Knits Fit for a Pirate

It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. A day to give your conversation a little peg-legged swagger.

I’m not very good at it. I’ve mastered the basics. :

Ahoy! – “Hello!”

Avast! – Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” which today makes it more of a“Check it out” or “No way!” or “Get off!”

Aye! – “Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”

Aye aye! – “I’ll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over.”

Arrr! – This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arrr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is going to win it all,” “I saw that television show, it sucked!” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

But more advanced pirate lingo flummoxes me. And I don’t think I could use a pirate pickup line with a straight face.

There’s no hope for it. I need to find some other way to honor this pirate-themed day of festivity.

Pirate Themed Knitwear

Woolens that will make you say “Arrrr” not “Arrrrgh.” My voyage on Ravelry turned up these bonny beauties.

Pirate Captain

A proper pirate captain needs a truly impressive captain’s coat. Something with some color, drama, and swing. Something to swirl around her shoulders as she gives a rousing speech. Something to shield her from the salt spray and rough wind.

The Legacy Frock Coat by Sarra Loew, as seen on Ravelry.

First Mate/Navigator

Even though this pattern is called “Master and Commander Cap and Cowl,” I imagine this as something the first mate or navigator would wear. Something with some style, but less flashy than the captain. After all, we can’t have the first mate looking more impressive than the captain. All we need to complete the ensemble is a knitted tube for the spyglass and a pair of matching fingerless mitts.

The Master and Commander Cap and Cowl by Aimee Skeers, as seen on Ravelry

Ship’s Crew

This intricate Celtic knotwork reminds me of chains and ropes. I see a crewman, face to the gale, tugging on the ship’s rigging. A sweater like this would keep him warm, especially if knitted with a yarn with the lanolin still in it.

Sorcerer’s Sweater by Catherine Salter Bayar as seen on Ravelry

Lady Prisoner/Stow-Away

Pirate stories always involve a fine lady who is taken prisoner or who has stowed away on the ship. What would she wear on her journey? I warm shawl, clutched around her shoulders to keep off the chill. Perhaps it would feature golden beads filched from the pirate horde.  And a warm pair of socks, knitted for her by her sailor sweetie (featuring skull and crossbones, natch.)

The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower as seen on Ravelry
Pirate Danger by Jeannie Cartmel as seen on Ravelry

Monsters on the High Seas

Of course, no pirate story is complete without terrible, wonderful sea monsters. A Kraken, lashing out at the ship’s hull with its long tentacles, dragging the crew to their doom, wrapped in its slimy embrace. This scarf looks like the sort of souvenir a sailor would keep if he managed to survive an encounter with a sea beast.

Forbidden Forest Scarf by T.L. Alexandria Volk as seen on Ravelry.

And let’s not forget dangerous embraces of another sort. These mitts look just like sea weed. They make me think of the garments a siren would wear. Sinuous, clinging and sexy.

Handschmeichler (Hand-Charmer) by Claudia Höll-Wellmann as seen on Ravelry.


Let’s not forget treasure. Mounds and mounds of glorious, misbegotten treasure.

SteamPunk Bracelet Knit Version by BethToddCreatz as seen on Ravelry.


  1. Aye, this be a great post, ye fine scurvy wench. That Legacy Frock Coat is surely fit for a pirate king. If only I had enough gold doubloons and pieces of eight to pay for the treasure map…I mean pattern.


  2. Why are pirates called pirates?

    Because they arrrrrr!

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Very fun post, and great pattern finds! I think I’ll have to knit myself a cap soon…

    • For a second I thought you were really asking why pirates are called pirates. And I was all set to look it up. I’m almost disappointed.

    • Ok, looked it up.

      “The word ‘pirate”is from the Latin and Spanish pirata, originally the Greek peirates (one who attacks) and peiran (to attempt or try).”

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