FREE PATTERN: Last-minute Cat-mas Mouse

A little non-stirring mouse for your Christmas eve!

A little non-stirring mouse for your Christmas eve!

With less than a week to go before Christmas, I thought it would be a great opportunity for a quick and easy DIY holiday gift for all those kitty mamas and papas on your list!

As I myself am rushing to complete a small mountain of last-minute projects, I wanted to share something that was super straightforward and small enough to fit in a stocking. Going with the holiday theme, I initially planned to craft a sweet and playful plushie for a small human, but the reality of time constraints eventually forced me to settle on a littler, cuter cat-toy.

My muse was our own house-menace, Feifel, who we adopted from the local shelter when he was around 8 months old, and already gigantic. His size leads me to believe he might have a bit of Maine Coon in his family tree, although he was officially deemed as a “domestic longhair” by the Humane Society. Feifel is one of those rare, social and overwhelmingly friendly cats (perhaps the dog is rubbing off on him...?). At his best, he comes running to greet company at the door, rubbing up against legs, and jumping into laps. At his worst, he is yowling incessantly at 6AM for breakfast and squawking to be let outside to play in the dead of winter.

Feif has a lot to say at the best of times.

Feif has a lot to say at the best of times.

He is absolutely loved, and gives us many hours of unexpected entertainment, so I figured its only fair to return the favor.

Since I've had so much experience with blanket-making as of late, I wanted to bring a few granny square techniques into my first ever Amigurumi character. Due to the overall holey-nature of granny squares, I lined the inside of my little mouse with cheesecloth before stuffing him with wild catnip and pet-safe polyester toy fluff (you could use either or both!).

*ADDENDUM: I had originally fashioned my mouse's eyes from a pair of buttons that I had lying around (Feifel absolutely looooovvvvesss sucking on buttons) and a little curled tail from a scrap of leather. I chose to include these design elements as these are things that my cat regularly chews on while supervised. Please be aware that buttons and other small objects CAN present a choking hazard. As such, you may wish to embroider or otherwise sew in the eyes. I have also included a few additional lines at the bottom of the pattern for a crochet tail. If you do choose to use buttons or any other accessories for your mouse, I strongly recommend that you ensure that these are secured extremely well; It would break my heart to hear of any holiday horror-stories of swallowed bits and expensive trips to the vet!*

Please feel free to leave your questions, comments, and pictures of your own Cat-mas toy below!


Last-Minute Cat-mas Toy

I used 3 colours of worsted weight yarn and a size E (3.5mm) hook for this pattern. You could use as many or as few colors as you like! If you use a slightly larger or smaller hook, the size of the spaces between your stitches (and the size of your overall mouse) would either increase or decrease proportionately. You may wish to altogether avoid weaving in your ends for this pattern, as it gets harder to do as you close off the body, and they will be hidden on the inside anyways!

 

Body

Ch 3 in colour A, and slip stitch to the back loop of the first stitch, forming a circle (or make a magic-ring).

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc), then dc 11 times into the circle. Slip stitch to the 2nd chain of your original ch 2 (first dc). Bind off and switch to colour B. (12 dc total)

Round 2: Draw yarn through any dc from the previous round. Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), then hdc into the space between the next dc. *Hdc into the next dc stitch, then hdc into the space between the next dc.* Repeat around and slip stitch to the 2nd chain of your original ch2 (first hdc). Bind off and switch to colour C. (24 hdc total)

Round 3: Draw yarn through any hdc in dc stitch from the previous round (NOT a hdc that you made between the dc posts). Ch 2 (counts as first post of dc cluster), then 2 more dc tog in the same stitch to make your first dc cluster. *Ch 1, skip a stitch and dc cluster in next stitch* around. Slip your last chain to the top of your first cluster. Bind off and switch back to colour B. (12 dc clusters, 12 ch, 24 stitches total)

*Note: Your mouse-bum will start to curve inward here. This is what we're after! This is also where I sewed in my mouse's tail, as it will get harder to do as our critter takes shape. You may add a crochet tail at the end instead; details at the bottom of the pattern.*

*Note: Your mouse-bum will start to curve inward here. This is what we're after! This is also where I sewed in my mouse's tail, as it will get harder to do as our critter takes shape. You may add a crochet tail at the end instead; details at the bottom of the pattern.*

Round 4: Draw yarn through any ch 1 space from the previous round. Ch2 (counts as first hdc), then 2 more hdc in the same space. *Skip stitch and 3 hdc in next ch1 space* around. Slip stitch to 2nd chain of your original 2 ch (first hdc). Bind off and switch to colour A. (36 hdc total)

Round 5: Draw yarn through any first hdc in group of 3 hdc's from previous round. Ch2 (counts as first hdc), then hdc decrease in next 2 stitches. *Hdc, hdc decrease* around. Slip stitch to 2nd chain of your original 2 ch (first hdc). Bind off and switch to colour B. (12 hdc decreases, 12 hdc, 24 stitches total)

Round 6: Draw yarn through any hdc decrease from previous round. Ch 1 (counts as first sc), then sc around. Slip stitch to original ch (first sc). Bind off and switch to colour C. (24 sc total)

Round 7: Repeat round 6. Bind off and switch to colour B. (24 sc total)

Round 8: Draw yarn through any sc from previous round. Ch 2 (counts as first post of dc2tog). Ch 1. *Dc2tog, Ch 1* around. Slip stitch to 2nd chain (first dc). Bind off and switch to colour A. (12 dc2tog, 12 ch, 24 stitches total)

Round 9: Draw yarn through any ch 1 space from previous round. Ch 2 (counts as first half of hdc2tog), then hdc in the same space. *Skip a stitch, then hdc2tog* around. Slip stitch to 2nd chain (first hdc). Bind off and switch to colour C. (12 hdc2tog)

*Note: STOP! Now its time to stuff. Pack your stuffing of choice in quite firmly; this will help to even out the shape of your mouse.*

*Note: STOP! Now its time to stuff. Pack your stuffing of choice in quite firmly; this will help to even out the shape of your mouse.*

Round 9: Repeat round 6. Bind off and switch to colour B. (12 sc total)

Round 10: Repeat round 6. Bind off and switch to colour A. (12 sc total)

Round 11: Draw yarn through any sc from previous round. Ch 1 (counts as first sc), then sc2tog around. Slip stitch to original ch (first sc). Do not bind off. (6sc total)

Weave the working end of the yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight to close. Pull the remaining yarn inside the body to finish. You may now embroider or sew on the eyes approximately round 8, and a nose at the seam of your nose-end.

 

Ears (Make 2)

Ch 3 in colour A, then slip stitch to the back loop of the first stitch, forming a circle (or make a magic-ring).

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc), then dc 7 times into the circle. Bind off and pull to tighten. Weave in ends and switch to colour C. (8 dc total)

Round 2: Draw yarn through the back loop of the first dc from previous round. Ch 1 (counts as first sc), then sc across (BLO). Bind off securely and weave in ends. (8 sc total)

*Note: Sew the ears to the body just above the eyes at approximately round 7. I recommend sewing across from each outside point of the ear.*

 

ADDENDUM: Crochet Tail

Step 1: Using colour C, make a slipknot, and then pass you crochet hook through the rump of your mouse, just above the seam of your original magic ring. I suggest entering and leaving between the dc's at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock to your mouse's front. Draw your yarn through and complete a sc.

Step 2: Ch 23, then turn and slip stitch in the back loop of the 3rd chain from your hook.

Step 3: Slip stitch back down along the tail until you reach the base (19 stitches). Cut your yarn, bind off securely, and then weave in the ends.

Mouse3.jpg

That's it, you're finished! I hope the lucky cat enjoys his or her new toy!

Traci Bee

NeedlecraftTraci BergComment