I'm loving making squishy little pom poms lately. I'm sort of having an off-moment with crochet - not helped by terrible wrist and thumb pain - so taking a break from that for a bit. So pom poms still enable me to play around with yarn, creating pleasing little objects of joy!
I have some round plastic pom-pom makers, but I threw them down after about 2 minutes out of pure frustration! You have to keep cutting lengths of yarn and awkwardly threading it through the middle. No, the no pom-pom maker method is best! There are a few tutorials out there on the web, but I didn't find anything truly satisfactory, so this is my version.
You will need
a crochet hook suitable for the size of your yarn
a darning needle
some small sharp scissors
You can click on any of the images to make them bigger.
Step 1 Cut a length from your chosen yarn - about 30cm/12" should do. Put it where you can grab it easily. We are going to use this later to tie our pom-pom.
Step 2 Take your ball of yarn. Put the end over your palm and hold it out of the way with your ring finger and little finger.
Step 3 Start wrapping the yarn - not too tight - around your remaining two fingers.
Step 4 I am using a DK yarn here and wrapped it around my fingers 100 times, but play around with different thicknesses and different wrap amounts. The more you wrap, the denser your pom-pom will be!
Step 5 Once you have the desired amount of wraps, take your length of yarn that you cut earlier. This will save you trying to cut a piece now - not easy! Slide it between the ends of the two fingers holding the yarn. You should leave it longer at the back as we are going to secure the pom-pom with this long end.
Step 6 Take the longer length behind and over the pom-pom and towards your knuckles as shown.
Step 7 Grab your crochet hook and stick it through your fingers to grap the yarn.
Step 8 Pull it through to the palm side of your hand and around to where you originally joined in the yarn.
Repeat this step a couple of times. Now pull gently but firmly on the two ends to tighten the 'waist' of the pom-pom.
Step 9 Now you can remove the pom-pom from your fingers. You will see that by wrapping the yarn round a couple of times already, it won't budge. This will really make your life a lot easier when tying the pom-pom. Now tie the two ends together, pulling a little tighter to secure, and tie once more.
Step 10 Now we are ready to take our scissors and cut around the outside edge of the pom-pom. Continue cutting through all layers until no loops are left. Be careful not to cut your ties at the moment!
Step 11 Here's the fun bit - shaping your pom-pom! There is no quick solution for making a perfect ball (which is where pom-pom makers have the advantage), but you're roughly aiming to trim off the longer lengths to match the shorter lengths. Shake out your pom-pom every now and then, hold it up and spin it around to see where it's uneven. You will however, have to cut off a lot more than you think is necessary!
And there you have it - a (hopefully) perfect little pom-pom! This one measures about 5cm/2½" across. You can leave the ties on until you come to use it or chop them off recklessly.
Now you can experiment. Try using two different coloured yarns together with half the amount of wraps. And you can use the same method above with 3 or 4 fingers, although a little more difficult to tie on the 3-finger method. I have even made some really small ones using a straight-sided fork instead of fingers!