pom-pom tutorial: how to make a (cute/fast) puffball christmas tree

I can’t be the only person around who ties pom-poms to their Christmas tree, can I? I’m surprised that the intertubes don’t runneth over with these, but maybe I’m a few seconds ahead of the zeitgeist this time. Anyhoo, I’ve been using yarn on my tree for awhile. It happened soon after I discovered that not all yarn need come from high-end yarn shops. For a not a lot of dollars, I could get a ton of yarn to braid into garlands, knit into ornaments, or turn into puffballs (i.e. pom-poms).

This year I went the puffball route, since I had two skeins of cheapy bulky yarn from a pattern I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to draft. Cheap yarn is glorious since you don’t need to feel (all that) guilty if you just happen to throw these away w/ the tree. By all means, save them! Make them from cashmere! But me, I go the inexpensive/ disposable route around Christmas-time. Call me lazy if you must.

I’ve seen a few ways to make pom-poms, but they seem really cumbersome. I can’t be bothered to cut out cardboard C shapes, or any cardboard at all, really. I just use my fingers. The written directions for my “method” are below, along w/ some poorly-conceived photo-directions. I was fooling around w/ adding text to the photos; they look strange, but I’m including them anyway. I should probably put image editing on my 2014 to-learn list.

Materials:
1 skein of bulky yarn, any color you like. With a 64 yard skein, I made 15 biggish puffs, w/ plenty of yarn left over
scissors

Directions:
1) Cut lengths of yarn (~10 inches) to use for cinching, one for each ball you plan to make. This is your “cincher-yarn”.

2) Take end of yarn from skein, tuck over palm-side of fingers, then wrap it (NOT TOO TIGHT) ~17 times around three for biggish size or ~7 times around two fingers for smallish size. When you come around to your palm-side on the last wrap, cut yarn. (Go crazy and wrap it 18 or 15 or 13 times; it’s really not a precise requirement.)

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3) Take one end of a cincher-yarn length and poke it b/w your index and middle fingers. Get the cincher-yarn as central as you can, then tie a single knot. The yarn’s still on your fingers here.

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4) Slide yarn off fingers.

5) Adjust the cincher yarn so it’s in the middle, now turn that single knot into a tight double-knot.

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6) You should now have a big bunch of loops that are squished in the middle.

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7) Snip loops on both sides of the cincher-yarn.

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8) This will give you a big bunch of straight yarn lengths, tied in the middle.

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8) Pinch the yarn into pom-pom shape. If some of the yarn is different lengths, trim them. You can trim a little or a lot, depending on how dense you want it to look.

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9) Using the long cincer-yarn, tie them to your tree! I wrap mine right around the tip of the branch.

11325826124_41675195be_cNote: To make a puffball garland, use shorter cincher-yarn and tie balls to a long strand of yarn.