Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pompom morning

A finishing touch to a project I'm working on involves pompoms.  I have not made pompoms since as a child we wound yarn round donut shaped cardboard, but help is at hand online, and as Margaret Cooter mentioned on her blog a wee while back, mini pompoms can be made with a fork!  I also enjoyed this bright video about how to make multiple pompoms.
I wanted to make pompoms out of silk yarn left over from my knitwear design days.  There is very little left of the colours I wanted to use, so I started with another colour for my practice pieces.  I took a short fork and started (please forgive the appalling quality of the snaps).
The main difficulty posed was in my choice of yarn.  It was much thinner than those used in the video instructions, so I had to work out how many times to wrap the yarn round the fork in order to achieve the desirable bulk.  The other difficulty that the silk presents is that it lacks inherent fluffiness, and therefore the individual strands don't stick together as well as wool even when the right bulk is reached. 
The second difficulty, perhaps exacerbated by the non-fluffiness of the yarn, is that of putting the tightest knot in the synching thread.  Here I was helped by the multiple pompom video in that the instructions include linen thread because of its strength.  I had the end of a reel of discontinued extra strong black thread which I used.  Those knots were extremely fiddly, but at least the thread did not break as I was trying to tie it.
I finally reached an acceptable bulk, after wrapping yarn round the fork 180 times.
The pompoms I want for my project needed two strands of yarn together, so I decided to wrap 100 times (thus giving me 200 wraps of a single thread).  They are not as perfectly spherical looking as wool ones, but they are probably fit for my purpose.  I'll see when I stitch them on to the piece of work concerned.
It was a concentrated, sometimes frustrating, but fun morning - despite having taken much longer than I had anticipated.


  1. 200 times, eh? I'm impressed. I sort of gasped at the 180 (and the thought of keeping track) but had gotten desensitized by the time you mentioned 200.

    And I'm really curious about what kind of project you would be engaged in that would require pom-poms. Forgive me for saying so, but it just doesn't seem like your, um, style:-)

  2. June, you are absolutely right - I wonder myself whether I've flipped! I cannot show the piece yet because I want to enter it next month for a show which requires lack of any publication. The work is quilt form, and once you see it all will be clear. Whether it works or not, I will have to wait to see. I'm in the middle of putting on the sleeve, and then will add the pompoms, and will hang it. I might hate it at that point!

  3. What a change for you. I can't imagine what you may be up to! The small hint in your reply to June is fascinating.

  4. Margaret, I finished the piece this morning, and I like it. I'm going to submit it for juried selection next month, and if it is rejected I'll post a pic.