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The Case of the Missing Pom-Pom
I’m knitting a Santa hat, in January, because of course I am. There’s about a snowball’s chance in Texas that I’ll ever finish a Christmas craft before the New Year. But — and I stand firmly behind this argument I just thought of — January is the perfect time for making Christmas stuff! All my decorations are still up, because of course they are. The actual rush of the holidays is over. I didn’t find the fun projects I wanted to make until December anyway, by which time it was way too late. And — And! This is the best part: I’m going to be SO early for next year!
I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself now, despite the grim realities of faux fur yarn.
Soft and fluffy things are kind of my thing, so I was cooing over this pattern as soon as I saw the picture of the fur brim and poofy pom-pom. I could imagine wanting to pet the hat as much as wear it. But I had never used faux fur yarn before and did not know its deceitful ways. Those long, beautiful fluffy fluffs that look so lovely when it’s all knit up because they completely hide the stitches, also, and you’ll never believe this — completely hide the stitches!
But, the brim is finished (it’s lovely!) and the hat part was super easy and quick, so I’m feeling great. I’m on the verge of declaring this the Year of the Santa Hat and making them for everybody, when I get to the very last instruction:
You know the New Yorker cartoon by Sidney Harris where the middle bit of an enormously complicated math problem just says “then a miracle occurs”? That is what “attach pom-pom” looks like to me. What pom-pom?
I check the pattern again. The helpful glossary at the back lists all kinds of obscure techniques that have nothing to do with this project, but not a word about how to make the thing in the picture — the thing that would elevate to Santa-hat status the dunce cap I am currently holding.
Is making pom-poms something everyone else just knows how to do?
I have a feeling I was supposed to learn this when I was 10. I remember absorbing other such skills — folding fortune tellers, making friendship bracelets, playing M.A.S.H.
Somewhere along the line, though, the kid-to-kid knowledge transfer broke down. Probably the kid I was supposed to learn pom-pom making from got interested in puff-paints instead and never found out herself. Or maybe I forgot to ask her because we were too busy that day trying to figure out how to play poker by looking it up in the dictionary. Anyway, somehow, someone in that pre-internet world dropped the yarn ball and I never learned.
Now I need to know how to make a pom-pom. And now there is an internet. And I know a rabbit hole when I see one.
Sure enough, the first video I find promises to show me how to make “the perfect pom-pom.” Of course there are levels upon levels of pom-pom making. Of course Pinterest was lurking at the back of this the whole time.
Five minutes ago, pom-poms had no place in my life. Now I am pretty sure I need to make a rainbow pom-pom, and a “really big, dense pom-pom” and a pom-pom garland, and — sweet Jiminy Christmas — there is such a thing as a pom-pom rug! I am doomed.
Stay back — save yourselves. I love you all. Send yarn.
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