Sunday, March 18, 2007

the kindness of knitters

I found this lovely posting about Jo Chandler's Catnip Mice on the Two Sock Knitters Blog.

I had to have this pattern - the finished work looks like a mouse and appears sturdy enough for cat damage! But, the link has been removed and the pattern is no where to be found.

I also found
Karen's blog Karagana's Knit Notes where these mice were also shown. Karen has kindly sent me the pattern. This knitter's kindness is a wonderfully sweet gift! (I think that being from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada might also be a factor too. Manitobians are known for being a friendly bunch).

And now I will share her gift with you.

Jo Chandler's Catnip Mouse (originally found on


For the body, Brown Sheep Nature Spun or any all wool non-super wash sport weight.
Small amount of embroidery floss, pearl cotton or matte embroidery cotton for eyes and whiskers (Optional as these are for cats to chew on).
Stuffing: unspun wool and catnip. I may make a little cloth bag for the catnip.
Needles: #6 (American).

Pattern Stitches:

M: Make one by putting a backward loop on the needle which is purled on the next row.

Bobble: These are the ears.
K in the front and back and front and back of the next st. (4 sts) Turn.
P4, turn.
K4, turn.
P4, turn.
SSK, K2tog, slip SSK over the K2tog st. We're now back to 1 st.


Cast on 2 sts with cable cast on, leaving at least an 8 inch tail for sewing.

Row 1: K in front and back of each st.

Row 2 and all even rows except for the last even row: Purl

Row 3: K1, M1, K2, M1, K1 (6 sts)

Row 5: K1, M1, K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, M1, K1 (10 sts.)

Row 7: K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2 (14 sts.)

Row 9: K2, M1, K3, M1, K4, M1, K3, M1, K2 (18 sts.)

Row 11: K2, M1, K4, make bobble, K4, make bobble, K4, M1, K2 (20 sts.)

Row 13: K2, M1, K5, M1, K6, M1, K5, M1, K2 (24 sts.)

Work even on 24 sts (K a row, P a row) for 2.5 inches after the last increase.

Decrease for bottom: *K1, K2 tog, repeat from * to end (16 sts.)

Next row: *P2 tog, repeat from * to end

Next row: *K2tog*, repeat from * to end (4 sts.)

Slide the 4 sts to the other end of the needles and knit (I-cord).

Continue in I-cord for about 2 inches, decease 1 st and continue on 3st I-cord for another 2 inches (or a little longer; tail should be as long as the mouse).

To end I-cord, sl1, K2tog, pass sl st over. Cut yarn leaving at leave 8 or 10 inches and finish off last st.

Thread end on tapestry needle and carefully work through tail back to body and sew up about an inch. At the nose end, thread the end on a tapestry needle and sew up about an inch. Sew up the rest with cotton yarn or embroidery floss so it call be pulled out later.

With hot or warm water and natural soap if possible, wash the mouse with as much agitation as possible, as if you were trying to scrub out a really nasty stain. Keep this up until if felts.

Rinse well and allow to dry. Remove cotton stitching.

With embroidery floss, pearl cotton or matte embroidery cotton, make a couple French knots for eyes and make whiskers. Stuff and sew up with wool.

Notes from Karen, the kind knitter:
By the way, you can knit this mouse with anything; you don't have to felt it. I've made about 50 of them so far and distribute them to cat people all over the place. I will admit though, that my cats' favourites are the felted ones. I tend to use up my Red Heart knitting worsted leftovers for mice. I also differ from Jo Chandler in the stuffing department. I chop a cheapo pantyhose-type knee high in 3 pieces, and fill each piece with catnip and tie a knot in the end(s). That goes into the mouse's stomach and the rest of the body is filled up with polyester fibrefill. I can get about 6 "stomachs" from one pair of knee highs. I usually buy the "10 prs in a box" from Walmart.

This is the best catnip mouse pattern I have come across. There's a minimum of sewing and It LOOKS like a mouse. The tail is nice and strong and the ears stay on (unless your cat is a very determined chewer.)

Acknowledgements: (a.k.a., kind knitters) Pattern by Jo Chandler, pictures posted by the Two Sock Knitters, and Karen's Karagana's Knit Notes.

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