pompoms in Balfron


After some exciting developments on the relocation front, Tom and I went to view a house just outside Balfron yesterday. As we drove about the outskirts, I began to notice a few pompoms hanging from the trees and bushes outside people’s houses….then I spotted a whole jolly array of them along a hedge by the bowling green…


…in fact, the whole town was festooned with pompoms….


It was a such a beautiful, sunny day, and the jolly pompoms made the whole place seem quite magical. The house we saw was pretty magical too, it has to be said. Both of us were in no doubt at all that we could make our home there. The drawn-out complexities of the Scottish property system mean that we won’t know if this is a possibility or not for a wee while, but please do cross your fingers for us.

I found out later that the pompoms were part of FABFEST, 2013. Pompom contributions to the festival are actively encouraged, so I shall be getting my pompom makers out and whipping up a few to send tonight. And if you’d like to make a pompom or two to decorate Balfron, you’ll find more details and a postal address here.


Sometimes . . .


. . . only occasionally . . .


. . . it is very good to make things just for the sake of making them.


Tom was out with work last night, and, after enjoying making a couple of tiny pompoms for my new mittens, I got out my box of Appleton’s crewel wools and decided to make some more.


I thought about colour . . .


. . . I thought about palettes . . .

And I thought an awful lot about some work I had seen by Donna Smith at the Bonhoga Gallery during Shetland Wool Week.


Donna’s piece deserves a lot of thinking about, and I’ll perhaps say more about it another time.

I have no idea what I am going to do with these wee pompoms: probably nothing, but that really doesn’t matter. The point is that I enjoyed both the thinking and the making, and, though it has been several years since I’ve done any crewel embroidery, the beautiful muted hues of those Appleton’s skeins have really made me want to stitch something up again.

Now I really am off for a few days! See you shortly.

revenge of the pompom

Some of you may remember that in a recent post, I appeared to express an aversion to pompoms. Let me explain: I don’t, in fact, dislike pompoms in and of themselves, but merely hate the process of making the chuffers. Clearly, I have been scarred by interminable evenings spent wrestling with wonky cardboard rings, scissors, and escaping yarn strands. . . I thought I never wanted to create another pompom ever . . . but recently I have had a change of heart

After reading my anti-pompom post, Ina and Pokey were kind enough to send me a pompom maker. The bits of plastic you see above come in several different sizes, slot together in an incredibly nifty way, and are a total revelation! Oh, nifty plastic pompom maker, where have you been all my life?

Before I knew where I was, this had happened:

and then this:

and then this:

Those of you who left a pro-pompom comment on my anti-pompom post will no doubt be pleased to hear that I have now designed a hat atop which one of these mahoosive woolly balls will sit, rivalling the wearer’s heid with its gigantic proportions.

All being well I’ll be able to reveal the revenge of the pompom design in a couple of days. . . .

Thankyou so much, Ina and Pokey, for your wonderful pompom maker gift!


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