Pumpkin Patch CAL - Materials List

By Velma
As promised, we're going to kick this crochet-along off right with a little weekend shopping! Let's gt right to the good stuff -- shall we?

There are just so many choices out there -- I could write an entire blog post just about the yarns available for this project! But, we all want to get to the shopping part, so I'll narrow it down for you. As you all know from the pattern, my pumpkins were made with Red Heart Soft. Why? Well, they had a shade of orange that I liked and the "soft" style yarns give nice sheen to the finished project. Plus the Red Heart soft is an acrylic yarn -- which I have found to be a little more friendly when it comes to shaping.

What could you use? Pretty much anything. Just make sure you buy enough yarn to finish your project. With the Red Heart Soft, I had enough yarn to make all three of my pumpkins plus a little more. When I used the Lion Brand Super Bulky Wool Ease, I almost didn't have enough to make one pumpkin!

How do you know if you have enough? That's going to be a tough one. Depending on the type and weight of yarn used, you could have plenty or you could just eke by. My tip is to buy more than you think you need and save the receipt -- especially when dealing with dye lot yarn. You can always return unused skeins, but it can sometimes be really difficult to find a specific lot!

As with the yarn, your stuffing choices are really limitless. For my pumpkins, I stuck with my old favorite -- Fairfield Poly-Fil. I've gone into odes about why I like Fairfield's Poly-Fil the best, but to make a long story short,
  • It doesn't bunch
  • It's smooth and doesn't have those sharp-feeling poly-fil splinters like cheaper brands
  • It's readily available
Now, during the Great Owl Crochet-Along, my friend Lucy Bad Dog introduced me to ginned cotton as a stuffing. It's a fantastic natural fiber that gives your finished work an additional weight that you just can't get from poly-fil.

I have also supplemented my stuffing with cut-up bits of old t-shirt. If you're going to do this, I advise that you cut up the chunks pretty small (1-2 inches or 2-5 cm square). That way, the fabric won't bunch up.

One final option (if you REALLY want to go green with your pumpkins), is to use shredded plastic shopping bags like my pal Mary of LeftZ. As a matter of fact, ALL of Mary's materials are upcycled! (P.S. If you're interested, you can learn more about Mary and her work on her blog.)

Everything Else
Yarn and stuffing really make up the two big items for this crochet-along. With the exception of your hook, the rest of the goodies you'll need may already be on hand. You'll need:
  • A G (4.25 mm) crochet hook (or hook appropriate to the yarn you chose)
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch marker
You can find out a bit more about yarn needles and stitch markers on this post from The Great Owl Crochet-Along and I have a workshop on hooks that should help you though the hook shopping process if you don't already have a favorite.

Hmmm.... did I miss anything? I don't think so... Let's go shopping!


  1. you are a wonder woman to me :)
    Where do you find all your energy?!!

  2. What exactly are stitch markers and what do they do? i saw them at AC Moore and they were like $7 for a set of 24 so i didn't get them. Do u need them and where can i get them cheaper?

  3. Good question, Emily. Stitch markers simply mark a place in your work so that you don't have to count all the way back to the beginning of a piece if you lose track of what stitch you are on. In the pumpkin patterns, I use one stitch marker to show where I began a new round.

    You do not have to buy stitch markers if you don't want to -- I've seen plenty of people use a paper clip, safety pin, or even an odd bit of yarn. If you look at Kimmzy's picture on Flikr, you can see that she ran a piece of yarn along the area where she began her rounds to keep track ==> http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimmzy/4968132364/in/pool-1478536@N24

    I hope this helps a little... if I can work it in, I'll put a longer instruction about stitch markers and how they work next week.

  4. Okay, it sounds helpful! ill try it with a safety pin first. Then ill save up for some real ones. Thanks for the help!

  5. if you ever make jewelery, some of my favorite stitch markers are lobster clasps with beads attached. I use a double thickness of fishing line just folded over for the center. I use medium sized beads & end with a small crimp bead to hold all 4 ends of the fishing line. cut with nippers as close to the crimp as possible.