Knitting Machine Pumpkins

 

Back in August, I bought myself a Sentro Knitting Machine. As someone with lupus and fibromyalgia, I am prone to a lot of hand pain, which makes knitting by hand challenging. So I was really excited to find this alternative to one of my favorite hobbies and to give it a try. And before I knew it, I was making tons of Knitting Machine Pumpkins. I haven’t knitted anything stuffed since my Raccoon and Tiger Plushies, which took literally forever, this knitting machine makes everything so much easier.

 

I was mostly inspired to buy one of these machines from seeing a smattering of TikTok videos, but the final push was this video detailing how to make pumpkins! I saw a lot of knit pumpkins on Etsy selling for a fortune and decided that I could do it myself and since then, I have been! I specifically chose the Sentro Knitting Machine, which you can purchase on Amazon, because it comes with a built in row counter!

 

 

I have to tell you that learning how to use this machine, let alone actually making pumpkins, has been a very big learning experience. I’ve made almost every kind of mistake imaginable (and I’m sure I’ll find new and creative ones to make in the future), so before I get into more about making these actual pumpkins, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned the hard way. 

 

tips & tricks

 

Yarn Choice is Very Important.

Not just any yarn will work on this machine—it must be weight 4 yarn or lighter, not any heavier. And just because the yarn is weight 4, doesn’t mean it’s going to work. The softer and fluffier the yarn, the better it works with the machine. The chunkier and heavier the yarn is, the harder it is to work with in the machine. I’ve already tried tons of different yarns in my Sentro:

 

Works, but not ideal: Vanna’s Choice, Lion Brand Heartland

Works, but hate the yarn: Lion Brand Scarfie (frays, knots, and splits)

Good: Stitch Studio by Nicole Storybook Lullaby

The MVP of yarns: Caron Simply Soft

 

Keep the yarn loosely wound!

If the yarn is wound too tight, it will pop out of the tension rod. Constantly fighting with loosening the yarn will also make obvious differences in tension. If you’re using Caron Simply Soft yarn, I recommend taking the yarn from the center of the ball and pulling it out to keep it loose enough for the machine.

 

Use waste yarn.

The tutorial I found on YouTube did not detail using waste yarn on the knitting machine. When I was first making these pumpkins, I was absolutely horrified by the cast on and cast off ends without waste yarn—they were loose and incredibly uneven, making seaming the ends together a frustrating experience. Using waste yarn prevents this unsightly bind ONS and bind offs and makes it a thousand times easier to not only cast off on the knitting machine, but also to seam projects. This was an absolute game changer for me and I will never go back to using this machine without waste yarn. Just make sure to use a contrasting color with your yarn. For more information on why and how you should be using waste yarn, check out this video. 

 

Go slow, at least at first.

A lot of these TikTok videos show other knitting machine users making their projects with the help of a 3D printed attachment and a drill. While this is ingenious and makes projects go at the speed of light, I find that when I’m changing colors or moving from waste to my actual project yarn, my yarn is constantly trying to slip off the hooks. Take it slow and make sure when changing colors or just starting, that you’re not slipping stitches. It’s more of a pain to have to pick them up then to just take your time. The woman in the pumpkin making tutorial says it takes her twenty five minutes to make an entire pumpkin. I’ve made at least 15 pumpkins, give or take, and it still takes me about an hour and a half or more to completely finish a single one. And it took way longer for me in the beginning. 

 

the pumpkins

This is the video I used to learn the basics of the knitting machine and how to make the pumpkins, but I’ve included a bit of a tutorial with pictures below for those who want written instructions on how to make knitting machine pumpkins. These instructions assume you already know how to use a knitting machine, for more in depth How-to’s on using a knitting machine, click on the video above.

 

Please note that the content creator in the video above does not use waste yarn, which I highly recommend doing. Again, for more information on waste yarn and why you should be using it, check out this video.

 

Materials Needed:

1 Knitting Machine
1 ball of weight 4 yarn
yarn needles for seaming,
Poly-Fil
Cinnamon sticks (or another item of your choice) for pumpkin stems
scissors
waste yarn
craft glue

 

The Instructions:

The white yarn is my waste yarn.

1. Make sure your knitting machine is set to T, for tube. Cast onto knitting machine with waste yarn, leaving a tail. Knit ten rows.

2. At beginning of round, cast on with actual color of pumpkin yarn, leaving a tail.

3. Crank until yarn hits table or until you have reached desired length. The more rounds knitted, the bigger the pumpkin.

4. At beginning of round, cast on with more waste yarn and knit another ten rows, leaving a tail.

5. Crank forward a few stitches without yarn, then crank backwards until work is removed from knitting machine. You should have something that looks like this (please note: the white yarn on the edges is my waste yarn):

 

6. Line up the edges of your work, then fold one side into the other, effectively folding it in half.  Once again, line up the edges. Make sure all of the tails of your yarn are not stuck on the inside of your work and are coming out the bottom of it.

 

7. Seam up the edges of your work with a yarn needle. Entering through the loop of your product yarn on each side. If you used waste yarn, these loops are the outer most loop of your pumpkin color on each side and will stand out a lot more.

 

This finished pumpkin is purple. The white yarn is my waste yarn.

8. Continue sewing around until product is fully seamed together.

 

9. Remove your waste yarn.

Before waste yarn removal and after finishing seaming project together.

10. Cinch your work by pulling the strands. You should have what looks like a little beanie or pouch. After cinching, tie a knot with ends and cut. Stuff with poly fil.

 

[/caption]11. With a piece of yarn matching your final product, enter the side of the pumpkin, about three stitches down, with a yarn needle. Tie a knot at the tail end.

 

12. Take threaded needle through bottom of pumpkin, then back around the top, and down again, creating pumpkin “poufs.” Pull yarn tight, but not too tight that you end up breaking yarn.

 

13. Repeat process of creating pumpkin poufs until you’re satisfied with the appearance of the pumpkin. I generally like to make about eight poufs.

 

14. Sew the remaining opening of the pumpkin shut. This is the bottom of the pumpkin.

 

15. Flip pumpkin over, place pumpkin stem in hole or use glue to secure. Ta-da. You now have a complete knitted pumpkin of your very own.

 

 

I’ve really enjoyed making these pumpkins in what is clearly a fraction of the time that it would take me to make them by hand-knitting. They’ve made great decorations and gifts as well! I am very much in love with my Sentro Knitting Machine and hope to share more patterns in the future!

 

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Knitting Machine Pumpkins - Blogging with Dragons

Posted October 21, 2022 in Knits

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