WHAT SORTS OF PUPPETS ARE NEEDED?

Organisations all over Britain which work with abused, neglected or bereaved children have   asked Knit-for-Nowt not only for “Worry Monsters” (see separate pages of the website for those), but also for hand and finger puppets. These are used in therapy to help children heal by expressing their feelings.  Children often will open up to a puppet during role play, when they feel they can't speak to an adult worker.  Children will project their feelings and thoughts onto the play therapy puppets.

So this is very important work.  We have had many requests from Social Workers for these as they are expensive to buy, and there is currently a very limited budget for them. In any case, our happy/sad sided puppets and some of the professionals puppets are not available in the shops as far as we’re aware.

For more info on why puppets help CLICK HERE

Please choose from the following list and knit whichever you prefer. See the bottom of this page for links to the patterns:

  •          Families of hand puppets consisting of Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandad, boy, girl (and extra siblings if you wish).           They should each have a smile on one side and a downturned mouth on the other, to indicate happy and             sad.  Please sew the mouth near the bottom of the face using 3 strands of embroidery silk (rather than               knitting yarn, which is too thick to get a good expression!) For details see the male/female basic pattern,             which can then be adapted to make the other characters.

  •          Ethnic families – exactly as above, ie. happy/sad sided, but using a shade of brown or tan for the face                    colour (but no pure black yarn thanks.)

  •           A set of “professionals” consisting of 6 puppets: doctor, nurse, police, judge, social worker, teacher.                      These don’t need to be happy/sad sided, just a happy smile.

  •          “Emotiknits” – these are 3 “two-sided” puppets with a total of  6 facial expressions – it’s a specific Knit-for-            Nowt pattern and is on a separate page of the website.

  •           Finger puppets – use any pattern you like, we’d like the ones which represent people (see pattern on the           “Patterns for Hand Puppets” page) but also any other characters or animals you can make.

  •           Animal puppets – both friendly ones and some more scary ones are useful eg. shark with teeth,                              dinosaur,dragon etc.  Dogs and cats are the most popular ones.

  •           Fairy tale puppets eg. from children’s nursery rhymes and current popular children’s characters.

  •           Specific ethnicities eg. Muslim and Asian/Hindu – see patterns on the “Patterns for Hand Puppets” page.

  •           Transgender puppets – just make it male ones side and female the other (in whatever way you like!)

  • WHICH PATTERNS SHOULD I USE?

  • You’re welcome to use any pattern found on this website, as permission has been granted for each one that appears.  Unfortunately copyright restrictions apply to commercial patterns, so they can’t be put on the site, but if you wish to knit from those and send them in we’ve never had a problem with that, as long as it’s for charity and NOT FOR SALE.  Or you could invent your own pattern!   Many knitters do this and it’s fantastic to see the creativity they bring.  A good source of free patterns online can be found at www.ravelry.com

  • WHAT YARN SHOULD I USE?

  • Synthetic yarns are fine, in DK or chunky (according to the pattern) – bright colours are best.  Please avoid using very hairy yarns such as mohair, or any yarn which would be able to be pulled out in tufts by a small child. It’s easy to test it yourself by picking at it and seeing if it’s firm. If bits come off in your fingers we can’t use it.

  • WHAT SIZE SHOULD THE PUPPETS BE?

  • Please make them all to fit an adult hand size, as they are used in role play.  If they are very small this would mean that the adult therapist couldn’t use them.

  • SHOULD I USE TOY STUFFING IN THE HEAD OF MY PUPPETS?

  • Some patterns do include instructions for stuffing the head, some don’t.  Stuffed heads on hand puppets do always make them look really special, but please ensure that the head is made in 2 sections (as per the patterns on this site) so that all the stuffing is completely enclosed and can’t get out, and the stuffing used MUST be approved toy stuffing with a BS safety number on it.  If you’re not sure which stuffing to use please contact Clare.

  • HOW DO I ENSURE THAT MY PUPPETS ARE SAFE?

  • Safety Guidelines are on the patterns page – these must all be adhered to when making your items and everything is checked again this end before being sent out.  Knit-for-Nowt has full Product Liability Insurance cover.

CLICK HERE to take you to the Patterns Page for suggestions of knitting patterns to use. 

CLICK HERE for the Emotiknits pattern.

CLICK HERE if you’d like to knit a Worry Monster

CLICK HERE to take you to the Patterns Page for all fabric items ie. sewn puppets and sewn Worry Monsters.