Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels with Fiat Fiber Arts | #Crochet #TipsTuesday

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground CrafterEmily from Fiat Fiber Arts is joining us again and she’s sharing her best tips and tricks for making pompoms and tassels. Pompoms and tassels make great additions to any crochet, knitting, or craft project. They can even make projects by themselves! If you struggle with making plump and beautiful pompoms and tassels, read on for Emily’s best tips (and check out her video).

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

About Emily Reiter from Fiat Fiber Arts in Her Words

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter

As a Catholic wife and mother of 5 small children, the most common remark I get regarding my work is, “How do you find the time?” My half-joking answer is “neglect.” Cross-stitch was my first fiber love. I’ve stitched since 2nd grade. But when I had my first three children, I stopped stitching and life became exceedingly stressful. I fell into a horrible bout of post-partum anxiety after the third was born. As part of my recovery, I began to attend meetings of our local chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. It reminded me of the true contentment I feel from creating things with a needle in my hand. My husband could also see the effect.

Soon my fiber love branched into crochet. I had always crocheted but wasn’t very adventurous with it. Then I discovered a book of amigurumi patterns in the library. The embroidery section abuts the crochet books. Each toy I made was like Christmas for my kids. They still have and play with all those toys from 6 years ago. Crochet took off after that.

“After testing for a designer for a few years, I was encouraged to pursue technical editing. Finally, I feel tech editing combines the value of my educational background (BS, MS & Unfinished PhD in Range & Wildlife Management, strong data collection and manipulation skills, eye for detail) with my natural passions for fiber arts. I feel that I am finally serving God through my fiat (thus the business name), God’s will for my life. Why else would I have the combination of these great skills if not to serve and provide for my family?

Oh, and the answer to “how do you find the time?” is a loving and understanding husband, early bedtime for the kids, I tend to stitch fast because my time is limited. Neglect probably still plays a part, my home certainly isn’t the cleanest, but the kids are happy, clean and fed.

Show your support by following Emily on:

Fiat Fiber Arts Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram | Pinterest | Ravelry | YouTube


Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels

by Fiat Fiber Arts

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground CrafterMaking pompoms is a craft that can add fun and whimsy to your designs and can also be a source of major frustration for some. Today, I will share with you my thoughts and what I have learned about making pompoms.

I used to hate making pompoms, but mostly that was because my pompoms were always flimsy, yucky looking things. I thought I was following instructions, but it just didn’t turn out right. Today, you can search for “how to make a pompom” on the internet and find loads of videos and project ideas. Even if you’re not a crochet or knit maker, you can make pompoms and use them in a variety of ways. Who’s seen the viral video of the pompom rug? Have you tried that one?

Pompoms

Here, I’ll go over the equipment and tools and my secrets (and secret annoyances) I have discovered about pompom making. If you want to just cut to the chase and watch some poms getting made by myself and my daughter, then check this out.

Special Equipment?

Do you need special tools to make a pompom? Not necessarily. There are pompom makers out there, interestingly shaped little devices that can help you in making pompoms that are different sizes. But, as seen in many videos, you can use a piece of cardboard also. I’ve also used a book or just my hand. If you want the special pompom makers, you can find them at your local craft store, but I found a set on wish. It’s pretty flimsy but it gets the job done. Some of the other bonuses to using the tool is that it has a groove designed for proper scissor cutting placement. It holds your cut pieces together while you get the tie piece in the same groove. PLUS, the little bumps help to hold that tying yarn tight while knotting.

The Yarn

If you want to be making pompoms fast, use bigger yarn. It’s the same as when you’re stitching: bigger yarn works up faster than smaller yarn. So, unless you just have to have a pompom in that dk or sock weight color, stick with weight 4 or larger yarns or you’re going to be wrapping all day long. Even with weight 4 yarn, I started to double and triple the strands to make it faster.

What’s the secret?

So, how did I go from hating pompoms because they were flimsy to making seriously solid pompoms capable for a rug? It’s all about your wraps. MAKE MORE WRAPS. Wrap that yarn around and around and around. The more wraps you make, the stuffier and sturdier your pompom will be. So, if your pompoms, like mine, are flimsy, make another and wrap it more.

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter - pompoms

The Cutting

Since we’re cutting through several layers of yarn, you want the scissors sharp so that the job is easier. Thin scissors would be easier to slip further under the yarn. Also, don’t use those scissors that only cut in one spot where the blades meet, you know the ones. You need scissors that cut very well close to the tips. The thinner and sharper the blades, the less actual cuts will be needed. If you are making a big pom project you will be doing a lot of cutting. You want COMFORTABLE scissors! The first time I tried making the pom rug I quit after 5 poms because I was getting a blister or a bruise on my hand. Crafting injuries. So, take it easy or pay for some super sharp scissors.

The Middle Tie

After cutting your yarn around the card, book, or pompom maker, you need to get a center tie string around your loops BEFORE removing the pieces from your wrapping device. Usually I use the same type of yarn that I used to make the pompom. But you want to use something that can make a really tight knot without breaking. If you used super bulky yarn to make your pom, then maybe get some tough string or sewing thread for the tie. I like using upholstery thread for projects that need to stay for a long time. Upholstery thread is very durable and you can pull it super tight. If you have a cotton yarn that can be pulled to break, it’s not ideal for the knot. Usually, my acrylic weight 4 yarns are good for wrapping and tying. Also, make sure you leave a long tail for the tie. That’s what you will be using to attach the pom.

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter - pompoms

Removal and Shaping

Honestly, along with cutting, this is my new annoyance for pompoms. Again, you’re using your scissors, so if your hand already hurt from cutting through all those wraps, here goes round 2. First, get over the trash can or a bowl or something to catch a bunch of tiny cut bits of yarn. Then, start trimming off the yarn ends that stand out from your pompom surface. This part feeds into my perfectionism in not the best way. I could trim forever, sometimes. Oh wait, this side is too flat, I can round it out here, that bit is sticking out, now that bit, and on and on. Eventually, you have to be happy about it. My big tip for shaping is SHAKING. After you do a couple cuts, shake that pom! Shake, shake, shake. It loosens the pieces and shows the true shape. Then evaluate for the next cut. Just cut a couple times and shake again. Move it around in your hand. Think about the average person looking at it, not a critical crafter’s eye like yours.

Attachment

Now you have a pompom ready for placement!! Usually you can use the long tail from the tie to attach the pom wherever you need it. Again, you probably want to attach it very tightly to wherever it’s going. If it’s topping a hat, you don’t want it flopping off. If it’s going on that rug, you want it firmly secured. Tassels and purse accents might give you a little more leeway but you’ll have to think about what you’re doing with it when you make that tie.

Tassels

Tassels are similar to pompoms. Making a tassel doesn’t necessarily need a tool. But you want your strands to be uniform in length. I’ve often used a hardback book to wrap yarn around and get equal lengths of yarn. You can also just measure out the length you want and cut and cut and cut and cut each length of yarn. However you do it, you want several lengths of yarn of roughly equal length.

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter - tassels

The Ties

A tassel will have two ties in it. One tie will go around all lengths of yarn in the middle of them. All lengths will then fold down from this point. This tie is what you will use for attachment of the tassel. After making the center tie, pull all lengths down so that all ends are opposite the tie. Depending on your size of yarn, the next tie will be about a half to 1 inch down from the center tie. This tie will wrap around all strands. You want this one to be very tight because it’s giving the tassel it’s shape and will hold it together. The tails of this tie need to be as long or longer than the ends of the tassel.

Tips and Tricks for Making Pompoms and Tassels by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter - tassels

Trimming

Your next step on tassel making is similar to the shaping of the pompom but way easier!! All you need to do is trim the ends of the lengths so you have a straight even cut across the bottom.

Attachment

Now you can attach your tassel using the top tie ends.

Pinterest is an amazing place to see other ideas for poms and tassels. Here’s my own Pinterest board of inspiration for tassels and purses.

I hope you have fun making your own pompoms and tassels. Let me know what you make!

© 2018 by Emily Reiter (Fiat Fiber Arts) and published with permission by Underground Crafter. This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the tutorial to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this tutorial. Do not violate Emily’s copyright by distributing this tutorial or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the tutorial, point your friends to this link: https://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2018/07/31/how-to-make-yarn-pompoms-and-tassels. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Thank you, Emily, for sharing this beautiful pattern with us! Show your support by visiting Emily at one of the following links:

Fiat Fiber Arts Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram | Pinterest | Ravelry | YouTube

Tunisian Crochet Pattern: Fiducia Clutch with Embroidery Tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground CrafterI’m so excited to introduce a new guest contributor today. Emily Reiter is the designer and tech editor behind Fiat Fiber Arts. In this post, she’ll be sharing her Fiducia Clutch, a Tunisian crochet pattern embellished with embroidery. If you’re an embroidery newbie, not to worry! Emily has included video tutorials for 11 different basic embroidery stitches in the patterns. You’ll be able to learn them through this sampler project.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

About Emily Reiter from Fiat Fiber Arts in Her Words

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter

As a Catholic wife and mother of 5 small children, the most common remark I get regarding my work is, “How do you find the time?” My half-joking answer is “neglect.” Cross-stitch was my first fiber love. I’ve stitched since 2nd grade. But when I had my first three children, I stopped stitching and life became exceedingly stressful. I fell into a horrible bout of post-partum anxiety after the third was born. As part of my recovery, I began to attend meetings of our local chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. It reminded me of the true contentment I feel from creating things with a needle in my hand. My husband could also see the effect.

Soon my fiber love branched into crochet. I had always crocheted but wasn’t very adventurous with it. Then I discovered a book of amigurumi patterns in the library. The embroidery section abuts the crochet books. Each toy I made was like Christmas for my kids. They still have and play with all those toys from 6 years ago. Crochet took off after that.

“After testing for a designer for a few years, I was encouraged to pursue technical editing. Finally, I feel tech editing combines the value of my educational background (BS, MS & Unfinished PhD in Range & Wildlife Management, strong data collection and manipulation skills, eye for detail) with my natural passions for fiber arts. I feel that I am finally serving God through my fiat (thus the business name), God’s will for my life. Why else would I have the combination of these great skills if not to serve and provide for my family?

Oh, and the answer to “how do you find the time?” is a loving and understanding husband, early bedtime for the kids, I tend to stitch fast because my time is limited. Neglect probably still plays a part, my home certainly isn’t the cleanest, but the kids are happy, clean and fed.

Show your support by following Emily on:

Fiat Fiber Arts Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram | Pinterest | Ravelry | YouTube


Fiducia Clutch

Tunisian Crochet Pattern with Embroidery Tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter | The Fiducia Clutch is a beginner-friendly way of learning basic embroidery stitches. The pattern includes video tutorials for 11 embroidery stitches.I’m so excited to bring you this project via Underground Crafter!! Fiducia is Latin for trust. The last several months of my life have seen some very trying times. I have had to trust in the Lord a great deal. As I was developing this project, the idea of stitching flowers to practice embroidery came to mind. Even though we’re about to enter summer, I’m still thinking about April showers brings May flowers. We go through hard times with faith that there will be beauty on the other side.

Embroidery has been a big part of my life and I’ve always wanted to do more embroidery on crochet so I could combine my fiber loves. I chose to use the Lily cotton, honestly, because it was in my stash. You can choose any colors you wish. Pick a multi colored yarn that you enjoy to make your design. I have videos depicting the various embroidery stitches if you aren’t familiar with them.

Materials

  • Lily Sugar’n Cream Medium 4 weight (100% cotton, 120 yards / 109 meters, 2.5 ounces / 70. grams) Color A (Yellow) 1 skein, Color B (Violet Stripes) 1 skein
  • Boye US K 6.5 mm double ended Tunisian hook. (*special note: double ended Tunisian hooks have no markings on them. I’m fairly certain it is over 6 mm and possibly 7 but I found a similar photo that claimed size K 6.5mm.)
  • Notions: Scissors, Needle
  • Additional Lining Materials: Fabric of choice measuring at least 1 inch wider on all sides than finished crocheted piece. Sewing Machine, Iron, Craft glue or needle and thread.

Gauge

  • 18 Tunisian Simple Stitches = 5”, 13 rows = 4”

Size

  • Stitched fabric measures 10.5” x 12”/Clutch measures 11″ long by 5.25″ when folded

Pattern Key

  • CH: Chain
  • TSS: Tunisian Simple Stitch: Insert hook under the vertical bar of next stitch, draw up a loop. (Note from Underground Crafter: A video tutorial for this stitch by Kim Guzman is available here.)
  • YO: Yarn Over

Embroidery Stitches (Note: See below the pattern for video tutorials for each of these stitches.)

  • Back Stitch
  • Buttonhole (Blanket) Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Cross Stitch: placing an “X”
  • Fern Stitch
  • French Knot
  • Lazy Daisy
  • Running Stitch
  • Stem Stitch
  • Split Stitch
  • Straight Stitch
  • Woven Wheel

Experience Level

  • Intermediate: Projects may include involved stitch patterns, colorwork, and/or shaping.

Notes

  • First we will stitch a piece of fabric with Tunisian Simple Stitch. We will then embroider our design on the fabric, then stitch up the sides and line the material. My clutch doesn’t have a closure, I’ll just fold over the top flap.
  • If you’re not familiar with Tunisian crochet, you can crochet a uniform piece of fabric in single crochet, if you wish. I don’t recommend larger stitches with gaps or holes between them.
  • Video tutorials for each of the embroidery stitches are available after the pattern.

Instructions

  • Tunisian crochet is stitched by drawing up loops and keeping them on the hook all the way across a row in a forward pass. The return pass is always worked the same.
  • Ch 40.
  • Row 1: Draw up a loop in each back bump of the chain – 40 loops on hook.
  • Return pass: YO, draw through 1 loop, *YO, draw through 2 loops on hook; repeat from * until 1 loop remains on hook. (40 st)
  • Rows 2-42: TSS across.
  • (If you don’t have enough yarn to complete 43 rows, that’s ok. Stitch until you have enough yarn left to do your “cast off” final row.)
  • Row 43: To “cast off” the stitches and have a clean edge (see below for photo tutorial), I insert my hook under the front vertical bar and under the back loop of the top stitches to complete a slip stitch. Draw the remaining bit of yarn through the final loop to finish.

Photo Tutorial for slip stitch “cast off” Tunisian final row

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter | Final row of Tunisian crochet detail with hook

  • Insert hook under next vertical bar.
  • Insert hook under back loop of ‘top’ stitch. Next, YO and draw through all three loops, slip stitch created.

Finishing

  • Fasten off and weave in ends with yarn needle. Proceed to embroidery.

Embroidery Preparation

At this point, the clutch forms a slightly rectangular shape. If you want a trifold clutch, like mine, we need to visually separate the clutch into 3 sections. Cut a length of yarn from Color B (it doesn’t matter which color), and run a basting stitch from one side to the other 26 rows down from your chosen top edge of the clutch. Then take another length of yarn and run another basting stitch from one side to the other 8 rows up from the bottom of the piece. Now you have divided your clutch into 3 sections. The top large portion will be folded up (wrong sides together) to the larger portion. The small portion will be the closing flap of your clutch.

Embroidery

You may choose to use the embroidery stitches in any way you wish. I have chosen to cross stitch the word “TRUST” on the inside, and embroider a series of flowers and rain on the outside of the clutch. However you choose to do it, remember which way is “up” for each side of the clutch is opposite. You will have to turn your piece in your hands while stitching to keep the outside and inside oriented correctly. Always use one length of yarn when embroidering. We are not splitting our plies, nor are we doubling strands of yarn. Also, for ease of stitching, I recommend using a length of yarn about as long as your arm. You don’t have to be precise, it’s just a guide. Too long, and the yarn could get tangled as you pull it through, as well as lose it’s twist. Too short, and you won’t be able to do many stitches before getting another length. You’ll find what works best for you.

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter } Front of lined Tunisian crochet clutch with TRUST embroidered on itI started by creating my stems to each flower with my green color. Starting on the right, I used straight stitches meeting at one point. Next I created a chain stitch of 5 segments. The third in from the right was a series of fern stitches. Fourth was some stems and leaves made with split stitch. The fifth plant from the right was made with stem stitch and had a few lazy daisy leaves. Next were some longer straight stitches worked parallel to each other. The final stem all the way on the left was worked as a curved backstitch line with several lazy daisy leaves on top.

For the flowers, on the left hand plant, I worked straight stitches with French knots at the lower end. The parallel straight stitches had a woven rose upon it with alternating color French knots in the center. The following flowers were made with the blanket or buttonhole stitch made in a wheel. One is a complete wheel, while the second is a partial wheel to look like it is behind the first. The 4th flower is made with random short straight stitches meeting in the center with an alternating color French knot in the middle. I left the fern stitch sans flowers. The chain stitch stem is a flower made of lazy daisy stitches and several French knots in the middle. The first plant on the right is roughly a large triangle shape made of French knots. I thought this last one resembled a yucca flowering stalk.

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter | Back of Tunisian crochet clutch with rain and flowers embroidered on itThe rain was made with stand alone lazy daisy stitches and several running stitches. There is no need to keep any of these uniform. When was the last time you saw rain happen in a uniform manner? Make more or less, it depends on how rainy you’re feeling on that day.

The following image is a very general design for where to place your stitches. Surface embroidery is a very free form technique. I’ve added this graphic to help with the TRUST lettering and general placement and description of the stitches I used in the prototype. The lazy daisy, button hole, and woven wheel indicators are NOT drawn to scale, simply showing placement.

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter | Embroidery chartOptional Lining

It is your choice to line the clutch before or after you fold and seam it. If you are more comfortable with a sewing machine, you may choose to fold and stitch the sides of your clutch first, then fold and seam the sides of the lining to insert into the clutch. Or you can hem in the sides of your fabric so that it lies just ⅛-¼” inside the margins of the clutch. Using your craft glue, run a thin line of glue around the edges of the fabric and press to the clutch. Follow your glue instructions for drying time. 

Seaming your clutch

If lining your clutch, read lining section first. Fold up the “trust” portion of your clutch so that the basting stitch is at the bottom. Matching the stitches on the sides, use a piece of leftover yarn and mattress stitch the sides together. (Note from Underground Crafter: You can find a tutorial for the mattress stitch seam here.) Repeat on the opposite side of the clutch. 

Your final step will be to remove the basting stitch & enjoy your clutch!!  

Basic Embroidery Stitches

Fiducia Clutch, free Tunisian crochet pattern with embroidery tutorials by Fiat Fiber Arts for Underground Crafter | Embroidery samplerHow To Stitch Running, Back, Straight, and Split Stitches

How To Embroider Stem Stitch, Blanket Stitch, Chain Stitch, and Lazy Daisy

How To Embroider French Knots with Yarn

How To Embroider a Woven Rose and How To Cross Stitch on Tunisian Crochet

© 2018 by Emily Reiter (Fiat Fiber Arts) and published with permission by Underground Crafter. This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Julie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: https://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2018/05/3tunisian-crochet-pattern-fiducia-clutch-with-embroidery-tutorials-by-fiat-fiber-arts. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Thank you, Emily, for sharing this beautiful pattern with us! Show your support by visiting Emily at one of the following links:

Fiat Fiber Arts Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Instagram | Pinterest | Ravelry | YouTube