I love fall. I absolutely adore it. While most of my friends are mourning the passing of summer, I feel like I come alive when the air starts to get crisp and the big tree in front of my house starts to turn fiery red. Apple cider? Love it. Cozy sweaters? Bring it on. Fireplace? LIGHT IT UP.
What better way to usher in my favorite season than with a cute little crocheted pumpkin?
I mean, really. That fall-colored yarn? Those curly thingys? So cute.
I posted a preview of these on Facebook and someone tried to tell me they were knitted. Which would be quite the miracle, considering the fact that I have no idea how to knit. I promise, they’re crocheted!
Even Simba agrees.
So if you’re ready to make one or two or twenty for yourself, read on!
I’ve put together a step-by-step video tutorial for you visual learners! The instructions for the pattern are written right on the screen, so you can follow along visually while also developing your pattern-reading skills. It’s a feature I’ve gotten lots of compliments for on my videos, so it’s definitely worth the extra effort it takes to include it!
Prefer a PDF?
This pattern and the matching cowl are also available as ad-free, printable PDFs! And if you love PDFs, you might want to check out my All Access Pass. It’s an awesome deal! (Or, scroll down for the free version!)
LITTLE RUSTIC PUMPKIN
Finished Size: 3″ tall x 4.5″ wide
Hook: E (3.5mm)
Yarn: Approx. 80 yards of #3 dk weight yarn. For the samples, I used Yarn Bee Must Be Merino in “Rust” and “Gold”. (The off-white, slightly larger pumpkin in the photos was made with the same pattern, but using Must Be Merino Aran (#4 yarn) in “Khaki” and a 4.5mm hook.)
Gauge: 8 rows of 21 HDC worked in 3rd loops = 4″ square. Unless you are concerned about having enough yarn to complete your pumpkin, gauge is really not that important.
You’ll also need: Yarn needle, polyester fiber fill, hot glue gun, cinnamon stick, and covered wire.
Terms and Abbreviations:
MC (magic circle – view tutorial here)
SL ST (slip stitch)
SC (single crochet)
HDC (half double crochet)
3rd LOOP (work stitch into 3rd loop only – see “Special Stitch”)
3rd Loop Only
Half double crochet stitches have a 3rd loop that we utilize in this pattern. When working in turned rows, as in this pattern, the 3rd loop can be found just below the front loop on the side of the work that is facing you. When instructed to work in “3rd loop only”, insert your hook into this special loop. This creates a delicate braided look on the opposite side of the pattern.
(1) This pattern is written in American Standard Terms.
(2) CH1s at the beginning of rows do not count as a stitch in the final stitch count.
(3) Yarn, hook size and gauge are only meant as a guide, and this pattern will work with any yarn you choose; just use a hook that is smaller than the yarn’s recommended size for a nice tight fabric, and keep in mind your yarn amounts and finished dimensions will be affected by any changes.
(4) Any time the pattern references the “top” of the pumpkin, it is referring to the end with the magic circle.
To begin: Make a magic circle, CH1.
Round 1: 14 SC in MC, join with a SL ST to the top of the first SC. Do not pull MC hole closed; we want it to remain a bit open for the stem later. (14)
Round 2: CH1. 3 SC in each ST around. Join with a SL ST to the top of the first SC. (42)
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Next we’re going to make the body of the pumpkin, and we will be working in vertical rows, attaching to Round 2 with SL STS as we go.
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Row 1: CH27. SC in 2nd chain from hook, HDC in each of the next 24 STS, SC in final ST. SL ST into the first SC from Round 2, the stitch on which your CH27 was built. SL ST into the next SC from Round 2. (26, plus the two slip stitches along Round 2)
Row 2: CH1, turn. Skipping over the 2 SL STS you put in Round 2, SC in first ST, HDC in 3rd loop of each of the next 24 STS, SC in final ST. (26)
Row 3: CH1, turn. SC in 1st ST, HDC in 3rd loop of each of the next 24 STS, SC in final ST. SL ST into each of the next 2 STS of Round 2. (26, plus the 2 SL STS along Round 2)
Row 4: CH1, turn. Skipping over the 2 SL STS you put in Round 2, SC in first ST, HDC in 3rd loop of each of the next 24 STS, SC in final ST. (26)
Rows 5-42: Repeat Rows 3-4 all the way along Round 2.
Bottom Edge Round: CH1, do not turn. SC evenly along the bottom edge of the pumpkin, putting one SC at the end of each row; you should have 42 SC. (See photo for guidance). Join with a SL ST to the top of the first SC. (42)
Fasten off, leaving a yard-long tail (more if you’re using thicker than DK yarn).
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Shaping + Finishing
Follow these steps to shape and finish your pumpkin. Remember, the “top” of the pumpkin is where your magic circle is. Watch the video tutorial for additional help.
Cut a length of cinnamon stick to serve as the pumpkin stem. Insert into the hole created by the magic circle, then pull the starting tail so that it tightens up around the stem. Weave in starting tail; remove stem. (You’ll glue it in place at the end.)
With finishing tail threaded into yarn needle, hold pumpkin so that the magic circle end is to the left, and the final row of HDC is above the initial chain row. (Depending on how you were holding your pumpkin as you crocheted it, you may need to turn it inside out to accomplish this.) Begin by running yarn needle up through first chain and first (SC) stitch (first image). Then, coming back the other way, insert needle down through the 3rd loop of the HDC, and down across through the corresponding chain (2nd image). Do the exact same thing on the next stitch; come down through the 3rd loop of the next HDC, and down across through the corresponding chain. Seam each HDC to its corresponding chain in this way (3rd image), and when you get to the final stitch (which is an SC), run needle through it and down to the final chain. Tie a knot to prevent pulling; do not fasten off.
- Cinching, Stuffing and Closing:
Turn pumpkin right-side out so that your finishing tail is inside. Still using the finishing tail and yarn needle, bring yarn down through the middle of the pumpkin and insert needle into one of the stitches along the bottom edge of the pumpkin. Pull excess yarn through the stitch, and without pulling it tight (leave it somewhat inside the pumpkin), tie another knot (first image). Use yarn needle to weave tail along the edge of the pumpkin, weaving every 3 stitches until you’re back where you started (2nd image). Set yarn needle down and stuff pumpkin, then pull yarn tail to cinch closed (3rd image). Weave yarn needle across the cinch in a couple different directions to reinforce closure; tie a knot, but do not fasten off.
Take a look at the top of your pumpkin, and identify the circle of 14 holes created when you crocheted Round 2 (the small holes that were the result of putting three SCs into each stitch). Still threaded with finishing tail, push yarn needle up through the middle of the pumpkin and out one of those holes, then reinsert needle into the next hole to the right and back down through the middle of the pumpkin (first image), and out the bottom, being sure to catch a couple strands of yarn from the bottom cinched edge. Then repeat the process, going back up through the pumpkin and out through the next hole to the right, then back down through the hole after that and back down to the bottom. Each time you make a pass, pull the yarn a bit to shape the pumpkin (the centers should begin to pull inward; 2nd image). Do this all the way around the 14 holes until center is completely pulled inward (3rd image). Tie a couple knots at the bottom and fasten off yarn.
- Stem + Covered Wire:
Add a bit of fast-drying glue to the cinnamon stick where you want to attach your covered wire curls, then quickly wrap the middle of the covered wire around the glue a couple of times; hold to set (first image). Wrap each end of the wire around a pencil to shape into a curl (2nd image). Add more glue to the magic circle area of the pumpkin (image 3), then quickly insert cinnamon stick and push down; hold to set.
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Done! If you’re sharing on social media, be sure to hashtag #littlerusticpumpkin and tag me @yarnandchai.design. Hope you enjoyed it!