Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How To... Three Knitted Pumpkin Patterns

October is here, meaning it's officially pumpkin season! I thought it would be fun to get into the spirit and make some Autumnal themed decorations, so I set to work with my needles and came up with three knitted pumpkin designs. I used less than 25g of leftover double knit yarn to make the three pumpkins, so they are a great thrifty make and they make lovely stand alone decorations on a mantle piece or as part of an Autumn wreath. Happy Autumn and happy making!



A note on the pumpkin sizes...

The small pumpkin measures approx 2.5cm high, 4cm circumference,36sts x 10 rows
The medium rib pumpkin measures approx 3.5cm high, 7cm circumference, 36stitches x 15 rows
The large stocking stitch pumpkin measures approx 4.5cm high, 9.5cm circumfernce, 36stitches x 20 rows

I used 3.25mm needles and double knit yarn. I haven't specified a tension, so your pumpkins may come up slightly larger or smaller than mine, but they will still be very cute! The most important thing is that the stuffing can't be seen through the knit when you stuff the pumpkins- if you think it's looking a bit loose, go down a needle size

1) You will need

Approx 25g double knitting yarn (I used Stylecraft Special DK in shade 1711 Spice), Small amount of green double knitting yarn (I used some from my stash), Small amount of toy stuffing, knitter's sewing up needle, Scissors,  Pair of 3.25mm knitting needles


2) To make the large (I say large, but it's pretty small really!) stocking stitch pumpkin, cast on 36 stitches and work in stocking stitch (Row 1= knit, Row 2= purl) for 20 rows. Do not cast off


3) Allowing a 30cm tail (for sewing up), thread your working yarn onto the sewing up needle and thread through all of the stitches on the needle. You can remove the stitches from the needle if you prefer, but I find it easier to do this when the stitches are held on the needle


4) When all the stitches have been threaded, remove the stitches from the needle and gather up tightly, as if you were making a hat


5) Fasten off securely, keeping the needle and yarn still attached. With right side facing, sew down the side seam of the pumpkin using mattress stitch. Alternatively, if you prefer, you could turn the piece inside out and stitch the side seam with a running stitch



6) Once the side seam is sewn up, with the needle and yarn still attached, sew a running stitch all the way around the inside bottom edge of the pumpkin. Pull the yarn to draw together slightly



7) Use toy stuffing to firmly stuff the pumpkin


8) Once the pumpkin is completely stuffed and you're happy with its shape, draw the thread up tightly to gather the top and fasten off securely


 9) Now to knit the stalk! The stalk is basically a knitted i-cord, which is most commonly knitted using double pointed needles (DPNS) . To knit the stalk in this way using DPNS, first cast on 5 stitches using the green DK yarn. Knit 1 row. Slide the work along to the other end of the needle and knit the next row. The working yarn will be on the left side of the work, but draw it across the back of the work and use it as normal. Knit 5 rows in this way, then cast off.

However, if you don't have DPNS, it is possible to knit an i-cord on single pointed needles. Here's how...

Cast on 5 stitches


Knit 1 row


Slide the stitches from the right needle onto the left needle





* The working yarn will be to the left side of the work. Simply draw the yarn to the right across the back of the work. Continue working in the way described above until the i-cord measures the desired length



* Fasten off the top piece of yarn and weave in the end. Leave a long piece of yarn attached to the bottom of the i-cord, to use to sew onto the pumpkin

The i-cord I used for the stalks on my pumpkins was 5 stitches wide by 5 rows long, but you could adjust the size accordingly, just keeping checking the length of the knitted stalk against the pumpkins as you knit

10) Sew the stalk onto the centre top of the pumpkin


So that was the pattern for a basic pumpkin, but you could also try a couple of variation!

Create a "rustic pumpkin" by knitting the basic stocking stitch pumpkin to your desired size and then stuffing it. Instead of fastening off the yarn once you have drawn up the bottom of the pumkin securely, instead, thread the yarn tail onto a needle and draw the yarn up directly through thecentre of the pumpkin and pull the thread through the top.


* Follow the lines of stitches and draw the yarn once again through the bottom of the pumpkin and out through the top, to create an authentic textured pumpkin effect! Fasten the yarn securely on the underside once you have achieved the desired effect. Sew on the stalk



* To create a ribbed pumpkin, cast on 36 stitches in orange double knit and work 15 rows in 2x2 rib (Row 1= knit2, purl 2, Row 2= purl2, knit 2). Finish as for the stocking stitch pumpkin

That's really all there is to it to make some simple but effective Autumnal decorations. If you knit some pumpkins, please share your photos in the comments! Enjoy!



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