If you give a mouse a passport...

 

My kids don't know it yet but they have three little mice that will be put in their stockings this holiday. I knit them up using the pattern Marisol the Knitted Mouse by Rachel Borello Carroll.  I have wanted to knit these little mice as stocking stuffers for many, many years now and this was finally the year! 

I knit each mouse in a different color (to avoid any confusion) and to use up stash yarn leftover from various hats over the years. If you knit boring man hats, this pattern can help you with those little leftovers of grey, black, and brown. 

The pattern knits up quickly and is not too fiddly as far as little toys go. I admit the hardest thing about knitting these toys is keeping them secret since November. As I knit them I started thinking about how the kids would play with them. Right now, everything has a backstory. As a mom I thought this might be not only a great excuse for me to reach out to some knitting friends I've "met" from around the world, but to also teach my kids a little something about another country. 

I asked my friends, (one from Australia, one from England, and one living in Switzerland) to help me name these mice. Turns out these gals were the Hallmark commercials of mice naming. I would get a name and get all teary eyed at the amount of thought and meaning behind the names. 

 

This is Merindah. She comes from Australia where her name means "beautiful" in the indigenous language. 

 

This is Schoggi (Shock-key is as close to a pronunciation as this Nebraska girl can get, though I've tried all day). She hails from Switzerland where her name in Swiss-German means "chocolate". 

 

This is Mousey Thompson, named after Robert "Mousey" Thompson who built furniture in North Yorkshire, England and carved a little mouse on every piece he made. 

I have written letters of introduction for these mice. They have maps of where their country is. For the older girls, the mice explain about the country they come from. For my younger son, he will be more interested in how to care for this little mouse (scared of the dark and likes to eat cheese). I even printed little passports for the mice. I printed off pictures, flags, and passport stamps to help fill in the passports. 

I hope the kids like these as much as I have enjoyed making them. I realize that they will be a little overloaded with toys and a knitted mouse may find it hard to compete with new games and toys, but I think that as the rush of the holidays simmers down, they will find a good afternoon of play. 

Thank you to Sarah, Chrissy, and Melinda for being great knitterly friends and humoring me with the naming of knitted mice. You all put such thought into each name and I love that you did that. Hugs to all of you!