Hello, hello! Surprisingly, I spent my Thanksgiving weekend not on stitching, but on hooking up this cute little pumpkin :) This is my first attempt at "amigurumi", which is the very popular craft of crocheting or knitting stuffed toys. Most "ami" patterns are worked in regular yarn, but I recently thrifted this lovely orange crochet thread that was just perfect for a pumpkin! And so a pumpkin I did make :)
While searching online for patterns, I stumbled across Planet June, the wonderful site of amigurumi artist and author June Gilbank, who offers lots of tutorials and free patterns! I knew I was in the right place when I saw her amazing Discworld, inspired by one of my all-time favourite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett :) This is her Pumpkin:
And here is mine, without the pins:
For the pumpkin, I doubled the recommended stitches in the free pattern, and did the same for all but the very bottom of the stem where I made a few changes. The vines and the leaf are my own design :) I took some pictures as I went along, and I thought I'd share them for anyone else interested in the process! So this isn't a real tutorial but more of an inspiration for anyone else who would like to try making one:
Fine (Thread) Crochet "Pumpkin" Variation
~ Crochet Thread #10 in Orange, Brown, and Green
~ Size 7 (1.50 mm) fine crochet hook
~ Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing
~ Darning Needle
June's pattern is very clear and easy to follow, and contains an explanation of all the US stitch terms at the start :) For the pumpkin, I just doubled all the given amounts and also doubled the size of the stitches. So I started with a chain of 32 (16 x 2), and substituted HDC for the SC and DC for the HDC. So on Row 1 which reads like this:
" sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 2 ch, hdc in next 9 ch, sc in last 3 ch (15 st)"
I made the stitches double-high and also doubled the number of them, like this:
HDC in 2nd ch fr hook, HDC in next 5 ch, DC in next 18 ch, HDC in last 6 ch (30 st)
And so on for the rest of the rows until the end. I wrote these replacements right above the original ones on my printout of the pattern, so I wouldn't forget :)
The stitches are ribbed, meaning that they're worked in the back loops only, which gives it the lovely raised ridges! When you reach the end, you have a rectangle:
Which you then fold over and crochet up to close, which makes an open-ended tube:
For joining up the tube, the pattern recommends to "Sl st through both layers (Row 26 and the starting chain)". I found that this looked a little flat, so I only slip stitched through the back loops on Row 26 and the front loops of the starting chain to close.
Then it was time to draw the bottom of the tube together and stuff it!
I used WAY more polyfill then I thought I would need! It's got to be packed in firmly to round out nicely, otherwise you don't get that pumpkin shape :) Once I closed up the top, I followed June's instructions for shaping, just enough to get an indent at the top and bottom. Admittedly, at this point, it looks more like an orange!
And then it was time for the stem! This is worked in a spiral fashion (which was new to me!), and so you don't join the rounds. I did NOT double the stitch height here, but I doubled the stitch amount again. When I reached Round 6 (the base), I did 1 sc, a ch 3 picot and 1 sc in each of the five stitches around. This gave me sharper points.
I also poked a small bit of stuffing up inside the main part of the stem and then shaped the bottom of the stem slightly so that it tapered realistically:
When I was working with the stem, especially as I was shaping it, I kept thinking that I had stitched a tiny chocolate octopus who was missing three legs LOL!
This in the end of the PlanetJune pattern. I could have left my pumpkin here, but it was looking a little plain ;) June includes suggestions for turning it into a spooky Jack O' Lantern with felt features or a Cute (Kawaii) Pumpkin with eyes and a smile.
But I wanted a realistic looking pumpkin, so I decided to add some vines and a leaf :)
The vines came to me easily, I got them to look how I wanted on the first try. But the leaf, oh the leaf! It took me so many tries, and I honestly don't know what I did last going off, but it looked as good as it was going to get so I stopped fussing LOL :)
I joined the leaf and the vines to the pumpkin with the thread tails left on each one, darning through the bottom edge only so that all three are still moveable. I was going to fix them down, but decided I liked the look, especially the way the leaf curls up ;)
And that's it :) My pumpkin worked up in an afternoon, and I had a lot of fun making it! I stuck some sewing pins in for the photos but it will probably end up holding some of the darning needles I use for crochet work. Or it may end up holding nothing at all and just looking pretty, since it looks very cheerful as an Autumnal decoration too!
This is the first time I've shown crochet here at ES, and this is *not* the introductory post to my Fine Crochet work I've long been promising. That's still in the works, but I couldn't resist sharing my first amigurumi today :) What do you think?!