use lots of yarn. Way more than you think. So much you start to worry if maybe it’s too much. The second is to have the right tools. These are the ones I use (these are affiliate links to the amazon listing for everything I use to make mine).
Pompom maker: I like the Clover ones. I have the big set, the little set, and the weird in between size they only seem to make for the Japanese market but it’s my absolute favorite so I was happy to track it down.
Thread: I like to use jeans thread to tie off my pompoms (about a yard of it, folded over double). It’s super strong (so you won’t break it when you pull your thread tight), but thicker than most thread (so you don’t have to worry about cutting your yarn with it). Just trim the ends short and you won’t see it, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a different color than your yarn.
Scissors: You need sharp scissors for pompoms. I like teeny tiny ones for cutting the pompom off the maker, and long ones for trimming the pompom down. Don’t try it with dull scissors, it will just make a mess of your pompom.
Toggle clasp: If you want to make your pompoms detachable (and I don’t see why you wouldn’t), toggle clasps are the best way I’ve found to do it!
Pompom blog posts:
So it turns out I’ve written more than any reasonable person should about something this goofy. I’ll try and keep this updated as more things come out, but for now, these are the most useful bits.
Goldilocks: Finding just the right size.
Steaming: Fluff out your pompom by steaming it.
Multicolor: Some pictures of two-color pompoms on the maker.
Tying: Your pompom is only as good as the knot holding it together.
Detachable: It’s good to have options.
I adore putting pompoms on hats that use a contrast color, and these are all really great choices. Of course, you can put them on pretty much any hat, so feel free to experiment! Click the picture to go to the pattern’s ravelry page.