A few weeks back I saw a post on FB saying it was 100 days until Christmas. Wow, that’s not much time, I thought. Time for me to think about gifts for friends and family. Because when you make handmade gifts one thing you don’t have enough of is time.
While one night I couldn’t sleep I thought of my mice and what I had created so far. It was quite a few over the last years.
Some of them you can see here in my collection (they are not in chronically order, but a little get together of my mice)
But I thought, I have not made any Christmas themed mice yet. I mentioned that to my friend while we where strolling through our Craft store. One of our favorite places to go.
“oh, I would like one, would you make one for me???” is what she said. Excited to get the chance of making one, I said ” sure, if you buy the supplies”
Which she promptly answered with “what do we need to get?”
So off we go to buy all the essentials.
This was our starting point, a Styrofoam ring, big enough for one mouse and a Christmas tree. The tree we had saw while we where roaming the Christmas aisles earlier. So we went back to pick out the nicest we could find. Some decoration for the wreath, some yarn and other little nick knacks.
At home I got right to it. First I had to cover the ugly tube wreath. It always takes a while until I figure out how many stitches it will need. Every yarn is different, it will stretch different, either needs smaller or bigger needle size to cover up proper.
This “tube” knitting I love doing while watching TV, because you don’t have to think while doing it. No counting, no decreasing or increasing. All I need to pay attention to is the length, to fit around the whole wreath. I chain it off and start looking for my mending needle. Cut off a super long thread and start stretching and sewing, while making sure the seam stays in the back. Not always a easy task. Yarn often has a mind of its own.
Ok, now that was done. I had to figure out how it would look best. The tree on the side or better in the middle. And how am I going to attach it? Needed a little pondering on that, but came up with a solution.
Don’t ask my thumb, but I hit it a few times. I decided just gluing it to the wreath was not sturdy enough.
But first I needed to get started on my mouse. I usually start out with the head, nose first. Then attach the body and get knitting in the round, build up the little belly, stuff it and sew it shut. Then I make the ears, first the outside, then the inside and sew it together. And make another one. The arms get knitted right out of the body, as well as the legs. I usually do them last, because I’d like to know what or who the mouse will be so I can make the right colored shoes for them. Or sometimes the mouse needs to be able to stand and then I have to add wire while I am knitting. I am pretty sure I make funny faces while doing that, because it’s a pain in the behind.
So I finished my mouse body. Then of course he needed some Santa pants. Let me go back to the internet real quick and see how the should look. Ah yeah, I need red and white for that. I pick up the stitches around his belly and get to work, fiddle around until I have all the stitches evenly on my needles.
When I get to the tail I make sure there is a whole to pull it through. Because who want their tail stuck in their pants?
What I don’t like is always hiding away all those loose ends.
But I want him to look nice, so getting my sewing needle and scissors and sew all those threads into place.
What else does a Santa mouse need?
Oh yeah a coat.
Yikes, this mouse has quite a belly on him. Well he needed to, he is Santa. But not much fun to get the right size for the coat.
I hope the bottom is wide enough and will go around his jolly belly. And not too wide on the top. We will see, first I have to sew those pesky threads in again.
I usually attach the sleeves after I have put the jacket on. Like that they don’t get too long. It would be easier the other way around. But I like a challenge and want to have it look right.
So now that’s done, I still need a Santa hat. My friend requested a little bell to be on it as well. OMG….where did I put my little bells???? I had really tiny ones at some point, but where did I put them, don’t tell me I gave them away! Well I didn’t find them. But I found a golden little jingle rolling around in my key chain drawer….phew, just the right size. This will work just fine.
Ok, so how far are his ears apart? I don’t ever sew them on the same spot. Gives them their own personality, plus the heads are never the same size. Due to different yarn, different stuffing and the tension while I am knitting.
Picking up stitches, knitting a few rounds…… ah…. forgot, I was supposed to start with the white thread. Unravel. Start again. Hm…this looks too small…. unravel ….pick up stitches again, knit a few rounds…. aghh…this looks too big…unravel…pick up stitches, knit. Ok this looks like it could fit. Change over to red and start decreasing. Ugh….why did I pick this mohair yarn, it’s so fuzzy and it likes clinging to itself. I lost track of my decreasing. Oh crap, no it’s lopsided. ….unravel again… fix it.
And yes, there is threads again, that need to be tucked away neatly.
Holding it to the head, seams to fit. Maybe I’ll stuff it a little bit. While sewing the hat to the mouse I think “shouldn’t of stuffed the hat, it’s all wandering up to the end of the cap. And it’s so not cooperating while I try to attach it to the head.
I think I need a break, stupid Santa hat.
Let me surf a little on the internet to get some inspiration on how I could do the belt, or does Santa have buttons? Oh no, it’s a belt. Where did I get the idea of buttons? Sometimes you second guess yourself while doing stuff.
Hm, what could I use for his belt, let me go through my ribbon box, see if there is anything in there that would fit. Oh yeah, I like this one, let’s see how it looks. Oh and for the belt closure? Na…. I will find that tomorrow, I need some sleep.
So the next day while I was going through my beads, I found a few that I thought could work. I asked my kids what they thought would look good.
And this is how Santa looks dressed, in his pants and jacket. While I was looking at the pictures I noticed something…..MY MOUSE DOESN’T HAVE ANY WHISKERS YET…… how did this happen??? Had to fix that immediately , can’t have a mouse with no whiskers.
After that I sewed Santa Mouse to the wreath.
With his little bell on his hat, whiskers in his face and belt and buckle around his belly.
What should I do next? My friend hat picked out a few felt forms that she wanted on the wreath. So let me lay them on there to see how it will look.
It looked ok, so I glued them on.
And then I wanted some presents under the tree. Yes I could just make some little cardboard boxes and wrap them with paper. But anyone can do that. I wanted them to be knitted. Ugh….why do I do that to myself?
I tried the first one, knitted it like I learned in Geometry how you build a cube out of paper. And then stuffed it with fiber fill. It looked more like a wonky cube to me. So yeah, that would do it. I knitted another one and glued it on card board and then cut it out and sewed it together. Well while it was a good idea I shouldn’t of pulled harder on some sides than on others. It ended up as a little out of shape box.
I showed them to my friend and told her, that I am still working on some more because those are a little funny.
She said “no I like them, they are rustic”
Ok, so let me get some ribbons on them then and see how they will look.
Hahaha….that was a task of it’s own. The ribbon didn’t want to stay where I had planned it to be. I pulled out my weapon. …..my sewing needle and some thread. If you don’t want to stay where I told you to, I will sew you to the present. That’s what I did. On one I even created one of those bows that has a few loops.
Place them on the wreath and sew them to it was my last task. I thought.
I was not quite happy. I thought something was still missing. Santa needed to have something in his hands. Called my friend again. “Do you mind if Santa is holding a glass heart?”
Off to go find the right one and attach it to his hand. Now he is done! Now I can bring him over to her house.
So there you go, now you saw how much time and processing goes into making one of my mice wreath. I love creating those mice, each of them is unique. Has it’s own personality. But because of it it takes me a little longer because there is a lot of undoing before I get it right.
I hope you enjoyed the little insight.