The Story of Puppet Love

I released the Puppet Love pattern about a year ago, but did I ever tell you how it came to be? The pattern was originally commissioned by a New York knitter named Katy, whose brother is a clinical psychologist who works with children. He had asked her to knit some hand puppets for him to use with his younger clients, and she was in need of a basic puppet body shape that she could modify to make into different types of people and animal puppets.

I worked with her to come up with a size and shape that was best for what her brother needed, and since last year, Katy has been hard at work making all kinds of puppets for him! Here are some of her photos.




I asked Katy to tell me a bit about the different characters she’s created, and this is what she said:

I made one for myself and ten for him. I sent him a picture of the yarn/unfinished puppets and asked him what he wanted each color to be. He sent me back a list. The ideas were mostly his. The execution of the ideas were mine.
He specifically asked for three different kinds of puppets. First, there is a family – Mom, Dad, Girl, and Boy. Obvious choices to act out events in the childs’ life. Second, there are some animals – Bird, Lion, Whale. I don’t know what the inspiration was for these, possibly the colors. The lion is my personal favorite. Third, there are what I call movie stars – Godzilla, Vampire, Avatar. I’m guessing recent movies inspired the choices, but we did need some fantasy creatures too. His bosses think they are great and from what I understand they are all using them in their practice as part of the play therapy toys.

I was so happy to hear that she’s getting a lot of use out of the pattern and her brother and his kids are getting a lot of use out of the puppets!

Designing this pattern was a fun challenge for me, and Katy was nice enough to let me add the pattern to my shop last year, so others could make their own customized puppets. And boy, have they ever! There are lots of creative Puppet Love mods on Ravelry, so I’ll have to share some of them here soon.

11 thoughts on “The Story of Puppet Love

  1. It’s so great that a very basic shape could become so many things. Your imagination can take it anywhere. That’s a very special pattern!

  2. That’s really cool! I’ll have to show this post to my husband – he’s a psychologist, too, and although most of his clients are adults, he really prefers working with kids.

    This reminds me of something I was going to tell you a long time ago. Do you remember that punk rock Baldee I made? I ended up giving it to my little cousin (I tutor him and his brothers twice a week) because he was having a hard time getting used to doing homework and learning to read. We decided the Baldee was his “study buddy” and would help him with his work! It turned out great – whenever he did something well, his study buddy would tickle him or give him a hug, and if he was having trouble, the study buddy would help him. It’s been a great tool for us!

  3. Kristen, I loved your punk Baldee and it’s so cool to hear about his study buddy role! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love the back story to this pattern. It makes total sense. My lab uses puppets for research (mainly understanding of figurative language) by acting out a story and asking the children questions to ascertain what they understood from the story.

    This pattern looks very versatile.

  5. those are too cute!
    Kristen – what an idea! My nephew has a type of “higher functioning” autism. I think i need to get the pattern to make one or two study buddies for him. maybe a couple of puppets for him also.
    thanks for sharing Anna!

  6. all those things from one basic design???
    woah, the possibilities are endless!

  7. I personally LOVED the movie Avatar and absolutely adore the Avatar puppet! It’s so cute! :D

  8. I belong to the knitters group at Gilda’s Club South Jersey.
    I am a cancer survivor & volunteer as well. It would
    be great if we could knit these puppets for the children who come
    to Noogieland (just for kids) to ease the difficulites they are going
    thank you
    Barbara Hood

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