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Most crafters are familiar with pompoms as embellishments for hats or scarves. The authors, a collective of Japanese fiber artists who call themselves Pompoms, banish the "embellishment-only" point of view with this series of whimsical projects that use creative placement of yarn and shaped trimming techniques to create pompoms featuring patterns or pictures. No specialized equipment is needed—either a piece of cardboard or a standard pompom maker will do; the magic is in the way the yarn is wrapped around the pompom maker. There's a lot of counting involved, since the directions are given in number of wraps of each color of yarn, but the end results are surprisingly detailed. Standouts include a variety of pretty floral pompoms, as well as a pompom matryoshka set. VERDICT These easy projects require simple equipment and inexpensive supplies, making them appropriate for all ages.