I’ve told you guys recently that I was participating in the Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Swap Round 2. I sent my partner Millik a little knitted DEATH of Rats or D.o.R. Many threatened politely for a pattern and after Millik’s okay…. here you go:
The D.o.R or (DEATH of Rats) Pattern
To make your own D.o.R worked in the round, You will need the following:
White Yarn (worsted weight)
Tiny Wee Bit of Black Yarn for embroidering D.o.R’s eyes
Knitting Needles (I used US Size #5 DPNs)
Polyfill or your country’s equivalent of Polyester Filling (we Yanks are good at naming though, aren’t we?)
Small wee bit of black fabric (about 1/4 yard or so)
A sewing machine (but you can sew by hand if you really want to)
Embroidery Floss – white
A set of many sized crochet needles… or if having only one… well get to the directions then and you’ll see
Bamboo Skewer for shish-ka-bobs (you’ll only need one but don’t skewer any Ka-Bobs or Ka-anybody elses)
Piece of Cardboard from a pizza box (it doesn’t have to specifically be a pizza box, a calzone box will do)
Piece of twine/string
Silver Paint (the silver paint is essential… without it the entire pattern will fail!)
CO 6 sts
Rearrange 6sts evenly amongst 3 DPNS to knit in the round
R3: Kfb ea st
R8: K4, *k1, kfb, kfb, k1* repeat from * for one whole row
R10: K2, M1, K2 *k2, kfb2, k2* repeat once from *
R14: K5, kfb, kfb, K6, K6, kfb, kfb
R19: K5, *K2tog* repeat from * all around
R21: K2tog, K1, K2tog, K5, K5
R22: K2tog, K1, K5, K5
R23: K2, *K2tog, K1, K2tog* repeat from *
Stuff with Polyfill until it is firm but still squishable
Break yarn, use needle to pull yarn end through the remaining stitches
Using the wee bit of black yarn, make a knot and thread needle with nonknotted end, poke through the head viciously (there should be due to shaping and forehead type area of the head, poke needle through there). Pull yarn through, make huge french knot, and pull yarn out back by first knot. Make another huge french knot and push needle in head- BUT NOT THROUGH THIS TIME. Instead finagle needle to rounded edge, decide where you will attach the body and poke needle out through there making an anchor knot. Weave in ends. See this handy dandy diagram:
Rearrange sts evenly on the three needles to knit in round
R11: *kfb, K3* repeat from * for one row
R12: *K4, kfb* repeat from * for one row
R16: *K2, kfb, kfb, K2* repeat from * for one row
R20: *K2tog* repeat from * for one row
R22:*K2tog* repeat from * for one row
Break yarn, use needle to pull yarn end through the remaining stitches. Stuff body with Polyfill. Using CO yarn tail ladder stitch body to head, making sure you cover the anchor knot for the eyes.
D.o.R’s arms are done in I-cord
CO 3 sts
I did 25 rows of I-cording for each arm
Using yarn tail attach arms to army places on the D.o.R, weave in ends.
D.o.R’s legs are done in I-cord
CO 3 sts
I did more than 25 rows of I-cording and totally forgot to write the number down… its about 12 rows longer than the arms at least. Legs are longer than arms generally, so just make the legs longer.
Using one of the yarn tails on each leg, attach legs to where legs should go on the D.o.R, weave in ends, BUT (this is a big but… no really it is) the other yarny end that hangs by what will be the D.o.R’s feet… use it to ladder stitch the bottom inch or so in a “L” so that the D.o.R can have feet, then knot to keep in place, then weave in the ends.
For D.o.R’s tail I used white Embroidery Floss. I started with an H crochet needle and started making a chain, after 5 or so stitches I switched to the next smallest size, then did that again, and again, and again until the needle was wee and the tail was as long as I wanted it to be. If you have only one hook, start off chaining VERY loosely and tighten the slack as you go, until you get to a point where once you slip the stitch off the needle you wiggle the yarn and tighten the stitch you just made. Break a long floss tail (ha!) And thread through stitch and pull tight. Take CO/Starting yarn tail, thread through needle, and use to attach to body around the bum area, knot. Weave in end by weaving the floss in and out of the chain, stop about halfway and cut. Take BO/Ending floss tail and do the same but going up the tail, weave in and out all the way up the tail and weave into base and cut waste. The chain itself looked silly on its own as a tail which is why you added the extra weaving to make it appear more boney.
Take black cloth and lay it on table
Fold it in half , then in quarters
Lay your D.o.R with the singular fold along where his spine would be, and lay his arm along where the two folds are on top of one another.
Cut fabric below his arm (sleeve) until you get about 3/4 of an inch or an inch from the body
Then cut in an angle, ending in line with his feet and cut across. See diagram.
After you sew all the black fabric pieces for the robe, try it on your D.o.R to check fit. If it fits, remove D.o.R and turn inside out to sew seam up middle, replace D.o.R.
Cut at length you think is appropriate for a rat sized scythe
Carefully split skewer down 1 and ½ inch
Cut a scythe blade shaped piece from the pizza box
Paint all of it silver, making sure to use paint to fill in holes along side
Let everything dry
When dry slide cardboard into the split of the skewer, taking care not to split it more than you have to.
Using twine or whatever you decide, tie skewer’s split shut around the cardboard blade.
I myself made little tomahawk X’s to look cool, but you do what you want.
There you go, now you too can have a DEATH of Rats…. but if you think for one second I will make an appropriate sized Quothe the Raven …. you are nuts!