A Cozy Christmas Wall Hanging and Epic Pompom Fail

This morning I fixed my husband’s sandwich, walked him to the door, waved him good-bye. He is away to work, and knowing him, he has his day planned out, and chances are high that it will work the way he has it planned.

Until he gets home.

Because there’s something about this house that looks a lot like this calendar page.

Mary Engelbreit calendar page
My Daily Calendar page for yesterday. Forecast for today looks the same.

Andy, our hyper little furball, appeared to feel the same way this morning as the calendar dog. He kept peering up at me and around me as if to find something he thought should be there, but somehow, wasn’t.

Maybe he was looking for yesterday.

The same way I am.

Where did it go?

We were humming along, my daughter-in-law and her littles, having a grand old time cutting and sewing and making Christmas dresses for them all, when suddenly, the day was over. And we were far from done.

Twenty-six or more undone things from The List are staring me in the face this morning.

pompom fail Cozy Christmas After All

I’m blaming the pompoms.

There was this Christmas decor project I made for our cozy buffalo check and sweater knit Christmas, and hung on the wall with a little triumphant smile. Or maybe, a huge, gloating grin.

One project to cross off the list!

Then, I looked at it again, and realized it wasn’t quite right.

It needed pompoms hanging from the corner.

I’m sure no one else tries re-inventing the wheel with quite the same talent as a certain person I know.

Look for a tutorial? Google some easily found instructions?

Nope. I was going by memory. I had watched my mother and grandmother make pompoms, and the good old ways are good enough for me!

I went about wrapping yarn and tying and cutting and trimming.  I have to admit, things were humming along nicely. Until a little memory niggled at me and said, “Didn’t they used to steam the yarn ball to fluff it out? That sounds like a good old-fashioned trick that I can wow the modern world with.”

Umm. No.

First of all, while dangling a pompom over the boiling pot of water, I dropped him.  I couldn’t even look, politely averting my eyes until he dried a little. He looked like he deserved a decent burial in a special box. No one could leave anything in such misery, so I tried CPR, with lots of TLC, STAT, and he survived. He’ll never be the same, but he forgave me, and joined his luckier buddy on the wall hanging in the end.

Two Lessons to take away from my Epic Pompom Fail:

  1. Modern yarn is not created equal to 1950s yarn. I was using some sweet Bernat Softee Chunky red yarn, and softy doesn’t cut it. I should have had some wool yarn with a serious twist to it, that would have responded to steaming without getting softer and unraveling. That old yarn might have unraveled, but it would also have “felted” and created a beautiful, melted together in a pretty way, ball. I don’t pretend to know a lot about old yarn and felting, but that is what I gathered when I tried to discover what went wrong.
  2. Don’t try something you’ve never done before without deep and intense scientific research. BEFOREHAND. Don’t take shortcuts because the calendar says it’s Christmas, and you still haven’t torn off the October page. Your pompoms will thank you. Your husband will thank you. Your house will thank you, because there won’t be bits and fuzzes of red yarn all over that got trimmed in the pompom triage intervention. My biggest grandlittle did her best. Her little 6 year old muscles wielded that heavy vacuum head, until she came to me demanding that I remove the head, because she couldn’t, and she needed to vacuum some fuzzy stuff from off the table.  She was totally disgusted by fuzz on the table. When I suggested in time-starved desperation that she could swipe the fuzz onto the floor, and vacuum it up from there, she looked at me as if I had suggested she throw food on the floor.

Cozy Christmas Wall Hanging trimming the pompoms


The End

In the evening, relaxing in my recliner while wrapped in a cozy Christmas throw, reading and dozing and gathering wool, I saw this:

Cozy Christmas Buffalo Plaid and Mittens Wall Hanging


It’s going to be a cozy Christmas after all.


PS: If you want to make pompoms

Please don’t let my experiences scare you, because they really are easy. If you follow directions.

Here is a link to a great tutorial, and all you have to buy is the yarn.

DIY cardboard pom pom maker