It is just the way I work. You know those things that even way into adulthood, those things about your personality that you just can't face as truth or keep trying to change? Well, this is one of mine and I have learned (pretty recently, actually) that it is just best to go with it. You see, with me there is usually a tipping point. That one moment in time that in the reflecting on things can be identified as the point when it all tips. Some little trigger sets something off in my brain and if I don't just run with it I will only be thinking of it constantly until I give in and go with that particular flow. Probably not the best way to get things accomplished that actually need to be accomplished, but at least something gets done.
The catalyst for this tip was a skein of yarn and some fall colored felts. I received as a little gift a skein of yarn from Barb Parry. I can't find the tag, but it was one of her plyed yarns, probably the Wool & Alpaca Twist and the color was a dark orange, possibly the Sweet Potato? Anyway, it isn't a color I would normally use so I thought it would be great as a gift of fingerless gloves or something for someone. It sat around for a while and in moving things I placed it on top of a collection of wool felts that I got to make a little coin rug. It rested there until....... The Tipping Point. I was walking by one day and out of the corner of my eye I saw just how great it looked with those fall fabrics and that is when it hit me. That yarn would make a great felted, stuffed pumpkin.
Or maybe two.
Then maybe another.
Run out of yarn? No problem. Shop the stash.
Shop the LYS.
Shop the stash for vines and stems, the dark green was left from my Witch's Hat and the light green was a swatch that I made when I recently knitted a sample sweater for Barb, I pulled that out and re-knit it.
I made eight before I ran out of yarn and vowed to purchase no.more.yarn.for.pumpkins!
- Patterns: Heavily modified versions of Pumpkins by Jordaina Paige, a free Knitty pattern and Munckin Pumpkins by Vikki Harding (ravelry link).
- Yarns: Foxfire Fiber Wool & Alpaca Twist (1 large, 1 small, 1 munchkin), Reynolds Lopi Lite (1 large, 2 small), Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, color M280 (1 large and 1 small) and Foxfire Fiber Upland Wool & Mohair (for stems and vines).
- Needles: Sizes 9 & 10? I think? I can't really remember
- Cast On: Sometime in October, 2009
- Bound Off, Felted, Stuffed and Finished by November 25, 2009
I made a lot of modifications to the Jordaina Paige pattern. It is written to be knit in separate wedges, sewn together and then felted. I adapted the pattern to be knit in the round taking into account the stitches that would be lost in the seams and reworking the cast on and bind off to cinch in the edges a little bit more. The Munchkin Pumpkin was knitted as written, but I used a stem and vine from the other pattern, which I worked as written. The Foxfire Fiber and Brown Sheep yarns felted fabulously, the Lopi Lite felted well enough, but more stitch definition was left in the fabric than the others. It is a great color though.
The patterns call for you to felt the pumpkins, stuff with plastic bags and tie them up tightly along the ridges (which I made by working purl stitches) to dry, creating the sections of the pumpkin. While that worked, I wanted more definition so I wove a nylon thread along the ridges and tied them off at the top where they are hidden under the stems. That is a step that might have been unnecessary, but didn't take long and I prefer the finished result. Here is a photo of one pumpkin before I tied up on the left, you can compare it to the one it pulled up on the right.
The stems and vines were sewn on with the nylon thread and there might have been some glue gun action in there as well. Whatever it takes, right?
I made eight of these in all, one went off in October to live with Gillian and the one pictured with the teapot above spends it days with a favorite Woolen Rabbit as part of a much belated birthday gift.
As I was working these up some people expressed some shocked surprise that I made these, and truth be told, it isn't my usual m.o. at all. It was so much fun though, and I love the finished outcome. These pumpkins looked great scattered around my house this Thanksgiving and I can't rule out the possibility of more pumpkins in the future.
I'll write out my modifications in detail on ravelry sometime this week. I imagine there isn't a rush for felted pumpkins right now, but they will be there for next year, when I know you all will be felting a pumpkin patch of your own.
One hundred thirty-one. Or day TWENTY-NINE! So photogenic, that pumpkin patch of mine!