I’m so joyful about this week’s Free Festive Friday pattern. It’s so simple but makes me so happy! I was looking at some beautiful weaving pictures on Instagram which use sticks to hang the weave off. At the same time, I was in the process of making a pom pom for another pattern I am working on and just put both together. My guru James Altucher would call it idea sex!
It was one of those things that just came to me and felt like the most obvious idea in the world (for that very reason I haven’t googled it to see if someone beat me to it – I’m sure they have!).
To add to the eureka moment, this was so much fun and so simple to make. It’s a great craft to make with kids because you can get them involved at every stage.
There’s actually almost no crochet involved in this. Just lots of lovely bright yarn and a trip to nature. Two of my favourite things!
So lets start with how to make the Pom Pom Tree!
Step 1: First of all, collect some sticks in a range of sizes from a local park or wood. If you don’t get to nature much this is a perfect excuse to get your wellies, hats and scarves on and get out there. I always loved collecting sticks and bits from nature as a kid and that hasn’t really changed. Last week I went to dig out the mug I had bought at the Royal Observatory for my brother’s birthday some months back and when I put my hand in the bag, I spiked it on a conker shell I had collected with a bunch of acorn caps from Greenwich Park the same day!
I got my sticks from the gardens in Emmaus which is an amazing charity which tackles homelessness. They have a second hand shop and cafe near me and after meeting a friend for lunch there we went browsing for sticks – just as the snow started to come down!
Here is my pile of sticks, from which I selected 5 different sizes and laid them out from small to big – the small ones being the top of the tree!
Step 2: Using some variegated green yarn which I’ve had in my stash for ages, I wrapped the yarn around each of the sticks, covering them in the green yarn as a symbolisation of the evergreen leaves. This section is totally optional. I think it would look great just with the bare sticks, or you could go to town and over them in tinsel!
My cat preferred the yarn covered ones and was quite reluctant to part with the big one!
Step 3: This is where the little bit of crochet happened! I made 7 cords by chaining 30 st and fastening off leaving a long tail. I used these to tie the sticks together so they would hang down. I used one cord from the smallest stick to the next smallest one. Then one on each end of that one to the next size and so on and so on. I used the cords at either end of the sticks as this gave it more balance. One tie in the middle of each stick is an alternate option but it will become quite a balancing act to hang the pom poms on later!
I chained 50 to create a loop for hanging which I attached to the top of the smallest stick. It was a bit wonky at this stage but that’s part of the rustic charm and I knew I would have the option to straighten it out when I started adding the pom poms!
Step 4 : Make some pom poms. Make ALL the pom poms. I love bright colours as you will have seen from last week’s ‘paper chain’ pattern but this time I decided to be less organised with it. I just used all my scraps of yarn to make lots of pom poms, mixing up the yarn colours in some cases. You know I love a stash busting project!
I confess that the twin cardboard circle technique I remember vividly using as a kid (always cut from empty cereal boxes, ‘Blue Peter’ style), has given way to using actual pom pom makers (aff). If you don’t have either, you can just use your own hands.
Wrap your yarn around 2, 3 or 4 fingers 100-200 times, or until you think you have enough, and fasten off. The thicker the yarn, the more fingers you’ll need and the more fingers, the bigger the pom pom,
Gently remove the yarn from your fingers, and tie a thread of yarn tightly (try not to break it!) around the centre of the ‘roll’ of yarn you’ve just created.
Snip the loops of yarn at either end, shake out and there you have it! Your pom pom may need some shaping – mine are always a little wonky!
Make sure you leave a long tail from the tie so you can hang them on your tree.
I made all mine sat watching blue planet, which for those outside the UK, is a wonderful nature program with David Attenburgh that regularly makes me cry!
Step 5: Then get creative tying on pom poms.
You’ll need to balance them so that your pom pom tree doesn’t end up lopsided, but that is the only rule!
Once you’ve got them where you want them, tie the tail tight and snip off the ends.
You could even use this as an advent tree, hanging one pom pom a day!
This is what my tree looks like but I’ve decided I’m going to keep going until there is no room left… I do love pom-poms.
My actual christmas tree is going to be donated to Emmaus, the charity I mentioned earlier. Usually I make and sell Christmas decorations this time of year and donate the proceeds to homeless charities but this year has been so crazy I haven’t had the making time, so giving them a big up here is the least that I can do!
Once you’re done, hang and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this project, and as always, don’t forget to tag me in your finished makes! Nothing makes me happier than seeing my designs brought to life by others. I love the colour choices and personal touches you add to the patterns!
On Instagram, you can use the hashtag #HookMeHappy or just tag @doradexplored. You can tweet me your pictures, or add your them to my Facebook page. And if socials aren’t your thing, feel free to email me your efforts. It really does make my day! I’m also a huge fan of Pinterest so if you like my patterns I’d love it if you pin them, or visit my Pinterest page which showcases some wonderful inspirational crochet patterns – the talent out there blows my mind!
Until next time.
(C) DoraDoes 2018. You may sell what you make from my patterns, but please credit me as the designer. The pattern is for personal use only and may not be shared. My photos may be shared with credit.