Making a Tree Prop: Part One
Back in mid January Vickie Howell asked me to create a 10 foot tree prop for her to "yarn bomb" at the CHA trade show in Anaheim at the end of the month. Yarn bombing objects has been a indie knitting scene trend for a number of years and thought a fun way to showcase her Sheep(ish) line of Caron Yarns doing it in real time at the craft show.
At first, I was tempted to create a twisting, old growth tree, full of character right out of Middle Earth. But there was only a couple of weeks until it was needed. I decided the shape and design should be fairly simple avoiding any surprises a more elaborate concept might bring (a good thing too, because in the end, it was never "simple"). My hope was that the leafy thinner branch ends would be random looking enough to add a more natural looking canopy.
Keeping the trunk uniform in shape and all the branches relatively the same size also helped Vickie's short knitting deadline being able to assembly line most of it not having to make each piece with unique measurements different from the other.
The basic concept and size was approved. I then locked in a standard branch design that could be repeated 5 times. I gridded out my sketch to get a rough size (1/2 inch square = 1 foot). From that, a down and dirty, foam core board mock up branch was made to get a sense of real world scale.
I took measurements off the mock up and sent to Vickie so she could start knitting in Austin while I started building the tree here in Los Angeles. By the way, this plan below will cause a very long night down the line needing to redo days of work. More on that later.
Next in Part Two... the build begins!