Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PoodleFest 2010: This is your brain on Poodles!

Mother is ignoring Baby, hoping Baby will drown herself and she’ll finally be free from the soul-crushing tedium of middleclass suburbia. “I was glamorous once,” she tells her reflection in the mirror. “Why, my prom dress still fits!”

But there’s still hope for this desperate housewife. All she has to do to restore meaning to her humdrum life is take up knitting and start covering everything in her home with poodles.

She can start right away with the toilet paper rolls. Because nothing adds sophistication to a toilet roll like that perennial class act, the poodle.

Poodle Toilet Roll Cover from “Bazaar Time” c. 1965

See? He’s dressed to the nines in black satin ribbon! Who needs cosmopolitan parties where handsome men bring you cocktails? Just make this adorable little gentleman, and every time nature calls, you’ll be putting on the Ritz!

And he won’t breathe a word about the vodka bottle you’ve hidden in the toilet’s water tank.

Bonus: you’ll never have to drink alone again.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Knitted Poodle
This handsome fellow is the very first entry in this year’s PoodleFest. Yes, for the entire month of September, I will be inflicting sharing a wide variety of vintage poodle patterns with you. Make them, wear them, decorate your home with them, and send me pictures of the poodle-riffic results!

Lest we forget, last year’s perky poodle patterns are still available here.

2 (50g) balls Patons Double Knitting in Snow White 504.
I can easily believe that this poodle needs a 504 plan. Sure, we should never judge on the basis of appearance, but it’s hard to ignore the vacant, asymmetrical eyes, the lolling tongue...

What that? 504 is just the lot number?

Never mind then.
Oddment of Black for Nose.

Pair each Nos. 9 and 6 Milward Disc needles.
Probably 3.75mm and 5mm, with the No. 9 needle being the smaller one, since Milwards is a British company.
2 black buttons. Black ribbon for paws, scrap of red felt for tongue. Cotton wool for stuffing. Shirring elastic.
The black ribbon isn’t so much “for paws” as it is “for neck” and “for top knot”. Maybe, this pattern’s author needs a 504 plan!

I’m going to get letters, aren’t I?
Starting at base with No. 6 needles, cast on 12 sts.
1st row - K.1, (inc. in next st.) 11 times: 23 sts. 2nd and every alternate row - Purl.
3rd row - *K.1, inc. in next st.; rep. from * to last st., 5th row - *K.2, inc. in next st.; rep. from * to last st., K.1.
In my defense, my best friend is mentally disabled, and has a doctor’s note to prove it. So, the jokes above are no worse than an Irish person’s best friend making jokes about drinking, right?

Please don’t hurt me!

7th row - *K.3, inc. in next st.; rep. from * to last st., K.1. 8th row - Inc. in first st., P. to end: 57 sts.
Now work in patt. as follows: -
1st row - K.1, * sl.1, K.2, p.s.s.o. the K.2, y.fwd.; rep. from * to last 2 sts., K.2.
Pay close attention here! “P.s.s.o. the K.2” is not the same as “P.s.s.o. then K.2.” I mention this only because I know someone (totally not me) might read too fast and not notice the difference.

Okay, yes, it was me.

Did I mention there’s going to be a DIY for this pattern?
2nd row - Purl. 3rd row - K.2, * y.fwd., sl. 1, K.2, p.s.s.o the K.2; rep. from * to last st., K.1. 4th row - Purl.
These 4 rows form pattern.
Rep. 1st to 4th rows 6 times more.
Next row - Knit. Next row - Purl.
Cast off.
Join back seam. Thread shirring elastic through cast-off sts.

With No. 9 needles, cast on 29 sts. and work 3 in. (7 cm) moss-stitch, i.e. eery row *K.1, P.1; repeat from * to last st., K.1.
Next row - K.1, (P.3 tog., K.1) 7 times. Work 1 row straight.
Next row - K.1, (P.3 tog., K.1) 3 times, P.1, K.1.
Break yarn and thread through remaining sts., draw up tightly and fasten off.
Join back seam and stuff firmly.
Remember – stuff firmly! You don’t want a limp poodle protecting your toilet paper. Why anyone might come in and steal it! And then where will you be?

With No. 6 needles, cast on 9 sts, and work 2 ½ in. (6 cm) moss-stitch. Cast off.
Sew cast-on edge to cast-off edge. Gather up one end. Stuff firmly and sew to head.
Embroider Nose with black satin-stitch. Cut small piece of red felt for tongue and sew to base of black satin-stitch.
Sew on buttons for eyes. Sew Head to Body.

Large - Wind yarn over 3 fingers 80 times, remove from fingers and tie tightly round centre. Cut through loops and trim round into shape.
Make 9 smaller ones for face and body: make as for large pompon but only wind yarn 60 times.
Sew large pompon to top of Head, then sew smaller ones to Body thus: -
One at base of Body for tail, one each side of Nose, and Head, the others for paws as in photograph.
Tie small bow of ribbon round base of pompon on Head; tie ribbon round neck.
If one black tie poodle isn’t enough to brighten those homemaker’s blues, feel free to make him a friend. But if you find yourself making a hundred, like June Larimore and her sister did in 1978, you may wish to consult a professional.

Handmade by Mother recommends you preserve your sanity by knitting and crocheting different kinds of poodles.

Coming up... more poodles!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. WOW! JUST what I've been looking for - now all I have left as a challenge is a plastic mesh kleenex box....

  2. I would have considered making this poodle DIY, but the fact of having to roll the yarn 620 times over three fingers to make 10 pompons is a bit discouraging.Better wait for the next pattern,hoping that it will need not more than 6 pompons! Hind

  3. Dorothy - when you finish making this poodle, I'd love to see the result! I'll even do a DIY post, if you like.

    Hind - I did make this poodle, and yes, the pompoms were pretty tedious. Sadly, the next pattern has just as many pompoms, and it's also much uglier than this one. It gives me an evil idea though - when I run out of poodles I can do pompom fests instead!

    There's a pompom-less poodle in the queue for next Tuesday. However, I don't know if endless loop stitching is much better.

  4. Oh! How'd I miss this one, getting extra yarn so I can make a matching TP cozy to go with my scrubbing bubbles canister cozy haha! I can't stop laughing just picturing it.

    Going to need a special shelf just for this stuff to sit on. haha

  5. This pattern is great! I've got one of them sitting on the back of my toilet right now and it looks even better than in the photo.

    In fact, it didn't even traumatize my children, unlike the Barbie Christmas caroler toilet paper cosy. http://handmadebymother.blogspot.com/2009/12/diy-not-must-have-toy-of-christmas-2009.html

  6. You made me laugh a lot! Your blog is brilliant! I LOVE it!!! ♥