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.
Summer is a time when I gravitate towards certain types of projects: lace (not too hot and bulky), socks (small and portable), shawls (don’t have to worry about fit), and crochet (fast).
Hitting three out of four of my vacation-project favourites, this seems like the perfect time of year to review one of Interweave’s latest compilation books: Classic Crochet Shawls. This book includes 20 shawl patterns from the Interweave archives, so some may look familiar as they’ve all been previously published in either books or magazines.
Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches and is used as an alternative to Kitchener stitch in our Argyle Christmas Stocking pattern. It is a good choice here because the stripes on the toe would not align exactly if you grafted using Kitchener stitch, so the decorative Russian grafting is used instead.
This particular method of Russian grafting uses a crochet hook to join the stitches. Use a crochet hook that is the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. Russian grafting can also be used to join two separate pieces of knitting.