A Ribbed Tree

I’ve been taking pictures of interesting tree trunks in order to come up with more ideas on how to make the trunks of my trees. I really liked this one, with its deep ridges:

Inspiration for the Ribbed Tree

This reminded me of the deep open ridges of brioche stitch, which can easily be worked in the round. So I started with my usual 32 stitches for a binary tree, and worked the first two sections (with 32 and 16 stitches) in brioche stitch. For the third section (8 stitches), I switched to a simple 1×1 rib, and the last section is i-cord, as usual. This is what I ended up with:

Ribbed Tree - Trunk

It’s a fairly fat trunk, since brioche stitch tends to spread quite a bit, but I like the effect. For the leaves, I wanted to try to create something along the lines of a weeping willow. I grabbed three different green threads, cut longish sections, and knotted six strands at a time into the tips of the branches, with three sets per tip. To do this, double up your bunch of threads, insert a big enough crochet hook into the branch, pull the doubled up loop through, and then the ends of the bunch throug the loop. Tighten up the knot – easy and fast! This is what the result looks like:

Ribbed Tree with Added Leaves

After stuffing and with the help of gravity, here’s our weeping willow:

Weeping Willow - Finished

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Making lots of pompoms at the same time

So, I showed you my Fibonacci tree, with its pompom leaves:

Fibonacci Tree - Finished

Winding pompoms can get quite labour-intensive if you need more than one, at least if you make them around cardboard circles (like I learnt to as a kid) or those modern plastic contraptions that work the same. Then I visited a friend’s workshop, who’s among other things a professional pompom-maker (yes, that’s actually a thing). And there I saw a much more efficient way to make lots of pompoms, and when I started this project, I knew I had to play around with a home-made version of this.

I even remembered to take pictures this time, so here’s how you do it:

First, you need two dowels or similar that are quite a bit apart to wind your threads around. For that purpose I had acquired a pair of cheap clamps a while ago. Installing them upside down on my couch table gives me this:

Pompoms - Winding the Thread

I grabbed a nice collection of different yarns to give some life to my leaves:

Pompoms - Yarns Used

I didn’t use them all in the same proportion – I made a couple of rounds with the sparkly green only between each round with all the yarns taken together. After I thought I had enough yarn wound, I started to bind the yarn bundle in regular distances, in this case every 5 centimetres. This will yield a pompom of about 5 centimetres in diameter. Leave the ends of the binding thread hanging, you’ll use them to attach the finished pompom to the tree.

Now comes the fun part: cut in the middle between each binding thread, and you’ll get this:

Pompoms - cut apart

Almost done! A bit of rolling between my hands gave this result:

Pompoms - Finished

Looking like a pretty good set of leaves. For a proper pompom, some more rounds of winding would have been better, but for our purpose, I like the slightly open look. Since the tree took only five pompoms, I have lots of leftovers, for another tree of the same species or some bushes, which would also look well made from pompoms piled over each other.