Sunday, May 31, 2009

What your kitchen needs is more pompoms!

Poodle Tea Cosy Pattern from "Gifts and Novelties by Mary Maxim" Vol. 1, c. 1960.

These days it’s all rage to breed poodles with other dogs, resulting in adorable Labradoodles, Cockapoos, Schnoodles and Doodleman Pinschers. Less known are the highly controversial crossbreeding experiments conducted in the late 1950s involving poodles and common housewares. While we’re all familiar with the Toastoodle tragedy, thanks to the recent 60 Minutes expose, you may not be aware of the marginally more successful Teapoo AKA the Poopot.

If, of course, you define success as an eviscerated blue Orlon Poodle.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Poodle Tea Cosy


Of Mary Maxim Knitting Worsted/Double Knitting or Sayelle* Nantuk
Any typos in the above sentence are not the responsibility of the transcriber. However, investigation reveals “Sayelle*Nantuk to be 100% Orlon, 4ply. Rest assured, this bad boy will survive the Apocalypse.
One steel crochet hook size 00.

Abbreviations: See page 23.
Note: Instructions are given for 6-cup size, and for larger size in brackets following.
Good God. Now I’m looking at that poodle and all I see are D-cups instead of paws.

Using steel crochet hook, make a chain of 30 (35) sts.

1st row: D.c. into back 2nd ch. from hook, d.c. into back of each ch. to end. Ch. 2, turn.

2nd row: **D.c. into back of each st. Ch. 2, turn**

Rep. from ** to ** 16 times more

19th row: D.c. into 14 (16) sts., ch. 10 (12), skip 10 (12) sts. of previous row, d.c. 4 (5). Ch. 2, turn.

Now work from ** to ** 17 times.

Join side seam by work s.c. through one st. from each side 10 (12) times, s.c. 14 in front side only, s.c. 4 (7) through both sides—lower edge. Fasten off.


Ch. 6, join in circle with sl. st. into first st. Ch. 1.

1st round: 2 s.c. in each stitch. Join with sl. st. to first st. Ch. 1.

2nd round: *2 s.c. in first st., s.c. in next st.; rep. from * to end, join with sl. st.

3rd round: Same as 2nd round.

4th round: S.c. into each st., join with sl. st.

Rep. 4th round until work measures 4 ins. from the beg. Fasten off. Place a piece of cardboard tubing 4 ins. long inside head to keep it firm.
Notice how the cardboard tubing was not mentioned in the Materials list above? No need to panic! It’s just a 4 inch length of toilet paper tube. (Fun Trivia: Real ladies never say “toilet paper”, they say “cardboard tube paper” instead.)
Sew body to head, gathering in body to fit head.

Ears (Make Two):

Ch. 12, work one d.c. in 11 ch., 3 d.c. in next 2 sts., d.c. to end. Fasten off. Sew ear to each side of head.


Ch. 6, join with sl. st. Ch. 1, turn.

Next round: S.c. into each st. Join with sl. st. Ch. 1, turn.

Rep. this round for one inch. Fasten off.

Sew to face, about 10 rows from neck seam.

To Complete:

Make 8 large pompons as follows:
Pay attention! Pompon (or pompom) making is a critical skill in vintage knitting. Without the pompons all you have is a naked tea cosy with a yarn-encased toilet paper tube perched on top.
Wind wool around 4 fingers, 50 times, slide off hand, tie securely in the middle.

Clip ends and strike against hand to form into shape. Clip to desired size.

Make 2 small pompons by winding around 2 fingers 25 times. Complete as for the large ones.

Sew small pompons at each side of the nose. Sew one large pompon on top of head, one on each ear about ½ inch from bottom, 4 on front for feet, 4 rows from side openings, and 10 sts. from top and bottom. Sew on button eyes; and a piece of red felt for tongue.
Buttons and felt weren’t mentioned in the Materials list either, were they? Oh well, surely you have two spare buttons and a bit of red felt. And if not, you can always cut them off a family member’s clothes. They’ll never notice.
A collar around the neck of felt or ribbon may be added if desired.
It’s like a scavenger hunt!
Sew 8th pompon to back for tail.
And finally, place your completed poodle in the center of the living room coffee table so it’s the first thing your husband sees when he comes home. It’s proof that – contrary to malicious rumour – you don’t actually spend your entire day eating bonbons and watching soaps. Instead you’ve been industriously making pompons and cutting up his clothes.

Click here for the printable pattern.

ETA: To see this charming fellow in real life, visit here, and here.


  1. Hilarious! I've been laughing at this one until I can hardly see through the tears.

    I think I've had some Sayelle 100% Orlon 4-ply stashed away for the last 30 yrs, and must have been saving it for just the right pattern. Who knows, it may be PooPot Blue too.

  2. I will be your friend forever if you use that Orlon to crochet a PooPot - in any colour!

  3. OMG I am so going to follow you. That was hilarious!

  4. Thanks, Shana! I'm glad you're signing on. :-)

  5. I think you'll like this old picture of mine.

    I have a knitted poodle bottle cover, which someone made for me. It's boobies don't look much like boobies, unfortunately, but it's black button eyes do follow one eerily.

  6. You're right, Lindsey. I love it! If I ever have the opportunity to do another DIY poopot post, I'll have to link back to your poster as well.

    I don't know how much of my blog you've read, but if you missed it, I did attempt to recreate the poodle. The unfortunate results are here...

  7. Hi again -- I've found some Eaton Dupont Orlon in *teal blue* and working on the PooPot using a 5mm hook instead of the humongeous one suggested (which I don't have and isn't even listed on my size chart). When it's finished I'll send a picture. Then, later this year I'll try to flog it at one of the craft sales I attend......hehehe (With some drastic pattern changes it might even make a good toque!)

  8. Wonderful! I can't wait to see your DIY, and I'll definitely give it its own special post.

  9. A size 00 hook with WORSTED weight? How is that even physically doable?

  10. Felix and Ava - I wondered the same thing at first, but in UK/Canadian sizes a 00 is approximately equivalent to 9mm.

  11. Just happened to see the word poodle and thought I would click on. Your comments are sooo funny. Now I just have to make this poodle for my Mom! Thank you for making me laugh today.
    "The Scrubby Lady"

  12. Thank you so much for this pattern. I just know it is going to be a hit after completion. My friend has asked me to make her a tea cosie and I KNOW she is not expecting a POODLE. I think I will make an insulated inside liner that can be removed. Once again Mum is always right.
    Pat Culver

  13. Scrubby Lady: Did you make the Poodle for your mother? Send me pics and I'll write up a DIY for you!

    Pat: And did you make one too? How did it turn out? I'd love to see, and write up a DIY for you as well. :-)

  14. This is a blast from the past! My grandmother made a pink one that looks just like this, but it fit over a small glass pop bottle in the 50s or 60s. I still have it - good thing I kept the pop bottle! Nancy

  15. OH MY GOSH, I loved your comments. couldn't stop laughing. I just taught myself how to crochet, so don't know if I can make this, but loved reading about it. Nana Jerry

  16. Thanks for sharing this pattern. I've made this tea cosy and I like it. However, it's clear that it needs tweaking to fit a more modern tea pot. It's much too long for my pot. I don't know how to send you a pic though! I'm not very computer-clever. My Grandmother used to make these poodle things as bottle covers and I always wished I had one. :)

  17. I remember my mom making poodles for nail polish bottles! Wish I still had mine!

    1. That is so cool! I'd love to find this pattern and make some.