Saturday, November 20, 2010
I have a finished project to show you--a pom pom hat! I cast on for this a couple of days ago, and it was pretty much an unplanned project. Earlier in the week, I'd been thinking of moving along my collection of Interweave Knits and was looking through them when I came across this hat in the fall 2007 issue (the one with the Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan). I don't think I'd ever noticed the hat before, but suddenly I had to have a pom pom hat! I think lurking in the back of my mind was this podcast from Stash and Burn. I've only recently discovered knitting podcasts, and since I like Stash and Burn better than any I've listened to, I went back to the first episode to begin at the beginning. In this one dating back to 2007, Jenny talks about how she was in Italy and kept seeing all these hats with enormous pom poms on them. The one I made is not quite as large as the Italian ones, but good sized all the same. Here's the original hat from Interweave.
I bet I'm the only person to knit this who rewrote the pattern to be knitted flat instead of in the round. I started it in the round but frogged it and began again. One thing was that I kept having to think about what row I was on, and I realized when there's a purl side, it simplifies things: I'm either on row 1 or row 3, but it can't be row 2 or row 4, for example. With cables I find it hard to see what row I'm on anyway, I'm hopeless with row counters, and I guess I like to keep things as mindless as possible :o). Actually, I prefer to knit things flat, and I like seaming, too.
The hat was made in Rowan Cocoon. Since I was using leftovers, I weighed it to see how much yarn it took. The finished hat weighed 90g, which is a few yards less than one ball (about 113 yds). I knew Cocoon would make a good pom pom--so fluffy and definitely my favorite part of the hat!
And, I decided that, much as I'd like to lighten up my bookshelves, I can't get rid of my Interweaves! There's just too much good stuff in them and I notice things on rereading that I hadn't noticed before.
For anyone interested, here's how I made the pom pom. I cut out two 4-inch circles of repurposed cardboard, made a smaller hole in the center and cut out a wedge from each.
I sandwiched the thread I planned to tie the pom pom with between the two pieces. This yarn or thread should be something very strong. Leave a long tail to be able to sew it to the hat.
Sorry, I didn't take pictures of the rest, but I'll describe it. I just wound the yarn around the cardboard until it was covered and looked like it wouldn't hold any more. I cinched up the tying thread, tied it in a half knot and cut the pom pom apart, with the blade of the scissors between the 2 disks of cardboard. Then I removed the cardboard, tied the strong yarn tightly in a knot, fluffed up the pom pom, gave it a bit of a trim, and sewed it on with the tails. The resulting pom pom was 4 inches, although I've read that you should make your cardboard circle 1/2 inch larger than the pom pom you want.
This method was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I did look online for pom pom making and found this neat device and demonstration by Susan B. Anderson on the pom tree, so there's another option.
Each day my hand is better, so I've been able to resume some of my crafting, including spinning. I thought I'd share a few pictures of my wheel.
It's pretty simple, with just the bare minimum of hardware. The wood is curly maple. And like pom poms, it makes me smile just to look at it.
Happy crafting, everyone!