Make This: Little Knitted Cactus


Last weekend I attended a housewarming party last minute, and it didn’t feel right to show up without at least a small gift. I thought: what can I make in two evenings? Oh yeah, my world-famous, tiny knitted cactus. By world I mean my friends who I’ve gifted them to/taught to make them over the years. This is really a fast project, because as you can see, I got it done in time.

knitcactus3 knitcactus4

Knitted Cactus

Materials: Scrap green yarn (just enough to fill your fist), scrap yarn in yellow and white for the flowers (really, you can use whatever colors you want), four double pointed needles, tapestry needle, toy stuffing

Cactus body
Cast on 6 sts. Divide between 3 needles and join in the round.
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: KFB (12 sts)
Round 3: *KFB, K1* 6 times (18 sts)
Round 4: Purl
Round 5-12: K1, P1 to end of round
Place 6 sts on a stitch holder or piece of scrap yarn and just work the remaining 12 sts.
Round 13-20: Continue in K1, P1
Round 21: K2tog to end (6 sts)
At this point, you can stuff the main body of the cactus.
Round 22: K2tog to end (3 sts)
Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches, securing tail of yarn.
Arrange the six stitches that were left on a holder among three needles (2 on each needle) and join in the round, stitching together any holes that may form at the joint.
Continue to work in K1, P1 for 5 rounds.
Stuff the arm and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the stitches and securing.

The cactus shape came out looking a little mitten-ish, but adding the flowers helped. If you’re feeling confident, play with the shape or even add more arms.

Cast on 36 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K1, cast off 6 sts* 5 times, K1
Cut yarn and thread through the six remaining stitches, pulling tightly to bunch the petal together. Sew onto cactus body.

I used the same exact pattern for both of my flowers but different weights of yarn to produce different sizes and textures. knitcactus2knitcactus5

For presentation’s sake, I found an appropriately sized pot on my garden cart and filled it with rocks. I made a little crater once the rocks were about 2/3 of the way up the pot and placed the cactus inside. I then built up the rocks around the sides of the cactus until it felt pretty secure. This is a pretty simple and crude way to present the cactus, but I also like that it incorporates some natural elements. I ended up giving it to my hostess paired with an actual, living cactus. Quite a cute pair – just don’t accidentally squeeze the real one or water the knitted one.


2 thoughts on “Make This: Little Knitted Cactus

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