Ideas are interesting little creatures. Sometimes they shine down on you like a ray of bright light. Other times they are just a flicker, barely noticeable…and so easy to ignore. A long time ago I asked a friend of mine to help cut apart sweaters I had felted. I had a lot of cupcake pincushion orders to fill and a HUGE pile of sweaters to process. She did a great job and upon completion, handed me a bag full of sweater seams. I looked at the bag and thought, what am I going to do with these? Mind you I have filled my studio (and attic, and basement) with sweaters and felt scraps of every kind…sometimes you just have to draw the line about what gets saved and what has to go! So, unfortunately, that bag of seams got tossed.

Now that flickering idea has finally come back to me…..

Pom poms!

Not only do they make great use of sweater “waste”, they will perfectly coordinate with any felted wool project. For example, the Tween Hooded Scarf in Warm Fuzzies is accented with 7 pompoms. In the book I made traditional poms out of yarn. If you want a funkier look, you might like to try these. Plus they are fast and easy!

First, lay out your felted sweater and cut open the side seams next to the lumpy “seam allowances” where the front and back sweater was joined. Then trim off the seams, keeping them as long as possible. You can trim them off sleeves and armholes, etc.

Then line up a handful of seam scraps and trim to about the same length. (these are about 7″ long)

Sew together up the middle, shoving them under the presser foot as you go.

Here they are, all connected in a row.

Then take your sewn row and roll it up. With needle and thread, stitch the center together and wrap tightly with the thread, pull center tight.

Pom! Look how nicely it coordinates with the rest of the felted sweater…that could be made into a hat, scarf, etc. Of course, you could make a pom pom out of plain cut strips of sweater felt as well. (I received an email from Emily saying that she made some pompoms this very same way but cut strips across felted sweaters sleeves to create loops. She sewed the loops together as shown here then snipped them open.) Next time I think I’ll mix colors together to make a multi-pom. I will also use more seams to make it fuller.

No hat to accent? Got a kitty? I bet this would make a fantastic cat toy!