You totally got ripped. The duck definitely deserves 1st. It is really cute. Oh well. Once the pumpkin starts to go bad, at least you'll have a really great stuffie. And my SO is wondering why you couldn't carve the pumpkin?
I think I was watching a Knitty Gritty rerun and they mentioned knitting with beads. There were two ways to do it. You could prestring the beads and then knit. Every once in a while, you'll have to cut the yarn to string more beads. Another way was to use a crochet hook. Put the bead on the crochet hook and then pull the stitch through the bead.