Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pompon Therapy

Pompon Chick from Bazaar Time, c. 1965

Pompon chick design supplied by the County Borough of Brighton Occupational Therapy Dept.

Yes, this unique pompon chick design was actually donated to Bazaar Time by the Brighton Occupational Therapy Department of the Brighton County Borough Asylum! There’s no indication whether they also provided the yummy lollipops.

Clearly, the OT Dept. of the Brighton Asylum felt that non-institutionalized crafters, like the institutionalized mentally ill, could benefit from pompon Art Therapy.

Doesn’t this look like a fun place to live? Why I can just imagine all the inmates happily making pompon chicks.

My mentally ill friend enthusiastically agrees that group therapy in her hospital would have been much more entertaining if she’d been able to pelt her fellow inmates with pompon animals.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Pompon Chick

3 (50 g) balls in Beau Blue 0350 and 2 (50 g) balls Snow White 504 Patons Double Knitting.

Pieces of felt as follows:–
Red 6 x 4 in. (15 x 10 cm); Yellow 3 x 2 in. (7 x 5 cm); Black and White 2 in. (5 cm) square.


Height 7 in. (18 cm)

Chicken is made from two woolly balls.
You might suppose the instructions end right here. After all, there isn’t much more to say. Slap two pompons together, stick felt feet and eyes on it, and you’re done!

Not so fast!

Professional therapists know that the mentally ill cannot be trusted with free form crafting.

Damn their uncrushed spirits!

Of course, one might question the wisdom of giving the mentally ill sharp objects and encouraging them to stick them into what appears to be an eyeball.

But no matter what TV shows like Criminal Minds tell you, remember, the vast majority of mentally ill people are NOT violent.

Don’t make my mentally ill friend smack you.
Cut two circles of card 5 in. (13 cm) diameter for body with centre hole 2 ¼ in. (6 cm) diameter, diagram 1 A. Place circles together and thread a blunt-ended needle with a long length each of Blue and White yarn. Thread yarns round circles until centre hole if filled, diagram 1 B. Cut round outer edge of circles between cards, diagram 1 C. Tie a double length of yarn tightly round centre, knotting securely, diagram 1 D. Do not cut off the ends. Remove cards and clip away any uneven ends of pom pon.
Word keeps autocorrecting my typing, so if any of the pom pons in this pattern have been replaced with pomp on, don’t blame me.

Evidently Word likes to get its pomp on.

Just like this fellow!

Click the link, you won’t regret it.
For Head, cut two circles of card 4 in. (10 cm) diameter with centre hole 1 ¾ in. (4 cm) diameter and, using Blue yarn only, make pom pon as described for Body.

Finish – Tie the two pom pons firmly together, then tie remaining ends of yarn for hanging.
Goodness, the chick’s not even assembled yet, and we’re already being told to hang it? I’m no occupational art therapist, but I don’t think it’s healthy to have the mentally ill make cute suicidal animals.

Trace outlines of Feet, Beak and Eyes from diagrams and cut out and draw round each shape on appropriate pieces of felt as follows:

Feet (2) and Tongue (5) on Red; Beak (4) on Yellow; Eye (1) twice on White and Iris (3) twice on Black. Using rubber solution, stick the features and feet in position, see photograph. Fold Beak in half and insert tongue, sticking straight edge of tongue to fold of beak.
I also thought occupational therapists weren’t supposed to encourage OCD behaviour in their patients, but clearly I’m not a professional.

After all, I wouldn’t think it would be a good idea to give the mentally ill this kind of equipment to play with, either.

Oh wait, my mentally ill friend says she thinks this kind of Art Therapy is a great idea. She suggests leaving her alone with the writers of Criminal Minds for an hour or two, and she’ll make them some crafts they’ll never forget!

Or did she say make them INTO some crafts?

Uh oh.

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. this is so funny - thank you for sharing :)

  2. OMG! laughed through the whole read. Too funny. Yes, the BCB Asylum looks like the sorta place I wanna be checked into when that time comes?? Great read/post, thanks for sharing!

  3. Lost Sentiments and Never Too Old - I'm so pleased you enjoyed my post! :D

  4. :) After reading it I had to rave about it to my facebook page and share it on my blog - love it! :) Sooooo good to be following you :)