It is certainly odd to think that over a year has passed since I last had the time or energy to consider my knitting. I've been working through projects and sending them off, but I haven't taken the time reflect on them. My son has now passed his first birthday, I think it is time to return to this space, and devote a bit of time to project enjoyment and reflection.
I think that rats can be a sensitive subject. There are people in this world who love rats more than any kind of animal in the same way that there are people in this world who love dogs or cats or birds, etc. I often wonder why I delight in a squirrel my my stomach flip-flops at a rat loose in the world. To truly love rats is to join a fellowship. If you know a rat lover, tread with caution. If they have revealed themselves, they are giving you very personal information.
Tread lightly, but it is also good to celebrate. I wanted to make something for my friend's birthday, and serendipity intervened. When I have a little downtime, I will often drift over to Ravelry, and brows a feature there called "pattern highlights," a recommendation engine where new patterns are pushed to you based on things or designers you've knitted or liked. (If you go to the main "patterns" tab, the highlights are on the right hand side, half way down.) Because I had knitted a few patterns from Sara Elizabeth Kellner (Rabbit Hole Knits), and liked a few more, her new patterns always show up in my pattern highlights. Her cute little Rats! pattern showed up there, and I knew I wanted to make it. Here is the result:
As with all the Rabbit Hole Knits patterns that I've done, there is a lot of beautiful attention to shaping the piece through increases and decreases. The pattern is worked in the round, so there was very little seaming, and because so much of the shaping of the finished creature is done while knitting, I think this would be a good beginner toy project because it is much less dependent on finesse while stuffing. Using worsted weight yarn, the pattern is designed to come out somewhere close to life size, so I didn't have to make adjustments. This piece is worked on size 4 needles.