Project – Knit Cactus

I saw a knit cactus that someone was using as a pin cushion, and I was charmed. I decided I “needed” to knit a cactus. (You know, “need”, like I “need” new shoes or how I “need” some more tote bags in my life)

It was fun, and easy, and quick. And I think it is cute as can be.

This is called Mammilaria species.
Otherwise known as the pincushion cactus.

Pincushion Cactus Pattern:

(Download a pdf of the Pincushion Cactus Pattern)



  • Yarn: Small amount of any green fingering weight yarn. Shown here in Dale of Norway Baby Ull.
  • Needles: 4 double pointed needles appropriate size to get gauge (about 8 stitches per inch in stockinette). Shown here knit using size 3 double pointed needles.
  • fiber fill (just a small ball)
  • finishing needle.
  • Pot: shown here 9 inches in circumference around the outside of the top, 2.5 inches tall.


(Do a gauge swatch with your yarn. You want to cast on enough that your knitting will just stretch bigger than the rim of your pot. The directions given below fit my pot, my yarn, my gauge.)

Cast on 48 stitches. Divide onto 3 needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.

Work in a rib pattern, knit 1 purl 1 for 23 rows. Cut the yarn leaving a 12 inch tail. Thread the tail through a needle, and catch all of the stitches off the needle. Pull the stitches snug to cinch them together. Bury the end in the middle of the work.

The little ball is now half formed, with one side closed.
Stuff as much filling as you can get into it. Then thread the tail into the needle, and close the bottom. Work your way around picking up the stitches in your cast-on evenly to create a nice graceful closure. Or, don’t, if you like the other side, then it’s good enough! Only one side needs to face up. Just close it up, and voila, you have your cactus.

You can just sit it in the pot. Or, if you want to you can glue it down, and use it as an actual pin cushion.

There’s your fun little no-brainer knitting project.
Happy Crafting!

copyright 2012 Susan Cornish
Please do not sell this pattern. Please do not sell finished product made from this pattern. Please do not teach this pattern without contacting me first. Thank you.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at justcraftyenough AT yahoo DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2012 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish


12 years ago by in Knitting , Knitting Projects , Needlecraft , Projects | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
14 Comments to Project – Knit Cactus
  1. Pingback: Free Pattern – Knit Cactus Pincushion · Knitting |

    • Marny CA
    • Oh my! As a little girl my brother and I used to frequent the cactus exhibit at the botanical gardens in Cleveland.

      I’m hesitant to try dpns but now you’ve given me a very good reason to take the plunge – especially since this cactus has no prickly things. 😉

      Ahhhh, maybe I’ll get good enough to graft on one of those little red cactus, like they sell in the garden supply stores. LOL

      Thank you!!

      • NameCalGal65
      • I can’t use double pointed needles as I have RA and my fingers just won’t work with that small size. I’m going to try it on a loom. You can either knit the whole thing or knit and pearl to get the desired pattern. Give it a try.

    • Sandy Warren
    • I love this pattern & want to knit it, FOR SURE! However, I can see no place that it allows me to print it. What am I doing wrong? I am on my service provider & see no place to let me say to “print”. Thanks in advance for any help! -sandy in Phx. 5/29/12

    • Name wlbindub
    • Very cute!! and clever!! ….. but, is there a way to make it without using dbl pointed needles and do on 2 knitting needles? I have never used the dbl ptd needles….thank you.

        • Kat
        • Actually, it’s a little more than just sewing up a side seam. You also have to pull it together at the top to create the domed top.

      • Susi
      • If you did it on straight needles, I’m afraid the seam would show. But you could give it a try, and just seam it carefully. Once you had the piece seamed into a tube, you would follow the directions to cinch up the top and bottom. Or, just get a little bit bigger pot, and do the main piece on 12 inch circulars.
        I hope that helps!

  2. Pingback: craft round up | Anastacia Knits

  3. Pingback: Knit Cactus Pincushion | Crafts: Unknown Knowledge |

  4. Pingback: 13 Beautiful Knitted Succulent Patterns For Mother's Day - The Knit Crew

Leave A Response

* Required