Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Owl Puppet Knitting Pattern

Twit-Too square
I would like to share my pattern for an owl hand puppet. Owls seem very popular at the moment - who can resist their big appealing eyes? This pattern evolved over two or three attempts -  the first one I rejected as it was too square and boxy. 

For my next attempt I tried out a technique that was new to me - knitting in the round using the magic loop method. It turned out fine, although starting off with rounds of rib was perhaps not the easiest introduction to working this way. I'm not sure that it was quicker than knitting in the conventional back and forward method - the time saved not having to sew up a seam was probably a lot less than the extra time it took to keep on sliding the work around the needles for each round, but I'm glad I had a stab at it. I don't think I'll be adopting it for my puppets any time soon, however.

Second owl, magic loop method, sleepy eyes.

This is the second attempt, then, the body was knitted using the magic loop method. I also made this one in two tones, which makes the wings more prominent and adds more interest.

Third Owl, back and forth method, wide awake eyes.

This third owl was made using the conventional back and forth method and just one colour. It appears rather uneven because I was using some wool that had been unravelled from another project. The first two owls have sleepy eyes, and the third one has wide-awake eyes. I'm giving instructions for both magic loop and straight knitting construction, and for both types of eyes.

Materials: approx 25g  of double knitting wool, in one or two colours. Oddments of black, white and orange double knitting wool for the features. Knitting needle size 4.5 mm (UK and US size 7).

{Instructions for magic loop method are in curly brackets.}
Cast on 40 sts. {split the stitches on to the two ends of the circular needle.}
Work 6 rows {rounds} in k2, p2 rib.
Knit in stocking st {rounds} until work measures approx 6.5 inches (16 cm).
Next row {round}: K2 tog to end (20 sts)
Next row {round}: Purl {knit}
Next row {round}: K2 tog to end (10 sts)
Pass thread through the remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off.
Sew up seam.

Eyes (make 2)
In black, cast on 35 sts
Change to white
[k1, k2tog, k2 tog] to end (21 sts)
Knit 1 row
[k1, k2tog ]to end (14 sts)
Knit 1 row
For wide-awake eyes, change to back to black, otherwise continue in white.
[k2 tog] to end (7 sts)
Pull wool through, pull up tight and fasten off, and sew together the sides to form a circle.

Wings (make 2)
Cast on 5 sts
Kfb,  k1 turn
S1, k to end
Kfb, k3 turn
S1, k to end
Kfb, k5 turn
S1, k to end
Kfb, k7
Work 8 rows garter st on these 9 sts.
K2 tog, k to end
K to last 2 sts, k2tog
Repeat last 2 rows until 2 sts remain
K2 tog, pull end through.

Using orange wool, cast on 5 sts
Knit 2 rows in garter st.
Dec 1 st at each end of next row
Knit 2 rows in garter st.
Knit 3 sts together.
Fasten off.

Sew the wings onto the lower sides of the body as shown, attaching by the decreasing edge.
For sleepy eyes, sew a curve and eyelashes to the white part of eye as shown.
Sew the eyes in place using black wool. Sew the beak in place.

For tufty ears, use 4 strands of yarn approx 4 inches (10 cm) long. Holding them together, pass a crochet hook through the head from the back, hook the 4 strands, pull them through to the back and then tie in a knot around the ends. Cut the strands to desired length.

I hope you like this addition to my collection of animal/bird/insect puppets. Other puppets can be found here.

Please let me know if you find any errors or problems with the pattern.


  1. These are so clever. I think my favourite is the second one, though I like the open eyes on the third one.

  2. They are all so lovely, I hate knitting in the round though, although I know some people prefer it. However they are made they are going to be loved, thank you for the pattern. :)

  3. Owl have to try those patterns one day! lol I like your new additions to the puppet family!

  4. I think the owls are great and the 'boxy' owl is my favourite! The tufty ears are really sweet too!

  5. Hello - the owl puppet is so sweet - but where do the puppeteer's fingers go? Do they go in the wings - if so it seems a bit low down

  6. The owl puppet is so sweet - but where do the puppeteer's fingers go? Do they go in the wings - it seems a bit low down.

    1. I'm glad you like my owl puppet, and thank you for commenting on my blog.
      This puppet actually doesn't have any 'arms' for the puppeteer's fingers. It just slips over the whole hand. The wings are just for show and are stitched on top afterwards. I hope this answers your question.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails