It’s that time of year again when the leaves start falling, the days start getting shorter (and cooler!), and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. Fall!
I am in no way a summer person; I can’t tolerate the heat and I get really grumpy. But fall is another thing. It’s like spring for me, I want to clean and decorate, and I get so happy about the season finally changing!
With fall decorating comes one thing: pumpkins!
These little pumpkins won’t rot on you like the real thing, and with a variety of colours you can be a little dreamy (pastels), a little traditional (pumpkin coloured), or a little moody (jewel tones).
For me, I wanted to go a little moody with a touch of tradition, using Lion Brand’s Heartland yarn. I was dreaming of charcoal and deep purple coloured pumpkins and this yarn did not disappoint.
What you’ll need:
- Lion Brand Heartland Yarn (100% Acrylic, 251yd/230m per 5oz/142g skein). Colours shown are Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, and Hot Springs.
- 5.0mm (H) crochet hook (see note)
- Measuring tape
- Tapestry needle
- Polyfil, or stuffing of your choice
- Various sizes of wood branch pieces (see note)
- Hot glue gun
- Twine (optional)
- Ch-1 at the beginning of the row is NOT considered a stitch.
- While a 5.0mm hook is recommended, if your tension is really loose you might want to go down a hook size. If your tension is really loose, you might see the polyfil more when your pumpkin is finished.
- Wood branch pieces can be found in your backyard in most cases, but if you can’t find any you can always use a cinnamon stick.
What size do I make?
This is really based on your gauge, but for my own gauge, I have about 3.6 half-double crochet stitches per inch. For this pattern, I’m making a 5″ pumpkin but also made a 2.5″, 4″, and 5-3/4″ pumpkin by chaining the following:
- 2.5″ – initial chain 10 (crochet until ~6″ long)
- 4″ – initial chain 15 (crochet until ~10″ long)
- 5″ – initial chain 19 (crochet until ~13″ long)
- 5-3/4″ – initial chain 24 (crochet until ~15″ long)
Gauge really doesn’t matter for this pattern as this is just decoration, but knowing your initial width is helpful in order to make your piece long enough before assembly.
Using your colour of choice, chain 19.
Round 1: Hdc in second chain from hook, hdc across, turn. (18 hdc)
Round 2: Ch-1, hdc across, turn. (18 hdc)
Repeat round two until your piece is approximately 12.5″-13.5″ across. This does not have to be precise, but you do want your piece’s height to be just slightly less than 3 times the width.
First, we’re going to want to stitch up our fabric to make a tube. Fold your piece in half so the short sides are lined up and chain 1. You’re going to face it so your hook is on the back side (image 1) and slip stitch up the side to close, going through both loops on both sides (image 2). Fasten off. Don’t worry about weaving in ends – they’ll be hidden inside. Keep your piece with the wrong side (i.e. the one with your slip stitch seam – image 3) facing outward.
While you could keep a really long end and use it to sew up one end of the tube, I prefer to take a length of yarn, about 15″, and weave it in and out of the bumps (image 4) along the edge like a running or gathering stitch. As you make your way around the edge (image 5), weave your yarn through your first loop and then pull tightly, but gently, and double knot (image 6).
Now you can flip it so it’s right-side out and tuck all your ends inside (image 7). Just like with the first outer edge, you’re going to take a length of yarn and weave it in and out of the bumps along the edge like a running stitch, but this time don’t pull it tight (image 7). Stuff your pumpkin with polyfil (image 8), then pull your running stitch ends tight (but be gentle so you don’t snap your yarn!) and double knot, leaving one end short as we won’t need it until the end (image 9). You’ll want it long enough that you can pull it through to the other end (i.e.the butt) of your pumpkin.
We’re almost done!
Now, with your long piece of yarn, you’re going to make sections on your pumpkin. Currently, your yarn is coming out of the top of your pumpkin, so you’re going to want to put your darning needle through the top of your pumpkin (image 10) and out the bottom (image 11), and then back around the outside to go back through the top (image 12). Pull tightly and you’ll see your first section forming. To make it symmetrical, I like to now go through the bottom and then bring the yarn around the opposite side so the pumpkin now has two equal sections. Continue in this manner until you have 6 or 8 sections. I like to do a mix of both for my pumpkins so they’re all a little unique.
Once you’ve finished your sections, your yarn will be coming out of the bottom of your pumpkin. Pull your other end through to the bottom and double knot the two together. Thread them both through your darning needle and poke them from the bottom to the top. Trim them short.
Now your pumpkin just needs a top! My favourite top is an actual piece of wood, which most people will be able to find in the backyard. You can also use a cinnamon stick. Trim it down to fit your pumpkin, then put a dab of hot glue on one end and push it gently into the top of your pumpkin.
You can now leave your pumpkin as is or tie a piece of twine around the stem.
And now you have a cute little pumpkin!
Now you can start your fall decorating …
… or make a whole family of pumpkins. Happy crocheting!