Free knitted cactus pattern

These knitted 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 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 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

To knit this cactus pattern you will need:

  • Rowan, Pure Wool DK (100% wool, 50g/130m) 1 ball of each: Parsley (020) and Pine Needle (050)
    • If you can’t find this, try Novita Nordic Wool in Fir (397) and Moss (337)
  • Rowan, Kidsilk Haze (70% mohair, 30% silk, 25g/210m) 1 ball of: Jelly (597)
  • A set of 3½mm double-pointed needles
  • A 3½mm crochet hook
  • Toy stuffing
  • Mini flower pots
  • A stitch holder

Knitted cactus pattern

This pattern uses our standard knitting abbreviations and crochet abbreviations.

TENSION

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

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.

Small knitted cactus pattern
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.

Tall knitted cactus pattern
A bright crochet flower adds a splash of colour to this knitted succulent.

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 31⁄2mm 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.

Bobbly knitted cactus pattern
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.

Why not whip up a collection of knitted cactuses as a house-warming present, with wrapping to match? This cactus cross stitch pattern would look super-sweet on a card or gift bag, and you could customise it to match their decor. It’s a great gift idea for a green-fingered friend!

Free cactus cross stitch pattern

Download the knitted cactus pattern:

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Free knitted cactus pattern PDF