Of Mice and, well….Mice

I was playing around one day with the idea of making cat or dog toys out of knitted and then felted squares. I discovered if I folded the squares diagonally, I could fill the triangles with catnip and put a braided line on them for people to hold when playing with their cats. My friend, Sue, said, well, if you’re going to make them cat toys, then make them actually look like something. The “Knitted-Felted-Catnip Filled-Needle felted Mouse” was born!

I start out making lots of little knitted squares. I then felt them in the washing machine, several cycles depending on the breed of sheep as they all felt a little differently.

Next, I add catnip, stitch bodies of mice and add tails.

Finally, mouse features are needle felted on – ears, eyes, noses and whiskers.

Did you know a group of mice is called a "mischief" ???

I “field” tested them and cats love them!

Gus loves playing with his Jacob wool mouse

Maybe they love them for the catnip or maybe just because they are cute! I’ve been selling them at craft fairs and a farmer’s market and they are being carried by Nitro Dog in Lafayette (CA).

mice on display at Nitro Dog in Lafayette, CA

I make them from several different breeds of sheep wool so they all look a little different.  It’s been interesting listening to customer comments. Such things as, “I need to buy one that shows up on the kitchen floor”; “I want a light colored one as the others are too real looking!”; “I like the long tails because my two cats both like to play with the same toy at the same time”.

I’m having fun finding various ways to display the mice. Here are a few:

This "cat" has a whole tray of mice he's keeping watch over!

I’m trying a comparison now to see if the cats prefer catnip or cat mint. Early results show that one test cat plays with the catnip one more but loves to smell and spend time with the cat mint one more. Small test sample but looks like I might make both!

California Red Sheep wool mouse

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 2:56 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mischief of mice? Is that for real? It was either a mischief or a riot of rats that woke us up chewing in the attic on Sunday morning…early.

  2. Well, according to the definition I looked up online, you can call them a “mischief” or a “horde” and “mischief” sounded so much better for my mice. You, however, may want to call yours a “horde”!

  3. I absolutley love your little mice! It must be lovely working with the different wools. 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback, Karen. It is interesting working with the different breeds of wool – they all spin differently and felt differently. One person bought a Navajo-Churro mouse because she thought it felt the softest for her cat – which isn’t something i would have thought about Navajo-Churro! But it did felt up beautifully.

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