My husband travels for work now and then. While traveling, if he has down time, he often buys little gifts for the kids and I. He was in Japan many moons ago and he bought the kids a wooden fish puzzle board. The board came with a wooden fishing pole (made from a dowel) that had a magnet hanging from the fishing line. The kids love using the magnetic fishing pole to catch the fish that fit into the wooden puzzle (tuna, blowfish, sharks etc.).
I was looking at a pile of my scrap yarn the other day and I had an idea – why not knit up some little fish with a magnet in their nose, make a pond out of felt, and then make a fishing pole out of a dowel? The end result is a fun fishing game. Our little ones can use the pole (it has a steel washer on the end of the line) to catch the knit fish. The washer is attracted to the magnets in the nose of the fish. This is a homegrown version of the same game that my husband brought home from Japan. But you don’t even need to leave your house to make this game, and it will create some real value from your scrap pile of wool, yarn and felt!
Note that when making the pond I decided that it would be a good idea to hand sew a pocket into the pond. This pocket can be used to store the fishing pole and the three knit fish that you will make using the provided fish knitting pattern. In fact, you just roll up the pond to safely store and secure these items in the sewn pocket.
I have created a complete, step-by-step tutorial for this pattern – including step by step photos and detailed, written knitting patterns. The PDF tutorial can be found on Craftsy at my Creativity In Pieces page. The pattern includes fish knitting patterns for each of the 3 fish.
As I mentioned, this is a great pattern for making good use of materials that you have lying around your craft area. To be clear, the following items are needed for this pattern:
US1 double pointed needles
- Sock yarn in desired fish colors. I used three different colors from my scrap yarn.
- DK weight yarn in a blue or turquoise for edging the pond.
- Scrap yarn or twine for fishing line.
- One square of Dimensions 100% wool felt in dark blue – 12in. x 12in.
- 3/8 in. diameter wood dowel, 9in. long.
- Metal washer ~1/2in. diameter. Make sure that a magnet will stick to it!
- Small magnets – the use of magnets is not advisable in toys for young children that are still at risk of swallowing things. This is generally true of children 3 and under.
- A little wool roving for stuffing the fish.
- Black yarn or embroidery floss.
This is a really fun project that your kids will love. I hope that you enjoy it! The fishing game is particularly fun for little children that are fascinated by magnets, or by catching fish. We have more than one of these kids in my family!
Best regards and happy crafting,