Knitted pumpkins are a very versatile knitting project and also a versatile fall holiday decoration. They can be made with smooth yarn (cotton, acrylic, or wool) or could be made with boucle or eyelash style yarn. They are a great project to use up scraps and look great in an arrangement with different shades of orange, gold, and yellows.
The pumpkins are knit in the round with double pointed needles, or a circular needle, depending on the desired finished size of the pumpkin. The structure of the pumpkin is basically a ribbed tube. The ribbing is made by keeping the proportion of the knit stitches larger than the purl stitches. It is knit around in the rib pattern until it’s the desired length. The top and bottom are pulled tight and stuffed with poly-fill. A green stem, and leaves and curlicues are added.
An example pattern goes like this, but the pattern can be changed in anyway desired to make large or small pumpkins or squat ones or tall ones.
Using the yarn of your choice, and appropriately sized needles, cast on 25 stitches and connect to knit in the round and place marker.
Knit 3, Purl 2 around to the end of the row.
Repeat this row until piece measures 6 inches from cast on row.
Leaving stitches live, cut the working yarn about 15 inches long. Thread this yarn on a tapestry needle and use it to run the yarn through the stitches twice. Remove the needles from the stitches, and pull the working yarn to gather all the stitches together.
Use the tail from the cast on edge to make large running stitches around the beginning of the tube. Stuff the pumpkin firmly with poly-fill and pull the running stitches tightly to gather the bottom of the pumpkin. Using the tapestry needle, make some stitches through the pumpkin from the top to bottom to pull it into a squat pumpkin shape if desired. Bury the yarn tails in the stuffing of the pumpkin and trim them.
To make a stem, cast on 4 stitches and work with two double ended needles in an I-cord for bout and inch and a half. Cast off, and use the tails to sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin.
The curlicues can be crocheted by making a chain of the desired length and then making three single crochets in each chain stitch.
As you can see from the photo, a lot of different shapes and sizes of pumpkins can be accomplished with variations on this one simple pattern. They are very effective gathered together and displayed in baskets or on shelves and mantels.