Thursday, 30 July 2009

Making Pom Poms is NOT a cottage industry

Just in case you thought I'd disappeared off the face of the earth, I'm just writing a quick post to assure you that I haven't. We've been visiting the Grandparents in Norfolk for the past week, and ever the optimist, I thought I'd be able to post from there, but alas, the Internet was a tad too slow and I just didn't have a moment.


And now I'm back at home there's just too much washing (on to my third load already today and it's not even midday), sorting, tidying, etc and not a moment to sit down and breathe. But before I go completely insane through lack of blogging I'm going to quickly update you with news of the pom pom for Bobble. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then where have you been? I insist you click here before reading on...

So, not wanting to let my poor child cry for longer than was absolutely necessary (quite a few hours in this case, but I'm trying not to think about it), I took the advice of a number of very clever people and decided to make her a pom pom all by my own. Whoops, sorry - meant all by myself - have spent far too long in the company of small children.

Unfortunately, it wasn't actually all by myself, as the result would probably have been somewhat more professional-looking. Instead I enlisted the help of small children and husband. Not a good move.

But first thing's first - although it's been a few years since I have made one (about a quarter of a century in fact), I embraced it with great enthusiasm and Renée and I, along with Grandma, toddled off to purchase enough wool to make 100 pom poms. At least, that's what I thought until I'd spent four hours winding said wool round and round and round and round and round and round........and realised it was, in fact, only enough for, Shhhhh - don't tell Edie. Her consolation pom pom will have to wait until another day.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details too much. Except to say, that when you next decide to make a pom pom (in 25 years time perhaps), do make sure you don't use the bluntest scissors you can find and don't, under any circumstances, let anyone, other than yourself, take the glory moment of snipping all the way round, especially if they veer off-centre as they're doing it, thus making one side rather longer than the other.


However, Renée seems happy enough - (I love it you think it might be a bit big? And why is this side longer than this one?)


But the person who was most impressed was my Granny, who it has to be said, at 85 years of age, doesn't have the best eyesight.

"You know you could sell those and start a little industry."

Erm...let me just do a few quick figures Granny.

How much would anyone be willing to pay for one of these?

£2.00 perhaps (on a good day when the sides are all the same length).

So for four hours work, I get £2.00. That's...quick calculation...50p per hour. Not forgetting the cost of the wool which was £3.00. So for four hours work, I would have earned minus £1.00.

So thanks for the support Granny, but I think I may have to look elsewhere for my fortune.


  1. I remember going through a pom pom making phase.

    Funnily enough I cannot for the life of me remember what I did with them...

  2. Welcome back and I'm glad you have not been downed by swine flu or axe murderers.

    I'm suddenly remembering all those pom poms I used to make as a child. And, like Zoe, cannot remember what I did with them. Good save, though, and I'm sure Renée will appreciate it all the more for the efforts you all put it into it.

    (And, also, I thought it was just Rosemary who said 'I can do it by my own.' Wonder why that is. Hmm. Do they get it from Charlie and Lola, or is Lauren Childs just reflecting what all children say?)

  3. Oh but just think of all the things you could make out of pompoms! Lol. My sister and I made little chicks and bunnies and erm probably some other things from pompoms when we were little. Still, I agree: not a cottage industry!

  4. After your previous post I got it into my head that making a pom pom would be great fun. After reading this post however, I have changed my mind. I have remembered how sore my hands were, 25 years ago, trying to cut through all the layers of wool with blunt scissors. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!!
    Photo please :-)

  5. Every so often I have a crafty moment and make something. Bits of jewelry (sp?), a scarf, a tissue box holder (oh yes). People always say I should sell them, and then you do the calculations. I think it would be called "pin money" if we were being kind!

  6. Yeah, you might need to consider another career if it is your intent to make a penny!

    You're going to wear a pom-pom hat this winter arent you??

    Saucy Winks - RMxx

  7. No pom pom business on the horizon then. Shame, I've been looking for one for ages ;-)

  8. hehe- I haven't made a pompom for years since I was a child. Instructions please, I'd love to make my children one. :0)

  9. Surprised - Yeah I think when I was about 10 I made a whole load too - and you're right - I have no idea where they ended up either. Somewhere there's a mysterious pom pom eater lurking. Better not tell the children!

    Tasha - you're so lovely for worrying about me (but please don't worry too much or you'll go into labour early)! But yes, mystery pom pom eater strikes again - where did they go?? I love it when Edie says cute things like 'all by my own' - I end up repeating them as she says them rather than repeating how they should be. Bad Mother - she'll end up not knowing how to speak English properly!

    Rachel - I know, I know. If only I were more crafty (or had a few more hours in the day to waste). Funny thing is, even though the pom pom was pretty crap in the end, I actually enjoyed making it. Might have to do it again (just to perfect it of course).

    Sandy - Hee hee - yes, the result could have been better. Having said that, I (kind of) enjoyed it. I want to make another one, if only to get it right. Am too embarrassed to post photos! Might change my mind one day ;-) xx

  10. Who's the Mummy - I know, I know. Like I said to Sandy, I'm too ashamed...On seeing both your comments earlier, I did try to take some photos though, but they it looks even crapper. Boo hoo. And boo hoo again just for good measure.

    Expat Mum - I used to do that too (after a particularly enthralling episode of Blue Peter). I can see your tissue holder right now... But yes, minus money doesn't exactly get me itching to do more...

    RM - And saucy winks back to you lady. No no, I'll never make money - pom poms or no pom poms. I'm just useless at business all round. And no, I do not intend to wear a bobbled hat this Winter if I can help it.. ;-) x

    Reasons - Oh honey I'm so sorry - I'm always letting you down! Best look elsewhere for that business though...

    Chic Mama - Oh it's so simple - it just takes much longer than I thought! Right, take two pieces of cards and cut them into a circle. then cut a circle in the centre of each one. Put them together. then wind wool through the centre over and over until you can hardly fit any more through. Then take a (sharp) pair of scissors and snip all the way round the outside of the pom pom (through the centre of the two pieces of card). Then tie another piece of wool around the middle and remove the card. Easy peasy. But if you get stuck, just check it out on the Internet (I did)!! Good luck and let me know how you get on x

  11. I don't envy you cos my pom-pom episode turned out quite exactly like yours and I only had to make 2 - one for right and one for left hand. I also started out with great enthusiasm with lots of sparkly silver and metallic blue material. The process was so simple but the final product was not so appealing. Looked great from 10 feet away with the sparkles but like something the dog chewed up on closer inspection. But, good on you for making the effort

  12. Haha. I love your stories. Definitely need a visual though. I promise I won't laugh.

  13. Ah bless your Granny and bless you. Can I just say though, where's the photo????

    I want to put my Christmas order in now... How about £-2.00 for 2?

    ;-) xxxxx

  14. Pom-poms? Cheaper to get yourself a poodle and have it clipped.

  15. You'd make a lot more money if you bought really bad wool and put the children to work in a sweatshop.

  16. You are so nice to make one for her, how sweet! but could we see a picture of it? I know i'm being nosey now but i would really love to see it! xx

  17. Me again! Thought you may be bored with your pom-poms - you have tagged you.


  18. I want pictures too. :D Well done, you have the patience of a saint. I may take wool with us to The Big CHill, incase it rains...

  19. You really need to start putting up pictures. Now you are out of the poo zone...

  20. Just caught up on your last few posts and the tale of the pom pom. I remember spending an entire day at my grandmother's making one. Must have kept me quiet for hours winding round and round and round. Just realised how clever my grandmother was!

  21. Hello - thank you for popping over - hope you have a fantastic time and Butlins. x

  22. kestrel - Oh I know - It looks ok(ish) from a distance, but the moment you get cloe up it kind of lets you down. I'm sure I'll have another go and do it better second time around!

    Lady Mama - I know - I know...I'm thinking about it!! Have already taken some but they're too bad. Will try again tomorrow maybe (especially now since Renée has already pulled out half the strands of wool already). I have no pride left!

    Mamma Po - No way!!!! Could NEVER do them professionally (especially since I've seen your birthday cakes and I can't even begin to compete). As for photos - am thinking about it!

    Maddie - Oh you're so right - why didn't I think of that before?? Where were you when I needed you? Too late now. Took me all day! x

    Mwa - Ha ha - yes - exactly what my husband said. Can't make money in this country doing it. India perhaps...

  23. Amy - Oh you're not nosey at all - should have posted a photo judging by all the responses - and I did take a couple but they were a bit crap. Will try again tomorrow and see what I come up with. For you Amy, anything!

    RM - Oh you're so right - I am bored with pom poms - will be right over (have been crap recently - sorry). Have been living 'normal' life and I'm a bit behind.

    Jo - Oh I don't know about patience of a saint...don't think I'll be doing it again in a hurry! But part of me enjoyed it (a little). I think it was having something at the end to show for all my work. And yes, take some wool with you - hours of fun...andget the kiddies to do it too. Imagine all the exciting things you might produce!!

    MM - I know - you're so right. Couldn't exactly do it with poo could I? I'll get on the case tomorrow...

    WM - You're so right - such a clever Grandmother - might get my children to do it too...although I'm sure I'll be called upon every two minutes to sort out some problem...

    Linda - No problem - i saw the word 'Butlins' and I had to pop my head in! Looking forward to meeting you x

  24. I remember making these as a girl. I wouldn't pay much for them now. LOL.

  25. OH! You were here somewhere near me? :-(

    And Granny could be right... you never know, there might be a run on pompoms in the near future and then you'll wish you had stocked up.

  26. the last i recall of the pompoms, we were in a small wooden hut at the edge of a field. there were some 20 home educating mothers in the wooden hut and possibly 35 home educated children of varying ages. after that it all went blank.

    someone said many weeks later 'were you there the day of the pom poms?'

  27. Jenny - Yep I made them when I was younger too, although it took me ages to remember how...I'd pay a bit for a good one, but erm...not a lot for mine!

    imhh - I was darling - I was 10 miles north of Norwich - I'm often fairly close to you - and I do think about you when I drive past the bases sometimes! We will have to meet up one day...

    Not sure about Granny's wisdome though - her eyesights's not all that good!

    Grit - Oh crikey - I'm sorry to have unearthed some rather strange memories in your mind! Making one pom pom sent me slightly insane so it's hardly surprising you blacked it out!