A couple of weeks ago, Elizabeth sent me a link to this CBC article about a children's hospital in Nova Scotia looking for donations of hand-knit finger puppets. It was just before our September knitting tea, and I was inspired to quickly print off the patterns provided by the IWK Health Centre and gather some scrap yarn to make a puppet or two.
Both are good basic patterns, and they do work, but they tend to leave some steps (such as hair) to the knitter's imagination... And since a few other people attending the tea offered to lend their needles to the cause as well, I decided to go on a pattern hunt for other puppet-making inspiration.
The two right-hand puppets pictured below are from the patterns on the IWK site (I made the duck, the person is Elizabeth's creation).
There are a number of free finger puppet patterns out there. I knit the bear on the left from Frankie Brown's excellent pattern for animal puppets (available as a free Ravelry download) and I'm super-happy with how it turned out. Here's a small collection of other free patterns that caught my eye:
TUFTY - Finger Puppet by Marianna Mel. This one looks simple but fun!
Photo © marianna-mel
Fast and Easy Finger Puppets by Lisa M. Beamer. Another basic pattern, with some fun variations.
Photo © Lisa M. Beamer
These Basic Finger Bobs by Chloe Blunn have a slightly different shape, and a great suggestion to draw on the faces if you don't like embroidering!
Photo © www.clobelle.com
If you're willing to invest a little bit of money in a pattern (and probably quite a bit more time knitting it) there are a few designers who specialize in finger puppets and have some extra-cute patterns for sale.
Photo © kooklacreations
Photo © Lindsay Mudd
And last (but definitely not least!) the intricate patterns by Loly Fuertes are likely to inspire a whole new world of finger-puppet-knitting. With patterns available for all kinds of character sets (such as Peter Pan, Hansel and Gretel, and the Wizard of Oz) the storytelling possibilities are endless. I think my one of my favourites is this sweet little Lamb Family, I'm just astonished at the level of detail!
Photo © HandMadeAwards
I've been having lots of fun with the couple of puppets I've knit so far. They're a fast and satisfying little project, and great for using up yarn scraps (which I have an endless supply of). If anyone else is inspired to knit one or two of their own, you can find the address to send donations here. Or if you're in the Montreal area, bring them to our October knitting tea and I'll be happy to ship them along with mine.
It's a little bit hard to believe, but Sweet Paprika has been in business for exactly 10 years this month! We have a few things planned to celebrate our anniversary, but I thought it would be nice to start off with a little look at where we started, and where we've been, over the past decade.
It all began way back in 2007, when Elizabeth and I, and our other sister Margaret, were all living in Ottawa. We knew we wanted to put our skills to work in some sort of business, but we weren't exactly sure what direction that would take us in yet.
A few years ago Elizabeth proposed that we make the month of February each year "Finish it February": a time to pull all of our unfinished objects (UFOs in knitter slang) out of the closet or from under the bed and dust them off.
This is the third year we've done this, and I still have quite a number of projects to pull out and deal with each year, but I've noticed that although I still have many very old ones (which I keep swearing I'll finish one day), I've been much better about not accumulating new ones since we started this.