Sunday, October 25, 2015
I love the folklore behind our traditions and having recently bought our pumpkins to carve in to Jack O' Lanterns and place on the porch for Halloween I have been wondering where the tradition comes from.
The story of Jack O' Lantern is found in many cultures and basically involves a no good character called Jack who tries to trick the devil in to not taking his soul. The devil agrees and when Jack eventually dies he is not taken to hell. However, as he doesn't have a good Christian soul, he cannot go to heaven and his spirit is doomed to wander the earth. When he asks the devil how he will see where he is going the devil tosses him a burning ember from the depths of hell. Jack carves out a turnip and places the burning ember inside, Voila! The first Jack O'Lantern is made!
In the UK we often assume that the tradition of the Jack O' Lantern reached our shore from the US. However, turnips and gourds were carved in to grotesque faces/masks in the UK in the 19th century where they were believed to ward off evil spirits during the celtic festival of Samhain which fell at the same time of the year as our Halloween.
This year I have adopted a more woolly approach to Halloween and have made these super cute knitted pumpkins. They are made following exactly the same pattern as the fabric pumpkins in the tutorial I shared last October.
Click here to go to the tutorial.
To make this year's design you will need to knit your fabric in a fun shade of orange first. I used double knit wool and 4mm needles. They are incredibly easy to make and the knitted texture looks fab. I've only had time to make a couple using garter stitch but they would look brilliant made from a rib knit, or moss stitch. You could also embroider a Jack O' Lantern face on the front using black wool.
With just six days to go there's still time to make a few before All Hallows Eve - Happy Knitting!