Mother Nature's Crafty Pumpkin Surprise
Oct. 22, 2009 12:41 pm
Updated: Oct. 28, 2009 7:20 pm
You gardeners out there know this one. Mother Nature always has the last word--and it's not always a kind one. You just can't predict which way she'll roll, so it's best to manage your expectations around her.
Last summer I noticed something green poking up through a bed I'd prepared for a future hedge. Because of the hefty size of the newborn leaves, I was thinking they must be sunflowers from the birdfeeders (you know how the squirrels like to bury them for later). So since my hedge planting was still months away, I decided to let the volunteers grow, thinking that sunflowers would be cheerful in this otherwise barren patch.
As the weeks ticked by and the plants grew along the ground instead of straight up, I adjusted my expectations. Forget the sunflowers! These must be pumpkins from the jack-o'-lanterns I'd tossed into the compost the year before. But as autumn closed in and the squash blossoms matured, I had to dial back my expectations completely. These were looking like runty little things that certainly wouldn't mature in time for Halloween. No sunflowers, no pumpkins. Thanks a lot, Mom.
Then it slowly dawned on me that these tiny pale globes were actually miniature white Baby Boo pumpkins, which had also been discarded into the compost last fall--truly a kindness from Mother Nature, especially since she usually hands me a plateful of garden grief.
In honor of last autumn's happy ending, I knit these miniature white pumpkins, and I'm sharing the "recipe" with you. They knit up pretty quickly and they make great gifts for when you're in the mood to share a random act of kindness.
- Any yarn and appropriate size DPNs; main color and stem color. (I used bulky for the main and worsted for the stem.)
- Yardage - not much, a few yards at the end of a skein is fine
- Pillow stuffing
Enjoy! And please take a moment just to say hi or tell me what crafty thing you've been up to this autumn.
- Cast on 32 sts, leaving a tail for a drawstring
- Divide sts evenly among 4 DPNs: 8 sts per needle
- Using 5th DPN, *knit 3, purl 1* repeat around for 16 rounds
- After 16 rounds, pick up and knit stem color, leaving a long tail
- Knit 1 round
- K2tog all rounds until 4 sts are left on 1 needle
- Make I-cord to 3 inches (longer or shorter if desired)
- Cut tail and put on tapestry needle; draw tail through last 4 sts. Tack down I-cord so it looks like a twisted stem. Or just let it stick up. Weave in the end
- Turn pumpkin inside out. Put join end of stem yarn on tapestry needle and weave to middle of I-cord base. Turn pumpkin right side out. Draw stem yarn through middle of stuffing ball and out through the bottom opening of the pumpkin. Push stuffing ball up the yarn and into the pumpkin
- Put cast on tail on tapestry needle and weave through cast on sts; pull tight to close around stuffing. Tie cast on tail to stem yarn; pull tight to make indentation on bottom and top of pumpkin. Tuck yarn ends into bottom on pumpkin with the end of a knitting needle.
Knitted White Pumpkins