The green-eyed monster

…lives on Venus, which is where I’ve been just recently, had a spot of business to attend to, etcetera and so forth. The Venusians have their own name for this odd creature, but I’m dashed if I can pronounce it. Don’t have the right number of tongues you see.  Anyhow, Green-Eyed Monsters are unique in the solar system in that they don’t eat. They survive entirely on visual stimuli, which is to say that they wander around all over the damn place and watch whatever happens to be going on. Closely.

The first time you go to Venus it is, quite honestly, enough to give you the willies, having these worm things standing around peering at you while you eat your eggs on toast of a morning, or observing when you have your evening bath. But after a while you get used to it – they mean no harm by it, they’re just hungry little blighters. Quite docile though, and let’s face it, there are times when all of us could use an extra set of eyes!

So here’s my rendition of a Green-Eyed Monster. Now I haven’t written a pattern for him because its all dependent on what kind and size of eye you choose to employ. The one I’ve used here is a doll’s eye with a hollow back that I just happened to have lying around, as you do. Once you have your green eye all organised, you simply crochet a chain of the right size to fit snugly around the eye, join it into a circle and then start going around in sc to make a tube. Once you’ve gotten a little way on with that you can pause and carefully glue in your eye (I used a hot glue gun.)  Then carry on until your monster is the length you want. You may need to add an increase stitch here and there to keep the finger puppet the right size for your finger.  Then when you’re done with that, add a few short tentacles. These help the monsters to move around. They also come into play when Mr and Mrs Monster love one another very very much and decide they want a baby. I’m not saying any more than that because it all gets a bit, er, squishy from there…

I see you!

Don't blink....Don't even blink...

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Summertime…

Crikey but its been warm of late! The southern hemisphere summer is in full swing and quite frankly the Colonel is not a big fan. I was, shall we say, gifted with a physique that’s more suited to snow and hot toddies round the fireplace than to beachwear and playing cricket. Bit of a fan of the old snuggly pullover and slippers I am.  The best thing to do in this weather is stay indoors next to a fan and look forward to colder days, and maybe work on a winter jumper in anticipation.

Well, I was daydreaming of all things cool and refreshing the other day and I started thinking about lovely shady forests and the creatures that live in them. And next thing you know, here was this pattern for a little chap called the Kiwi, who is the national symbol of this fair place that I call home.  Bit of an odd bird, the kiwi. No wings, no real tail, only comes out in the cool of the evening to snuffle around in the beautifully damp leaf litter looking for a spot of dinner.   Very sensible approach to life I must say!  Now I’ll be the first to admit that this particular kiwi looks about half a sandwich short of a picnic.  I’m sure you, dear readers, will understand that extreme heat can cause the brains of even the finest craftsperson to function erratically! If you live in cooler climes then please do give the little fella a go, and no doubt you’ll produce a very dapper-looking Kiwi in no time. Tally ho!

KIWI FINGER PUPPET PATTERN

Kiwi pattern

What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a bird with whiskers before?

 

You will need:

a small amount of  brown yarn (a DK weight acrylic was used here)

a 3mm or 3.5mm crochet hook

Small beads or buttons for eyes

A scrap of yellow or gold felt, with matching sewing thread

A small amount of brown sewing thread

A black marker

A sewing needle

Scissors

American terms used, so a sc here is a dc in UK/NZ/Australian terminology

sc = single crochet, ch= chain

Row 1: Make a magic loop and sc 6 into the loop. Magic loop tutorial here: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/crochet/magic-circle.shtml

Row 2: 2 sc into each stitch around (12sc)

Row 3 onwards: 1 sc into each sc around. Just keep doing this and the body of your kiwi will grow. Try it on to make sure that it will fit an average finger. When you are happy with the length fasten off, and weave in the yarn ends.

Attach your eyes – here I used some extra-tiny  buttons, but you could also use beads, or even embroider the eyes depending on the look you want. Just make sure that they are visible against the dark brown body!

Cut out a long skinny beak and sew it to the body between the eyes. I folded the sides of the beak together at the top for a little dimension. Draw on two dots for the nostrils.

Cut a few short lengths of your brown sewing thread and knot one end of each piece. Do the same with a few bits of your brown yarn.

Place the whiskers either side of the beak using the sewing needle to pull them through, and trim to the length you want. Do the same at the top of the head with the brown yarn.

Enjoy your flightless bird!


Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy New Year!

Yes I know, bit late with the new year wishes and a bit quiet on the old blog updates too. Well the thing is, you see, I went for  a Christmas vacation aboard my dirigible, the Pinnochio, with the intention of fetching up on a little tropical island somewhere, but dash it all if I didn’t end up on the Moon! Bit of a navigational mix-up on the part of my co-pilot there.  Still, all’s well that ends well – the Moon people made me feel right at home and I spent a few days on the old deckchair in one of their underground tropical gardens.

Of course I wasn’t JUST lazing about enjoying  the moonlight and drinking Rocket Fuel cocktails – I was working hard on some new finger puppet patterns too. And here’s the first one for 2011! I’m told that in the Chinese zodiac this is the Year of the Rabbit, so what better way to kick things off than with a

KILLER BUNNY FINGER PUPPET

Run away! Run away!

Where's the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch when you need it?

You will need:

a small amount of  white yarn (a DK weight acrylic was used here)

a 3mm or 3.5mm crochet hook

Small beads or buttons for eyes

A scrap of red felt, with matching sewing thread

White paint and a small brush, or white embroidery cotton

A sewing needle

Scissors

American terms used, so a sc here is a dc in UK/NZ/Australian terminology

sc = single crochet, ch= chain

Row 1: Make a magic loop and sc 6 into the loop. Magic loop tutorial here: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/crochet/magic-circle.shtml

Row 2: 2 sc into each stitch around (12sc)

Row 3 onwards: 1 sc into each sc around. Just keep doing this and the body of your rabbit will grow. Try it on to make sure that it will fit an average finger. When you are happy with the length fasten off, and weave in the yarn ends.

EARS: (make 2)

Ch 4, and sc into the 2nd ch from the hook and each ch across. (3sc). Ch1 and turn.

Keep making your 3sc rows until the ear is close to the length that you want. Then in the next row decrease 1, sc 1 (2sc).

In the next row, decrease and fasten off.  Weave in the yarn end that is at the top of the ear. Use the other yarn end to whip-stitch the ear to the head in the desired position. Repeat for the 2nd ear.

Attach your eyes – here I used some extra-tiny pink buttons, but you could also use beads, or even embroider the eyes depending on the look you want.

Cut out a mouth from your scrap of red felt. Use any shape for the mouth that takes your fancy! Use matching sewing thread to sew on the mouth. Then use white acrylic or fabric paint and a fine brush to add some fangs, or embroider them with white cotton.

There’s a lot that can be done with the rabbit – you might like to use sewing thread to make whiskers, or attach a fluffy tail to his rear end.  If you prefer you could also embroider a tiny pink nose and traditional mouth for a friendlier look.  But personally I shall be spending the next little while pondering the age-old question: Who would win in a fight between a Killer Bunny and a ninja?

Killer bunny vs Ninja!

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer

The Marvellous Mishi is back with another seasonal pattern for us all – everybody’s favourite reindeer! And doesn’t he look smashing. Its a funny thing though – when MY nose goes that red everybody assumes that I’ve been knocking back a few snifters of brandy. And yet Rudolph gets the all-clear to guide Santa’s sleigh without so much as a breathalyser test!

 

Rudolf closeup

Rudolf has been spotted

Yarn:  Small amounts of 4ply yarn in brown, red and black.

Knitting tools:  1 x 2.75mm 50cm circular needle or set of dpn’s.  Small wool sewing needle.

Other: Stuffing for toys or other suitable fill

Abbreviations: sts – stitches; K – knit;  P – purl; K2tog – knit 2 together; R – round;

Instructions:

Head: Using brown cast on 20 sts, join into a circle ensuring the sts are not twisted.

R1:  K

R2:  P

R3-20:  K

R21:  (K2tog) 10 times (10 sts)

R22:  (K2tog) 5 times (5 sts)

Cut yarn and thread onto sewing needle and pass through the remaining 5 sts and draw up to close the top of the head.  Weave in the ends.

Nose:  Using brown cast on 10 sts, join into a circle ensuring the sts are not twisted.

R1-3:  K

R4:  (K2tog) 5 times (5 sts)

Join red leaving tail on the inside of the nose.

R5:  K

Cut yarn and thread onto sewing needle and pass through the remaining 5 sts and draw up to close the top of the nose.  Pass the needle through the centre of the nose and exit at the join with the red yarn.  Position a round of running sts around the base of the red and draw up to make Rudolf’s famous red nose.  Stuff nose with wool or stuffing and sew onto the head.

Ears:  Make 2:  Using brown cast on 5 sts.  K 1 row.  Cast off.  Attach ears.

Using the black yarn make a 2 eyes.

Mishi logo

 

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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Ho Ho Ho!

Santa face onThe Magnificent Mishi (www.mishiyarns.co.nz) has very kindly written up this splendid knitted Santa finger puppet pattern for us all! What a top notch lady she is! Mishi also wishes to inform you that a with a mere change of colour scheme – to red and green – you can turn Santa into Santa’s helper. So get stitching chaps, there’s still time to make a bunch of these as Christmas gifts!

Mishi logo

Santa Finger Puppet

Oddments of red, black and white 4 ply yarn

2.75mm circular needle (use magic loop method) or set of sock needles

Instructions

With white cast on 20 sts, join into a ring ensuring stsnot twisted

Round 1 & 3: knit

Round 2: purl

Change to red; work 8 knit rounds

Do not cut red; add black and work 1 round knit then 1 round purl. Cut black.

Return to working with red and work 9 knit rounds.  Cut red.

Join white and work 10 knit rounds.

Head shaping round: k2tog 10 times (10 sts)

Knit 1 round

Cut yarn leaving a 25cm.  Thread tail onto wool sewing needle and run through sts on circular and pull sts up to gather and close the top of the head.  Run the yarn around the sts a couple of times to make sure the stsare secure.  Do not cut yarn.

Making up

Stuff head with a small amount of filler.  Take wool sewing needle and pass needle down through the head and exit at the neck.  Gather the neck and pull in a wee bit (not too much).  Go through the gathering sts a couple of times with the yarn to make sure the neck is secure.  Sew in the end.

Hat

Using white cast on 20sts, join into round.

Work 1 round knit

Cut white, join red and work 4 knit rounds

Hat shaping round 1: (k2tog, k2) 5 times (15 sts)

Work 3 knit rounds

Hat shaping round 2: (k2tog, k1) 5 times (10 sts)

Work 3 knit rounds

Hat shaping round 3: (k2tog) 5 times (5 sts)

Work 3 knit rounds

(K2tog) twice k1.

Cut red and thread onto wool sewing needle and securests as on the head.

Position hat on Santa’s head and sew in place.

Sew tip of hat down to the side and with white work a small ‘pompom’ at the tip.

Beard

Using white; cut a length and thread onto needle.  Sew loops closely together around the ‘chin’.

Buttons & Eyes

Using black; cut a length and thread onto needle.  Make 2 French knots (or work tiny sts ) below belt, then work a buckle by weaving the yarn in a circle through the garter ridges, then work 2 french knot above the belt.  Finally pass the wool needle through the head and come out where the eye needs to be worked, making a small st for each eye.  Between each eye pass the needle out of the head and come back for the second eye; this will ensure the black yarn does not show through the white.

Say “Hello” to Santa J!

 

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Victory! And a new pattern!

Mornin’ all! I’m feeling pretty chipper as I have just released my first puppet into the wild! The blue octopus was positioned on an ATM machine early this morning, so lets’s hope he finds a nice home!

I’m also rather pleased with this new pattern that I came up with over the weekend – ninjas are very “cool” (so I’m told), and this one takes next to no time.

Ninja

NINJA FINGER PUPPET

You will need:

a small amount of yarn (a DK weight acrylic was used here)

a 3mm or 3.5mm crochet hook

A black Sharpie marker or similar

A scrap of felt in white or vanilla, with matching sewing thread

A bamboo skewer

A sewing needle

Scissors

American terms used, so a sc here is a dc in UK/NZ/Australian terminology

sc = single crochet, ch= chain

Row 1: Make a magic loop and sc 6 into the loop. Magic loop tutorial here: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/crochet/magic-circle.shtml

Row 2: 2 sc into each stitch around (12sc)

Row 3 onwards: 1 sc into each sc around. Just keep doing this and the body of your ninja will grow. Try it on to make sure that it will fit an average finger. When you are happy with the length fasten off, but do not cut your yarn.

Next row: Ch about 15. You are making a bandolier that fits around the puppet’s body at an angle, so that it looks like it is hanging from his shoulder – so check the length of your chain. When you are happy with it, wrap the chain around the body and join the end to the body next to where you started. Cut your yarn.

Thread a sewing needle onto the yarn end. Take it up through the body of the puppet and make a couple of stitches to fasten the top of the bandolier to the puppet’s shoulder. Weave in the yarn end.

Take your scrap of felt and cut a long narrow oval to be the puppet’s face. Sew this on with matching thread – you only need a few stitches. Then use your marker pen to make a couple of dots for eyes. If you like you can add lines around the eyes to add to the expression.

Take your skewer and decide how long the puppet’s weapon should be. Use your marker to colour in a section of skewer, cut to the correct length and thread it through one of the ch stitches of the bandolier to secure it.

See? Simple! Now I’m told that ninjas traditionally dress in black, but I say tosh to tradition! Personally I intend to assemble a rainbow army of the little blighters, and I hope you will do the same! For a bit of variety you could try giving some of  them cardboard swords, or maybe nunchuks made from skewers and a piece of yarn or thread.

Righto. Until next time then.  FINGER PUPPETS FOR ALL!


Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 8:54 am  Comments (1)  
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The first FiPPS pattern

What ho!  Colonel Yarnspinner here. Welcome to the home of FiPPS, the Finger Puppet Proliferation Society.  If you have a poke about on the right there you’ll see some swell links that explain what FiPPS is about, and so forth.  But to sum it up in a pithy catchphrase: Finger Puppets For All!

I’m just going to launch into things straight away and share with you the pattern for this little blighter that I whipped up last night. Yes, its a jolly little octopus that barely takes a jiffy!

A jolly little octopus!

OCTOPUS FINGER PUPPET

You will need:

a small amount of yarn (a DK weight acrylic was used here)

a 3mm or 3.5mm crochet hook

Buttons, beads or similar for the eyes

A sewing needle

Scissors

American terms used, so a sc here is a dc in UK/NZ/Australian terminology

sc = single crochet, ch= chain

Row 1: Make a magic loop and sc 6 into the loop. Magic loop tutorial here: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/crochet/magic-circle.shtml

Row 2: 2 sc into each stitch around (12sc)

Row 3 onwards: 1 sc into each sc around. Just keep doing this and the body of your octopus will grow. Try it on to make sure that it will fit an average finger. When you are happy with the length (this one has a body length of about 3.5cm) move on to the next row.

Next row: *Ch 12. Turn, skip the first ch and sc into each of the other chains and into the sc stitch at the base of the chain*. (12 sc). Insert your hook into the next sc along and repeat from * to *

You should now have 2 octopus arms. Sc into the next stitch along but do NOT make an arm. Insert your hook into the next stitch along and repeat from * to *.  What you are doing here is making 2 arms in adjacent stitches and then “skipping” the next stitch by just doing a sc into it.  Keep on like this until you have made all 8 arms, then sc into the last stitch and fasten off. Weave in ends and sew on your chosen eyes.

Try out your octopus finger puppet!

Now as you can see from the photo this chappie has quite a big head and you could easily make him a rather dashing hat from scraps of fabric. Or give him an eye patch, make him multi-coloured…its up to you.  The one you’re looking at here is the prototype, so will be staying with me as part of the FiPPS pattern libraary. But I shall be making some more as soon as I can for release into public places. Stay tuned for thrilling updates, and if you give this finger puppet a go, don’t forget to write to Colonel Yarnspinner and tell me all about how it went!

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 1:40 am  Comments (1)  
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