Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Puffy Power! A PomPom Tutorial

Pom Poms!
Fun little fluffy balls of yarn that can adorn the tops of hats, ends of scarves, garlands for your home, or anything else your imagination can dream up. Pom Poms are very easy to make, whether you're using your hands or one of our Pom Pom making kits, they only take a few minutes each.

This blog post is to give you some tips and walk you through a few ways to make a Pom Pom!!

First, without any fancy Pom Pom makers.

You will need: 
  • Yarn (either scraps or skeins, the more yarn you use, the denser your pompom)
    • Yarn with less twist will make poof-ier PomPoms. The more plied your yarn is, the more "stringy" or "stranded" your pom pom will look. We prefer 100% Wool Eskimo or something loosely spun to make PomPoms, because they give a fluffier and fuller appearance. But you can use ANY yarn you want!
  • Scissors
  • Hands
  • A brush (This is optional, mohair brushes work best, but you can use any fine bristled brush)

Wrap yarn around your hand.
    1. Start by wrapping the yarn around your hand. You can wrap it around two fingers, three fingers, or your whole hand. The more fingers you wrap, the bigger your PomPom will be. Don't wrap too tightly or later steps will be more challenging.
    2. Continue wrapping until you have a thick area of yarn around your hand/fingers.  The more you wrap, the denser your PomPom will be. You can experiment to find what works best.
    3. When you're done wrapping. Cut the yarn.  Cut an additional piece of yarn about 4 or 5 inches long, enough to fit around the yarn on your hand.
    4. Use this piece to wrap the center of the yarn around your hand in the direction of your fingers. You will want to pull this yarn TIGHT, make sure it is centered and tie it into a tight knot. 
    Wrap yarn around the center, pull tight, and knot.
     5. After you've wrapped the center piece and tied a knot, remove your fingers from the yarn. You will now have what looks almost like a bow, with a center string tied around your yarn and two looped ends. 
    6. Stick your scissors through the loops of one half of your PomPom. Cut the loops. Repeat this on the other side. 

    Cutting loops to make the Pom Pom take shape

     7. You will now have a sort of lopsided looking Pom Pom. Fluff it up in your hands to begin shaping it into a ball.  Use the scissors to trim off uneven pieces and perfect its shape.  It's okay to cut off a lot of yarn in this shaping stage. If you are going to attach the Pom Pom to something, leave long tails from the yarn you tied around the center and use to tie onto your project.
    8. If you want to make your PomPom fluffier, hold the center tightly and use a mohair brush or any bristly brush to brush it out. Continue trimming as your brush to make the Pom Pom an even circle. 
    (Brushing is an optional step) 
      9. Voila! You have a Pom Pom!

                 Trimming for shape                   After a little brushing and fluffing

    Here's another step by step shot, using a variegated sock yarn to make a colorful and smaller Pom Pom! You can make multicolored Poms by wrapping more than one color of yarn around your hand.

    Using a Pom Pom Maker:
    For this you will need the same supplies, but add some sort of Pom Pom maker. We have a few different types in our Webstore, and they all come with instructions.
    Prym Pom Pom Maker  $10.59  (this is the one used for this tutorial, this one also comes with an instruction manual to make Poms that look like animals!)
    Pony Pom Pom Maker $2.49 (this uses rings instead of pull apart pieces, not quite as simple to use)
    Knitter Pride Pom Pom Maker $9.50 (the easiest to use)

    All PomPom makers are a little different, but they all use pretty much the same idea, which is similar to the wrap-your-hand method above.

    1. Take two halves and hold them together as shown.
    2. Wrap the yarn around the two halves until you've covered the plastic.
    3. Do the same with the other two halves of the maker.
    4. Attach the wrapped pieces to one another.
    5. Using your scissors, cut down the space between the pieces on both sides.
    6. Cut a long piece of yarn and place it between the pieces, tightening and tying it in place.
    7. Remove the plastic pieces from the yarn.
    8. You will have sort of a misshapen, but again use your scissors to trim into a sphere and use a brush if you want more volume.

    The Pom Pom Kits make a more uniform Pom Pom without as much trimming, but using your hands is great too! You can also cut your own PomPom makers from cardboard. Using the same idea as the Pom Pom maker, cut two doughnut shapes out of cardboard hold them together, wrap the cardboard, tie the middle, cut in between them, trim and fluff.

    Make enough Pom Poms and assemble them into a decorative garland to hang anywhere!

    Happy Crafting!

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