How to make knitted finger puppets

Make Angela Turner’s swashbuckling pirate crew and set sail for adventure with these darling knitted finger puppets!

Knitted finger puppets

This pint-sized pirate crew would make the perfect gift for little kids with big imaginations. Designer Angela Turner shows you how to make three different pirates and a parrot using the same basic pattern. So once you’re confident with the basic puppet shape you can experiment with different colours, hair, hats and even facial expressions!

Knitted in durable 100% acrylic yarn, finger puppets are a brilliant stash buster as you only need small amounts of yarn for each one. Don’t forget to show us what you make, me hearties!

Once you’ve finished this project, how about knitting a cute softie? We love this adorable Buster the Jack Russell pattern, or why not try a pandagiraffe or these adorable animal baby hats. Oh and for more knitting projects and inspiration sign-up to our newsletter!

If you’ve knitted this project, don’t forget to share it on Facebook or post them on Instagram, we love to see what you make!

Knitted finger puppets

To make these knitted finger puppets you will need:

  • Yarn:
    • 1 x 100g balls of Stylecraft Special DK in Apricot (1026), Black (1002), Matador (1010), White (1001), Royal (1117), Turquoise (1068), Spring Green (1316), Walnut (1054) and Lemon (1020)
  • Needles
    • 1 pair of 3mm (UK 11, US 2-3) knitting needles
  • Accessories
    • Polyester filling
    • 1-2 small black beads for each puppet’s eyes

Yarn detail

  • Stylecraft Special DK stylecraft-yarns.co.uk 01535 609798
  • 100% acrylic
  • 100g/295m (322 yards)
  • Machine wash 40°C
  • £1.99

Knitted finger puppets pattern

Tension

26 sts and 34 rows to 10cm or 4in measured over st st using 3mm needles

Measurements

Puppets measure 8.5cm (31⁄4in) tall by 5.5cm (2in) wide

Abbreviations

You’ll find our standard knitting abbreviations in this pattern. This pattern is written in UK metrics but it’s really easy to convert, just check out our yarn weight conversion chart and beginner’s guide.

Knitted finger puppets - front

BASIC PUPPET SHAPE (FRONT)
(ALSO FOR ROYAL BLUE PUPPET)

Using Royal, cast on 14 sts. Knit 2 rows. Change to White and knit 2 rows. Work last 4 rows again. Change to Royal and knit 10 rows. Change to Apricot and st st (knit one row, purl one row) for 8 rows. Change to Matador and knit 2 rows. Next row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 12 sts

Next row: Purl.

Rep last 2 rows again. 10 sts

Next row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 8 sts

Next row: P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog. 6 sts. Cast off.

Knitted finger puppets - back

BASIC PUPPET SHAPE (BACK)

As for Front but using Walnut instead of Apricot. With RS facing, sew the seam up and around the body, leaving base open. Tie in all loose ends. Turn RS out.

HEAD SCARF TIE (MAKE 2)

Using Matador, cast on 4 sts. Cast off. Sew on to pirate’s right-hand side where headscarf meets the face. Tie in loose ends.

HAIR PLAIT (MAKE 4)

Using Walnut, cast on 8 sts. Cast off. Sew two plaits to each side of the face at headscarf where the face meets hair. Tie in loose ends.

PONYTAIL (MAKE 3)

Using Walnut, cast on 8 sts. Cast off. Sew onto the back of the head where hair meets the shirt. Weave in loose ends. Tie together near the top with a length of Turquoise yarn.

BANDANA

Using Black, cast on 40 sts. Knit one row. Cast off. Place around puppet where Royal meets Apricot and secure with a stitch at the side.

TO FINISH

Sew on 2 beads for eyes 4 rows up from Royal shirt with 4 sts between them. With Black yarn work a V-shape mouth starting from one row up from shirt.

RED FINGER PUPPET

Work Front as for Royal Blue puppet working stripe pattern as follows: Knit 4 rows using Matador, 2 rows White, three times. Make face Apricot as before and make hat Black. For Back, use Sunshine for hair instead of Walnut.

HAIR (RIGHT-HAND SIDE)

Using Sunshine, cast on 4 sts.

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Next row (WS): Purl.

Next row: Knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 3 sts Next row: Purl.

Next row: Knit.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: Knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 2 sts Cast off purlwise.

HAIR (LEFT-HAND SIDE)

Using Sunshine, cast on 4 sts.

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Next row (WS): Purl.

Next row: K2tog, knit to end. 3 sts Next row: Purl.

Next row: Knit.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: K2tog, knit to end. 2 sts Cast off purlwise. Sew onto each side of the face, touching hair, and sew across the top next to the hat. With Sunshine yarn, work a few straight sts at the centre top of face for the fringe. Weave in loose ends.

HAT BRIM

Using Black, cast on 28 sts. St st 2 rows. Cast off. Sew ends tog. Place join to front centre of hat with cast off edge uppermost. Sew in place. Sew cast on seam of brim to first row of hat, make indents in 2 places around brim by sewing top of brim to base, pulling up tightly. With White yarn sew a cross in the centre of hat.

EYE PATCH

Using Black, cast on 3 sts.

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Next row: P3tog.

Cut yarn, pull through sts. Sew onto face in place of eye. From lengths, attached create eye patch loop. Sew on a black bead for second eye and a mouth as per Royal Blue puppet. Tie in loose ends.

PARROT FINGER PUPPET

Work front the same as the Royal Blue puppet but in Spring Green working the head in st st only. For the back, knit 20 rows in Lemon then work the head in st st following same shaping front. Makeup as for puppets, including the eyes.

BEAK

Using Sunshine, cast on 3 sts. Row 1 (WS): Purl.

Next row (RS): Kfb to end. 6sts Next row: Purl.

Next row: Knit.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: (K1, kfb) to end. 9 sts

Next row: Purl.

Next row: (K2, kfb) to end. 12 sts

Next row: Purl.

Cast off. Fold in half then sew the seam. Add filling. Run a length of yarn from top to tip of beak, pull up slightly. Sew parrot’s beak in place 2 rows below eyes.

WINGS (MAKE 2)

Using Turquoise, cast on 3 sts. Row 1 (WS): Purl.

Next row (RS): Kfb to end. 6 sts Next row: Purl.

Next row: Kfb, knit to last st, kfb. 8 sts Next row: Purl.

Rep last 2 rows until you have 12 sts. Starting with a knit row, st st 2 rows.

Next row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 10 sts

Starting with a purl row, st st 3 rows.

Next row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 8 sts

Next row: Purl.

Rep last 2 rows until 2 sts. Cast off. Pin wings to sides, top in line with eyes. Secure with stitches. Curve up wingtips.

TAIL FEATHERS

Work 3 feathers as for hair plaits using Matador. Sew to back of parrot. Sew a few loops of Spring Green to head.

TURQUOISE FINGER PUPPET

Work Front as for Royal Blue puppet working stripe pattern as follows:

Knit 2 rows in Turquoise, 2 rows White, 4 times, then 2 rows of Turquoise again.

Make face in Apricot and hat in Sunshine.

Make Back same as Front, using Black for hair.

Makeup as for Royal Blue puppet.

With Black yarn sew loops to side of the head and along where hat meets the face.

Make Head Scarf Ties as before in Sunshine. Sew to the left-hand side.

SCARF

Using Matador, cast on 34 sts. Working in st st, cast off 6 sts at beg of first 4 rows. 10 sts.

Sew on to right-hand side where scarf meets the face. Tie loose ends.

Next row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog. 8 sts

Next row: P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, p2tog. 6 sts. Rep last 2 rows again. 2 sts Next row: K2tog. 1 st

Cut yarn and thread through. Place on the puppet with ties at the front. Sew securely to finish.

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