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Crochet Your Own Ferret Toys

Use these three crochet patterns to create fun ferret toys.

By Katrina Sword
Posted: September 22, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Attention ferret shelter operators in the United States: You can enter to win an assortment of these toys, courtesy of Katrina Sword. Just send us your name, and your shelter's name and shipping address by November 3, 2008. Limit of one entry per shelter. To enter, click here>> 

Crocheted rattling ball
© Cioli & Hunnicutt/BowTie Inc.
Jingle bags can easily be made with a scrap of material and a jingle bell.

Ferret Crochet Toy Pattern 1: Crocheted Rattling Ball

Materials Needed:
4-ply yarn: A few yards of red and blue, or colors of your choice
A small amount of polyester stuffing
1 jingle bell pouch, which is a ¾ inch jingle bell sewn into a fabric pouch for safety. To make a jingle bell pouch, fold a 2 inch by 4 inch fabric scrap in half, make a ½-inch seam along two of the three open edges of fabric. Turn the pouch right-side out, place jingle bell inside, and sew across open end to secure bell inside. This is a safety pouch to keep bell from being loose inside stuffing of toy.
Hook, size F
Yarn needle

Note: Always crochet through both top loops of the stitch you are working into unless otherwise stated in this pattern

Striped Ball
Rnd 1: With red, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Do not join, but place a short piece of contrasting color yarn between last and first sts of rnds to mark and carry it up on each rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around, drawing up last loop of last sc with blue. Tie yarns together and do not fasten off red, as you will be using it every other rnd. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: *With blue, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around, drawing up with red in last loop of last st. (18 sc)
Rnd 4: *With red, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * around, drawing up with blue in last loop of last sc. (24 sc)
Rnds 5 through 9: Alternating colors each round, work even in sc (to work even in sc: sc in each st around). (24 sc each rnd)
Rnd 10: *With red, dec over next 2 sc (to dec: draw up a loop in each of next 2 sc, yarn over and draw through all three loops on hook), sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * around, drawing up with blue in last loop of last st of this rnd. (18 sc) Fasten off red. Stuff the crocheted ball with stuffing, adding a “jingle bell pouch” in the center of the stuffing. (A “jingle bell pouch” is a small fabric sack made with a jingle bell sewn inside of it.)
Rnd 11: *With blue, dec over next 2 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Rnd 12: *Dec over next 2 sc, repeat from * around, sl st in next st. (6 sc) Fasten off leaving 8" of yarn. Finish stuffing ball. With end of yarn in yarn needle, weave yarn through sts in last rnd of ball, pulling tight, secure and hide end of yarn inside ball.

Smiley face ball
© Cioli & Hunnicutt/BowTie Inc.
Rattle balls can be crafted in a variety of patterns.

Smiley Face Ball
Rnd 1: With yellow yarn, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Do not join, but place a short piece of contrasting color yarn between last and first sts of rnds to mark and carry it up on each rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: * 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Rnd 4: * 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Rnds 5 through 9: Work even in sc (to work even in sc: sc in each st around). (24 sc each rnd)
Rnd 10: * Dec over next 2 sc (to dec: draw up a loop in each of next 2 sc, yarn over and draw through all three loops on hook), sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * around. (18 sc) Stuff ball with stuffing, adding a jingle bell pouch in the center of the stuffing.
Rnd 11: * Dec over next 2 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Rnd 12: * Dec over next 2 sc, repeat from * around, sl st in next st. (6 sc) Fasten off leaving 8" of yarn. Finish stuffing ball. With end of yarn in yarn needle, weave yarn through sts in last rnd of ball, pulling tight, secure and hide end of yarn inside ball.

Face: Split a 4-ply strand of black yarn into two 2-ply strands. With a 2-ply strand of black yarn in yarn needle, embroider eyes and a smile on one side of ball.

Hair: (Optional) With a 2-ply strand in yarn needle, embroider long straight stitches from center of Rnd 1 making stitches to Rnd 3 or 4 over face and down to Rnds 5 or 6 in back of head.

Other Variations
Wider Stripes: Make 2 rnds of each color.
More Stripes: Use several different colors, changing colors each rnd [or whenever you run out of one color] – this is a great way to use up small scraps.
Half and Half: Crochet Rnds 1 through 6 with one color, and crochet Rnds 7 through 12 with another color.
Solid Color with Flowers: Crochet ball using one color. Embroider flowers, (or stars, or stripes) on it using a yarn needle and baby yarn or 2-ply strands of other colors of yarn.

I’m sure you’ll think of even more variations of this. It is fun because you know your favorite ferret or furry friend will get hours of play with each ball that you make. Making lots of different colors and combinations increases sales to benefit shelters, too.

Happy Crocheting!

Mercedes' mouse toy
© Cioli & Hunnicutt/BowTie Inc.
These crocheted mice could become your ferret's favorite toy!

Ferret Crochet Toy Pattern 2: Mercedes’ Mouse Toy
Materials Needed:
4-ply yarn: 1/4 oz. of gray (or color of your choice) and 15 inches of black
A small amount of polyester stuffing
For Fishing Pole: 3-foot, ¼ inch wooden dowel and a 36-inch piece of white yarn (optional)
1 jingle bell pouch, which requires a small scrap of cotton fabric 2 inches by 4 inches and a ½ inch jingle bell.. To make a jingle bell pouch, fold the 2 inch by 4 inch fabric scrap in half, make a ½-inch seam along two of the three open edges of fabric. Turn pouch right side out, place jingle bell inside, and sew across open end to secure bell inside. This is a safety pouch to keep bell from being loose inside stuffing of toy.
Hook, size F
Yarn needle

Note: Always crochet through both top loops of the stitch you are working into unless otherwise stated in this pattern.

Body
Rnd 1: Starting at mouse’s nose with gray, ch 2, 4 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Do not join, but place a short piece of contrasting color yarn between last and first sts of rnds to mark and carry it up on each rnd.
Rnd 2: Sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc. (6 sc)
Rnd 3: Sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc. (7 sc)
Rnd 4: Sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in last sc. (9 sc)
Rnd 5: *2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc, repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Rnd 6: *Sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (15 sc)
Rnd 7: Sc in each of next 9 sc, working in back loop only, sc in each of remaining 6 sc. (15 sc)
Rnds 8 through 12: (Working again in both top loops), sc in each sc around. (15 sc each rnd)
Rnd 13: *Dec over next 2 sc (to dec: Draw up a loop in each of next 2 sc, yarn over hook and draw through all 3 loops on hook), sc in each of next 3 sc, repeat from * around. (12 sc) Stuff nose and body of mouse, including a jingle bell pouch with stuffing for rattle sound.
Rnd 14: *Dec over next 2 sc, repeat from * around. (6 sc) Sl st in each of next 2 sc. Do not fasten off, but continue to crochet tail.

Tail
Ch 26, sl st in 2nd and 3rd chs from hook, sc in each of next 23 ch, skip next 2 sc on Rnd 14 of body, sl st in next sc. Fasten off leaving 6 inches of yarn. Finish stuffing mouse. With end of yarn in a yarn needle, weave yarn through sts of last rnd, draw up tightly and secure.

Ears
With nose of mouse facing you, attach gray yarn with a sl st in first front loop [on the far right] of Rnd 6, ch 2, 2 dc in same place, in next front loop make (dc, hdc, ch 1 and sl st). This finishes first ear, sl st in each of next 2 front loops of Rnd 6, in next front loop of Rnd 6 make (sl st, ch 1, hdc, dc), in last front loop of Rnd 6 make (2 dc, ch 2, sl st). Fasten off and pull yarn ends inside of body using a yarn needle.

Whiskers, Nose And Eyes
Cut a 15" piece of black 4-ply yarn. Using yarn needle, insert yarn into side of mouse’s nose, bringing needle out on first round and leaving about 2” of yarn on side of nose for whiskers, make a couple of stitches of top of Rnd 1 of nose to form nose tip, then bring needle up in Rnd 5 of mouse’s face on one side to make first eye. Each eye is made by making 3 to 4 small stitches over the same spot. After making the second eye on other side of face, make a long stitch into head, bringing yarn out of other side of nose, across from beginning yarn to make whiskers. Trim whiskers to about 1" in length and split into two 2-ply strands.

Mouse is ready for play.

To Make Fishing Pole Toy: Tie one end of a 36 inch piece of string to a stitch in Rnd 2 on top of mouse’s nose, and tie the other end of string to a 3-foot, wooden, ¼-inch dowel. The dowel can be used to swing the mouse like it’s running to give a life-like mouse-chase game for you and your ferret (or cat).

One More Idea: Put a key ring or chain in the tip of this mouse’s tail, and use it to hold your keys. With this, you’ll never be caught without a ferret or kitty toy!

However you finish this mouse, it will make a nice item to sell to bring in money for your favorite ferret (or pet) shelter.

This mouse was originally created for my little ferret, who definitely lives up to the name she came with, Mercedes. She has played with her mouse toy so much that the mouse now looks fuzzy. She grabs the mouse, after a bit of a chase, and takes off with it to one of her hidey places, then shakes the mouse a few times. When she takes off with the mouse I sometimes just drop the dowel to give her free reign, and she will run the length of the hallway and go under the bed with the mouse. I hope this proves to be as fun for other ferrets (and cats) as it has been for my sweet Mercedes.

Happy Crocheting!

Egg covers
© Cioli & Hunnicutt/BowTie Inc.
Egg covers can be small or large, permanent or removable.

Ferret Crochet Toy Pattern 3: Egg Covers

Small Plastic Egg Cover
Materials Needed:
Hook, size H
4-ply yarn

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Do not join, but continue working in unjoined rounds throughout.
Rnd 2: Working in back loop only throughout, 2 sc in each sc around. (10 sc)
Rnd 3: * 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (15 sc)
Rnds 4 through 6: Sc in each sc around. (15 sc each rnd)
Rnd 7: *Dec over next 2 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (10 sc)
Rnd 8: Partial Rnd: *(Dec over next 2 sc) twice, sc in sc, sl st in next sc. Fasten off leaving 4” of yarn.

Finishing: To make a removable cover, weave end of yarn loosely through stitches of last rnd. Then crocheted cover can be removed for laundry purposes, or to change items inside egg to make different sounds. To make this into a permanent cover, place bell inside plastic egg, slip egg into crocheted cover, and with yarn end in a yarn needle, weave end of yarn in sts of last rnd, pull tight and secure.

Regular Plastic Egg Cover
Materials Needed:
Hook, size H
4-ply yarn

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Do not join, but continue working in unjoined rounds throughout.
Rnd 2: Working in back loop only throughout, 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: * 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Rnds 4 through 7: Sc in each sc around. (18 sc each rnd)
Rnd 8: * Dec over next 2 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Rnd 9: * Dec over next 2 sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around, sl st in next sc. (9 sc and 1 sl st) Fasten off leaving 4” of yarn.

Finishing: Same as for Small Egg Cover

Making these covers so that you can remove the plastic egg has several advantages. They can be laundered. If a plastic egg breaks, it can be replaced. You can change the items inside the eggs to give them different sounds and feelings. Several grains of old-fashioned long-cooking rice, a large jingle bell, a marble, several small pebbles — all give different feelings and sounds to the eggs. For your cat or kitten, a small fabric pouch of catnip might be tucked inside an egg.

These covers can be decorated in many ways. You can change colors every rnd, or alternate two colors. Flowers or snowflakes, X=s, or faces can be embroidered on single color cover.

Warning: If your pet tends to bite and break the plastic eggs, remove the egg, put some stuffing and a bell inside the crocheted cover, and sew the bottom shut. It will make a great washable toy and is safer for your pet.

Katrina Sword learned to crochet at age 6. She has designed patterns since 1980 and had some published in Crafts Magazine and Needlecraft For Today. 

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Crochet Your Own Ferret Toys

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Reader Comments
i am actually crocheting a ferret cage cover!
Rhyann, Dugald, MB
Posted: 8/10/2011 8:51:45 AM
It is wonderful, I am trying to learn crochet, I know my ferrets love the eggs that I bought.
Thank You so much!
Marie, Cowichan Bay, BC
Posted: 11/16/2010 6:41:08 AM
I actually did make the ball and the ferrets loved it! I can hear them at night caring it around as it jingles! It was not difficult to make, even for a beginner like me.
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 10/4/2010 5:28:54 AM
I have six ferrets who all love to play with stuffed things, so this will be a great/affordable toy for them. Will have to try it!
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 10/1/2010 11:15:27 AM
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