I made my daughter a pair of puppet mittens when she was 2 years old, thinking that it would encourage her to keep them on her hands and off the ground 🙂 It worked wonderfully, so I decided to put a few simple patterns for decorations here. I used a commercial pattern for the mittens so you’ll need your favourite mitten pattern.
These mittens also make fabulous character puppets for schools and childcare institutions.
These patterns are generic for any weight yarn.
The only thing you need to knit for a cat is a pair of small garter stitch triangles for ears.
Using a yarn to match your mittens, cast on an odd number of stitches.
Knit 4 rows*, then dec 1 st at each end of every alternate row until you have 1 st left. Fasten off.
Embroider your cat’s face as shown in the image above, sew on ears as shown.
For older children you may like to make the whiskers from twisted cord for added dimension.
The dog’s ear’s are as simple to make as the cat’s. Using a matching, or contrast colour yarn, cast on a suitable number of sts for the ear. As a guide, you might like to measure from the base of the thumb on your mitten, to the tip of the fingers and divide that length by 3. This will give you an idea of how wide to make your ears.
Knit in garter st until your ears are almost as long as you would like them to be. Decrease 1 st at each end of the next 2 rows for dk-bulky weight yarns. For finer yarns work between 4 and 8 rows of decreases.
Embroider face and sew on ears as shown above.
Girl in a Green Dress
Using your chosen pattern and dress colour, knit to the point where you put sts on a holder for the thumb. This will be after the thumb gusset shaping if your pattern has a thumb gusset. Knit approximately 1cm of the mitten body in green (or your chosen dress colour) and work the remainder in a flesh colour. Pick up your stitches for the thumb and work thumb in flesh colour.
For hair, knit several strips of knitting by casting on the same amount of sts as you had on the body of your mitten and then casting off straight away. Gather the strips in the centre and sew to the top of the mitten.
For the bow, knit a small garter st rectangle, gather in the centre and sew to the top of the head over the gather in the hair.
Embroider the eyes and nose as shown above.
For a boy puppet simply make the hair shorter and sew the bow above the cuff as a bow tie instead of on the hair.
The mouse came about as an accident when I was trying to make a cat 😛
Make the ears as for the cat to *. Knit several more rows until you almost have a square.
Cast off 1 st at each end of the next 2 rows. Cast off.
Gather the ears at the base before attaching to the head. Embroider face as shown and add a tail made from twisted cord.
You can probably come up with many more ideas now that you’ve seen how simple it is to make a pair of humble mittens into puppets that you’re children will love to play with, as well as wear in the cold outdoors! You can make characters from your favourite fairy-tales, family members, or school staff!
This pattern and all images on this page are Copyright © Sarah Bradberry January 1999. All rights reserved.