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Yarn Pompom Rug Challenge

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Paige's craft issues started young, when nonstop begging earned her first supplies, which were as protected -unused- as a dragon's hoard.

yarn-pompom-rugs-worth-the-work

Let's Use Up Some Yarn!

As part of reducing the amount of random craft supplies around the house, I thought this pompom rug seemed like a good bet- it looks easy, fun, and would make for something wonderful to wiggle one's toes in during the cold winter nights.

What's not to love?

The Video That Birthed a Rug:

Cardboard Pompom Forms Didn't Cut It

It Seemed Like a Lot of Yarn...

That's about a 2ft cube. Surely, enough to make a few pompoms, right? Spoiler: it was not remotely enough.

That's about a 2ft cube. Surely, enough to make a few pompoms, right? Spoiler: it was not remotely enough.

Pompoms Will Bust Your Stash Faster Than You Think

I didn't do a full calculation while I was working, or count what I used- after all, it's all extra yarn, right? It wasn't as if I was trying to make sure I had the same dye lots or anything.

For my rug of approximately 2ftx 2ft, a rough count after the fact shows 46 jumbo sized pompoms around the edges and around 140 pompoms inside, so even using the skeins with the most generous measurement, that was 20+ full skeins plus more than a dozen of the Jumbo skeins- and little of what I had were full skeins but bits and pieces left over from other things.

My "stash" wasn't nearly that big, and I ended up coming out of pocket for more than half the yarn. Now, I could've gone much smaller than I did, but my vision was to be able to use it as a meditation cushion...in retrospect, not the best decision on a number of levels, including that I hadn't anticipated the rug being immediately claimed by every animal in the house, but more on that later.

Yarn Weight Dramatically Changes the Look of Your Pompom

The white pompom is the jumbo weight- it ends up looking like a solid circle, the fibers immediately separate out. The multicolor is medium, requires much more yarn but is the softest. The solid blue is a #5. Less yarn, but less finished looking.

The white pompom is the jumbo weight- it ends up looking like a solid circle, the fibers immediately separate out. The multicolor is medium, requires much more yarn but is the softest. The solid blue is a #5. Less yarn, but less finished looking.

How Much Yarn Does a Pompom Require?

Yarn WeightYards Per PompomAvg Length of SkeinPompoms per Skein

Medium- #4

38

270

7

Bulky- #5

25

114

4

Super Bulky- #6

14

90

6

Jumbo - #7

8

21

2

The Quality Assurance Monitor Takes Her Job Seriously

yarn-pompom-rugs-worth-the-work

Not Going to Sugar Coat - It's a Tedious Process

It takes about 5 minutes to make and clean up a thick pompom if you're focused. Longer if you're watching tv or otherwise distracted. The good news is, they're easy to make so you absolutely can multitask- something I absolutely encourage it to keep your sanity.

Still, don't expect to finish it up in an evening or two. Working on it a bit each night, it took a couple of weeks to finish the pompoms.

After that a mental health break was required, before coming back to tie them to the rug backing.

Production Ramps Up...

Some of the yarns surprised me, like the wine colored ball to the left, which turned out to have a white core. Looks like a firecracker, though, and I liked it!

Some of the yarns surprised me, like the wine colored ball to the left, which turned out to have a white core. Looks like a firecracker, though, and I liked it!

The Rug on Completion.

But before I turned the edges underneath and sewed them to hide the backing. Also, clearly I used more blue yarn than anything else, for two reasons: it matches the room it was going to live, and the blue yarn was on sale when I had to buy more.

But before I turned the edges underneath and sewed them to hide the backing. Also, clearly I used more blue yarn than anything else, for two reasons: it matches the room it was going to live, and the blue yarn was on sale when I had to buy more.

Post Project Assessment

It's been a couple of months since this one wrapped up. At the time, I really thought it looked great!

Things started to "unravel" both literally and figuratively pretty quickly, however:

  • As a "stash buster," this was a bust- yes, it used up what I had, but I had to go buy quite a bit more to complete it.
  • I'd never really thought about the structure of a pompom, but you basically have many short yarn fibers held together with a prayer. Even basic use of the rug starts to work them loose. Every strand lost loosens the rest until it's a cascade.
  • As a result, if I were to do this again*, I wouldn't use yarn as the center tie. Perhaps a twine or even fishing line- something you can really tug on to get tight without it breaking the way yarn does.
  • I very much underestimated how irresistible the rug was going to be to every single pet in the house, which has hastened its decline by no small measure. The dog keeps mashing it into a huge fluffy pillow, kicking and digging until it's just right. The cat kneads, pulling strands out as she goes. Even the parrot tries to steal them to bring back to his cage in the hopes of luring a ladybird from the wilds into his lair- a guy's gotta dream, right?
  • Accordingly, I'm resigned to picking up yarn bits for the foreseeable future. Never once did I meditate on it, but it very quickly became the pet bed of choice.

*I will not be doing this again. So sure was I that I would never, ever want to make another pompom that I gave the little maker tools away.

Where We are Now

yarn-pompom-rugs-worth-the-work

The Verdict- Comparing the Experience to the Video

Did the video give an accurate representation of the project? As far as it went, yes. It didn't really show the time or materials required- the assumptions I made are on me.

One nitpick is that in retrospect I can't help but notice that the footage of the completed rug is from an angle to the side. As I was attaching to the rug backing I found that in looking at it from above, you could see an awful lot of the backing if you just sort of set them side-by-side-by-side. I ended up packing them in to try to get the most fluffy coverage possible. You can get an idea of this effect around the 3:39 mark.

Was the project worthwhile? Depends on who you ask. The Doxie would for sure say it was.

Verdict? Buy It or Make It? Depends. If you want something in specific colors or a specific pattern, you can absolutely do this. In an ideal house, it could work. Clearly, I don't live in an ideal house and needed it to be functional.

As for me, I've already bought a replacement. In terms of cost of materials and labor, this probably ran about $60 and a dozen hours, minimum.


The Animals Got the Pompoms. For Under $20, I Got...

Comments

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on August 20, 2020:

You have saved me the effort of trying, so I thank you. I have some yarn in my craft stash, so I thought to myself, Hey I could do one of those pom pom rugs. Nope. Just Nope. I don't have the nimble fingers for yarn crafts, so I shall admit defeat and pass the skeins onto someone who can make something useful. Thanks again.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 19, 2020:

Hi Paige this is amazing! You did an awesome challenge and have a well written hub.