Saturday, January 19, 2019

PomPom Magic - Part II: Going Dotty and Losing Your Marbles

This is part II of my pompom series. Part I (stripes) is here.

Polka-dots are far easier to understand than stripes, but also much more fiddly, but the results can be pretty spectacular.

Pom-pom maker (I like the Clover ones, and have them in ever size they offer), but a cardboard doughnut will work. Yarn in two colors, scissors.

Basic advice for both Dotty and Marbled:
Do NOT cut the yarns while wrapping alternating colors, or even when changing layers.  This is so important it bears repeating:  Do not cut your yarns until you are ready to cut the entire pompom.

Yes, the sections will be connected, and that connection strand will be covered by future layers, but that's OK. That strand will be cut and trimmed away when you cut the pompom. Believe me, it will save you a lot of headaches, while you try and hold your short color sections in place while you get them covered by the next layer.

How many wraps for the dots?
As with stripe thickness, this will take some trial-and-error, and it depends on how big you want the dots to be.  More wraps will make bigger dots, but you'll wind up with fewer of them.
subsequent layer will "fill in" at the sides.

Can I use more than two colors?
Sure! I would recommend keeping the background color the same though.  Or not. It's totally possible to combine stripes and dots. 

Going dotty:
Polka-dotted pompoms are made in layers (as with stripes), but the main difference is that you alternate dot layers with solid layers, and you do them longitudinally, wrapping all the way across the arc.
  1. Solid background layer - wrap all the way across the arc, with a thin layer (maybe two strands deep)
  2. Dot layer: Create a dot at one side of the arc, maybe 5 or so wraps in a clump. Then leave a gap, and create another, then another, for a total of 4 or 5.
  3. Solid background layer - wrap all the way across the arc, covering the small dot sections with a thin layer (maybe two strands deep), and filling in between them, to create an even-looking arc.
  4. If making a really large pompom, you might repeat 3 and 4 once or perhaps twice  If you do, off-set the dots from their position on the previous dot layer (see 2nd and 4th images below).
  5. Repeat 1-4 for the opposite side.

Losing your marbles:
This was an attempt to create a checkerboard, but it didn't work at all, but I liked how it looked anyway.  It's also created longitudinally (wrapping all the way across).
  1. Create a layer by alternating 5 wraps of each color. So, 5 wraps of one color, then 5 wraps of the other, all the way across.  DO NOT CUT.
  2. Come back the way you came, repeating step one, but offsetting the colors.  So, cover the MC with the CC, and vice-versa. After the first layer, I tended to do all one color  then the other (guessing a little where to start and stop), but you can continue to alternate as you go, if you prefer.
  3. Repeat 1 and 2 as needed.
  4. On the other half, ensure you do the same number of layers as with the first half.  And, ensure you do it in the opposite order.  So, if you started with the MC, then start with the CC this time. 

Recommended Tools:
Here are my favorites.   If someone has the self-control to only get one size, I'd advise getting the "large" set (65 and 85 mm; the middle image, below).  I use the 65 mm by far the most.


Clover also makes an extra-small set, with 20 and 25mm diameters (.75" and 1").

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