How to Knit a Fairytale Pumpkin

Blue pumpkin

Rarely will a knit pattern appear here as I do not consider myself a designer or pattern writer.  However, occasionally I can be persuaded to share how I made something, and since there have been requests, I am providing this guideline.

Most of what I am sharing here is based on techniques learned while knitting patterns created by Alan Dart, Marie Mayhew and Arne and Carlos.  I have found their patterns especially useful in learning to knit and applying increases, decreases and purl and knit stitches to create three dimensions. I take absolutely no credit.  The guideline is based on what I have learned from these three amazing designers. 

If you choose to knit this pumpkin, be aware that some knowledge of knitting is needed.  

I used 1 skein of Rooster Amerino Aran yarn and five US #5 dpn needles to make the pumpkin life size.  It is nearly 10" in diameter.  I used the same guideline to make the Queensland Blue above and a Porcelaine Doll (pink).  Google either one for pictures of the real pumpkins.  As these pumpkins are becoming more and more popular, you can find them at many pumpkin patches.  I get mine at The Original Pumpkin Patch Sauvie Island, Portland, OR.

I have used the designation M1sb in this guideline to designate an increase method I learned from Arne and Carlos while making their fabulous Christmas balls (also knitting their Christmas balls is brilliant practice for learning to knit fairisle).  Basically it means that to increase without a hole in the fabric, the right leg of the stitch below the working stitch on the needle is picked up and knitted - this makes a new stitch M1sb. The stitch still on the needle is then knitted and designated as k1. Google "lifted increase" or "M1 in stitch below " for great demo videos.  I make mine slightly differently but arrive at the same result.

Here is my guideline.............

Cast on 12 stitches; divide stitches among 4 needles, three stitches per needle; join in the round being careful not to twist the row.

Round 1 : Knit front and back in each stitch - total 24 stitches.

round 2 :  1 kfb, 1 p to the end of round - 36 stitches

rds 3 & 4:  k1, p1 to end of rd.

round 5 : knit to end of rd.

round 6 : k1, M1sb, k1, p1 to end of round - 48 stitches

rds 7 & 8 : k3, p1   to end of round  

round 9 : k1, M1sb, k1, M1sb, k1, p1  to end of round - 72 stitches

rds 10 &11 : knit 5, p1   to end of round

round 12 : M1sb, k5, p1    to end of round  84 stitches

rds 13 & 14 :  k6, p1  to end of round

round 15 : k5, M1sb, k1,p1  to end of round   96 stitches

rds 16 & 17 : k7, p1 to end of round

round 18 : M1sb, k7, p1  to end of round  108 stitches

rds 19 &20 :  k8, p1 to end of round

round 21 : k7, M1sb, k1, p1  to end of rd.   120 stitches

rds 22 & 23 : k9, p1 to end of round

round 24 : M1sb, K9, p1  to end of round     132 stitches

Rows 25 to 49 (25 rows) k10, p1 to end of each round  (for taller pumpkin, add more rows, for squat pumpkin, knit fewer rows.)

round 50 (begins the decreass from fattest part of pumpkin to the stem end.)   ssk, k8, p1  to end of round    120 stitches

rds 51 & 52 : k9, p1 to end of round

round 53 : k7, k2tog, p1  to end of round  108 stitches

rds 54 & 55 : k8, p1 to end of round

round 56 :  ssk, k6, p1  to end of round   96 stitchs 

rds 57 & 58:  k7, p1  to end of round

round 59 : k5, k2tog, p1  to end of round    84 stitches

rds 60 & 61 : k6, p1  to end of round

round 62 : ssk, k4, p1 to end of round    72 stitches

rds 63 & 64 :  k5, p1 to end of round

round 65 :  ssk, k1, k2tog, p1    to end of round     48 stitches

rds 66 & 67 : k3, p1 to end of round 

round 68 :  ssk, k1, p1  to end of round         36 stitches

round 69: ssk, p1  to end of round    24 stitches

Stuff pumpkin until fairly firm but not rock solid.  Some squish is needed to create the lobes.  Once stuffing is almost completed, proceed with next decrease round.

round 70 : k2tog to end of round  12 stitches

Cut yarn leaving a 10 " tail.  Fill in the top if needed, not too firm as we want it to sink in.  Gather the last twelve stitches together and secure.

Cut 12 pieces of yarn about 24" long each. We will call them silhouette yarns. Thread a tapestry needle and pull the yarn through the center of the pumpkin so that one end is extending from the bottom and one end from the top.  Repeat with each of the 12 yarns.  I tie a bow in mine somewhere on the pumpkin body along one of the  purl rows to keep the yarn ends together. Otherwise the ends will get mixed up.

Once all silhouette yarns are in place, select one, and while pulling the pumpkin body toward the center along a purl groove, tie the ends together with a firm knot near the bottom depression.  Working with silhouette yarns and purl grooves that are opposite eachother, continue pulling and tying the yarns as above.  In this way lobes and grooves are created.

 You will have 12 puffy fat lobes when you have pulled and tied all the yarns.  If you are not satisfied with how the lobes look, you can always cut a new yarn, cut out the previously used silhouette yarn, and replace it with the new yarn in order to give your pumpkin a more pleasing shape. 

Thread both ends of a silhouette yarn through the needle as if they were one.  Draw the needle and yarn into the bottom of the pumpkin at or very near the knot, and pull through the center to the top, and then pull back through the center to the bottom and come out in the center of the depression.  Continue with all 12 yarns.  

Once all yarns have been secured in this way, cut them about 2/3 inch long.  I left mine just this way but you can needle felt yours to the deperssion for a neater look if you wish. Or you can bury them in the pumpkin body.

Finally,  hot glue a pumpkin or gourd or squash stem that you have saved and dried for a week or so (even a year) right into the top depression.  

Your fairytale pumpkin is done!

Please, if you find any mistake, let me know so I can correct.  I am not accustomed to writing pattern like posts.  I welcome your help if mistakes have been made or anything is unclear. Thank you.