This is a pincushion “in the shape of a Brobdingnagian carrot” which should be “stock(ed) well with hat pins of various sizes and makes.”
The original pattern calls for “single Berlin wool” in “pale scarlet…deep orange…dark yellow” and “pale yellow,” knit on “four steel knitting needles, No. 15” (modern equivalent 1.75mm / US 00.) Stuffing and “streamers of narrow pale green satin ribbon about half an inch wide” are needed to finish the cushion.
I first tried to make this in Paternayan crewel wool but it required too much wool for the main part of the carrot so I switched, successfully, to Palette fingering weight wool in Sweet Potato, Semolina, Custard, and Peony, knitting both times on the suggested needle size. The pincushion is stuffed with carded and washed fleece – any remaining lanolin would act as a deterrent for rust on the pins. The pale green ribbons, with “a good long loop of some of the same material to serve as a means of suspending the cushion” was added last.
The pincushion measures 12 ¼” long and 8 ¼” wide around at the top.
The text of the pattern also suggests that this object could serve as an ornament for a Christmas tree where “It could scarcely fail to cause comment, and a little amusement.”
All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Eleven, Interweave Press, 2004