Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cool shades, man.

This next yarn idea morphed as I went along.  It began after I made the yarn valance for mini's room and I realized that I really disliked... well, MOST of her room.  Except for the tea table and stools.  I still like those.  So.  She has a lamp for night time (because my kids are scared of the dark) - wait.  Let me find a picture.  

Don't you judge me.  I was REALLY going all out safari on this room.  I painted the shade with a color wash so, even though you can't tell in this picture, the bottom is more saturated yellow and fades to a light yellow on top.  And that is where the coolness ends.  I spray painted the base this metallic-y tannish beige, no clue what the color actually is.  Then I hot glued giraffe ribbon and wood beads and plastic jewel trim with leather accents. Oh the horror.  Obviously I should have just left all lampshades alone.

Anyway, after I finished the valance, I realized that what her lamp actually needed was yarn.  I had this awesome idea to strip a lampshade down to the skeleton and wrap yarn vertically than weave yarn horizontally all up and down... which would have taken a millennia, but I was willing to do it because I love my daughter so much.  Do you know how hard it is to find lampshades that actually HAVE skeletons around here?  They don't exist.  Anywhere.

Then one night while drifting off to sleep I had this stroke of genius.  Or maybe genius is too strong.  I had this stroke of averagely smart.  A-ha!

And it was SOOOO averagely smart, and I loved it so much, I made one for my son as well.  (Because being afraid of the dark apparently runs in our family so everyone needs his/her own lamp.)

So you get 3 tutorials in one today!!  Yea!

Let's start with this one:

First off, you will need to make some oversized pom pons.  You can get all kinds of fancy pom makers, but I just use two tag board circles with the middles cut out.  You'll also need yarn in whatever color you want.  I like to take the end of the skein and start rolling a ball.  When it gets big enough I cut it from the skein.  This makes it a lot easier to stuff the yarn through the middle hole, because you're just stuffing a ball not a whole ton of loose yarn.

You probably know how to make a pom pon already.  In case you don't, here you go!
1.  Hold your circles together one on top of the other and start wrapping your yarn around them.
2.  Wrap over the loose end to hold it in place.  Keep wrapping, through the hole and around the outside, over and through the hole.
3.  Cover the WHOLE circle.  Use the whole yarn ball up.
4.  Take your scissors (oh yeah, you'll need a scissors too) and cut around the outside of the yarn.
5.  Snip, snip, snip, all the way around being careful not to move the yarn pieces that you cut.  Hold the whole thing down with one hand.
6.  Cut ALL of the yarn.
7.  Cut a small piece of yarn the same color.
8.  Slide it in between the two tag board circles, and gently wrap the piece of yarn around the circle.
9.  Tighten the yarn piece, which will catch all the other pieces of yarn in the middle.  Tie a knot.
10.  Tie another knot.
11.  Now the yarn is in a cute ball!
12.  Slide the pom pon out through the middle.
13.  It looks a little wonky.
14.  There should be two long yarn pieces - from the piece you tied around.  Grab these and shake gently but firmly.
15.  Now it looks better.
16.  Trim around the ball of yarn to a) get rid of any unruly or extra long pieces, b) shape it into a very round ball and c) cut it down to the size you want.
17.  Now that it's had a hair cut, it looks very respectable.
18.  See the difference?  You'll likely take your yarn balls down by about half or so.  (don't get me wrong, I like the shaggy ones too, but not for this particular project.

NOTE: For the purposes of this project, do NOT cut the two long yarn pieces that you tied around the clump to turn it into a pom pom.  Leave those long.

Now let's make a lamp!

Here's what you need for the Yarn Monogram Pom Shade:

Just a note, I used a "doll needle" (which I got at Walmart, if you need to know).  You could also probably use a darning needle.  You need a needle that is large and tough, has a big enough eye for yarn and is a sharp point so it will easily go through a lampshade.

1.  Thread your needle with your yarn of choice.  Tie a knot in the end of the yarn.
2.  Make sure you've got a long enough piece that you can do the entire desired initial.
NOTE: not pictured, draw your initial on the lamp shade very lightly with a pencil.  If you make a mistake, you will likely be able to erase as long as you've drawn lightly enough and have a decent eraser (not a smudgy one) though this does depend on what your lampshade is covered with.
3.  Pick a corner of your letter to start with.  Begin with your needle on the inside of your shade and stick it up through the shade in that corner.
4.  Pull your yarn all the way through.
5.  Go to the next corner and push your needle through the front down to the inside.
6.  Pull your needle and the yarn all the way through.
7.  Poke your needle up directly next to the last spot it went down, but not so close you make a big hole and the yarn comes out completely.  
8.  Pull your needle all the way up.

9.  Continue in this fashion - extending the yarn over the straight edges of the letter, poking the needle down through the shade to the inside,
10.  pulling the yarn through, poking the needle up directly next to the spot it went down, extending the yarn over the straight shot,
11.  then poking the needle back down at the next corner,
12.  until you've sewn all around the initial.
13.  On the inside of the shade, where you've stopped your initial, poke the tip of your needle through one of the tiny yarn catches and pull it through, making sure the needle goes through the loop of yarn and pulling it tightly to create a knot.  Do this twice and cut off the yarn.

15.  Once you've got your initial in place, you can modernize it a little bit by adding lines down the middle.  Totally optional.
16.  Tie a knot in the end of the yarn again.  Poke your needle up through the mid-point at one end of your initial.
17.  Pull it all the way through.   
18.  Then just use the same method as before to extend a yarn line down the middle of the letter.

19. Lay your pom pons around the shade get an idea of layout and color pattern.
20.  Use your super tough hole punch and make holes around the bottom of the lamp shade.
21.  Try to space them equally around the whole thing.
22.  Stick one of the long yarn pieces through the hole.
23.  Tie the ends of the long yarn pieces together.
24.  And repeat, making a knot.
25.  Trim the long piece off directly after the knot
26.  so the pom pom is tied to the shade and nothing is hanging down.
27.  Repeat with all of the other pom pons in the desired color order.
And you're done!

I used 10 quite large pom pons for my smallish shade.  I think it kind of looks like a party hat when it's sitting on the ground like that.

Ready for the next tutorial?

Obviously for the tassel shade, you'll need tassels.  And for this shade in particular you'll need Two-Tone Tassels and you'll need twelve of them.  Twelve two-tone tassels... tongue twister!

So, to make the tassels, you'll need:

I realize there are a lot of tassel tutorials out there as well.  I did this a little differently, because although I needed a loop off the top of the tassel, it was also important to me that there not be any knots showing.  I wanted it to be as smooth and sleek as possible.  So I came up with a way to hide any knots while still having a tail to hang the tassel from.
1.  Wrap your main color around a book about 20 times.
2.  Use your scissors to cut the yarn from one edge of the book.
3.  So you have a clump of yarn that's all the same length.
4.  You will also need to cut two smaller pieces of yarn.
5.  Slip one of the extra yarn pieces under the clump, right in the middle.
6.  Tie it in a double knot, tightly.
7.  Smooth the ends down to either side.
8.  Slip the other extra yarn piece under the clump in the middle.  Tie the ends of this in a double knot, too, but leave it loose so that it forms a loop.
9.  Fold the clump of yarn so that all the yarn is to one side and the knot your just tied is sandwiched.
10.  Thread your doll needle with your second yarn color.
11.  Tie the end of the yarn in a tight double knot around the clump of yarn, about 1/2 inch to an inch below the top.  Smooth the end of the yarn down with the other pieces.
12.  Wrap the other end of the second yarn color piece around the top of the clump a few times - I did 7.
13.  When you get to the back again, stick the needle down behind the yarn you just wrapped.
14.  Pull the needle and all of the yarn through - now the wrapped yarn is secured without needing to be knotted.
15.  Cut the yarn off at the same length as the rest of the tassel.
16.  Trim the tassel to the desired length.  Voila!

No-knot tassels!

Now let's make a yarn monogram tassel shade, shall we?
Believe it or not, this is pretty much exactly like the tutorial above.  There are only some minor differences.  So, follow steps 1-18 from the pom shade tutorial.  Then do steps 19, 20 and 21 but replace "poms" with "tassels."
1.  That will bring you to this point.
2.  Stick the loop of a tassel through a hole, from front to back.
3.  Put the tassel body through the loop.
4.  Pull tightly on the tassel.
5.  Repeat.
6.  And repeat again until all 12 tassels are on.

Or however many you want.  I used 12.

So there you have it!  3 tutorials in 1!
Pom poms:


and monogram lamp shades:

Axel isn't old enough to be afraid of the dark yet, so his isn't finished.  I figure I have maybe 6 months.

Would you like to see what the bub was up to while I made these wreaths?  You turn your back for a second to attach a tassel and...
he dumps the entire bag of garbage yarn bits all over himself and the floor.  And then gets mad when you try to clean them up so he doesn't gag on them.  Awesome.

And let's just refresh our memory, shall we?

Left = baaaaad
right = good!

Yea for yarn!

Linky up your yarn projects yo!  (They can be old or new, as many as you want, just click this here button:)

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

Love them!!!!!! ;oD
xxxxx Ale

Ren said...

Love the pom-pom one especially! Thanks for linking up to Inspire Us Thursday on The Inspired Wren.

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