Category Archives: Pompoms

In the Bleak Meteorological Mid-Winter

Frosty winds are making moan at my house.  I saw this on Weather Underground the other day, the difference between astronomical winter and meteorological winter and figured it would make a good lead-in for a long overdue New Year post.

First of all, the annual present making with the mostly grown up children went well, one of the best efforts.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of all the candles we made, because the team got them packed and wrapped before I remembered.  It went so well, and their mother uses so many candles that we talked about a repeat for next year.  They could each search for some cool containers ahead of time.  (Yeah, right….)

Here’s an action shot of the crew at lunch – surrounded by our still unpainted dining room walls.  Those are sparkling juice bottles, BTW.

LUNCH

I didn’t get pictures of all the gifts they made for one another, since some of that action took place elsewhere, and some of the phone camera shots aren’t very useful.  There were, however, some cute hippo slipper(s), even if not quite finished:

hippo2 hippo

And some of the gifts I made them:

Popm poms, of course!

aman 2 Aman   Billy

Socks and infinity scarves

T's sox

Lib

This is the infinity scarf in its first incarnation, a Honey Cowl.

IMG_1794

I was clearly not going to have enough yarn, and I was using stash, a skein of Casbah carried with a skein of Kid Silk Haze, so there was no more to be had.  I ripped it out and used a stitch pattern with a much less compressed row gauge.    Here’s what I had left after the new version:

left

And for the one teen aged boy I know who likes to dress up:

eph

He appears to be checking out my workmanship, I hope I passed the test.  That is a newish pattern, Adair, the grown up version of the Avery vest.  I used some JoSharp DK that was in my stash, and Mr. Style has worn it quite a few times already, so I hear.

There is also a shaped option with sleeves for women.   The yarn is the Pediboo Worsted, the grown up version of Pediboo.  It is lovely stuff.

Adair front view

I thought I might do a knitting year in review, for my own record keeping, but this post is already too long .  For those down under, keep cool.  For the rest of us, snuggle in and stay warm and dry.  Happy 2014 to all.

Steam that Pompom!

Or pompon, whichever you prefer.  It’s been a crazy crafting month here, but in case you have last minute items that need pompoms, I have to share this new technique:  steam them!

I taught a PomPom Popup at the Yarnery last week.  I didn’t think anyone would come.  It was cold.  It was snowing.  It was Saturday morning.  It was a one-hour class on pompoms and tassels.  Plus, everyone knows how to make pompoms and tassels, right?  Well 16 people showed up.  Everyone had made pompoms and tassels, but everyone felt theirs were weak, lackluster, missing the oomph that is the very nature of a pompom.  My two top tips: Use LOTS of yarn.  Much more than you think. And use one of these gadgets:

clover

I am not typically a buyer of gadgets, and I’ve made many successful pompoms with the good old cardboard circles, but these babies are fast.

The real top tip, though came from a student, who clearly had no business being in the class.  She told us she learned to steam them in Campfire Girls.  Good idea.  Let’s try it out.  I ran downstairs and borrowed the electric kettle from the kitchen.  I had a few forks for showing folks how to make tiny pom poms on a fork, (which we never did) so we stuck a fork in it and it was done!

Happy students with their pompoms:

Photo Dec 13, 6 34 40 PM

Here is the brief photo tutorial I make at dark o’clock to show you how it works.

Pompom in Lamb’s Pride Bulky*, almost ready for a Christmas gift, but untrimmed.   Notice that it is stuck on a fork being held over a pot of boiling water.

Photo Dec 22, 2 29 02 PM

Lightly steamed and gently fluffed:

Photo Dec 22, 2 32 45 PM

Trimmed and ready for the hat:

Photo Dec 22, 2 36 32 PM

So happy pompoms to all, and to all a good night!

*I’d be careful with steaming acrylic or blend yarn.  I’ll have to try it out and let you know.