Jan 2, 2011

Make it: Pompoms!

 I'm working on a pattern for a darling little girl's cape. It will be for dress-up or to top a special outfit for a festive occasion ... or everyday wear for the type of girl who likes fancy-looking clothes. Now on its own,  a toddler-sized cape is pretty precious. But adorned with pompoms like the pinks ones pictured above: cute overload.

Making these fluffy balls this week, I thought I'd share how easy it is to use up yarn remnants by making pompoms. You could use them to top a toque (that's a knit hat to you, my American friends), sew them in a row down a polkadot onesie to make a last-minute clown costume, hotglue to a styroform wreath form for a cool Christmas decoration...I could go on.

The materials needed are few: some yarn, a piece of cardboard, a pair of scissors, something circular to trace and a pen.

1. Find something circular in your home that's about the size you would like your pompom to be. I used a little bucket of my daughter. Trace two circles like so:

2. You need to draw another circle inside the big one, about half the size of the original circle. I used a spool of thread as a guide here, but you could just freehand it. There's really no need to be perfect (not when you're making pomspoms, not ever).

 3. Cut out your big circles, and then cut out the smaller circle from the center of each. Here's what it should look like (I have four circles because I made two different sizes of pompoms):
 4. Place your two cardboard circles together. Cut a long piece of yarn (about a metre to start) and then wind it through the both circles, looping it around and around until you come the end of your yarn.
 5. Cut another piece of yarn and wind it around the cardboard circles, repeating until the center of your cardboard circle is stuffed with yarn. It should resemble a little yarn doughnut at this point:
 6. Grab your scissors and carefully cut along the outer edge of the yarn doughnut,  snipping all the loops and revealing your cardboard circles underneath like so:
 7. When you're done cutting, it should like this:
 8. Cut yourself a length of yarn, about 10 inches or so. Spread the two cardboard circles apart slightly  and thread the piece of yarn down the middle of the two cardboard circles, pulling it taut and then tying a couple knots. This will hold the pompom together when you take away the cardboard.
 9. Pull off the two cardboard circles and fluff up your pompom. Trim any ends that stick out:
Et voila! Pompoms. If you want to make sure it will never fall apart, you can thread a needle with matching thread and stitch a few times through the center. I would do this only if you plan on washing the item you've festooned with pompoms -- or giving them to children to play with. They can destroy anything.

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