Last October, I signed up for a class with Kim Werker, Betsy Greer, and Leanne Prain in Brooklyn (where I serendipitously met internet friend Kelly of Our Secret Treehouse). Afterward I tried to make non-awkward small talk with my craft heroes, and Leanne mentioned that a great way to get kids involved in yarnbombing is to let them make pom-poms. I tucked that in the back of my mind for just the right project.
Fast forward to this spring: I was hanging with the folks of Metuchen Yarnbombing, coming up with ideas for a yarnbomb booth at the town’s upcoming art festival, when I blurted out “pom-poms!” When our first plan was denied due to the possibility of irreparable damage to foliage (???), Jen bought the perfect kid-sized fence to cover in yarny cuteness. On Friday night, our crew gathered at the appropriate street corner and looked over the sample pom-poms we each made. It had been sticky and hot all day, there weren’t many folks walking around, and I figured we were in for an evening of sitting around winding yarn. I remember asking a group of teenagers if they wanted to try making a pom-pom… And then, the droves… For the next 3 hours, I repeated the key phrases “Don’t wrap too tight or your fingers will fall off,” “Are you safe with scissors?” and “It’s OK if you cut me, but let’s be careful so we don’t hurt anyone else” again and again. I’m not afraid to put scissors or needles or pins into the hands of newbie crafters, but there was such a crowd, and it was getting darker by the minute. Luckily, we made it through the entire night without a single injury. (There was also the added danger of pom-pom projectiles, as some genius told the kids that the only way to get a pom-pom to fluff up was the throw it in the air. I even told the super shy kids that the higher they threw it, the fluffier it would be. I can’t get enough of kids making that face that just says “Really?”) I wish I could show you a picture of the fence completely covered in poms, but truthfully, we let most of the kids walk away with their new little buddies. How could I judge someone for falling in love with their first little yarn creation? I was completely exhausted by the time we left, but as I told CH on the way home, “I wish I could do this every day.” So if you need a crazy lady to come tell your kids “If you keep wrapping the yarn so tight, your fingers will fall off,” give me a call. Otherwise, you can make your own pom-poms with kids with just their hands or even a fork at home.