In response to Lynne's comment on my last post here's my quick and easy recipe for making pompoms. I came up with this method the first year that I started knitting Innocent smoothie hats when I realised that the traditional technique was just going to drive me insane.
1) Cut out two 1 inch circles (I draw around a 2p piece) from a piece of cardboard.
2) Fold each circle in half and make two cuts to cut out a small square from the centre (life's too short to be cutting out tiny circles).
3) Measure out three arm lengths of dk weight yarn, tie the ends in a knot, double the yarn and then thread the doubled yarn through the eye of a large yarn needle and pull through so the ends are even (i.e. you will be pulling 8 strands of yarn at once through the hole).
4) Sandwich the two card circles together and wrap the yarn around them until the hole in the centre is absolutely filled (this is the real secret to a properly plump pompom).
5) Cut a 4-5 inch piece of yarn and thread the yarn needle. Pull aside the strands of yarn and insert the needle between the card circles and out the other side (don't go through the centre of the pompom). Repeat until the yarn goes all the way around the pompom then tie the ends in a single knot.
6) Taking care not to snip the ends of the yarn you're using to tie the pompom use a pair of sharp scissors to snip through the strands of yarn wrapped around the card circles.
7) Pull the single knot tight around the centre of the pompom and then tie another knot to secure it.
8) Trim any long strands until the surface of the pompom is even and then use the two ends to secure your pompom to your hat.