Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Testing pom pom techniques - Holla Knits Blog Tour

It's that time again... new pattern time! Meet Pom-A-Rama, the slippers with pom-tastic toes. I loved making these babies, and they inspired me to learn some new techniques to make these joyful embellishments.

For this stop on the Holla Knits Accessories 2014 Blog Tour, we're talking all things Pom pom.

Essentially, pom poms are tight bunches of yarn tied at the center and trimmed so they have a circular appearance. They can also be snipped into other shapes, such as these amazing fruit poms by mrprintables (there's a tutorial in the link!):

Pom Pom Fruit Tutorial

These pretty much blew my mind, and I've yet to try to make them. If you attempt some fruit pom poms, let me know how it goes!

A cool thing about pom poms is that you can make them all sorts of ways-- with or without a store-bought pom pom maker. I'm going to test out a few ways to make them, after poking around on Pinterest for ideas. In my previous pom-making attempts, I've used both the "cardboard donut" method and the plastic store-bought gizmo method. These are both good ways to do it, and have their little quirks and drawbacks like anything slightly fussy. As with anything yarn-related, yarn choice is very important to the outcome, as is keeping tension consistent when you're wrapping.

Let's try some other pom-making techniques!

1. Tiny Poms with a Fork

Technique here.

Why do I suddenly want noodles?

This was surprisingly simple. It felt easy to wind the yarn around a fork, and the tines provide a nice even place to slip the tying yarn through the middle. I had a little trouble cutting the yarn while it was on the fork, but then I looked at the directions again and she did NOT cut it on the fork... so. There you go.

Wee pom!

The resulting pom was a little oblong and required lots of trimming, but it's cute and worked pretty dang well.

2. Giant Pom with a Whole Ball of Yarn

Technique here.

I should have known this was going to be a disaster. Yarn choice is EVERYTHING when knitting and crocheting... and yet, I picked mohair to make this pom pom. Mohair. 

Let's learn from my mistakes, shall we?

Only halfway there, and that's enough

This technique requires you to sort of finger-comb the yarn out from the center and trim it until you have all the strands roughly even. My Mohair Monstrosity was so sticky and fuzzy that I could barely get my fingers through it. What followed was about 45 minutes of frantic pulling and frustrated laughing while I chopped at the fuzz.

I gave up after it became evident that the most I could hope for was a demented Tribble-esque creature. I got halfway through and decided it needed a face to reflect this hilarious epic fail. You're welcome, world!

I'm as surprised as you are, dude.

It should be said that this pom-tastrophe was 100% my fault, and does not reflect a problem with the technique. I want to try this again with a more appropriate yarn, but don't currently have a ball on hand that is this shape and not already spoken for.

3. Hand-Poms

Technique here.

My first thought was "this seems like a great way to cut off your circulation," but fortunately no fingers were severed in the making of this pom pom.

While at times it felt like I might need another hand to pull this off (PUN INTENDED), the pom came out pretty sweet. Getting the wrapped yarn off my fingers was a little tricky, as was tying the yarn evenly around it, but overall this is a pretty solid in-a-pinch method.

post-haircut -- not too shabby!

That's a wrap, folks. I hope you enjoyed this foray into the fuzzy world of pom pom making!

Pardon me while I go vacuum bits of mohair out of my everything.


Check out the Holla Knits Accessories 2014  collection, and the blog tour including some awesome giveaways!

Holla Knits Accessories 2014 Blog Tour Schedule:

Nov 6: Knits in Class - Pattern giveaway
Nov 7: Karen Whooley

Nov 10: WeaverKnits - Interview with Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Company
Nov 11: Under the Red Umbrella - Cedar Glen Mitts kit giveaway
Nov 12: Patty Nance at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Foliage Cowl WofA Bulky Blackberry Kits
Nov 13: Manos del Uruguay - Giveaway: Embrace Your Inner Pixie Kit
Nov 14: Neighborhood Fiber Company - Interview with Ann Weaver

Nov 17: KnittingKirigami - SEG: Embrace Your Inner Pixie KP Stroll Fingering Kit
Nov 18: Angry Knits - SEG: Wooly Mammoth Knit Picks Kit
Nov 19: Baah Yarn
Nov 20: Willow Yarns at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Cedar Glen Mitts Daily kits
Nov 21: Lion Brand at the HK Blog - SEG: Foliage Cowl LB Kit


Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

I love your fuzzy mohair half pom! That's some pretty good accidental creature making.

Leah said...

Thanks Kate! I am quite pleased with it now, but at the time it was a curse-worthy frustration. It did turn out pretty funny.