Phoebe Mouse Love



Imagine my delight when my 3 year old daughter asked me to knit her this doll, then proceeded to help me choose all the yarn! It was a sweet collaboration, one filled with PB’s questions about knitting, color input, and urging me to work on Phoebe just a little more often.

Is my Phoebe Mouse done yet? she would say.  Then I would pick up the knitting and work on the mouse a little bit while she watched.  Sometimes she would even sit on my lap and put her small hands over mine as I moved the needles to knit a few stitches.  She wouldn’t stay long, but it was always enjoyable.

I finished Phoebe in time for Valentine’s Day, and PB was thrilled to discover her that morning.  There was just one problem: she only had a nose!  It was another day or two before I sat down to work on her face; embroidery is not something I’ve spent much time on, but I think her face turned out sweet.  

Now there’s just the matter of her impending wardrobe, about which I also have lots of helpful suggestions. For now, Phoebe is just fine playing “nudey.”


Yarn Along :: Phoebe Mouse



Inspired by Ginny: ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

I have a modest collection on knitting books for children, and keep them on a special shelf near my yarn.  Every special once in a while, PB asks if we can “read a knitting book,” and we choose one to read together.  Recently she requested we read Phoebe’s Sweater, a beautifully illustrated book by Joanna and Eric Johnson.

After the story, there are some beautiful knitting patterns for a girls sweater and a large stuffed mouse doll with a matching sweater and dress.  I’ve always wanted to make PB the sweater, but on this day it was the darling mouse that caught her eye.

Mama, will you knit me this mouse please?

Sure, sweetie.  What color should it be?

Let’s look in your yarn cabinet, mama. 

Be still my heart!  We proceeded to look through the stash and discuss color options, and she ended up insisting upon a relatively new-to-me skein of Madelinetosh Vintage in Moccasin.  I tried to convince her of other options, but she would not be swayed.  And she’s right; this chocolate-brown yarn was the best choice for a little mouse, perfectly matching the weight and yardage requirements.

Phoebe Mouse is a quick, seamless (except for the ears) toy, something I haven’t made before.  I’ve finished the body since taking this picture on Monday, and am on to the extremities.  The best part is, every couple of days she asks me to sit down and work on her Phoebe Mouse.  Gladly my dear, gladly.

What’s on your nightstand and in your project basket this week?

ps. The Johnson’s have since published two more, equally charming children’s books: Freddie’s Blanket and Phoebe’s Birthday. View them here.


I knew that although PB won the initial battle, I would ultimately win the wear-this-sweater war.

Granted, I snuck it on while she was busy at playing, but she did leave it on all day.  It’s a perfect fit, and I am back to thinking about making her another sweater this winter.  Cinnamon, Tea Leaves, Petite Facile, Milo, Phoebe’s Sweater, and Camilla Kid are all strong contenders.

What are you dreaming of knitting next?

Yarn Along:: Page Turners and Simple Knits

From small things:  Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? 

This week I am reading The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty.  At first glance you think this book is going to be about a family’s fallout after a deadly car accident. And that part of the story is complex, touching and challenging, to be sure. The flashbacks to the narrator’s childhood and early married life is what is really resonating with me, however. It all works together to make a story that is rife with the complexities of parent-child relationships, parenting, and marriage.  While it’s not the most cheerful book ever written, it is one that I am consistently staying up past my bedtime to read, and that’s always fun!

On the needles is a sweet little dress from Phoebe’s Sweater, a book I first learned about when Ginny made her daughter the namesake sweater. While I aim to make PB the charming hooded sweater coat at some point, making the mouse doll and dress is more my speed these days. Yarn is Imperial Yarn Columbia 2-ply from Stash.

What’s on your nightstand and needles this week?

Three Books & a Sweater

In my last post I mentioned something about clearing out the knitting basket a bit in January.  At the end of 2010, I had 3 projects lingering from the year: Hamamelis, TTL Mystery Socks, and the Climbing Vines pullover.  In keeping with the natural yearning for a fresh start this time of year, I fantasized about having these projects finished in January.  More realistically, I just hope to finish up the sweater this month, moving on to the socks afterward.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new wool sweater to wear while the weather is still cold?  That’s what I’m telling myself, and it’s working.  Plus, the verdant green in the Dream in Color yarn is a breath of fresh, spring-like air and has me fully entertained through the miles of stockinette.

So far, I’ve completed the sleeves and am halfway up the back.  Saving the best for last seems to be a good motivation for me, and so I am knitting toward some lovely, leafy charts on the front.  Once I get all the pieces knit up, I will be searching high and low for the motivation to seam them together, I’m sure!

This week I am reading 3 lovely books.  I tend to have more than one book  (and knitting project, ahem) on the go at once.  Typically there’s a fiction and nonfiction option to suit my mood at any given time.  Over the weekend I picked up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in hopes it would help me get my imagination in order in time to plant a spring garden.  Unsurprisingly, it has also gotten me thinking about eating more seasonally, which in January can be somewhat of a bleak undertaking.  Imagine my delight, then, when I was shopping this week and found locally grown kiwi fruit!  Not kidding!  If it were April 1st, I would think this were some sort of locavore joke, but apparently someone in town has a greenhouse so who am I to refuse these green gems?

Up next is the hot-off-the-press debut novel Unearthly by Cynthia Hand.  I’m not typically into Young Adult Fiction, although I am a devoted Harry Potter fan and am somewhat embarrased to admit I’ve wasted a few hours of my life on The Saga.  I picked this book up because a friend of mine from college wrote it!  Naturally we have to support these things, and Sweetie marched right down to Borders (after I called every bookstore in town to see if they had it), and made them put the book out on display.  She’s definitely someone you want rooting for you, eh?  I have only read the first few pages, but have already found the book to be captivating.  Do me a favor and go check out the description on Cindy’s website and think about whether you or someone you know might enjoy this book.  I hear angels are the new vampires…

And last but not least is the sweet Phoebe’s Sweater.  I got this for Christmas from my mom, and could not have been more pleased.  Part children’s story, part knitting book, it’s a lovely blend.  There’s this mama mouse who spends all winter and spring knitting a sweater for her daughter mouse; and then there’s a pattern for the very same sweater at the end of the book!  Not to mention patterns for a charming little mouse complete with a dress and matching sweater.  I can hardly wait to knit up something from this book, and am heartened to know that even in the world of fictitious mouse knitting, it’s okay for a sweater to take months to knit.

So that’s what I’m knitting and reading this week.  If you’d like to yarn along, head over to small things and put your blog on the list, or leave a comment here telling me what you’re up to.

I’m still trying to finish my sweater by the end of January, though.  I mean it.