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Copyright 1995 Robert Matthews & Esther Smith Bozak. All rights
(Please read full copyright notice at the end of the pattern.)
Cast on three stitches. Purl the next and every wrong-side row.
Row 3: Knit 1, make one stitch by picking up the loop between stitches and knitting into the back of it (called M1), K1, M1, K1. 5 stitches on needle.
Row 5: M1 between every knit stitch. 9 sts.
Row 7: As row 5. 17 sts.
Row 9: K2, *(M1, K1), repeat from * across to last 2 sts, M1, K2. 31 sts.
Work even for 1/2 inch.
Next RS row: K1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1.
Repeat until there are 19 sts on needle.
Next RS row: K1, SSK, K5, S2K1psso, K5, K2tog, K1. 15 sts.
Next RS row: K1, SSK, K3, S2K1psso, K3, K2tog, K1. 11 sts.
Next RS row: K1, SSK, K1, S2K1psso, K1, K2tog, K1. 7 sts.
Next RS row: K2, S2K1psso, K2. 5 sts.
Next RS row: K1, S2K1psso, K1.
Pull yarn through remaining stitches, leaving at least 10 inches to sew seam and form tail. Make whiskers, and eyes if desired. Sew mattress stitch seam from nose down to tail end, leaving an inch or so to stuff mouse. Stuff, sew remaining seam. Make the tail.
Robert: I just try to make it vaguely mouse-shaped and as attractive to the cat as possible. This means no acrylic (plastics have a smell to them, and cats' noses are so much more sensitive than ours that they can smell plastic.) I generally use plain old hard-wearing wool in a mouse grey. I always try to include a bit of angora in the stuffing if I have some to spare; I learned entirely by accident that they love the smell. Fortunately, I bought eight or ten balls of an angora/lambswool blend on sale some years back, so I clip off a couple of feet, shred it up, and pack it in with the other stuffing.
Esther: I use a bulky wool yarn, Reynolds Lopi typically, and American size 5 needles. This gives me a gauge of around 5 or 6 sts/inch. I like the lopi because of the way the mouse develops a halo of fuzz as the cats play with it over time. I suspect that any worsted or bulky weight wool yarn would be a good substitute. I'm not a stickler for mousie colors either; some of my mice have been striped or "wild" colors, such as teal or fushia. For the stuffing material, I use wool roving. Just pluck a bit from the end, "tease" it a bit to make it less compact, and then put in the mouse, sort of the way you might stuff something with polyester fiberfill.
Robert: I sew up the seam on the mouse till there's just a small hole left; half-fill the mouse with wool and angora clippings; wrap a teaspoonful of catnip up in a square of toilet paper, fold it up neatly and tuck it in; and then fill the mouse the rest of the way.
Esther: I sew up the mouse's seam same as Robert. Then I fill the mouse about 1/3 full with the wool roving. At this point, I begin alternating stuffing with a small (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon) of catnip, followed by a bit of wool, until the next 1/3 or so of the mouse is full. This will use about 1-2 teaspoons of catnip, the actual amount depending on the strength of the herb and its form (dried plant stems & leaves intact, crushed, shredded, etc.) The last 1/3 of the mouse is stuffed with wool roving only. I do not put the catnip inside a piece of tissue, as Robert does, and and have had no "leakage" problems as yet.
Robert: Knot [the yarn used for sewing] tightly several times and trim tail to 4" or 6". Don't make the tail a separate piece of yarn; the cat will find a way to detach it.
Esther: Cut a length of yarn double the length of piece left after sewing seam. Thread the second length on either side of sewing piece, positioning it so its ends for a small triangle with the sewing piece at the tail end of the seam. Use the three ends for tail, braiding firmly. When tail is desired length, form an overhand knot with the three ends and trim "tassel" at tail's point. (I found this type of tail to withstand much more rough-housing by the cats.)
Robert: I always make whiskers out of mohair (though you could use plain yarn.) I cut six or eight lengths of mohair perhaps eight or nine inches long, tie a snug overhand knot in the centre of the bundle, thread the pieces on one side of the knot through a big-eyed yarn needle, pull that through one cheek, repeat with the other side, and clip the whiskers to an appropriate length.
Esther: Cotton embroidery floss works well, too, for whiskers (and eyes.)
In case you're unfamiliar with the S2K1psso decrease, it runs as follows: Slip the next two stitches at the same time onto the right-hand needle knitwise, knit the next stitch, and pass the two slipped stitches at the same time over the knit stitch. It makes a somewhat raised but perfectly formed knit stitch in the centre of a pair of decreased stitches which slope towards it symmetrically.
Last Updated: June 4, 1996
Esther S. Bozak, firstname.lastname@example.org