Autumn (or Fall) has well and truly hit in the UK (at least where I am) and the mornings are colder, the leaves have started falling off the trees and the pumpkin farms are almost ready to be open. The pumpkin picking is actually my favourite part of Autumn. For the last couple of years we have taken the kids down and had a load of fun. They love wondering the fields and choosing their pumpkins. We always have way more in the wheelbarrow then we need and often have to empty a bit before we go home, but even after that we came back with way more than we could eat. This year I hope to be a bit more restrained with our pumpkin picking (there's only so much soup we can eat!), but I didn't want to loose out on the colourful display of pumpkins in the kitchen for a few weeks after we have picked them, so the best solution seemed to be to make some!
When I have an idea for a pattern, I often spend some time searching to see if the design I have in my head already exists how I see it. In this case there are a lot of lovely pumpkin patterns out there, but almost all of them use yarn pulled around the edge to create the pumpkin ridges and this is something I didn't want to do since I knew the kids would probably grab them by those strings and break them and I would be forever fixing the pumpkins! As it happens one other pattern did exist and was exactly what I was looking for so this time I didn't create my own pumpkin pattern. The pumpkin pattern from Planet June was exactly what I wanted and uses the back loops to create the ridges. Her pattern is extremely simple and creates the perfect pumpkin really quickly.
I used this pattern and experimented a little with yarn weights and hook sizes to create a few varieties of pumpkins. Firstly I used Zpaghetti T-shirt yarn in orange that I already had laying around and a 12mm hook to create my largest pumpkin which measures around 35cm tall and has a diameter of 80cm. The gaps between the stitches do show the stuffing underneath in some places, but I'm not too worried about that since its really only going to be a decorational item. I used a similar method to create a brown stalk which I sewed into the top of my pumpkin. Next I used some of the Aldi Chunky yarn which they have just bought out in cream and green to create my smaller pumpkins. The cream worked out to make an excellent ghost pumpkin and for this one I used a 6mm hook and added a green stalk. This pumpkin measures 25cm tall and 52cm round. Finally I made a smaller squash in the green with a brown stalk which measures 14cm tall and 27cm round and is I think my favourite of all the pumpkins. I tried to copy a really small dark green almost black squash which is really tasty when roasted for this pumpkin and although I couldn't quite match the green up it looks really cute anyway! All 3 pumpkins together will make a really cute display in my kitchen this autumn without me having to go overboard when we go pumpkin picking this year.
I also used the basis of Planet Junes pattern to create a pumpkin treat bag. I used Hobbycraft's Knitcraft In the Zone yarn in orange and used 2 strands held together with an 8mm hook to create this bag. The bag itself is worked in exactly the same way, but instead of closing the top of the pumpkin I added 2 additional rows at the top, a row of alternating single crochet, chain 1, skip 1 and then a second row of single crochet and single crochet in the chain 1 gap. Then I plaited a few strands of yarn together and threaded it through the chain 1 holes and then added a toggle and tied the cord ends together which created a drawstring closure to the bag. I added a small handle to hold the bag using 2 rows of single crochet and attaching them either side to the last row. Finally I added a face to the bag. I wasn't initially going to put a face on the bag, however, my whole family overruled me on this occasion and so a face was added. Since In the Zone does not come in black I used some Paintbox chunky black yarn and created a two circles in a magic circle for the eyes, a small triangle for the nose and then I used an adapted version of the wave stitch to make the mouth and these were all sewed to the front of the bag. It would have been slightly easier to have sewn these on before the bag was made up, and maybe if I make another one I will do that. My finished bag is 25cm tall and 22cm wide with a handle of 28cm and all it needs now is some treats to put in it.
If you want to make your own treat bag then this is what I did, using an 8mm crochet hook and 2 strands of Orange In the Zone Yarn (you will need 2 100g balls, a small amount of black chunky yarn and a bag toggle);
- ch 31 (leave a long starting thread)
- hdc in 2nd ch from hook and to the end, turn (30)
- hdc in b/l of each stitch, turn (30)
- repeat row 3 until you have 40 rows (30)
- surface sl st the two ends together, hold working yarn underneath, insert hook through f/l on left side and b/l on right side and sl st together
- turn your work and work along one side, (sc, ch 1, sk 1) x 20, turn (this will be the top of the bag)
- (sc, sc in ch 1 gap) x 20, sl st and cast off
- 6 sc in m/c (6)
- (sc inc) x 6 (12)
- sl st and cast off, sew to bag
- ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch to end, turn (5)
- sc across, turn (5)
- sc dec, sc, sc dec, turn (3)
- sc 3 together (1)
- cast off and sew to bag
- Ch 15, sk ch work as follows down ch, hdc, hdc, hdc dec, hdc, hdc, hdc inc, hdc, hdc, hdc dec, hdc, hdc, hdc inc, hdc, hdc
- cast off and sew to bag
To Make up Bag
- Weave the starting thread through each row at the bottom of the piece and pull tight to draw the base of the bag together, then sew shut.
- Cut 3 strands of yarn twice the length needed to go around the bag (around 50cm) and then plait together
- Weave the plait through the ch 1 gaps (from instruction 7) and thread a toggle over both ends and then tie them in a knot to create the drawstring
- ch 26, sk ch and sc in each ch to end, turn (25)
- sc in b/l to end
- cast off and sew bag handle to opposite sides of bag at the top.
I hope that you have enjoyed this weeks post on pumpkins and enjoy making your Pumpkin Treat Bag. Please feel free to share your pumpkins or treat bags you make on any of my social media channels. Join me next week for the start of Christmas at Cosy Crochet.