Free Pattern: Holiday Mice

Knit these tiny mice to decorate your tree, add to a child’s stocking, or simply to bring some holiday cheer to your home. The pattern makes it easy to use what you have on hand, and they’re quick enough that you can make a handful in a weekend! Follow the directions below, or download the PDF.



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Modifications


Size: The materials list suggests worsted weight yarn because it’s what I commonly use for toys. The smaller size shown (2" tall) was made using sport weight yarn on 3 mm needles. Experiment with what you have on hand, adjusting the needle size to give a dense fabric.


Method: The instructions are written to knit the mice flat on straight needles. However, you can instead knit in the round on double-pointed needles (the brown mice are knit flat, the grey one in the round, so you can see there is little difference). To knit the body and head in the round, knit all the odd-numbered rows, rather than purling them (except for the bobbles). Please note that you may need to shuffle stitches between needles occasionally, in order to work the increases and decreases. Remember to attach the safety eyes and stuff the head before working the last decrease row of the head.


Hats: The hood is knit flat with a seam up the back, and the beret is knit in the round, so make whichever you are comfortable with. Little details like bells, pom-poms, and ribbon bows are optional, and very cute!


Materials

15 g worsted weight yarn in main colour (MC), 10 g of DK or light worsted weight yarn in contrasting colour (CC), 5 g of pink worsted weight yarn for ears, 4 mm (US size 6) pair of knitting needles, set of four 4 mm (US size 6) double pointed needles (dpns, for beret), stuffing, pair of 8 mm safety eyes or black yarn, tapestry needle

Gauge

5.5 sts and 8 rows per 2.5 cm (1") in st st

Size

8 cm (3")


Notes

Use a long-tail, or similar, cast on. Leaving a 6-10” yarn end when casting on will give you a convenient length of yarn for seaming.

Use mattress stitch to sew seams, and whip stitch to assemble toy pieces.

Secure yarn ends by weaving them in on WS, or thread them through the body 2-3 times, then trim excess.


Body

Start at bottom. CO 7 sts with MC.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: k1, [m1, k1] x 6. (13 sts)

Row 3: Purl.

Row 4: k3, [m1, k1] x 7, m1, k3. (21 sts)

Row 5: Purl.

Row 6: k7, MB, k5, MB, k7.

Row 7-9: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 10: k6, k2tog, k5, ssk, k6. (19 sts)

Row 11-13: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 14: k6, MB, ssk, k1, k2tog, MB, k6. (17 sts)

Row 15-17: Work 3 rows in st st.

Row 18: k2, [ssk] x 3, k1, [k2tog] x 3, k2. (11 sts)

Bind off. Cut yarn, leaving a long end for seaming. Sew up the back seam, leaving the bound-off edge open. Stuff the body. If the toy will be played with, use an extra length of MC yarn to sew down the edges of the bobbles. Secure yarn ends.


Head

Start at back. CO 6 sts with MC.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: k1, [m1, k1] x 5. (11 sts)

Row 3: Purl.

Row 4: k2, [m1, k1] x 3, k2, [m1, k1] x 3, k1. (17 sts)

Row 5-9: Work 5 rows in st st.

Row 10: k2, ssk, k1, k2tog, k3, ssk, k1, k2tog, k2. (13 sts)

Row 11: Purl.

Row 12: k3, k2tog, k3, ssk, k3. (11 sts)

Row 13: Purl.

Row 14: k2, k2tog, k3, ssk, k2. (9 sts)

Row 15: Purl.

Row 16: [k2tog] x 2, k1, [ssk] x 2. (5 sts)

Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Attach safety eyes (above the 2nd and 3rd decreases on Row 10). Beginning at gathered stitches, sew the seam towards the back of the head, adding stuffing as you sew. Gather together cast-on stitches, then secure yarn ends.


Ears (make 2)

CO 4 sts with pink yarn.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: s1, k1, m1, k2. (5 sts)

Row 3: s1, p4.

Row 4: s1, m1, k3, m1, k1. (7 sts)

Row 5: s1, p6.

Row 6: ssk, k3, k2tog. (5 sts)

Bind off. Leave yarn ends for attaching the ears to the head/hat.


Hood

Start at the front.

CO 22 sts with CC yarn.

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: ssk, k18, k2tog.

(20 sts)

Row 3: k2, p16, k2.

Row 4: ssk, k16, k2tog.

(18 sts)

Row 5: k2, p14, k2.

Row 6: Knit.

Row 7: k2, p14, k2.

Row 8: k8, m1, k2, m1, k8. (20 sts)

Row 9: k2, p16, k2.

Row 10: k9, m1, k2, m1, k9. (22 sts)

Fold hood in half and graft together back from neck to hood-peak. Or, work one more WS row, then bind off, and sew the back seam of the hood.

For ties: thread a length of yarn around the lower edge, with ends extending at the front. If you like, add a pom-pom, tassel, or bell to the hood point.


Beret

CO 18 sts with CC yarn and a dpn. Divide sts evenly between 3 needles.

Rnd 1: Join in the round, [k1, p1] to end.

Rnd 2: [k1, p1] to end.

Rnd 3: [k2, m1] x 9. (27 sts)

Rnd 4-8: work 5 rows in st st.

Rnd 9: [k1, k2tog] x 9. (18 sts)

Rnd 10: Knit.

Rnd 11: [k2tog] x 9. (9 sts)

Rnd 12: Knit.

Rnd 13: [k1, k2tog] x 3. (6 sts)

Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Secure yarn ends.


Finishing

If you're not using safety eyes, embroider eyes with black yarn. Embroider a nose with the pink yarn.

Experiment with the placement of the ears and hat before attaching any parts. Sew the bound-off edge of the ears to the head or hat. Sew the hat onto the head. Sew the head to the bound-off edge of the body, with the seam facing down. Secure all yarn ends.

Braided tail: Cut three 30 cm (12") lengths of your MC yarn. Thread them, one at a time, under a couple stitches at the lower centre-back of your toy. Pull each strand half-way through, so the ends match up. Separate the strands into three groups of 2, then plait/braid together tightly for 8 cm (3"). Secure the ends with a tight overhand knot, then trim ends.

If you're hanging the mouse on a tree, add a loop of yarn or ribbon to the top of the head/hat.



Abbreviations

[ ] x N = repeat sequence in brackets N times ("to end" means to repeat until the end of the row)

Beg = beginning

CO = cast on

K = knit

k2tog = decrease 1 stitch by knitting 2 stitches together

m1 = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, with your left needle, from front to back, and knit into the back of this loop

MB = Make Bobble

Step 1: increase 5 sts into next st (knit into front, then back, front, back, front of st), turn. (5 sts)

Step 2: p5, turn.

Step 3: k5, turn.

Step 4: p2tog, p1, p2tog, turn. (3 sts)

Step 5: s2kp. (1 st)

Bobble is finished, so continue with the remainder of the row.

P = purl

p2tog = decrease 1 stitch by purling 2 stitches together

RS = right side

s1 = slip one stitch from left-hand needle to right-hand needle

s2kp = decrease 2 by slipping 2 stitches as if to k2tog, knit the next stitch, then pass both slipped stitches over the knit stitch

ssk = decrease 1 by slipping 2 stitches purl-wise from left to right-hand needle, slip both stitches back to left-hand needle, then knit slipped stitches together

st or sts = stitch or stitches

st st = stockinette stitch (knit on RS, purl on WS)

WS = wrong side