Sunday, January 9, 2011

Free Pattern: Fishing Game Kid's Toy

This was a Christmas present for our little friend Jack.  It turned out to be somewhat more involved than I thought it would be, but it turned out even better than I'd imagined!  It's fun to "fish" the fish, and it can be used to help teach colors and counting.  The storage bag flattens out into a play surface.

(J/10) 6mm, (G/6) 4.25mm and (E/4) 3.5mm hooks
Light blue worsted weight yarn (about a third of a skein?)
Small amounts worsted weight yarn in red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and black (I used Red Heart Super-Saver)
Sport weight yarn in silver or gray
Small dowel rod (3/8" x 10")
Small amount of nylon string
White glue
7 super-strong button magnets (neodymium buttons 1/2" diameter)
Jingle bells and/or mylar crinkly stuff (I used some from the windows of junk-mail envelopes, as suggested in the linked pattern)

sl st: slip stitch
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet

Fishing Pole:
Hook:  Cut a piece of nylon string about 1.5 times the length of the dowel.  Knot one end and dip in glue.  Let dry.
Using sport-weight gray or silver yarn and (E/4) 3.5mm hook, magic ring, sc 6.  Before closing the ring, put the knot-end of the nylon string through the center of the magic ring from right-side to wrong-side, so that, when finished, the knot is on the inside of the hook.  Pull magic ring tight. 
R2-8: sc around (6 sc)
R9: 2 sl st, hdc, 2 dc, hdc.
R10: 2 sl st, hdc and dc in hdc, dc in next two dc, dc and hdc in hdc.
R11: 2 sl st, hdc, 4 dc, hdc.
R12: 2 sl st, hdc, 2 dc dec over next two dc, 2 dc dec over next two dc, hdc.

As soon as it will fit, put a super-strong magnet button in the bottom of the hook.  Opt: stuff with a tiny bit of fiberfill or odd bits of yarn.
R13: sc dec over two st, around.
R14: sc dec in all three st.  Finish off, tuck in ends. (I weaved through the dcs first, to hide the magnet a little better.)
Drill a small hole about a quarter inch from one end of the wooden dowel.   Sand outsides of hole if necessary.  Poke free end of string through hole, tie a knot.  Dip in glue, let dry.

Using worsted weight yarn in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple, make one fish cat toy in each color.  (Thanks for the pattern, Heather!)
I wanted round-bodied fish, and the tail was turning out curly, so I modified the pattern a little:  Skip rows 7-8.  In Round 13, instead of “2 sc in each,” “*2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from *across.”  You will have 15 sc, so you will only have 15 sc in Round 14 as well. 
Before stuffing, place a super-strong button magnet in the nose of each fish.  Test with the hook to make sure it is facing the right way.  Stuff with fiberfill.  I put a jingle bell in three and mylar crinkly stuff in the other three.  Use a tiny amount of worsted weight black for eyes.  If anyone knows how to make eyes that look less "slash-y," please comment and let us all know!

“Pond” Bag
Using worsted weight light blue yarn and a size (J/10) 6mm hook:
R1: Magic Ring, dc 12, join with sl st.
R2: Ch 2 (counts as dc), dc in same st.  2 dc in each dc around (24 dc)  Join with sl st.
R3: Ch 2, dc in same st.  2 dc in each dc around (48 dc) Join with sl st.
R4: Ch 2, dc in same st.  *Dc in next st, 2 dc in next st.  Repeat from * around. (72 dc) Join with sl st.
R5: Ch 2, dc in same st.  *Dc in next 3 st, 2 dc in next st.  Repeat from * around.  (90 dc) Join with sl st.
R6: Ch 2, dc in same st.  *Dc in next 6 st, 2 dc in next st.  Repeat from * around.  (105 dc) Join with sl st.
R7: Ch 2.  Dc in each dc around.  (105 dc)  Join with sl st.  Finish off, weave in ends.
Finishing: Using worsted weight green yarn, cut a piece of yarn the length of four times the diameter of the pond bag.  Cut it into three equal pieces.  Braid tightly, knot at either end, trim fringe.  Weave through the spaces between every 3rd dc in R7.  Knot two ends together.  Place fish inside, pull string tight to close.

To play, flatten out bag and spread fish out in the pond.  Lower the fishing hook towards the fish, and the pole will magnetically "catch" a fish!
©2011 Alli Hyer, all rights reserved.  You may sell items you make with this pattern (defined as what is written on this page.  The fish pattern does not belong to me.).  But, if you sell it online, you must link to this pattern.  You may not sell this pattern or claim it as your own.  You may publish or post a link to this pattern, but you may not publish or post this pattern in whole or in part.


  1. Alli,
    What a wonderful idea! This morning my husband and I were scheduled to teach Sunday school for my son's class. This week the lesson was about when Jesus chose his disciples and said to them, "I will make you fishers of men". We were going to use a store bought fishing game, but couldn't find the fishing pole. This would have been perfect!
    Thanks for sharing this adorable pattern. I really enjoy your blog.

  2. Thanks for posting! This will make a great gift... now I just need to think of someone to make it for. =)

  3. Alli, all of your patterns are very nice. I can't find your address, so could you please email me? You'll find the contact form in my little website. I'd like to ask you something. Thanks in advance!

  4. You could use french knots for eyes they would look less slash-y. Super cute pattern, I can't wait to try it!

  5. Great idea and pattern. Can you tell me where you get your magnets, I have searched our area and can't find them! Thanks so much! I enjoy your blog!

  6. I love this pattern. For the fish eye you could sew a french knot which looks like a black dot.

  7. Tammy, I got the magnets at Walmart. Any super-strong small magnet would work!

  8. Many thanks !
    I made it
    I would like to know if I can translate in french on my blog with a link to you of course ?
    I'm so sorry my english is so bad !

    Pictures :

  9. So cute, Stef! You may translate the pattern, thanks for asking!

  10. What a fab craft - have featured you on "Water Get Crafty"

    Thank you!


  11. I absolutely LOVE this pattern! I've made it twice now, one for my daughters and one for my nephew. I needle felted the eyes and some decoration to add character. If you haven't needle felted before, it's brilliant, rally easy and great for adding detail to toys etc.

    Here's my photos:

    Thanks so much Alli, i love your blog.

  12. I love this! so cute and educational! If you have any 'eyelash' type yarn scraps, try using to create eyes that aren't so straight. :)

  13. c'est sublime !!!
    Merci beaucoup pour cette riche idée jolie, élégante et pleines d'astuces !
    It is sublime!!!
    Thank you very much for this rich idea attractive, elegant and full of craftiness!

  14. This is sooo cute! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  15. Thank you so much for the patterns! I'm using this one for my ds who is 2 and using the jingle bell toy pattern for my 5 month old dd! (And I'm thinking about sewing small buttons on for the fish's eyes. I couldn't get the yarn to look non-slashy).

  16. One of the best posts that you have done. Love all of the photographs. Thanks for sharing your special day!

  17. Really nice crafting stuff shown above. The last image is the most creative of all.

  18. Your creations are fantastic. i like it very much. The color u took are simple and attractive.

  19. This is absolutely adorable. Will make a great Christmas gift for my God-Son this year!! Thank you for all your great patterns.

  20. Love this pattern and plan to make one my little grandson. Only will use something besides a wooden dowel for such a little tyke. I'm afraid it could be dangerous if he fell with it. Have to look out for those little eyes. Will try to find some king of foam to make a fishing pole.

  21. I love your blog and your patterns.


  22. please do not let a child play with any toy that has those button magnets in them unsupervised. If more than 1 is injested they can cause death by twisting the bowel. Look up the warnings on line,
    a concerned Grandmother

  23. I'm making these right now... I'm using worsted weight yarn and a size H hook- they are turning out pretty cute, but are bigger than I expected they would be. How big did yours turn out to be?

    I was also concerned about the magnets, but I'm not going to be letting them play with these unsupervised. that is a VERY good point you made though, Anon. I wish I had some jingle bells to put inside- that's a fantastic idea!!

  24. This was a long time ago, but I think my fish were about 3 inches. The second time I made this, I used hot glue to seal the magnets inside the yarn so that they couldn't come out. Even if you don't do that, it would be pretty impressive for them to come out of the fish, and if you follow the instructions to weave through the dcs in the fishing hook that shouldn't be a problem, either. It's always a good idea to supervise, though!!

  25. If you are concerned about the wooden fishing pole, it could also be made out of brown or beige yarn. All you have to do is make a magic circle, 5 or 6 sc's in the circle, and keep on going up in a spiral for at least 15 rounds, without adding any sc's. When you have reached the length you want, you stuff your fishing pole tightly and close it with sl stitches all around and fasten off.You can then attach the string and the hook.

  26. So fun! I linked to this pattern on my blog this morning for a crocheted games roundup : Thanks for sharing your pattern!

  27. Do a french knot for the eyes. it will just leave it in a circle instead of "slash-y"

  28. what is the mylar paper used for ? thanks

    1. You put it in the middle of the fish before you stuff it with polyfill. It makes a crinkle sound when you squish the fish.

  29. Thank you for sharing this, it's awesome!

  30. beautiful things , i invit you to see a good collection of curtains => htp://

  31. Very cute and very cool. I made this for my 3 y/o but my tween & teenage boys played with it just as much! LOL

  32. I made a fish, and it turned out so cute. Unfortunately, my magnets apparently aren't strong enough. Total bummer. I even ordered some online, since I just have little craft magnets. I'm going to pull the hook apart and try shoving a few extra magnets in there. Hopefully that will work, because I love this!

  33. Is there any way I can print this pattern out without the colored background? I would like my crochet class to make these for our crafts shows, and it really eats up the ink this way. Thanks!

  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  35. I finished the project and would like to post a picture on your ravelry but not sure how.
    I loved it and the little boy I made it for loved it also.
    thank you

  36. I can't go to the pattern for the fish, is there another link for it?

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Many years ago I made something like this and I used Velcro on the hook and on the fish. Take a large straw from a large drink. Wash out and use inside your crocheted pole

  39. Thank you for this pattern ,I have seven nephews all under six so guess what they'll be getting for Christmas

  40. the link for fish cat toy pattern is not working..can you give me another link? i want to do it for my daughter..

  41. Hi! I would to do this project for my godson for Christmas but the link for the fish cat toy is not working. Please help... thank you! 😊


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