Sunday, December 20, 2015


I'm a total sucker for unusual and novelty yarns.  Sometimes you find a yarn that just calls to you, even though you have no idea what you're going to do with it.  I found such a yarn, in many colors, and it sat in my stash for months.  Then, suddenly, inspiration struck.  Basically, I had Christmas gifts to give, and a whole lot of yarn to use.
Pom-Poms for all!
  When I first bought this yarn, I bought a whack-load of it.  I'm pretty sure that's the technical term.  The cashier was a knitter herself, but even though she thought it was "so neat", she had no idea what to do with the yarn I chose.  Hopefully, she finds this blog and gets a few...because I've come up with several.

Most commercial yarns come with a pattern on their labels...generally something basic, like a scarf.  I took that idea and got a bit more creative with it.  This yarn gives a lot of creative leeway, once you learn how to work with it.  Keeping in mind it called for a US9 needle, I just sort of let my intuition guide my work from there.

The first work was a cowl and matching headband.  The cowl was worked eight Poms wide, 52 rows long, and the headband was four Poms wide, 42 rows long.  Each was twisted, and then sewn together to give it a mobius shape. It's a great style for the younger crowd, or the more fashion-forward.  My sister Naomi has that sort of "it's-quirky-but-it-totally-works" kind of style, and she was the first one I thought of when I came up with this design.

The pinks in this just screamed Naomi
To get the mobius shape, it would have been possible to knit the whole thing in the round, simply twisting the stitches once before joining, but the finished piece would have had no give to it.  Since a bit of elasticity is good in this sort of thing, I opted to go through the extra step of sewing it together later, in order to get the proper fit.

The second work was a more classic scarf, seven Poms wide.  A hole was worked into the design 40 rows in, so the scarf could be looped through itself, without having to be tied.  Another great style, which doesn't have to sacrifice function for form.  One great advantage to this pattern is its simplicity to use -- my mother-in-law suffers from arthritis, so not having to tie and untie a knot is much simpler.  Also, I'm rather lazy, so I made one of these for myself.  All you have to do is bind off the six middle stitches (keeping four on either side) after 40 rows, which is 20 rows of Poms on each side (counting your cast-on as the first row).  Then, on the next row, cast on those six stitches again, and just keep knitting till the end of the yarn.  

A no-knot scarf -- perfect for anyone on your list!
Knitting with the Pom-Poms is a bit of a trick -- basically, you knit two stitches between each Pom, one just before, and one just after.  You start with a stitch just before a Pom, and you end with a stitch just after one.  So, if you're knitting a scarf, for example, seven Poms wide, you'd have fourteen stitches in total.  Once you get the hang of it, the yarn knits up rather quick.  

These Poms are so soft, I just love it!
I was working on one of these at the doctor's office, and an older lady stopped by to watch.  She'd seen the yarn in stores, but wondered what it would look like knitted up.  We sat and chatted for a bit, and I gave her a couple of tips.  It made me think that, when I'm knitting things for my own grandkids, I hope I still have that urge to learn something new.  And hopefully, there will be lots more interesting yarns to work with!

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