Knit your own Bible

By the Rev Anne Le Bas

Would you like to be part of our project to knit hand-puppet Bible figures for Seal School and Seal church Sunday school? These will not only help teachers tell Bible stories, but also let children explore the stories in play.

We need a wide variety of figures – rich and poor, heroes and villains, men and women, Old Testament and New Testament – so that we can tell the whole gamut of wonderful stories the Bible contains.

The basic pattern below is the same for all characters, but you can adapt it in many different ways. The puppet should end up as slightly too small for an adult hand so that children can comfortably use it. Use smaller needles if you think your puppets are too large or decrease the total number of stitches/rows to suit.

If you want to turn the glove puppet temporarily into a free-standing figure, just put it over a plastic cup so it stands up by itself.

If you would like to knit these figures for Seal School or Seal Sunday School, please either bring them to the church or send them to me.
If you want to knit these for another church or project, or you have children or grandchildren who you think might appreciate these puppets, please feel free to use these patterns and ideas as you wish. This page can also be downloaded as a leaflet to print out.
HOW DO WE USE THESE PUPPETS? We sometimes use the puppets as visual aids while telling a Bible story, but they are deliberately sized to fit a child’s hand so that the children can play with them to explore the story they relate to. I often give out puppets as I tell the story, and the children then spontaneously join in. They can then use them afterwards to recall the story and talk about it, and it’s fascinating to see them talking to the puppets, expressing their feelings and thoughts to them or wondering about their story. We also put them in our pew bags, which children can take to their seats during services – they tend to go missing fairly often, but we console ourselves with the thought that there are children out there who have a Biblical friend at home!

Revd Anne Le Bas,


Using double knitting wool and 3.75 needles cast on 18 stitches.
Work 6 rows of knit 1, purl 1 rib.
Work 24 rows of stocking stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row).

Cast on 10 stitches at the beginning of the next row (for the arm), knit back along the cast on stitches and across the main body of the work to the end of the row (28 stitches)
Turn and cast on 10 stitches at the beginning of the next row for the other arm. (38 stitches)
Knit 4 stitches, purl 30, knit the last 4 stitches.
Next row: Knit
Work 8 rows in total for the arms, always knitting the first and last 4 stitches (for a “finger” effect)
Cast off 12 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows.

Join on “flesh” coloured wool and work 10 rows in stocking stitch.

Hair/ Headdress
Join on “hair” or “headdress” wool and work 2 rows (see note below about the types of stitches to use for hair and headdresses)
Reduce by one stitch at the beginning and end of next row (K1. Sl 1. psso, knit to the end, K to tog.)
Purl next row
Repeat these two rows until 10 stitches remain, then reduce one stitch at each end of every row until 2 stitches remain.
Cast off.

BACK: Work as for front until you reach the face. Then join “hair” or “headdress” coloured wool and work the back of the head in this colour.

Embroider features on face – it is probably better to keep them fairly neutral, as a character in a story might go through lots of emotions! You can embroider on any other embellishments you wish – crowns, belts, swords – or you can knit these as you go if you prefer. Please make sure anything sewn on is firmly attached!
Sew the two pieces together and weave in any loose ends.

This is where the fun begins! You can use your own imagination and ingenuity for this, but here are some suggestions which Nicky and I have come up with.
old man
Hair and beards. Work in garter stitch (every row knit) or reverse stocking stitch ( purl 1 row, knit 1 row, but with “knobby” side on the outside.)

        showing headdressHeadresses. These can be one colour or striped, or textured with the occasional purl row. You can knit these as a part of the basic puppet, or you can knit a “cap” with coloured wool from the point where the decrease for the head starts, and then knit a separate rectangle of wool to attach at the back over hair (see the photo of the back of the woman).  Grey wool makes a helmet, and “chin straps” can be embroidered.

king backking
Cloaks for kings etc. can be made separately and sewn on. Knit a rectangle (cast on 14 or so stitches and work to required length in whatever stitch you want to use to create the effect you are after)

Flesh: can be any colour from pale cream to dark brown.


Generic men (inc. Jesus, disciples, Joseph etc.):  Plain “robes” with or without belts (either a knitted stripe halfway up the body or a separate cord sewn on afterwards). Bright colours suggest wealth (can also be striped, include gold borders etc) Neutral colours suggest more ordinary people. Grey/white hair for old men. Beards and long hair for Jewish men . Romans tended to be clean shaven with short hair.

Generic women: 
plain robes (again colour signifies social status). Headdress – either knitted in place of hair, perhaps with a row or two of hair below headdress, or knitted separately and attached at the back (See pic)

Kings: Bright colours. Cloaks. Crowns. Glittery thread.

Mary:  blue robe and white headdress. She wouldn’t actually have worn these colours of course – she was far too poor to be in such bright colours, but that is how she is often portrayed in Christian art, so it makes her instantly recognisable.

beggarBeggar: Cast on in flesh colour and then knit “ragged” border to robe in brown. Knit occasional patches of other colours, and knit a few holes at random here and there!

angel front
angel back

Angel: Robe in white, silver or gold. I knitted white wool and a thin gold thread together for angel’s hair and wings.
Wings – cast on 14 stitches. Work in garter stitch, decreasing 1 stitch at each end of every 4th row till one stitch remains.  Make two wings and sow onto angel’s back (see picture).

Roman soldier: 
Work about 4 rows stocking stitch in flesh colour after the ribbing. Change to “tunic” colour and work 6 rows. Change to grey (Armour). Work two rows of garter stitch then continue in the following pattern
Rows 1-3 : K 3 P1 rib
Row 4 : Knit all stitches.
This should give you the effect of plates of armour joined together (see picture)
Continue this pattern until arms.
Cast on and work arms in flesh colour, but continue to knit armour on torso, winding flesh and grey wool together at the join.
Helmet: shape as for hair/headdress in basic pattern but after every three rows of stocking stitch work a row of knit instead of purl, to give impression of ridges on helmet.
Embroider “sword” onto bottom of armour.

PharaohPharaoh frontPharaoh/Egyptians
White or striped robe and headdress (can have glittery thread woven in.) Black hair. Black eyes, outlined. Small black beard, made from small square of stocking stitch, folded into a tube. Sew top of tube to face and let the bottom end curl up naturally)


This figure (right) has a removable “coat of many colours”but you could knit the body in stripes instead.

For updates and more pictures of figures as we make them, please check on the church blog here.

… and I am sure you can think of many more. Over to you…


Pattern and suggestions for characters here

Revd. Anne Le Bas

The Vicarage, Church Street, Seal, TN15 0AR.

Figures in this pattern have been knitted by Anne Le Bas and Nicky Harvey.
The basic pattern is adapted from one developed by “Operation Christmas Child.”

St Peter and St Paul Church, Seal,
Church Street, Seal, Kent, TN15 0AR


Phone: 07510 522292  

Seal Church graphic