Fall is upon us once again! I love the crisp and falling leaves. And don’t even get me started on all the fabulous colors in nature right now. But one thing we cannot forget is that it’s pumpkin season! This year I wanted to give you a pretty fun, unique pumpkin…so I thought I’d try out leopard print! The Luxe Leopard Pumpkin is a crochet leopard pumpkin! Can you believe it?! I think you’re gonna love this pattern.
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When I decide to do a crochet leopard pumpkin, it was partly because of my love for leopard print and partly to add to the Luxe Leopard Collection. If you’ve been following my work for awhile, you’re probably familiar with my Luxe Leopard Collection. But if you’re just finding me through this pumpkin, let me introduce you to some of the other fun pieces in the collection!
I started this collection with just the Luxe Leopard Beanie. This bulky beanie was so popular that I made a coordinating cowl! I also created an double-thick earwarmer, a worsted weight beanie, and a Christmas stocking! Plus I added a Valentine’s Day modification to add hearts to the print for the Love Leopard Beanie. A few of these patterns will be making their debut on the blog, but all of them are available in my Etsy and Ravelry shops. You can read more about the collection on this post here!
About the Pumpkin
So for this project, I opted to design the pumpkin in the 3 sizes. And I also opted to use two different stitch techniques: waistcoat stitch and single crochet. (I’ll talk a bit more about those in the Special Techniques section.) So your pumpkin can come out in variety of different sizes, but they’re all pretty cool. The larger the pumpkin gets, the more pronounce all those fabulous spots get.
I personally love to work this pumpkin in waistcoat stitch. I think it works up faster and it has a pretty cool knit-look to it. Plus is if you’re still getting the hang of this stitch, this is a great project to practice on.
PUMPKIN PALOOZA BLOG HOP!
PSSST…have you heard about the Pumpkin Palooza Blog Hop?! Well this pattern is a bonus pumpkin in the blog hop! You can grab this pattern as a free download on September 18! Click the button below to head to Ravelry for the pattern.
About the Yarn
For this project, I opted to go with worsted weight yarn. This was because of both the wider variety of colors and the density of the fabric when you’re doing tapestry crochet with three strands. I used Brava Worsted Weight yarn from WeCrochet. This yarn is great for projects like this. It’s soft, its affordable, and it comes in A LOT of colors.
You could use any worsted weight yarn that you’re loving right now to make this pumpkin. And if you’re wanting to use bulky yarn, you totally could! You’ll just have an oversized pumpkin. Gauge is not super important to this project, so if you want to throw it out the window and size up your hook and yarn, go for it!
Waistcoat Stitch vs Single Crochet
So one of the most common questions I hear with my Luxe Leopard designs is whether they can be done with a different stitch. They are all designed using waistcoat stitch. This is essentially a modified single crochet stitch where you work between the posts of the stitch below. This requires consistently looser tension, and sometimes people struggle with that. If you’re interested in learning the stitch, check out this tutorial video.
Waistcoat stitch works best when working in the round. One way to substitute it and continue working in the round, but to single crochet in the back loop only of every stitch. Since I wanted to give you all an option besides waistcoat stitch for this one, I actually wrote it to be worked flat with plain old single crochet. So if waistcoat stitch is not for you, you can still make this pumpkin!
You will need to be familiar with tapestry crochet for this project. That means you will need to know how to carry yarn and read a graph. I love this tutorial video from Bethany at Whistle and Ivy because she teaches you both!
Reading a Graph
So let’s talk specifics about the graph for this project!
You will be using the same graph for all pumpkin sizes. If your pumpkin calls for 60 stitches, you will work through the graph one full time and an additional 20 stitches. If your pumpkin calls for 80 stitches, you will work through the graph two full times. It might be helpful to place stitch markers at the stitches where you begin a new repeat of the graph. When you run out of rows to work from, you will begin working the graph from Row 1 again.
Note: Some of my testers preferred to do a row of stitches with just the main colors before starting the graph over at Row 1.
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- 85-285 yds of Brava Worsted yarn (or similar worsted weight yarn)
- 45-150 yds of Main Color (tan)
- 25-85 yds of Contrasting Color (black)
- 15-50 yds of Accent Color (brown) (optional)
- Size J (6.0mm) crochet hook
- Tapestry needle
- Stitch Markers
- Twig or Cinnamon Stick
While gauge is not essential to this project, if you would like your pumpkins to match the Finished Measurements listed, gauge should match the following. Please note that your project gauge may vary slightly to a swatch if you’re carrying yarn.
Waistcoat Single Crochet: 12st x 12 rows = 4”
Regular Single Crochet: 14st x 16 rows = 4”
Finished Measurements (Diameter)
Waistcoat Single Crochet: Small – 4.5”, Medium – 7”, Large – 9.5”
Regular Single Crochet: Small – 4”, Medium – 6”, Large – 8”
- Chains at the beginning of the rows do not count as a stitch throughout this pattern.
- Sizes are as follows (Small, Medium, Large)
- This pumpkin pattern is written with two variations of the single crochet stitch. Note that your gauge and finished measurements for waistcoat stitch will be slightly larger than regular single crochet.
- For Waistcoat stitch, you will be joining your foundation chain and working in a continuous round.
- For Regular single crochet, you will be working flat back and forth in rows. Be mindful that you will be reading the graph right to left, then left to right across the rows.
- See Special Techniques paragraph for notes on the graph.
With J Hook and Main Color, Ch (40,60,80). Join to first ch with a sl st.
Round 1: Ch 1. Loosely sc in first stitch, then place a stitch marker to mark the first stitch. Sc in each ch around. (Note: Do not sl st to join, but work continuous rounds.) (40,60,80)
Round 2-(15,22,30): Using waistcoat stitch, sc in between the posts of each stitch from the previous row. Follow color changes according to graph. Continue working until piece measures approx. (5”,7.5”,10”). (40,60,80)
REGULAR SINGLE CROCHET
With J Hook and Main Color, Ch (41,61,81).
Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and each ch across. (40,60,80)
Row 2-(16,24,32): Ch 1 and turn. Sc in each stitch across following color changes according to graph. Continue working until piece measures approx. (4”,6”,8”). (40,60,80)
(see photos below for more help)
- Tie off leaving a long end, approx 24”-36” depending on the size of pumpkin.
- For Regular Single Crochet Only: Fold the work in half so that the short ends meet. Using a tapestry needle and the long tail, sew the two ends together using the mattress stitch. Leave yarn attached.
- Using the tail and tapestry needle, weave the yarn in and out around the top edge of the piece approximately every few stitches.
- Cinch the top closed and go around the edge of the cinched circle again to secure it. When it is securely closed, push the tapestry needle down through the center of the hole and flip the piece over so that the closed top becomes the bottom and the yarn tail is pulled up through the center.
- Repeat Step 3 around the opposite edge of the pumpkin.
- Stuff the pumpkin with fiber fill.
- Repeat Step 4.
- Once both ends are securely closed, push the tapestry needle down through the center of the pumpkin and out the bottom. Pull the yarn around the outside edge. Push the tapestry needle down through the center and out the bottom again. Pull tightly to create a crease. Repeat in until you have the desired number of sections on your pumpkin.
- Tie off and weave ends.
- Place a small stick (or cinnamon stick into the center of the pumpkin for a stem. You can secure it in place with a dab of hot glue (be careful though, as heat can melt acrylic yarn).
I hope you love this adorable little crochet leopard pumpkin as much as I do! It’s definitely one of my new favorite fall decor pieces. If you’re looking for more free fall patterns check out these posts!
And don’t forget to tag me in all your awesome makes! Use hashtag #luxeleopardpumpkin and tag me on Instagram @craftingforweeks for a chance to be featured! Until next time, Happy Crafting!