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Finger Puppets

A friend was loosing her sight, and knitting to a pattern would soon became impossible. I invented these little puppets for her to make for the toy library children. If she accidentally dropped a stitch she was happy to rip out her work and start again. The little birds we made together - my friend doing the knitting, and me sewing them up, stuffing the heads and adding the eyes and felt beaks - became very popular and "flocks" of them have flown all round the world to the triennial International Toy Library Conferences. In our toy library we use them for the finger play about the two little dickey birds. Here is the rhyme and the actions that go with it.
Two little dickey birds sitting on a wall (let the puppets peep over the back of a chair or edge of the table)
One named Peter.
(Hold him up high)
One named Paul. (Hold him up too.)
Fly away Peter.
(Hide him behind your back)
Fly away Paul.
(Hide him too.)
Come back Peter.
(Bring him out from behind your back.)
Come back Paul.
(Bring him out too.)

To make a finger puppet you Need

  • Brightly coloured Double Knitting wool. Avoid dark colours. The eyes will not show up well.
  • Knitting needles. Say size three and a quarter
  • A scrap of polyester filling.
  • A scrap of black wool for the eyes.
  • A scrap of felt for the beak.


  1. Cast on 13 stitches. Adjust if necessary. Knitting to my tension this makes a puppet just right for a three-year-old.
  2. Knit 4 rows stocking stitch to make a little cuff. This makes it easier for the child to insert his finger.
  3. Knit 24 rows stocking stitch. (One row plain, one row purl.)
  4. Break off the wool, leaving a long end.
  5. Thread this through all the stitches, and gather up.
  6. Sew the side edges together. Your puppet now looks like a finger stall.
  7. Stuff the head with polyester filling, and tie firmly just below it to make the neck.
  8. Make the eyes with two black wool French knots.
  9. Add a diamond-shaped beak in a contrasting scrap of felt. I stitch across the centre of the beak, then add a couple of oversewing stitches to the corners to close it up a little.
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Finger Puppets 1

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