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Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Therapy puppets and a project bag...



Following my last blog post about worry puppets, I have just finished sewing two therapy puppets. These are for the same organisation Knit-for-Nowt.  They are used, as before, by therapists, social workers and teachers, but differ slightly from the worry puppets. The therapists have requested that these puppets should have a sad face on one side and a happy face on the other side. This makes them useful in role play and discussions about emotions. They also do not have a pocket for the written worry. 

The pattern I used is on this page. It is the basic (unstuffed) hand puppet. I thought it would be quicker than knitting a worry puppet. It was a VERY easy pattern. But there was such a lot of hand-sewing involved that it actually took as long (or longer) than the knitted puppets. That wasn't a problem as I like sewing by hand. The main body can be sewn by machine. But the hair, facial features and fiddly hemming have to be done by hand. As requested, both my puppets have a sad face and a happy face. 

I deliberately chose a hair colour that is not natural so that children wouldn't have any problems identifying with the puppets. I remember completely rejecting a doll when I was about 6 because it had blonde hair. The irony is that photos show I also had fair hair at the age. My parents had dark hair and I just assumed I did too.

The material came from a discarded sweatshirt, seen here:


I cut off both sleeves, then cut the pattern pieces. One of the puppets came from lower down the sleeves, hence the cuff effect. The rest of the sleeves became the heads and second puppet. I was a bit surprised that I had only enough material for two puppets. Of course, I could have made a few more from the body of the sweatshirt. But I needed a project bag to replace the tatty, plastic carrier bag that was sitting on my sofa with knitting needles poking out at dangerous angles. This is what I made:


It probably took less than an hour to make. I simply cut across the chest of the sweatshirt and sewed the cut edge with a double seam for strength. I rounded the corners slightly to avoid the Mary-Poppins-carpetbag effect. The top of the bag didn't need any hemming as it is the lower ribbing of the sweatshirt. I sewed on two handles that I removed and saved from a fancy Christmas gift bag. It is a very wide bag simply because the sweatshirt was large. But it is perfect for holding balls of wool and long needles. Anyone getting rid of children's outgrown sweatshirts could use this same method to make little bags for holding toys etc.

I have already started my next project. I am making more worry puppets, but this time I'm amending a double knit pattern to suit Aran yarn. That isn't as straightforward as it sounds. The brain cells are definitely having to work overtime....


12 comments:

  1. I love how you manage to use unwanted items Una those puppets are perfect and the bag will be very useful. I'm joining a sewing group next Tuesday they will be discussing what to make over the following months I think I may suggest therapy puppets, I haven't made any yet but they look like something even I could do. :) x

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    1. They are really easy to make and in great demand. You might find the whole sewing group will want to make some. They just use a few scraps of material.

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  2. My mother used to make dolls. One very popular doll had a happy face on one side, a sad face on other. Or, a sleeping face was another version. The hair was a thick braid of yarn pigtails sewn across the top head seam. Teachers bought so many of them.

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    1. I'll ask my sister who works in a school. They might buy some, though schools can't even afford books at the moment.

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  3. I love the puppets and the bag your made!!

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  4. Your therapy puppets are so cute and will make some children very happy. It is such a good thing to do making these puppets for children who would benefit from them. Good use of the rest of the sweater fabric on that bag!

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    1. It was a great fabric as well. The slight stretch was helpful when I was sewing on the heads.

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  5. Lovely puppet, a very useful tool for the professionals to work with.

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  6. Una, your therapy puppets are so cute. And how clever that they can be made out of a sweater or other garment. And I'd never thought how a natural, but "wrong" color of hair could have an unintended effect on a child! It makes sense, though. Your bag made with the rest of the fabric from the sweatshirt is perfect! Cute and functional!

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  7. These look brilliant Una and a super idea.
    Julie.C

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  8. That is such wonderful, helpful work you're doing, Una. Think of the children that will be helped by your projects!

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