How to make a mouse

November 4, 2007 at 4:53 am | Posted in pattern | 6 Comments
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cat mice

I make toy mice for my cats.  While Darjeeling mews at me and bats one around the carpet and drags it around by the tail, I’m going to share the pattern.  Here goes!

Use double-pointed needles, whatever size is appropriate for the yarn you’re going to use.  Scrap yarn is best because of its gleeful random colors, and because the pattern really doesn’t take much yarn.

Cast on nine stitches over three needles, three per needle, leaving a long tail.  Knit one round.  On the second round, increase in the middle stitch on each needle.  On the third round, increase in both middle stitches on each needle.  You should now have six stitches per needle.  If you want a larger mouse, do one more round of increases.  Otherwise, knit two rounds.  After the two knit rounds, start decreasing by two stitches per round.  You can arrange these decreases any way you like.  I usually line them up into two seams, but this isn’t necessary.  When you have decreased until there’s only one stitch on each needle, cut the yarn off, again leaving a long tail.  Pull the yarn through the remaining stitches to close off the nose, then pull the end of the yarn through the body of the mouse so it is trailing through the opening at the back of the mouse.  Stuff the body with batting or scraps of fabric and add a pouch of catnip if desired.  While you are stuffing, be sure to keep the two ends of the yarn outside the body.  Once you’ve stuffed it full enough, thread whichever end of yarn is longer through all the beginning stitches, and tighten to close the opening.  Make sure that the mouse’s face isn’t getting smooshed in, which will happen if that end of the yarn is pulled too tight.  To make a tail for the mouse, add a length of yarn to the back of the mouse by pulling it through near the closure with both ends trailing, then braid all the loose ends together, knot, and trim nicely.  Add more lengths of yarn for a thicker or more colorful braid.  I usually knit with two or more colors anyway, so I don’t need to add more yarn at the end because I already have enough strands for a lovely braid.  Now you’re done!

Optional embellishments:  crochet some ears on!  knot some yarn at the nose to make whiskers!  add beady black eyes!

Important: please take the mouse away from your cat and discard it if your cat chews it apart.  It can be very dangerous for a cat to ingest yarn, and this is supposed to be a fun toy, not a nasty trip to the vet!



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  1. I hate using double pointed needles. Can I use a circular needle?

    • I think that would be difficult to do, since this is such a small project. Do you crochet? You could make a very similar mouse that way.

  2. Would you ever have time to write this out in classic knitting pattern language? It would be easier for me to follow as a beginner, with specific increase and decrease stitches indicated. Thank you!

    • I’m sorry, I’ve never actually written a pattern before. I just sort of make stuff up as I go along. I was trying to write down my process for the mice here, but I don’t know if I would be able to translate that into classic language.

      • *worked in the round*
        Cast on 9 across 3 dpn
        knit one row
        k1, k1fb, k1 – repeat til end of row
        k1, k2fb, k1 – repeat til end of row
        **if bigger mousie desired – add this row here: k1, k3fb, k1 – repeat til end of row**
        knit two rows
        k2, SSK, k2 – knit one stitch from the second needle onto the first
        k4 – slip last stitch from the second needle onto the third needle
        k3, SSK, k2
        **repeat this – adding one stitch from the second needle to the first and third until you are only knitting on two needles. If you added the extra row for a bigger mousie then add two additional stitches to each k (ie: k4, SSK, k4)**
        k2, SSK, k2 – repeat til end of row
        k2, SSk, K1 – repeat til end of row
        k2, SSK – repeat til end of row
        k1, SSK – repeat til end of row
        SSK – repeat til end of row
        **put remaining two stitches on one needle and SSK. If you added the extra row for the bigger mousie you will need to do more decrease rows following the same idea as what is listed above.**
        take the yarn and pull it through the last stitch leaving a long tail. Finish as described above.

        **Note: Use a needle size that is recommended for the yarn you chose. Bear in mind that the mousie will come out larger or smaller depending on that needle size because of the stitch size. You can add as many extra “expansion” rows as you wish following the pattern set at the beginning to create larger mousies.

      • Thanks!!

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