Knitting Projects for Talk Like a Pirate Day, Me Hearties!

Why talk like a pirate? Why not? More than 20 years ago, the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) discovered that pirate talk made their racquetball games much more fun. Then in 2002 they dragooned Dave Barry, humor columnist extraordinaire, into publicizing a national holiday dedicated to saying “Avast!” even though nobody knows what it means. And now you can KNIT like a pirate! Make pirate gear for everybody you know, including your cat.

Imagine the possibilities. Maybe a pirate hat will inspire your friend to finally switch careers and take over the Dread Pirate Roberts franchise. Maybe skull-and-crossbones baby socks will encourage little ones to sail the seven seas once they can walk. Maybe a stuffed skull will persuade your company receptionist to answer the phone with “Arrrr, this be Company X. Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum, how can I direct your call?” (If the receptionist resists this brilliant idea, try sharing some pirate jokes from our crochet team.)

Buccaneer décor adds a note of fun (or terror) to any room with Pirate Pennant Bunting Flags (left) and Chauncey (right). Photos courtesy of the designers.

Decorate Like a Pirate

1. Wave Your Pirate Flag

Pirate Pennant Bunting Flags by Elizabeth Phillips. Drape your house with colorful flags that bust your stash while they buckle your swash.

2. Stuff Your Own Pirate Skull

Chauncey, by Dee Frey. Protect your treasure—or mark its hiding place so you don’t forget where you buried it—with a stuffed skull.

3. Do Pirate Cats Say “Meow?”

Every pirate ship needs rats, and every cat needs catnip. Fill these needs with a pirate rat—Captain Cat-Battler the Catnip Mouse, by Whodunnknit. She designed her cat toy for the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in England, so you can raise awareness for a great cause while making your cat happy.

Also check out Anna Hrachovec’s wonderful pirate designs! Her Tiny Pirate knits up in about an hour from scrap yarn, and her big pirate pillow Squee adds pirate flair anywhere.

Keep those bandit feet warm with Tiny Pirates (left) and Pirate Danger (right). Photos courtesy of the designers.

Dress Like a Pirate

4. Sock it To ‘Em with Pirate Socks

Even though babies can’t walk the plank, their Jolly Roger socks can intimidate people! Sandra Jäeger’s Tiny Pirates will start them off on the right foot. Also check out Sandra’s delightful Pirate Ship Chart for decorating a sweater, scarf, mittens, or other knitwear.

5. Wrap Your Feet in Pirate Patterns

Bigger buccaneers will enjoy textured skulls and crossbones on snuggly socks—no more shivering timbers. Jeannie Cartmel’s Pirate Danger socks use twisted stitches to make the motifs pop.

talk like a pirate day

Wear your pirate pride on your head with Dread Pirate Jeffrey (left), Dread Pirate Roberts’ Favourite Winter Hat (center), and Pirate Beanie (right). Photos courtesy of the designers.

6. A Pirate Motif for Your Skull

Mary Scott Huff adapted a traditional snowflake pattern for her Dread Pirate Jeffery hat, then added a Latvian braid for surface interest.

7. Hat or Rum Bottle Cozy – You Decide!

I love the sculptural effect of Dread Pirate Roberts’ Favourite Winter Hat, by Twisted Brain Creations.The designer helpfully notes that this motif can work on anything knitted in the round, such as a rum bottle cozy. You need a rum bottle cozy, right?

8. A Pirate Beanie Even Landlubbers Will Dig

Sandra Jäger’s Pirate Beanie combines corrugated ribbing and columns of skulls. This is a great small project for practicing stranded colorwork. Its snug fit can also hold your eye patch in place.

9. Collect Your Cackle Fruit* with These Gloves

Protect your sword hand from blisters with Christine Jewett’s Slip Stitch Skull Fingerless Gloves. If you’re not into two-color knitting, the slip stitches let you work with just one color per round. (*This phrase means “chicken egg” in pirate. For real.)

talk like a pirate day

Animals love Talk Like a Pirate Day too: the Parrots (left) and Pirate Hippo (right) can’t wait for this holiday! Photos courtesy of the designers.

Play Like a Pirate

At the end of a long day, every brigand wants to take off the peg leg and relax. Toys can take the edge off, especially when they’re pirate-themed.

10. A Pirate’s Parrot Says …

When you need a parrot, make an easy-care little bird from yarn. Sachiyo Ishii’s Parrot pattern comes from her book Mini Knitted Safari.

11. Heave Ho with Your Pirate Hippo

Barbara Prime’s Pirate Hippo, complete with eye patch and parrot, stands 8 inches tall, so it’s ready for hugs as well as mayhem.

talk like a pirate day

Knit your own pirates! Pirate Pete (left) and a trio of hearties (right) can take you on exciting adventures. Photos courtesy of the designers.

12. A Pirate Just for You!

Pirate Pete by Amanda Berry will happily keelhaul you! This quick-to-make sailor sports a hat and sword, plus an impressive set of whiskers.

13. Knit Up a Crew of Pirates

Fill your ship with knitted crewmates! Elizabeth Phillips’s Pirates trio includes a captain and two sailors. Customize these scurvy dogs any way you please.

Finally, check out Barnacle Bill by Alan Dart whom I consider the knitted toymaster of Britain. Alan’s devotion to detail means Bill won’t be a fast knit, but it’s time well spent for a delightful pirate stuffie.

What’s your favorite weird holiday, and what do you knit for it?


More toys to knit and crochet, matey!


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