Behold the humble pom-pom. Though small, it is mighty in its ability to spread joy.
Tanya had I recently had the opportunity to herd a small flock of kindergarteners through their first pom-pom making experience via Zoom. The skills required are: be able to wind yarn around an object (fingers, piece of cardboard, commercial pom-pom maker tool), tie a knot, and use scissors. There was much creative commotion, innovation, imagination, and only a few tears. We were excited to see the kids come of with their own uses for their creations, which included attaching a single pom-pom to a headband (adorable!) We also witnessed the making of friendships in a way that all adults should remember is direct and effective. One kid simply asked another kid if they wanted to be their friend :-)
However, as in friendship, there are many paths to pom-pom success (hover over or click photos for instructions):
You might get excited and want to spread the pom-pom love in multiples:
You might say "But I have no yarn!" No worries! You can make pom-poms out of string, or t-shirt yarn that you made yourself out of an old t-shirt. I've even made an emergency pom-pom out of toilet paper that is now a toy for our pet bunny :-) Works-in-Progress loves to make things out of other things that might have outlived their usefulness. For instance, using a lone or worn-out sock:
A basket of these makes for excellent indoor "snowball fights" :-)
The tiny fork-made pom-poms are great for earrings!
Pom-poms really are a good way to use up extra yarn, make something tired into something fresh (like a hat that you're bored of), add a little fanciness to your life (like a pom-pom headband, elastic tie or earrings), or just chuck at each other for fun.
Some images from today's online workshop, part of the sustainable Textile Teach-in series run by the Textile Museum of Canada, the fourth one we have done together. This one was Hosted as well by EcoFair Toronto 2020, during #wastereductionweek
Our hosts invited a tailor, Helen, who runs a business called Helen Mends- she began offering repair services in Toronto just a few years ago, with a mission to help divert waste by repairing and teaching repair skills, and it was really great to have her skills in the mix. We hope we can do more collaborations with her in the future!
The workshop was very well attended... the eventbrite was maxed out in a few days so the hosts set up an "overflow room" on youtube live. Hosts estimate 80+ people, and we have heard from the chat, the hosts and on social media that attendants were inspired and had fun so mission accomplished.
Here are the takeaways: If you need to get new clothes, swap, purchase second hand or invest in clothes that are single fiber well made clothes worth the investment. Don't buy more than you need. If you have more than you need, swap or find a new home where you know they are needed before you unload them where they may not be needed. If you manage your own textile waste you know it is not ending up in the landfill, where possible find a new use for old textiles- stuff your own pillow, make rags, repair them or use them as patches. Stylish and fun.
Eco Fair 2020 will be posting the video from today's workshop, and we will be posting excerpts of the useful bits on our website soon. Thanks Aelena, Annette, Leah, Marnie, Helen and all the teams for a great day.
art experiments turning waste into beauty