The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

It’s NOT mid-December! December 12, 2008

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 12:25 pm
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I have my Christmas knitting under control.  I have my Christmas knitting under control.  I have my Christmas knitting under control.


At least, I would have if I had followed The Plan.  The Plan was smart.  The Plan was charismatic.  Well, maybe not charismatic.  It’s just a plan, after all.  The amount of Christmas knitting that I assigned myself has not significantly changed since October, except that I whacked a few things off the list.  No, The Plan was not a project strategy.

The Plan was all about yarn acquisition.  The Plan dictated that I order some yarn while I was out of town for Thanksgiving so that said yarn would arrive at my house when I did, thus leaving me ample (um, “ample”) time to knit the last thing on the list.


Yeah, that yarn didn’t actually get ordered until a few days ago.  The yarn won’t be here until early next week.  Leaving me, at best, three days between the arrival of my yarn and the arrival of my in-laws.  (Read that as “three days that include cleaning, running errands, and doctors’ appointments.”)  I’m really excited about my in-laws coming here for Christmas instead of us heading down to them this year.  But that means I’ll have significantly less time to do secret knitting, unless I skip out on some of the fun and/or hide at the Starbucks and knit frantically.  Hmm, I might be able to knit this last thing before they arrive… Hope springs eternal for knitters at Christmas, right? 


Well, at least I planned the rest of the knitting well.  It should all be finished by the end of the weekend, leaving me “ample” time to knit the last item.


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You can see Arwen is happily making herself at home on one of the finished projects [Ravelry link for secrecy].  She has suddenly become a complete wool-head.  She’d rather sleep on the pile off wool in the middle of the couch than on a lap now.  If the bits of wool are too small, she’ll try to shove as much of herself on the wool as possible then look at me indignantly, as if it’s my fault that she can’t fit on the small project.  Well, I guess I did promise her a wool blanket of her own that she can sleep on and knead to her heart’s content.  I’m going to get around to it, really.  I just have to finish the Christmas knitting.  Stop looking at me like that!!


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We’ve started calling her a “sheep cat.”  She’d herd the sheep… and then sleep on them.


Wool Mice and Things May 20, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,patterns — Cailyn @ 10:51 pm
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Things are finally back to normal around here. There was much visiting of family and fun, although very little knitting. Before disappearing into the strange world of Noyarnia, I mentioned a felted mouse toy that I was making. Well, here he is! (Before and after felting.)


I’ve made two sizes of mouse, because my cats like very different toys. Arwen, our older cat, loves big toys that reek of catnip. (She’s a big kitty and she looooves felted wool.)

Kif, our younger and much smaller cat, is indifferent to catnip and only likes toys that he can carry comfortably in his mouth. (He’s hard to get a good picture of.)

Well, enough about my cats. I bet you’re just itching to know how to make one of those mousies.

Felted Mousie

Download the PDF: Felted Mousie

Update 5/23: I’ve fixed the increases for the mouse head. I have no idea what happened when I originally wrote it up- those increases made NO sense. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was drunk when I wrote it. Anyway, I apologize to anyone who tried to make the mouse with those funky instructions!

Update 5/26: Fixed the number of stitches between the mouse ears. Corrections in purple.

  • Yarn: Any feltable, worsted weight wool (I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Lake Ice Heather) plus a few inches of contrasting yarn for details.
  • Yardage: Small mouse approx 15 yards
  • Large Mouse approx 30 yards
  • Needles: Small mouse, size 7 dpns
  • Large Mouse, size 10 dpns
  • Other materials: Tapestry needle, toy stuffing, catnip, sewing needle and coordinating thread.
  • Gauge: Not really important, since the mouse will be felted.

Prefelted Measurements: Small Mouse, approx 2.25″x3.5″ (not including tail)

Large Mouse, approx 3.25″x5″ (not including tail)

Postfelted Measurements: Small Mouse, approx 1″ x 2.5″ (not including tail)

Large Mouse, approx 2.5″ x 3.5″ (not including tail)

Special Stitches

Make Bobble: Kf&b twice in the next 2 sts. (8 sts increased.) Turn, purl 8 sts just increased. Turn, k 8 sts. Turn, p2tog four times. Turn, k2tog twice. Continue row as instructed.

Mouse Head

For large mouse, work with yarn held doubled. For small mouse, work with one strand.

CO 4 sts to each of 2 needles, using Judy’s Magic Cast On. 8 sts

Round 1,3,5,7,: Knit

Round 2: K1, m1, k2, m1, k2, m1, k2, m1, k1 (4 sts increased.) 12 sts

Rearrange sts as desired.

Round 4: K1, m1, k4, m1, k2, m1, k4, m1, k1 (4 sts increased) 16 sts

Round 6: K1, m1, k6, m1, k2, m1, k6, m1, k1 (4 sts increased) 20 sts

Round 8: K1, m1, k8, m1, k2, m1, k8, m1, k1 (4 sts increased) 24 sts total

Knit 1-2 rounds even. (More rounds give the mouse a longer face.)


Next round: K2, Make Bobble, k4, Make Bobble, knit to the end of the round.

Knit 3-5 rounds even. If you want a longer mouse body, knit more rounds.

Mouse Butt

Round 1: K1, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2, k2tog, k6, ssk, k1 (4 sts decreased.) 20 sts

Round 2, 4, 6: Knit

Round 3: K1, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2, k2tog, k4, ssk, k1 (4 sts decreased.) 16 sts

Round 5: K1, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k2, ssk, k1 (4 sts decreased.) 12 sts

Round 7: K1, k2tog, ssk, k2, k2tog, ssk, k1 (4 sts decreased.) 8 sts

K2tog around. (4 sts decreased.) 4 sts

Small Mouse only: K2tog, k2. 3 sts remain.


Small Mouse: Work 3-st I-cord until tail is at least 2” long.

Large Mouse: Work 4-st I-cord until tail is at least 2″ long. (My cats like a long tail, so I knit the tail about 4″ long.)

Embroider eyes, nose, etc in scrap yarn on the face below the ears.


The small mouse can be felted by hand in about 10 minutes. Run some hot water (about as hot as you can comfortably stand) in the sink and dip your mouse in. Add some soap to the mouse and start to rub and squish him vigorously between your hands. (This might be a fun thing to make- um, ask your kids do for you.) When your mouse has lost his stitch definition and is the right size (keep felting him to make him smaller,) rinse him in cold water and set him aside to dry.

The larger mouse can be felted by hand (takes a bit longer than the small mouse) or in the washer. If you’ve got any other felting projects, you can throw the mouse in with them.

For more information on machine felting, check out this article on Knitty.

When the mouse is felted and dry, cut a small hole in the underside, stuff with toy stuffing and catnip, sew the opening back up, and give to the cat.


Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you.  They have not been fully tested.  They are free, though. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free.  There may be typos or other mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at



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This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.