Tag Archives: diy

cunning pompom technique

**This post is dedicated to my friend, M_______ L____, in Californ-ee-ay-a, without whom there wouldn’t be any pompoms at all!

So, I am now the proud owner of three different sizes of the Clover pompom maker.  I am extremely happy with them, and they each have names (which I won’t share with you, because it would just confirm what you may only suspect – that I’m a nutcase!).

One thing I wasn’t liking so much was that sometimes it was too easy to pull out a piece of yarn from the finished item, and I certainly didn’t want anyone buying a BonBon with a dodgy pompom. I think I wasn’t tying the yarn tightly enough around the centre, but even when I tied it so tightly that the thread almost snapped, it still bothered me. So now I do this:

When I’ve wrapped the first layer, ie. until you can’t see the plastic on the inner any more, I dot on some Stop Fray.

pompom1 pompom 5

pompom6 pompom7


I use the Stop Fray about four times on each side, and also on the very last bit just before closing it up and tying.


And because I live where I do, I am able to hang my pompoms in the sun to dry. (Sorry, northern hemispherers….)

I’ve also experimented with craft glue but that didn’t work as well as the Stop Fray. I know there are various fabric-type glues on the market and I once had something called Fray-Stoppa, which was a clear, runny glue, which I think would also have worked well.  Give it a bash with whatever you have lying around, and let me know what works for you.

I haven’t forgotten that I promised to give you the BonBon pattern, I am only halfway through the shocking pink one I’m making and want to finish it first so I can be sure that I’ve understood Eunice’s technique 100%.  Here is the beginning:

BonBon pink

Back soon x

BonBon update

I have a market at Kirstenbosch this Sunday, so Eunice delivered five fresh BonBons just in time this week.  (At my last market, the green and the caramel BonBons were the first items purchased, one with and one without a pompom). She’s done another sterling job, but this time I lured her into spending the afternoon with me (I think it was the custard danishes that did the trick) and teaching me how to make a BonBon myself.


eunice 3

eunice 1

eunice 2

She needed a lot of patience with me. Luckily, she has enough and some to spare.  I got about an eighth of the way through a BonBon before realising that this particular stitch used in this particular design is too much for me. It takes TOO LONG. I will lose interest less than halfway into the making of it, and then there will be half-finished BonBons all over the place.  So, I’m going to stick to being the PomPomist and Eunice the BonBonist.

She is also now officially Jam Tart #2, whether she likes it or not — but I think she does. On Saturday night, around 11.30, just as I was drifting off to sleep, an sms came beeping in: “Jill, how’s your crocheting going? did you finish the pink hat?“.  Blimey, just what I need –  a slave driver…

caramel bonbon

The texture of these hats is really soft and squwooshy. Squoochy? Skwooshy? I don’t know, none of those look right, but you know what I mean.  FYI one hat (plus medium pompom) weighs 156 g, and we’re using the Pure Gold Double Knit and a 4mm hook.

bonbon cream

Want to make your own BonBon? It’s dead easy and I’m busy writing up Eunice’s instructions for you, will post a bit later.

Back soon x



have a heart (or 7700)

Today I was going to do one of those 10-random-post things that Rachell of The Little Room got me thinking about. But I’ve changed my mind. Instead I’m going to spread some crochet love from Sandra at Cherry Heart:

boho hearts

and some sewing love from Rebeka at artsy-craftsy babe:

heart cushion

Both of these girls are SO inspiring. Just looking at what they’ve made makes my heart explode with desire! and my brain goes, Make it too, make it too! 

Happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow, everyone.  And remember to love yourself – because the more you do, the more you can love others. (That’s what I think, anyway).

Back soon x

sewing up a storm

I’ve become totally manic about sewing lately, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon. It started with the newsboys (hereand here….

carol      newsboy

carol newsboy 2     hats celeste

and now I’ve moved on, largely inspired by the receipt of a whole bunch of fabric samples from an awesome guy who runs a textile agency down the road from me …. thanks, Peter. Again.

So, I found a brilliant tutorial on how to make a simple shrug-type bolero here, and that’s what I did last night.


I used a much thinner and silkier type of fabric to the woolly one, and I also fiddled with the measurements a bit (my first effort was too tight over the bust).  But I’ve ended up with something that perfectly satisfies my three basic sewing requirements:  1. user-friendly 2. cheap and cheerful; 3. pretty damn quick to put together.

bolero 2

And yes, it IS very hot and sunshine-y in Cape Town again today.

Back soon x



time trial

Yesterday Melissa at vuchickens asked how long it takes me to make a newsboy. I didn’t know then, but I do now.

I made this last night, using two strands of dk acrylic and a 5.00mm hook. The pattern is the one I always use (newsboy pattern), and I did it in the smallest size of the three given. I made sure to begin just as my favourite soapie was starting so I would be less distracted.

carol newsboy

It’s a bit tight on me but it fits Carol perfectly.

Excluding the time I spent weaving in the ends and sewing on a button, it took me 65 minutes. I was quite impressed with myself.  I estimate that the medium and large sizes would take about 10 to 15 minutes longer.  (I’d like to point out that I don’t usually try and work so fast, I prefer to get into the rythym of crocheting and enjoy the sense of calm it brings — I had to hose down the hook afterwards, it was smouldering!!!)

Back soon x