When a cartoon, television show, or movie becomes popular it is quickly accompanied by a wave of merchandise. This is often a collection of toys, perhaps some T-shirts, or maybe even a mug or a cap.

When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became popular, anything that could have been merchandised, was merchandised. This included tooth brushes, confectionary, temporary tattoos, and… erm… a knitting pattern book.

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Published in 1990 by Schoolastic Publications Ltd, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Knitting Book offered young knitters (and their nans) the opportunity to make Turtle-themed knitwear. The book – written by Joy Gammon – included a range of projects all featuring the heroes in a half-shell, from a Splinter sweater to some cowabunga cushions, and a Turtle-y awesome Turtle hat and scarf.  

Priced at a budget-friendly £2.95, the book featured nine different knitting patterns, beginning with the all-important ‘Basic Jumper Pattern’. Each pattern was accompanied by a small descriptive blurb, as well as a list of all the key colours required to bring the design to life.

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Were the patterns difficult to complete? Honestly? I have no idea – I couldn’t knit a jumper if my life depended on it. But for those who could, I am quietly confident they wouldn’t have encountered too many problems.

While the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Knitting Book might not have been the first piece of merchandise that every young Turtles fan gravitated toward, it was no doubt a useful one. Having a book like this in the house, where a family member could have knitted a jumper, would have been very useful.

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Am I tempted to learn how to knit and give some of this TMHT knitwear a go? Sadly, not.

I find this book a great little slice of the past, and if I could rewind the clock (and I wish I could) then I would certainly beg my nan for a Raph or Donnie jumper. Sadly I can’t, so I shall simply keep it as part of my Turtles collection.

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Turtles patterns to knit like a ninja

For all the keen knitters out there, the patterns included in the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Knitting Book are as follows:

  • TMHT Basic Jumper Pattern
  • Running Turtle Jumper – Raphael
  • Resting Turtle Jumper – Michelangelo
  • Standing Turtle Jumper – Donatello
  • Cheering Turtle Jumper – Leonardo
  • Splinter Jumper
  • Lettering Jumper
  • Turtle Hat & Scarf Set
  • Turtle Cushions

And if you are wondering why I keep referring to this book as the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Knitting Book, it is because this copy was printed in the UK. Back during the ‘90s, the Ninja Turtles were referred to as ‘Hero’ Turtles, rather than ‘Ninja’ Turtles.

I believe this same book was also printed in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where it would have carried the ‘Ninja’ title.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post about the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Knitting Book. If you wish to pick up a copy of this book, I suggest you hunt through eBay where you should come across one.

But before you go, be sure to check out more Turtle-related posts on It’s A Stampede!, including the recommended reads below. Each post will give you an instant hit of nostalgia.

Read more:

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