So I added a pom-pom to my latest pattern in the works: The Striped Cable Slouchy. This is my third hat pattern and the first one that I thought "Hey, a pom-pom might add a fun touch, especially for the smaller sizes."
When I went to look up some quick pom-pom tutorials to refresh my mind on how to make them, I realized there are a thousand different tutorials out there. There are ones using washers (which is how I remember my mom taught me), there were ones using forks (yes, forks and very clever), etc.
Because I didn't have any washers the size I needed (and because that method seems to take FOREVER) and because I knew the forks wouldn't give me the width I wanted, I finally decided to use a plain old piece of cardboard to create my pom-pom (this is definitely not an original concept I invented). Here is a quick tutorial (explanation) of how I made the pom-pom for the child size version of the Striped Cable Slouchy.
Worsted Weight Yarn of choice (the amount will depend on how thick you want to make it)
Tapestry or Yarn Needle
To begin, take your cardboard and cut a square the size you want the finished width of your pom-pom to be. For this pom-pom, I cut a 3"x3" square, which means my finished pom-pom would be 3" wide (or 3" in diameter).
Next, take your yarn and begin to wrap it around the cardboard, from top to bottom. You will need to hold the first strand in place until you have wrapped enough yarn around to secure it.
Continue to wrap the yarn around the cardboard until you get the thickness you desire (the thicker it is, the fuller the pom-pom will be). Be sure not to wrap it so tight that you will not be able to slip it off afterwards (which you will be doing). I wrapped mine until it was about 1/2 to 3/4" thick (on each side) in the middle and covered about 1" to 1.25" of the cardboard.
Once you have made your final wrap, gently slip the yarn off the cardboard, trying not to shift anything.
Take a long strand of the same colored yarn (around 16" or more) and tie it around the middle of your yarn bundle.
You want to tie it tight. I like to tie it tight once and then wrap it around again and pull a little tighter before double knotting it. Make sure you don't pull so tight that the yarn breaks (yes it can happen). Make sure to leave the tie strands long so you can use them to attach it to the top of your hat.Finally, take your scissors and cut the loops on both ends.
Fluff your pom-pom and trim around it if you see any uneven or long ends (but don't cut the two strands of your tie). You will have some fun yarn snow to sweep up! :)
Once you are done giving your pom-pom a fresh trim, use your tapestry needle to attach it to the top of your hat.
You are finished! Now sit back and admire your work! :)