Published on 21 February 2023 at 10:38

Way way back in lockdown #1 people were putting rainbows in their windows to support the NHS and to give their neighbours something to spot on their daily walk. I decided to make a kind of rainbow window hanging out of pompoms. I used hamma beads (those small plastic beads children put onto a plastic peg board and then iron to melt into a picture) as spacers, planned it all out of paper and attached to a net curtain wire (see image below). It was lovely to spot passers by looking at it or pointing it out to their companions.  

On completion way back in spring 2020, I planned and started another pompom hanging thing, I decided on a design, worked out how many pompoms would be needed and got making. Then I put them all in a bag, in a box and left them for a couple of years. In those 2 years I threw away the notebook that had the original design in (doh!) so when I came back to do something with them recently I had to start again constrained by the pompoms I had rather than designing and then making. As the idea had had time to fester and grow (and I had seen how the window pompoms have drooped and not stayed in place) I wanted to make this new piece more secure but wasn't quite sure how I was going to do it - I thought about having multiple points for the strings to attach to, or sewing them all together somehow but after a lot of deliberation and putting it off I grabbed some nice straight sticks I'd collected to use in it (from my favourite walking in the woods spots) and just went with it....


I'd decided on a long thin design (actually planned it as landscape but on realising it would be over a metre and a half long decided to flip it to portrait.) The design is mostly symmetrical but with a couple of colour flips. I'd got bags full of gold hamma beads (bought way back when I was first thinking about it) and decided to use a sturdier thread than the stretchy wool that the window hanging is made from.

Needing a place to work I put a hook in the wooden frame between the kitchen and back rooms (hopefully it will come in useful again at some later date....) Then, following my plan and starting in the middle of the design I got started, firstly adding all the pompoms in order on the down threads.

It took ages! I'd work on a few strands at a time then hang it up out of the way on the curtain rail. When I got to the point of having all the strands in place I wanted to work out a method to fix them more firmly than my original window hanging.

I decided to add further beading crossways. I'd used too many of my (I think 1000) originally purchased beads so got on to eBay to order some more. I wasn't sure if they were going to be the same tone of gold or not so waited for their arrival before proceeding - good job too as they are a different shade which I decided was a good thing (certainly wasn't going to keep ordering more to get the same colour.)

So then I wove (? - it feels live a weaving sort of thing) the horizontal lines using cotton and the newly purchased beads to produce what feels more like a fabric than a hanging. I was able to adjust the spacing of the vertical lines as I went and although not perfect it feels sturdier and more solid than without the addition of a horizontal element.

I got all the horizontal beading in place but it wasn't quite finished. I needed to work out what to put at the bottom rather than leaving trailing strings with bits of masking tape and it felt like it needed framing in some way. I crocheted up some spiral cords for the sides and investigated what to do at the bottom. My original plan had been to have another stick to mirror the one at the top but I found it both really difficult to attach tightly enough to keep the lines in place and also not that pleasing to look at. So I fiddled around with some sort of triangular and looped beading ends. I would like to say I planned the loops at the side for the crochet spirals to slot into but it was purely a happy accident. Worked perfectly though to keep them in place.

I then jazzed up the stick and changed to a new hanging cord - a lovely bright orange shoelace I had in my stash of things that will come in useful one day. Gold threads wrapped around and to hide the ends of the shoelaces and tada it was done! I have been able to transport it by lying it on a sheet and rolling it up and it does feel fairly sturdy.

I am pleased with how this has turned out and think it is bright, tactile, pleasant to look at but I'm not really sure what to do with it! I didn't make it to fill a space on my wall or to give as a gift. I made it because I wanted to see if I could. It is currently wrapped up and living under a chair. Now I just need to find somewhere to put it/someone who wants it. The process of making it has sparked ideas for future 'woven' in my own way textiles. It doesn't have to be pompoms that are stitched together, it could be small pieces of textiles, encased text or objects, pieces of paper, anything that I can punch a hole in or get a needle through, if only I had a 100 hours in each day I would be making a start on the next something new straight away!

*The name pomestry came about because I asked my eldest son what on earth I should call this thing I was making and he suggested pompom tapestry, but when I posted some pics on instagram one of my friends referred to it as pomestry and so the name has stuck in my mind.

Add comment


There are no comments yet.