I had recently found an origami kusudama in my closet that I had made a long time. Origami had once been a favourite hobby of mine, but it seems that lately I have been doing a lot more crochet. So naturally as I was admiring my origami kusudama I contemplated the possibility of replicating it with yarn.
I may be upsetting some origami enthusiasts in calling this a Kusudama since they are usually made from folding paper. However, the Wikipedia entry for kusudamas suggests that they had originally been made from real flowers and herbs and used for incense and potpourri. My yarn kusudama is made of 18 crochet flowers stitched into ball and has a beaded tassel and thread to hang it from. I also included a sachet of dried lavender in the centre of my crochet ball so that it is in keeping with traditional kusudamas.
Step 1: What You Will Need
- Yarn weight 4: blue and variegated (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn Mod Blue, and Violet Stripes)
- 2.5mm crochet hook
- Yarn needles, sewing needle
- Embroidery thread
- Cheese cloth
- Dried lavender or other herb(s)
ch(s) - chain stitch(s)
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
st(s) - stitch(s)
Step 2: Crochet
Flowers (make 18)
Row1: ch 8, turn (8sts)
Row2: 3dc in 3rd ch from hook, 3dc in each ch (18sts)
Fasten off. Weave in ends.
I made six with blue yarn and twelve with the variegated yarn. Though the variegated yarn gave mostly solid coloured flowers.
Step 3: Sew Them Together
Bunch your flowers together into groups of three. You can arrange the colours randomly or colour coordinate them. I used one of the yarn tails and a yarn needle to stitch the three flowers together, you could use a sewing needle and thread instead. The flowers were sewn such that the face of the flowers are tilted up and out (see image three above). Do this with all of the flowers.
Step 4: Keep Sewing Them Together
Now that the flowers are in groups of three, I combined them again to create two half spheres of nine each. Again you can arrange the colours in a pattern or be completely random about it, it is up to you. I used a sewing needle and thread this time and I trimmed down the yarn tails left from crocheting the flowers.
Step 5: Make a Tassel
Wrap each colour of embroidery thread around your fingers roughly ten times each (if you have big hands, maybe just wrap the thread around three fingers!). Then take a strand of thread about 12 inches long (the primary strand) and tie it around one end of the thread loops. Now you can slide the loops off of your fingers
Step 6: Still Working on That Tassel
Take another strand of thread and wrap it tightly around the bundle of loops about half an inch in from the end with a knot, (I wrapped it around roughly 15-20 times - though I wasn't really counting). Once done, tie the end to one of the strands in the bundle, cut and tuck it under. Now take your scissors, slide it through the loops in the bundle (on the end farthest away from the knot), stretch out the threads and cut. Trim any uneven strands. Add a bead or two to the primary strand and use a double knot to hold it in place.
Step 7: How About a Sachet
To make the sachet, I cut a small square of cheesecloth (4in X 4in) and added a couple of tablespoons of dried lavender. Draw in the corners and tie the sachet closed with some thread. The sachet should fit snugly into the inside of the crochet half spheres.
Step 8: Assemble
Now we are ready to put this thing together. Take the primary strand of the tassel, attach it (discretely) to one of the flowers on the bottom of one of the half spheres. Feed the strand through the half sphere and through the sachet that is nestled into the bottom half sphere. Then feed it through the second half sphere and pull it out at the top. Pull down the top half sphere so that it fits snugly onto the one at the bottom. Knot the strand (discretely) to one of the flowers at the top (this should hold the two halves of the ball together). Form a loop with the strand so that we can know hang our crochet kusudama.