Oh My Gourd has been a long time in the making. In August 2021, a long-standing pumpkin sculpture by Yoyoi Kusama was swept off a pier on the island of Naoshima by a tropical storm (story here). I was struck by the sheer size of the sculpture as well as the use of dots and their repetition to create a stunning piece of art. Pumpkins are a recurring theme of Yoyoi Kusama’s, and hers were an ongoing influence on my knit pumpkin designs. Finally, this year, I realized that I could use beads to emulate, in a small way, her sculptures.
Oh My Gourd can be knit in fingering weight or worsted weight yarn.
I ordered a variety of beads from Amazon. For the white pumpkin: 2 packages of skull beads and a black pearl bead kit with 4-12 mm beads. For the “bling” pumpkin: a 4mm bicone bead set and 2 packages of Rired 27 glass beads, one in purple and one in grey.
I loaded the multi-colored bicone beads randomly and tried to coordiate the 8mm beads with the yarn color. I truly enjoyed working with the beads.
Beading was very zen and sort of addicting, so I’m happy that I now have a variety of beads on hand for future OMGs.
I’ve created three short videos (two of them under 4 minutes and one under 6 minutes) demonstrating the beading techniques I used for Oh My Gourd. They are Loading Beads onto Working Yarn, Knitting Beads into Fabric, and Placing a Bead Using a Crochet Hook. You can also find them on the new Tutorials tab at the top of the website.
I am looking for a few beta testers for Oh My Gourd on Yarnpond. We have a quick turnaround for the beta testing, since it’s already fall. Experience with beads is also a bonus. If you are a Yarnpond member, this link will take you to the test: Oh My Gourd. If you are not yet a member, there is no charge to become one. Please apply soon, as there are only three spots available.
For those of you who’d like to go ahead and get started on your beautiful beaded pumpkin, the pattern is available here on Payhip and here on Etsy. You may find that you’ll fall down the rabbit hole of beaded knitting like I did!
I hope that you will enjoy the 2023 pumpkin! As always, please tag me on Instagram (@knitequalsjoy) with your finished pumpkins to participate in the Pumpkin Along or just to share your work with me!