Thursday, December 9, 2010

O Tannenbaum Trouble

Christmas Tree Coasters from Crochet World Omnibook Christmas Special, 1980

Thanks to the Southern Pine Beetle, the Spruce Spider Mite, and the White Pine Weevil, live Christmas trees will soon be harder to find than an Xbox Kinect this Xmas Eve. But don’t let the imminent deforestation of North America destroy your holiday spirit!

During the Great Christmas Tree Shortage of 1980 (caused by newly-elected President Ronald Reagan cutting down several polluting pine trees), Gerrie Spensley crocheted these Christmas Tree Coasters so Santa would have somewhere to leave presents. After all, Old Saint Nick has proved in the past he isn’t picky about counterfeit conifers.

Alas, these temporary tannenbaums contained a fatal flaw.

In Gerrie’s defense, she’d always intended for her crocheted coasters to fall apart faster than a toy made in China. In an interview for Crochet World, Gerry explained that her “Versatile Christmas tree coaster set serves two purposes – it’s a decoration and the coasters can be taken off and put to practical use under glasses and as doilies.” What she didn’t realize was that nothing makes children cry faster than a Christmas Tree flattened by their parents love of Christmas Cosmos and Scroogedrivers.

Poor Gerrie wanted 1980 to be renowned as the Christmas Saved by Crafty Crocheters. Instead, it became known as the Christmas Mommy and Daddy’s Drinking Ruined the Christmas Tree.


For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Christmas Tree Coasters
By Gerrie Spensley

MATERIALS: 1 skein of worsted weight yarn, variegated white to green; hook size F; small amount of red worsted; 30 small red beads; one ¼’’ wooden dowel, 6’’ long; one 3x3’’ square of wood for base.


Drill ¼’’ hole in wood square, put glue on the end of the dowel and insert the dowel in the hole. Stand may then be painted and a square of felt may be glued to the bottom of the stand.
While I’m not impressed with the final product, any crochet project that requires a drill is still made of awesome.

But whatever you do, don’t drink and drill.

The tree consists of six coasters with a large doily on the bottom that may be used under a candle or dish.
Work in back loop only throughout.
With variegated green:
RND 1: Ch 4, sl st in 1st ch, ch 3, make 15 dc in ring, join with sl st in top of ch 3.
RND 2: Ch 3, dc in each dc around, join.
RND 3: Ch 4, dc in same st, dc ch-1dc in each st around. Sl st in 3rd ch of first ch 4. Fasten off. Make six coasters.
In fact, it’s a bad idea to start slinging back the Christmas cocktails while knitting or crocheting too.


Repeat above to rnd 2.
RND 3: Ch 3, dc in each st around, join.
RND 4: Ch 4, dc iin same st, dc ch-1 dc in each st around. Sl st in 3rd ch of first ch 4.
And if this pattern’s instructions to “dc ch-1 dc” is any indication, the first victim of editing drunk are the commas. Whereas, the cocaine fad in the 1980s killed the semi-colon.
RND 5: Ch 3, sl st to back of doily at bottom of first ruffle. Repeat rnd 4, making a double ruffle. Fasten off.

FINISHING: Sew a cluster of three of the red beads on each of the coasters. On the large doily, make 4 groups of three beads each and sew to doily, spacing them evenly. The beads should be sewn on the ruffle of the coasters and doily.
So, avoid imbibing your holiday spirits, and create your Christmas cheer with a rousing round of the traditional Carol: O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Bl├Ątter!

My grasp of German is a bit shaky, but I believe the literal translation is “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your bladders.”
(Make two)

With red yarn ch 4, sl st in first ch. Ch 3, make 15 dc in ring. Join in first dc and fasten off. With red yarn sl around both circles, fastening them together. Leave 2 sts open to allow the ball to slip on top of the dowel. Assemble with the large doily on the bottom, then the six coasters, placing the red ball on top.
Crochet World also provided this festive drawing to remind you what a real Christmas Tree looks like.

“Hello ladies, look at your Crocheted Coaster Tree, now look at me, now look at your tree, now look at me, now look at your tree. Sadly, it isn’t me, but it will smell of Old Spice, vodka and disappointment.”

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. I read this at work, and again just now...that large orange....thing? cracked me up both times!

    I'm darn tempted to make the tree though...I like drills!!

  2. As always, if you decide to break our your drill and make a Christmas Tree (or anything else), send me pics! I'd be delighted to feature your work on this site.

    Personally, I think many of the patterns on this site would be improved with the use of power tools.

  3. The orange thing on the sofa: a knitted Yeti with a bad sunburn ?

    1. Haha! I like to think he's Kubik's long lost father. :)

      Thanks for commenting.