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Free knitted cactus pattern

These knitted cactus plants make great gifts. Choose from three different designs to knit and customise them with flowers to make them unique.

Free knitted cactus pattern

Many of us don’t have outside space of our own, or the time to tend indoor plants. But we do have crafting skills! We love the idea of a no-maintenance, handmade garden, and this knitted cactus pattern from Simply Knitting issue 109 has us feeling inspired. These wonderful woolly cacti will last much longer than the real thing, and they’re also perfectly prickle-free – ideal if you have kids or pets!

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Designer Lucille Randall’s three knitted cactus patterns are fun to knit. Your finished cactus pincushion will make a fantastic gift for a sewing fan, or remove the pins and give it as a house-warming present to brighten up a friend’s home. “If you’re new to knitting in the round, this is a great first project, as it really doesn’t matter if your cactus ends up knobbly,” says Lucille. “It will just add to the charm.” You could experiment with different shapes, or use some super chunky yarn and 8mm needles to make a mega-sized knitted plant.

The cactus is finished with little crochet flowers, made using three basic stitches: slip stitch, chain stitch and treble crochet. Pop it in a plant pot and your knitted cactus will bloom all year round. Plus you know it’ll never die of neglect!

Feel free to try out different shapes. After all, no two cacti are the same – or is that snowflakes?
Lucille Randall, designer

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To make this knitted cactus pattern you will need:

  • Rowan, Pure Wool DK (100% wool, 50g/130m) 1 ball of each: Parsley (020) and Pine Needle (050)
  • Rowan Kidsilk Haze (70% mohair, 30% silk, 25g/210m) 1 ball of: Jelly (597) Buy it from Deramores UK or Deramores US
  • A set of 3½mm double-pointed needles Buy them from Amazon
  • A 3½mm crochet hook Buy it from Amazon
  • Toy stuffing Buy it from Deramores UK or Deramores US
  • Mini flower pots Buy them from Amazon
  • A stitch holder Buy it from Amazon

Knitted cactus pattern

This pattern uses our standard knitting abbreviations and crochet abbreviations. It’s written in UK metrics but it’s really easy to convert – just check out our yarn weight conversion chart and guide to knitting needle sizes. Find out how to knit with double pointed needles with our guide.

TENSION

Yarn used knits as DK to this tension: 28 sts and 26 rows to measure 10x10cm (4x4in) over stitch pattern using 3½mm needles (See our guide to knitting tension squares.)

SMALL ROUND CACTUS

Cast on 48 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1tbl, P1); to end of round. Repeat round 1 for 30 rounds.

Break off yarn leaving a long tail and thread tail through your darning needle. Pass the needle through all of the stitches on the DPNs, dropping them off as you go. Pull tight to close the hole at the top and fasten off. Weave in loose end. Stuff with fibre fill and sew up the bottom end.

Free knitted cactus pattern small
Use an easy rib pattern to make this small round cactus.

TALL CACTUS

Cast on 30 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1tbl, P1); to end of round. Repeat round 1 for 30 rounds.

Join in mohair and continue to work with both yarns together for a further 20 rounds.

Break off yarn leaving a long tail and thread tail through your darning needle. Pass the needle through all of the stitches on the DPNs, dropping them off as you go. Pull tight to close the hole at the top and fasten off. Weave in loose end. Stuff with fibre fill and sew up the bottom end. Tease out the fibres of the mohair yarn to create a fluffy cactus.

Free knitted cactus pattern tall
A bright crochet flower adds a splash of colour to this knitted cactus pattern.

BOBBLY CACTUS

Each piece is made individually and worked in moss stitch.

LARGE BOBBLE
Cast on 39 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1, P1); to end of round.

Round 2 (P1, K1); to end of round.

Repeat these 2 rounds to create the moss stitch pattern.

Work 30 rounds in moss stitch.

* Break off yarn leaving a long tail and thread tail through your darning needle. Pass the needle through all of the stitches on the DPNs, dropping them off as you go. Pull tight to close the hole at the top and fasten off. Weave in loose end. Stuff with fibre fill and sew up the bottom end.**

MEDIUM BOBBLE 1

Cast on 27 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1, P1); to end of round.

Round 2 (P1, K1); to end of round.

Repeat these 2 rounds to create the moss stitch pattern.

Work 20 rounds in moss stitch.

Finish off the same as Large Cactus, * to **.

MEDIUM BOBBLE 2

Cast on 21 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1, P1); to end of round.

Round 2 (P1, K1); to end of round.

Repeat these 2 rounds to create the moss stitch pattern.

Work 20 rounds in moss stitch.

Finish off the same as Large Cactus, * to **.

SMALL BOBBLE

Cast on 15 stitches using 3½mm DPNs. Divide evenly over 4 DPNs and place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Join into a round.

Round 1 (K1, P1); to end of round.

Round 2 (P1, K1); to end of round.

Repeat these 2 rounds to create the moss stitch pattern.

Work 16 rounds in moss stitch.

Finish off the same as Large Cactus, * to **.

MAKING UP

Using a matching thread, sew the 2 medium and small bobbles to the large bobble. Use the main picture as reference.

Free knitted cactus pattern bobbly
Attach lots of bobbles to make this moss stitch cactus unique!
Crochet flowers add a splash of colour, and are great for using up scraps of yarn. Use the yarn tails to sew them in place.
Simply Knitting magazine

CROCHET FLOWERS

Using a 3½mm crochet hook, ch4 and join with a ss to form a ring.

Into the centre hole: (tr3, ss) 4 times into the ring.

On last ss break off yarn and pull through ss loop.

Fasten off and weave in loose end. Thread the other tail through your needle and sew flower onto your cactus.

Now you’re ready to pop your knitted cactus into its plant pot. A strip of double-sided tape on the inside of the rim will help to secure it in place.

More cactus craft patterns

Love this? Why not whip up some gift wrapping to match with our cactus cross stitch pattern? Or learn how to make a cactus cushion, how to paint a watercolour cactus and how to make mini cactus embroidery hoops. They’d make great gift ideas for green-fingered friends!

Free cactus cross stitch pattern

Download the knitted cactus pattern:

To download your free cactus knitting pattern, click on this link and it will open in a new window: Free knitted cactus pattern PDF

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Want more floral patterns? Try our free tea cosy knitting pattern, with its spring flowers, or our poppy knitting pattern. And check out the rest of our knitting patterns for more inspiration!