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Knit your own pincushion cactus

This diy project combines two of my favorite things: knitting and a cactus.

Cacti and succulents (together with air plants) are some of my favorite house plants. But when you have cats, sometimes your plants die in mysterious ways… So I decided to knit something that looks like a plant but that my cats couldn’t kill.

Here is how you can make your own pincushion cactus “plant”. It’s both functional and nice 🙂

pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts
pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts

Materials for your diy cactus pincushion

  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • Scrap yarn in whatever colors you want/have available
  • 1 row counter
  • Either double-pointed needles (if you want to avoid seams), or regular knitting needles (check your scrap yarn to figure out which size)
  • A yarn needle (not pictured)
  • One crochet hook in whatever size you need for your scrap yarn (not pictured)
  • A flower pot (I am reusing an old one)
  • 1 stitch marker (only needed if you are using dbl-pointed needles)
  • Stuffing (I used old scraps of fabric, but you can use fiber fill if you have it)
pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts

Preparation: how to check your gauge

pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts

If you don’t have the slip, don’t despair, there are averages that can be applied to any yarn based on its thickness (aka “weight”). You can learn how to calculate gauge easily following these general guidelines.

1.Measure the diameter of your flower pot.

2. Cast enough stitches to knit a 4×4 inch swatch and calculate how many stitches and rows you need for your pincushion cactus plant. This is quite easy to do. If you still have the slip that was wrapped around your skein when you bought it, they usually include a guide to knit a swatch.

For example, the graphics in the picture indicate that, on average, one should have a 4×4 inch swatch by casting 17 stitches and knitting 23 rows using US 8 needles.

The pattern

pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts

3. For this diy cactus pincushion I used pretty thick yarn. Therefore, I needed to use my US 10 double pointed needles. Also, the diameter of my flower pot was quite large. These two factor will determine the number of stitches that you need.

You should calculate your own gauge on your yarn and your flower pot. For example, if you use a smaller flower pot, but the same thick yarn, you’ll need less stitches. On the other hand, if you use thinner yarn, you’ll need more stitches to knit your pincushion cactus.

4. I needed 44 stitches for my cactus (you may need more, or less). And then I knitted 22 rows in the following rib pattern: *knit one through the back loop, purl one* (repeat this combination until the end of the row).



Instructions for double pointed needles

1. First, cast on 44 stitches and divide them evenly among your needles (I like using 4 needles for smallish projects like this one).

2. Then, being careful not to twist your yarn, place the stitch marker at the beginning of the row.

3. Now, knit 22 rows following this rib pattern (*ktbl1, p1*).

4. Once you have completed row 22 cut off the yarn making sure to leave a long tail (about 15 inches or so). Next, transfer all the stitches from your knitting needle to a yarn or sewing needle and through the long tail of yarn. You will end up with a weird looking yarn “bowl”.

5. Then, stuff your cactus until it’s round and “fluffy” using old scraps of fabric or fiber fill. Finally, sew in the bottom seam and place your pincushion cactus in the flower pot.

Instructions for double pointed needles

1. First, cast on 44 stitches and divide them evenly among your needles (I like using 4 needles for smallish projects like this one).

2. Then, being careful not to twist your yarn, place the stitch marker at the beginning of the row.

3. Now, knit 22 rows following this rib pattern (*ktbl1, p1*).

4. Once you have completed row 22 cut off the yarn making sure to leave a long tail (about 15 inches or so). Next, transfer all the stitches from your knitting needle to a yarn or sewing needle and through the long tail of yarn. You will end up with a weird looking yarn “bowl”.

5. Then, stuff your cactus until it’s round and “fluffy” using old scraps of fabric or fiber fill. Finally, sew in the bottom seam and place your pincushion cactus in the flower pot.

Instructions for regular knitting needles

1. First, cast on 44 stitches and knit 22 rows in the rib pattern (*ktbl1, p1*).

2. Once you have finished row 22, cut off the yarn making sure to leave a long tail (about 15 inches or so). Then, transfer all the stitches from your knitting needle to the sewing needle and through the long tail of yarn. Now, fasten the stitches and secure in place.

3. Next, sew the seam using a mattress stitch.

4. Then, stuff your cactus until it’s round and “fluffy” using old scraps of fabric or fiber fill. Finally, sew in the stuffing and place your cactus in the flower pot.

Crochet Flowers

You can add some crochet flowers to your home decor item by following these simple instructions:

  1. Row 1: First, make a magic loop and crochet 6 sc in the loop. You should have 6 stitches.
  2. Row 2: Then, make 2 dbc and 1 slc in EACH of the 6 stitches. Now you have a flower, fasten off.
  3. Last, sew your flower (or flowers) to your new home decor cactus.
pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts
pincushion cactus tutorial, diy crafts, homemade gifts

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3 thoughts on “Pincushion cactus | DIY cactus pincushion

  1. Pingback: arts and crafts | teddy bear crochet tutorial | homemade toys and gifts

  2. Pingback: diy home decor, diy home decor crafts, diy home decor gifts

  3. Pingback: Flower Cactus Pincushion – BellaV Creates

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