Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Power of Mattel Compels You!

Ad for Mattel, from Family Circle, November, 1974

Idle hands do the devil’s work, said her mother.

Give her something to keep her busy, said her sister.

Your daughter needs a hobby, stammered the psychiatrist, twisting his hands together worriedly.

Honestly, thought Chris, you’d think the man could have come up with something more original, considering how much she was paying him per hour.

Still, she dutifully went out to Macy’s and picked up the most time consuming project she could find. A nice, ordinary knitting machine for making hats and doll clothes, and four small balls of orange and brown yarn. There was no way her little Regan could do anything...

Anything weird with it.

For even more snark:


Regan was delighted with her new toy. She clutched it to her chest and ran off to her bedroom beaming.

Hours later, the sound of cranking finally ceased. Chris walked back to Regan’s bedroom and knocked on the door. “Sweetie? Dinner’s almost ready.”

“Come see what I made!” chirped Regan.

What could her daughter have possibly done with four balls of yarn? Chris opened the bedroom door. Regan was seated in the middle of an enormous pile of brightly coloured stuffed animals, perched on a brand new afghan, her clothes entirely fashioned out of yarn coils. As Chris stared in disbelief, the yarn snake yawned widely and wiggled its fuzzy acrylic tongue at her.

Okay, thought Chris. That psychiatrist is useless. I’m calling a priest.



Read more!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DIY - Poodle Soap Cozy!

Because Poodlefest may end, but you can’t keep a good Poo-Pattern down!


Faithful Reader Hind, in Alexandria, Egypt, e-mailed me photos of her charming Poodle Soap Cover, as well as a Poodle Pin Cushion she made from the same pattern. This particular photo (my favorite!) was taken by her very talented granddaughter, Lina (age 12).

All I can say about her Poodle is. . . OMG! Look at that adorable little collar, and the sweet bow, and EEEE! The smile! And the itty, bitty pink tongue!

I’m in love!

Let's see more:

Hind’s daughter, Butheina, took close up photos to show details of the marvelous construction of the Poodle Soap Cover. I never imagined the original pattern could be used to create something so adorable, but it just goes to show what an experienced, talented crocheter can do.


Hind writes: “I began by following the pattern for the body, using a 4mm hook, but changing it to a 3mm hook for the last 2 rounds. By this way there is no need for any sewing or elastic at all.

The soap fitted well inside the net-like body, so I started making the head, as the pattern requires. It turned out too small for the body, although I worked with the 4mm hook, so I made a new head with 10 sts instead of 7.

After the first round of d.c, I worked 4 rounds sc, using the 4mm hook, then 4 rounds using the 3mm hook to form the neck, the last 2 rounds are made with the 4mm hook. So the head consists of one round of 9d.c plus 3 starting chs, over a ring of 5 chs, then 10 continuous rounds of sc.

I started the nose, and each ear with a 5 ch, making 8 rows of sc over 4 sts. I stuffed both the head and the nose with fiber filling. The tail in the pattern is correct. I made much smaller pompons than the pattern requires.”


And if that wasn’t enough, Hind went on to make a little friend for her first poodle!

As she explains: “After two days I made a smaller body for the tiny head from the pattern, this time in sc, stuffed it with fiber filling, put a small heavy object inside the filling in the rear part to keep the poodle's balance, and made a pincushion, which proved to be very useful. I am now planning to make a small pincushion the same size of that useless soap, to replace it in the soap poodle's belly.”

I think the Poodle Soap Cozy looks a wee bit worried about that plan. But kudos to Hind for figuring out a way to make this bizarre vintage pattern into something useful!


And finally, a few more pictures from Hind’s granddaughter, Lina. These poodles look like a lively pair of ladies. In fact, I suspect they spend nights running amok through the house, when they think everyone is asleep.


You see? Now they’re on top of the TV! Clearly the pins in her back don’t slow Miss Poo-Pin down one bit.

(Lovely doilies, by the way!)


Thank you, Hind! Your spirited Egyptian poodles have brightened an otherwise very grey and rainy Canadian week.


Read more!

Wow! Poo-Pot Porn on the Net!

Faithful Reader Lindsey recently left me a comment. Well, actually, she commented over a month ago.

After all, it’s not like I totally meant to include this poodle cozy porn in PoodleFest and then completely forgot and only remembered now because I was writing up another Poodle DIY...

Okay, it’s exactly like that.

But, hey, look!

Poster originally from Lindsey’s blog, here: Penguin Horde.


And the best part? Even though Lindsey made this poster back in September of 2006, thanks to PoodleFest, you can now make the exact same pornographic poodle yourself!

Poodle Tea Cozies (And Toilet Roll Covers)

And, of course, you’ll want to send me pictures when you’re done!

Right?

I won’t grovel, you know!

*grovel, grovel*



Read more!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Your Flowerpots Are Naked, Too!

Flower Pot Covers pattern from Gallery of Crochet and Knitting, Star Book No. 89, 1952.

Now that you’ve covered up the shameful nudity of your salad servers, don’t allow yourself to lapse into self-satisfied complacency. I’ve just inspected your living room, and do you know what I saw?

Your plants lounging about in flower pots. . . without a stitch of clothing on them! That’s right, your flower pots are performing in their very own peep show on your end tables.

Now, it’s bad enough that flowers are the – ahem – privates of your flowering plant. You know, their private parts, their shameful members, their secret garden – Oh for heaven’s sakes, their genitals!

Suffice to say, you’ve already pushed the boundaries of good taste by letting these bawdy blossoms into your home. Must you compound your sin by allowing them to reside inside flower pots that are wearing nothing but their birthday suits? In front of your children?

No! You must teach these sex pot plants that your living room is NOT a nudist colony. It is your duty to bring civilization to the plant kingdom, one crocheted motif at a time.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Flower Pot Covers

Materials Required: AMERICAN THREAD COMPANY “PURITAN” CROCHET COTTON, Article 40 or “DE LUXE” CROCHET COTTON, Article 346
In the 1950s, housewives had to shout or they’d be ignored by shopkeepers. Thankfully, women no longer have to shout to get customer service, except in computer stores.
1 ball White will make 8 motifs.

Steel crochet hook No. 7.

1 Flower Pot 6 inches in diameter.
Flower optional.
MOTIF:
Be sure to shout “MOTIF!” before starting each one. An alert family is a happy family.
Ch 7, join to form a ring, ch , d c in ring, *ch 2, d c in ring, repeat from * 5 times, ch 2, join in 3rd st of ch.

2nd row. Ch 1, s c in same space, * 2 s c in next mesh, ch 3, sl st in top of last s c for picot, s c in same mesh, s c in next d c, repeat from * all around ending row with 2 s c in next mesh, picot, s c in same mesh, join in 1st s c.
Maybe you’re supposed to pause in the middle of your single or double crochet and look up what mesh means and how to picot.
3rd row. Ch 7, 2 d c in 4th st from hook leaving last loop of each d c on hook, thread over and pull through all loops at one time, * tr c in center s c between next 2 picots, ch 5, tr c in same space, ch 4, 2 d c in 4th st from hook leaving last loop of each d c on hook, tread over and pull through all loops at one time (a rice st), d c in center s c between next 2 picots, work a rice st, repeat from * twice, tr c in center sc between next 2 picots, ch 5, tr c in same space, work a rice st, join in 3rd st of ch.
During the pause between the instructions to treble (AKA triple) and crochet, I wondered why this pattern assumes you’d know how to picot, but not how to do a rice stitch.

Was there a Secret Crochet Society in the 1950s? Did they teach you how to picot during the initiation ceremony? Were you then brainwashed into believing all of your housewares were shamefully naked?
4th row. Ch 7, d c in next tr c, * ch 3, 1 d c, ch 5, 1 d c in center st of next loop (corner), ch 3, d c in next tr c, ch 4, d c in next tr c, repeat from * twice, ch 3, 1 d c, ch 5, 1 d c in center st of next loop, ch 3, d c in next tr c, ch 4, join in 3rd st of ch.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the editor of this booklet was taught how to crochet by a drill sergeant.

“Attenshun! Double – WAIT FOR IT! – crochet!”
5th row. Ch 3, 3 d c in next loop, d c in next d c, *ch 2, d c in next d c, 4 d c, ch 5, 4 d c in next loop, d c in next d c (corner), ch 2, d c in next d c, 3 d c in next loop, d c in next d c, 3 d c in next loop, d c in next d c, repeat from * twice, ch 2, d c in next d c, 4 d c, ch 5, 4 d c in next loop, d c in next d c, ch 2, d c in next d c, 3 d c in next loop, join in 3rd st of ch.
Crocheting this pattern would make an excellent alternative to KP duty. By comparison, peeling hundreds of potatoes is a doddle.
6th row. Sl st to next st, ch 3, 1 d c in each of the next 3 d c, 2 d c in next loop, * ch 2, skip 2 d c, 1 d c in each of the next 3 d c, 3 d c, ch 5, 3 d c in corner loop, 1 d c in each of the next 3 d c, ch 2, skip 2 d c, 2 d c in next loop, 1 d c in each of the next 4 d c, ch 2, skip 1 d c, 1 d c in each of the next 4 d c, 2 d c in next loop, repeat from * twice, ch 2, skip 2 d c, 1 d c in each of the next 3 d c, 3 d c, ch 5, 3 d c in corner loop, 1 d c in each of the next 3 d c, ch 2, skip 2 d c, 2 d c in next loop, 1 d c in each of the next 4 d c, s d c in 3rd st of ch (s d c: thread over hook, insert in st, pull through, thread over and pull through all loops at one time).
Wow, this pattern sure has a steep learning curve. Next time, just put your naked flower pots in the master bedroom, away from prying eyes.
7th row. Ch 8, s c in next ch 2 loop, * * ch 8, skip 5 d c, s c in next d c, ch 3, 1 d c, ch 5, 1 d c in center st of corner loop, ch 3, s c in next d c, * ch 8, s c in next loop between the d c groups, repeat from * twice, repeat from ** twice, ch 8, skip 5 d c, s c in next d c, ch 3, 1 d c, ch 5, 1 d c in center st of corner loop, ch 3, s c in next d c, ch 8, sc in next loop, ch 8, sl st in s d c.
Naked flower pots might even inspire some frisky, bedroom action, if you know what I mean.
8th row. Ch. 1 and work 3 s c, ch 3 picot, 3 s c, ch 3 picot, 3 s c over each of the next 2 loops, * 2 s c, picot, 1 s c over next loop, 7 s c over corner loop, 2 s c, picot, 1 s c over next loop, 3 s c, picot, 3 s c, picot, 3 s c over each of the next 4 loops, repeat from * twice, 2 s c, picot, 1 s c over next loop, 7 s c over next loop, 2 s c, picot, 1 s c over next loop, 3 s c, picot, 3 s c, picot, 3 s c over each of the next 2 loops, join.
Handmade by Mother is not responsible if the sight of flower genitalia causes your significant other to turn into a sex maniac. Use with caution.
9th row. Sl st between next 2 picots, ch 9, s c in center st between next 2 picots. **ch 9, skip 2 picots, s c in space over the next d c of previous row, ch 5, skip 3 s c, 1 d c, ch 7, 1 d c, in next s c, ch 5, skip 3 s c, s c in space over next d c of previous row, * ch 9, s c in center s c between the 2 picots of next scallop, repeat from * 3 times, repeat from ** twice, ch 9, skip next 2 picots, s c in space over next d c at corner, ch 5, skip 3 s c, 1 d c, ch 7, 1 d c in next s c, ch 5, s c in space over next d c of corner. * ch 9, s c in center s c between picots of next scallop, repeat from * once, ch 9, join, cut thread.
At last, we’re done! Other than making three more of these MOTIFS!
If you want to make Violet trim you will need 1 ball Shaded Lavenders, “DE LUXE” or “PURITAN” and 2 yds. narrow Lavender ribbon.
Wait, what?

None of this was mentioned back in the materials required! It’s 1:30 in the morning, what am I supposed to do? The last time I shouted cotton thread brand names outside the yarn store in the middle of the night I got arrested.
VIOLET: With Shaded ch 2, 5 s c in 2nd st from hook, join in 1st s c.
I’m including this part of the instructions under protest. And I’m not going to include the Geranium or Philodendron variations.

Not because I’m lazy. Oh no, I firmly believe that it should be enough to know how to create plain, white MOTIFS to preserve the modesty of our flower pots. Anything more, such as the addition of ribbons and decorative flowers, will only encourage plants to backslide into wanton behaviour.
2nd round. * Ch 3, 2 dd c in same space, ch 3, sl st in same space, sl st in next s c, repeat from * twice, * ch 4, 2 tr c in same space, ch 4, sl st in same space, sl st in next s c, repeat from * once, cut thread.

Work as many Violets as desired and sew to cover arranging as illustrated.

Lace 4 motifs together with ribbon as illustrated.
Yep, as illustrated in the photograph above where you can barely see the ribbon, let alone tell how it laces all four motifs together. I suggest you just tie a whole bunch of bows and trust your luck.

However, be warned. Initiates of the Crochet Secret Society will know if you’ve done it wrong. And then they’ll never invite you to their naked and frenzied Picot Parties.

ETA: See how to do it right!

Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Your Salad Servers Are Naked!

Salad Set Pot Holder pattern from Quick Tricks in Crochet Book No. 13, 1950.

I know what you’re thinking. If your salad servers are young, studly men named Juan and Julio, what’s the problem with them being naked?

Sadly, this pattern is for clothing the oversized fork and spoon used for serving salad (when someone’s looking and you can’t use your hands).

But you should cover up those salad servers. What would the neighbours think if you flaunted nude utensils at your BBQ? Clearly, the only way to avoid social ostracism is to crochet up some salad server burkas.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Salad Set Pot Holder FV-378
A “pot holder” for a fork and spoon? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
Materials:

Clark’s “Anchor” Cronita: 1 ball each of No. 43 Dk. Yellow and No. 76 Robinette, or

Clark’s “Anchor” Pearl Cotton, Size 5: 3 balls of No. 443 Dk. Yellow and 1 ball of No. 621 Turquoise, and

J & P Coats’ Best Six Card Mercer-Crochet, Size 30: Small ball (Blue Label): 2 balls each of No. 884 Shaded Pinks and No. 889 Shaded Lavenders, or

Clarks “Anchor” Six Strand Embroidery Floss, 1 skein of Black.
Jeez, I’ve had fewer colour changes for entire sweaters.
Milward’s “Ship” Brand Steel Crochet Hooks Nos. 7 and 10.
Arrrr, matey! Milward’s Ships have sailed away with the Flying Dutchman, but according to the old sea shanties, they were British hooks and not standard size. So you may be out to sea regarding what size hooks to use for this pattern.
1 wooden salad spoon and fork.
Naked.
Starting at neck edge with Dk. Yellow and No. 7 hook, ch 24.

1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch. 3, turn.

2nd row: In first sc make dc, ch 2 and 2 dc (shell made); *skip 1 sc, in next sc make 2 dc, ch 2 and 2 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn.

3rd row: Sl st in next 2 dc and in next sp, ch 3, in same sp make dc, ch 2 and 2 dc; in each sp across make 2 dc, ch 3 and 2 dc. Turn.

4th, 5th and 6th rows: Sl st in next sp, ch 3, in same sp make 2 dc, ch 2 and 3 dc; in each sp across make 3 dc, ch 2 and 3 dc. Turn. Break off at end of 6th row.

Attach Turquoise to neck and sc closely across, (ch 2, sc in end dc of next row) 5 times; *sc in next 2 dc, 3 sc in next sp, sc in next 3 dc, (ch 2, working between shell rows make sc in end dc of next shell on previous row) 4 times; sc in end dc of next shell on same row, (ch 2, sc in end dc of next shell on following row) 4 times. Repeat from * around, ending with ch 2, sl st in first sc. Break off.

Skirt
Oh yes, there’s more. Only the truly dedicated will achieve the goal of covering the nakedness of salad servers.
1st row: Skip 3 shells, attach Yellow between 3rd and 4th shells, (ch 6, sc between next 2 shells) 6 times. Ch 1, turn.

2nd row: Sc in first sc, * 6 sc in sp, sc in next sc, 7 sc in next sp, sc in next sc. Repeat from * across (46 sc). Ch 3, turn.

3rd row: In first sc make dc, ch 2 and 2 dc; * skip 2 sc, in next sc make 2 dc, ch 2 and 2 dc. Repeat from * across. Turn.
But I can’t help thinking, if the sight of nude salad servers really offends you, just dress them up in Barbie clothes. It would be a lot less effort.
4th and 5th rows: Sl st to sp of first shell, ch 3, in same sp make dc, ch 2 and 2 dc; in each sp across make 2 dc, ch 2 and 2 dc. Turn.

6th, 7th and 8th rows: Sl st to sp of first shell, ch 3, in same sp make 2 dc, ch 2 and 3 dc; in each sp across make 3 dc, ch 2 and 3 dc. Turn.
Ah heck, old socks could work as salad fork and spoon cosies too.
9th, 10th and 11th rows: Sl st to sp of first shell, ch 3, in each sp make 3 dc, ch 2 and 4 dc; in each sp across make 4 dc, ch 2 and 4 dc. Turn.

12th row: Sl st to sp of first shell, ch 3, in same sp make 4 dc, ch 2 and 5 dc; in each sp across make 5 dc, ch 2 and 5 dc. Turn.
Although, I’d recommend washing the socks first.
13th row: Sl st to sp of first shell, ch 3, 9 dc in same sp, 10 dc in each sp across. Break off.

Attach Turquoise to first sc on Skirt, sc in same place, (ch 2, sc in end dc on next shell) 11 times; * sc in next 9 dc, ** (ch 2, working between shell rows, sc in end dc of next shell on previous row) 4 times; sc in end dc of next shell on same shell row, (ch 2, sc in end dc of next shell on following row) 4 times; sc in next 9 dc. Repeat from ** once more, (ch 2, sc in end dc of next shell) 10 times; sc in end dc of next shell on same shell row (ch 2, sc in end dc of next shell) 10 times.
No, that’s not a transcribing error. Just really, overly repetitive instructions.
Repeat from * across, ending with ch 2, sc in sc on waist. Break off.

Make another piece the same way. Sew pieces together to form dress, leaving 3 shells free at top for armhole.
Goodness, yes. You wouldn’t want your salad fork and spoon to be unable to move their arms!
Flower . . .
Because you can’t attend the salad server prom without a corsage.
Starting at center with Shaded Pinks and No. 10 hook, ch 6. Join with sl st to form ring.

1st rnd: (Ch 6, holding back on hook the last loop of each tr make 4 tr in ring, thread over and draw through all loops on hook – cluster made – ch 6, sl st in ring) 5 times.
The abbreviation tr means treble which is the old-timey version of tc. Now, if you ever take a souped-up DeLorean DMC-12 back to 1955, you’ll be able to blend right in with any crocheters.
Join and break off.

Make 2 more Shaded Pink flowers and 2 Shaded Lavender flowers.

Sew Flowers to front of skirt. Embroider center of flowers with Black French knot. Slip spoon and fork in place to form head and arm.
Wonder aloud if your salad utensils would rather be more butch than femme. Realize that you’ve just outed yourself as a time traveller and scamper off to the high school prom to get your mom and dad to kiss for the first time.
Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Lovin'

V-Neck Pullover pattern from Ladies’ Home Journal Needle & Craft, Spring/Summer 1979

It had all started so innocently one Saturday night. A one night stand with a drunk chick he’d just met at the singles bar, same ol’ same ol’.

Ken had laughed off the daily love poems tucked under his windshield wipers, but the wedding magazines tucked into his Safeway grocery bags had been more disconcerting. After that he’d put his foot down and told her to leave him alone. The next day, she’d hung a naked Ken doll from his front door knob, a steak knife stuck in his back.

He thought about calling his friends, but he knew they’d just laugh at him. A big tough guy like him, scared of a little girl?

I’ll go for a run, he thought. Jogging will clear my head.

But she was already there at the park, waiting for him in athletic shorts and a sweater knit out of what he recognized as the remnants of his favorite baby blue afghan – the one he kept on his bed, in his locked apartment, the one place he’d imagined he was safe.

Grasping futilely at a last tiny shred of hope he told himself, “She’ll never be able to catch me in those crappy jelly sandals.”

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

KNIT V-NECK PULLOVER

SIZES: Directions are for Size 8. Changes for Sizes 10 – 12 and 14 – 16 are in parentheses.

MATERIALS: Tahki “Creole”, 100 gr. Skein, 100% cotton; 9 (10, 11) skns Lt. Blue, #706...
Tahki – now 15 percent more tacky!
Knitting needles No. 5 (6, 6) and No. 10 (10 1/2, 10 1/2) OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE.
All right, all right, you don’t have to shout at me! Jeez.
GAUGE: 14 sts = 4’’ on No. 10 1/2; 15 sts = 4’’ on No. 10 needles.
And I do check my gauge. Most of the time.
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: Bust – 33 1/2’’ (36’’, 40’’).
Though it’s not like a lot of the older patterns even included a gauge. And somehow our grandmothers managed to knit up garments despite that tragic oversight.
PATTERN: Row 1:– Right Side – P1, *yo, k 2 tog, k 3, p 2; rep from * across ending last rpt p 1.
I tell ya, those needy seventies gals. Always wanting to have their hands held through every pattern.

Sheesh.
Rows 2, 4 and 6: K1, * p 5, k 2, rpt from *; end k 1.

Row 3: P 1, * k 1, yo, k 2 tog, k 2, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 5: P 1, * k 2, yo, k 2 tog, k 1, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 7: P 1, * k 3, yo, k 2 tog, p 2; rpt from *, end p 1.

Row 8: Rpt Row 2.

BACK: With No. 5 (6, 6) needles, cast on 63 (63, 70) sts and work in k 1, p 1 ribbing for 3’’. Change to No. 10 (10 1/2, 10 1/2) needles.

Next row: (wrong side) K 1, * p 5, k 2; rpt from * ending last rpt k 1. Rpt the 8 rows of pattern until piece meas 15’’ in all or desired length to underarm; end with an even row of pat.
I’m impressed by the creative compression of these instructions. Sure, most patterns reduce “knit” to k and “purl” to p, and some even drop all those pesky periods after a shortened word. However, it’s the rare pattern that will reduce “measures” to “meas”.

And they say text speak is a new phenomenon!
SLEEVES: At beg of next row, cast on 14 sts. Work the next row of pat across all sts; then cast on 14 sts at end of row (2nd sleeve). Being careful to keep the sequence of pat rows, work even until 7 1/2’’ ( 8’’, 8 1/2’’) from cast on sleeve sts.

SHOULDER AND NECK RIBBING: Bind off 14 (14, 15) sts at beg of next 4 rows. Change to No. 5 (6, 6) needles and work in k 1, p 1, ribbing on rem 35 (35, 38) sts for 7 rows. Bind off in ribbing.

FRONT: Work same as back until piece meas. 13’’ in all or 2’’ less than desired length to underarm; end with an uneven row of pat.
Why on earth would “meas” be provided with a period now? No other abbreviation (including the other meas!) has had one so far. And everyone knows you can’t just go throwing punctuation around willy-nilly.

Just what did this meas do to wrest this extra “.” out of the editor? Did it involve fruit gift baskets and bottles of booze, or nude girls with strategically placed pompoms and compromising Polaroids?
NECK SHAPING: Work next row of pat across 31 (31, 35) sts. For 1st 2 sizes, p next st and place on holder; for 3rd size, p the bar between the 35th and 36th st and place on holder; work in pat to end of row. Keeping pat sequence, working left side only, dec one st at neck edge every other row 17 (17, 19) times in all. AT THE SAME TIME, when work meas. same as back to underarm, cast on 14 sts at side edge for sleeve. When all decs are complete, work even on 28 (28, 30) sts until sleeve edge meas. same as back.

SHOULDER: At sleeve edge, bind off 14 (14, 15) sts every other row 2 times.

RIGHT FRONT: Work same as left front; reversing shaping.

FRONT NECK: With No. 5 (6, 6) needles and right side facing, pick up 45 (45, 47) sts on left neck edge, k st from holder and mark for seam st, pick up 45 (45, 47) sts on right neck edge.

Row 1: (wrong side)– * p 1, k 1; rep from * to within 1 st of seam st; p 3, ** k 1, p 1, rep from ** to end.

Row 2: Work k 1, p 1 ribbing to within 2 sts of seam st, p 2 tog, k seam st, p 2 tog; work ribbing to end.

Row 3: Work in ribbing as established.

Row 4: Work ribbing to within 2 sts of seam st, sl 1, k 1, psso, k seam st, k 2 tog; work ribbing to end. Rpt rows 1 through 3 once more.
I’m shocked the editor didn’t shorten “through” to “thru”.
Next row: Bind off in ribbing, dec each side of seam st as on Row 4.

FINISHING: Sew shoulder and upper sleeve seams. Sleeve Ribbing: With right side facing and No. 5 (6, 6) needles; beg at underarm edge, pick up 73 (73, 77) sts around entire sleeve edge. Work in k 1, p 1 ribbing for 7 rows. Bind off in ribbing.

Sew side and underarm seams.
Now put on your new sweater – braless, of course! – and lurk behind a tree in the park. Sooner or later a cute victim... er, I mean studly hunk o’ manflesh will come jogging past.

Go get him, girl!


Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wow! Main Street Museum

Sadly, this year’s PoodleFest is now really and truly over. The yarn scraps have been swept away and all the empty wine bottles have been put out for recycling.

But don’t despair, because elsewhere in this great universe, the fuzzy acrylic poodle torch is still alight! Okay, that’s a terrible metaphor (bringing to mind alarming visions of flaming poodles), but the point is that I’m not the only one who believes that Poodle Cozies are High Art.

Main Street Museum – one of the niftiest little museums you’ll *ever* run across – has an extensive Poodle Cozy collection.

And for those of us who can’t make it to Vermont to see the poodles in person (which is a crying shame considering some of their live events), the Main Street Museum has put their collection online. The Crocheted Poodle Set comes complete with hilarious captions by Melissa Mendes, who has given each and every Poodle a unique personality.

Melissa writes, “Tina's been around, if you know what I mean. But underneath that skimpy crocheted unitard is a heart of gold.”

A toast to Poodle Cosies!

Read more!

DIY - PooPot in Blue

The Artist Currently Known as Speckled Hen was kind enough to share with me pictures of her fabulous PooPot. It was crocheted using the original PooPot pattern.

Speckled Hen writes, “The finished product....finally! .....yay!.....never again!”

I hope that’s only with regards to Electric Blue PooPots, because I’m definitely hoping to see more DIY projects from her!

Let's see some more pictures:

“Our kitty 'Salvador' is inspecting my work,” adds Speckled Hen.

Nom Nom Nom

“Miss PooPot seems rather alarmed now, as Salvador continues the shake-down.”

“Rather” alarmed, you say? I think Miss PooPot is seriously considering launching a sexual harassment lawsuit against the presumptuous Mr. Salvador.

At this point, Salvador takes over Speckled Hen’s e-mail and writes, "Seriously, spend more time cleaning my litter bin and less on this crap!"

Poor Miss PooPot appears to be traumatized and possibly catatonic. Nothing some hot tea won’t fix.

Note:

Speckled Hen writes: “Here are pictures of my version of the Mary Maxim TeaPoo cozy! I used some old (but new) Eaton's Dupont Sayelle Orlon. The pattern calls for a "00" steel crochet hook (which is a 3mm aluminum(?) I find out later). I used a 5mm and that is why the body turned out rather large--but I can't see why one would use a 3mm on Orlon (knitting worsted) anyway. The pompon-making method made ghastly pompons (I should have used my pompon maker--and I did, for the two small ones). I note in your next load of poodle-mania patterns that the pompon making is even more outrageous, with 75 wraps around the fingers.”

Kudos to Speckled Hen for correctly interpreting that in this pattern “Size 00” meant a 3 mm hook, not a 9 mm one like I’d assumed. And extra props to her for going ahead and using the size of hook that made sense, rather than being a slave to the instructions.

And she owns a pompom maker! I’m completely jealous now.

Read more!

DIY - Nearly Headless Fifi

Fifi has a bad feeling. Why do the lights keep flickering in an ooky, spooky way?

Let's find out:

She’s awfully glad she remembered to salt the door step. And the window sills. Everyone knows salt keeps zombies away.

Or was that just ghosts and demons?

Oh dear, thinks Fifi.

Now Nearly Headless Fifi has joined her true love, Mr. Zombie-Poo, in stalking their next victim. Okay, this dog’s only half-poodle, but Mr. Zombie-Poo says that when it comes to brains in this economy, a zombie just can’t afford to be picky.

Look behind you, Poochie!

Note: Mr. Zombie-Poo is the product of a previous DIY, and you can find his vital stats here. Fifi's pattern is here.

Fifi was crocheted in a genuine antique yarn – meaning several old dusty balls of “Pingouin confort” discovered in an elderly friend’s basement. Which, I should add, is anything but “confort” to the touch. It’s made of 10 percent Mohair, 40 percent Acrylic and 50 percent Wool, and it’s scratchy as hell.

I used a 3.25 mm (D) hook. And in the process of creating the poodle I discovered that the head is indeed meant to be unattached. I was worried that would just lead to Fifi repeatedly losing her head, so I tacked it to the back of her body.

I also discovered that Fifi best fits not a water bottle or a can of Lysol, but rather a tall bottle of Chianti AKA Red Wine. So now we know the REAL reason why our mothers and grandmothers were frantically crocheting Poodles to cover all the bottles under the sink.

I always wondered why she would kick me out of the house every time she wanted to “clean”...

Read more!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poodles, Poodles, Poodles!

Poodle Tea Cozies and Tissue Cover from Bazaar Novelties and Gifts by Beehive, c. 1960

PoodleFest 4. It’s been Poodle week here at the VD Corral!

Oh dear, that didn’t come out quite right, did it?

The point is, I’m not done yet. Today’s canine catastrophes... I mean, canine festivities, will feature even more tea cosies (and these ones are extra fluffy!) as well as a Poodle toilet roll cover.

Keep in mind, however, that while Poodle Tea Cosy can be shortened to Tea-Poo or Poo-Pot, you should resist the temptation to give your Poodle Toilet Roll Cover a cutesy nickname. Unless you really want your children telling everyone that you’ve been leaving “Poo-rolls” all over the bathroom.

Yeah, that’ll go over just dandy at the next Parent-Teacher conference.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Poodle Tea Cosies and Tissue Cover

MATERIALS:

By popular request...
Poodles are Hot!
...here are instructions for the Poodle Toilet Roll Cover and Tea Cosies to be knitted in three sizes with Patons Canadiana Knitting Worsted or Patons Carefree Canadiana. You will need:– 2 (2 oz.) balls each for the Toilet Roll Cover and the Two and Four Cup Size Tea Cosy. 3 balls for the Six Cup Size. Two No. 9 Milward Knitting Needles. 2 Buttons for eyes. Small piece of ribbon for bow.

You must use the exact yarns specified in order to be sure of satisfactory results.
Yeah, yeah... Like I’m willing to settle for just “satisfactory”. I personally have much higher standards where my PoodleWare is concerned.
TO MAKE LOOP STITCH: Insert point of right hand needle into next st. Place forefinger of left hand under point of right hand needle and wind wool loosely away from you, over top, twice around needle and finger and once around needle only. Draw these three loops on right hand needle through st. on left hand needle, dropping this st. from left hand needle in usual way. Remove finger.
Ouch!
Pass the 3 loops from right hand needle to left hand needle and knit them tog. to make 1 st. Tighten loops at back of work. Be sure to wind wool loosely enough so that finished loops will be at least 1 ins. in length.

TEA COSIES

The instructions are written for Two Cup Size. Any changes necessary for the four cup Size (4) and the Six Cup Size (6) are written in brackets thus:–( ).
*giggle* They said, “Cup Size”.
BACK: Cast on 26 sts. (4 – 32 sts.) (6 – 38 sts.). Purl 1 row. Knit 1 row. Purl 1 row. Proceed:–

1st row: K1. *Loop st. K1. Repeat from * to last st. K1.

2nd row: Purl.

3rd row: K2. *Loop st. K1. Repeat from * to end of row.

4th row: Purl.
No, I’m not a kid just because I giggle at “Cup Size”.
Repeat these 4 rows until work from cast-on edge measures 4 ins. (4 – 5 ins.) (6 – 6 ins.) ending with a purl row.

Purl 1 more row, then knit 1 row, purl 1 row.
It’s just, you know... Poodles! With Boobies!
To shape head: 1st row: K2. *K2tog. K4. Repeat from * to end of row. Purl 1 row.

3rd row: K2. *K2tog. K3. Repeat from * to end of row. Purl 1 row.

5th row:K2. *K2tog. K2. Repeat from * to end of row. 14 sts. on needle. (4 – 17 sts.) (6 – 20 sts.)
Okay, perhaps maturity isn’t one of my strengths.
Continue for all sizes:–

Beginning with purl row, work 4 tows (4 – 4 rows) (6 – 6 rows) Stocking st.

Next row: (wrong side facing). Work 1 Loop st. in each st. across row.

Purl 2 rows.

Beginning with knit row, work 2 ins. (4 – 2 1/2 ins.) (6 – 3 ins.) even in Stocking st. ending with purl row.

Next row: (K2tog.) 7 times. Purl 1 row. Break wool. Thread end through remaining sts. Draw up and fasten securely.

FRONT: Cast on 30 sts. (4 – 36 sts.) (6 – 42 sts.).

1st row: P11. (4 – P13) (6 – P15) Knit to last 11 sts. (4 – 13 sts.) (6 – 15 sts.). Purl to end of row.

2nd row: K11. (4 – K13) (6 – K15). Purl to last 11 sts. (4 – 13 sts.) (6 – 15 sts.). Knit to end of row.

3rd row: As 1st. row.

4th row: K1. (Loop st. K1) 5 times. (4 – 6 times) (6 – 7 times). P8. (4 – P10) (6 – P 12). K1. (Loop st. K1) 5 times. (4 – 6 times) (6 – 7 times)

5th row: As 1st. row.

6th row: K2. (Loop st. K1) 4 times. (4 – 5 times) (6 – 6 times). K1. (all sizes). P8. (4 – P10) (6 – P12). K2. (Loop st. K1) 4 times. (4 – 5 times) (6 – 6 times). K1.

Repeat 3rd to 6th rows inclusive for same number of Loop rows as worked on Back.

Next row: As 1st. row.

With wrong side of work facing, purl 1 row.

Next row: K2. (4 – K8) (6 – K14). *K2tog. K5. Repeat from * to end of row. 26 sts. on needle. (4 – 32 sts.) (6 – 38 sts.). Purl 1 row. Shape head as given for Back. Sew Front to Back, leaving openings for handle and spout.

NOSE: Cast on 5 sts. (4 – 6 sts.) (6 – 7 sts.). Work 8 rows (4 – 9 rows) (6 – 10 rows) Stocking st. Cast off. Sew side edges together. Sew over one end with a contrasting colour to accent tip of nose. Sew other end to head about 3/4 to 1 inch above Loop row. Sew buttons in position for eyes. The head is held in shape by stuffing with wool or inserting the cardboard section of a toilet roll, cut to desired size.
I’d recommend going with the toilet roll option. It’s more environmental – and cheaper!
POMPONS: For making, see below.
Actually, you should see the first post in this series instead. Which, of course, you already knew. And if you didn’t know it – for goodness sake, what are you doing reading PoodleFest out of order? Sacrilege! Click on that link and get right over to the first post!

Sheesh.
HEAD: Make 1 Medium Size. (4 and 6 – Large Size).

FACE: Make 2 Smallest Size. (4 and 6 – Small Size).

FEET: Make 4 Small Size. (4 and 6 – Medium Size).

TAIL: Make 1 Medium Size. (4 and 6 – Large Size).

Sew pompons in position as illustrated.

TOILET ROLL COVER

Follow the instructions for the Four Cup size Tea Cozy and when finishing, sew up both side seams. If desired, thread a length of narrow elastic along cast-on edge to draw up edge slightly.

And thus concludes my first ever PoodleFest! If you’ve been following along – and knitting and crocheting like a madwoman – you should have a veritable army of Poodle Minions by now. They’re concealing soap, Lysol, tea pots and toilet paper beneath their fuzzy exteriors.

MacGyver could easily fashion a nuclear bomb from those simple household items. So I’m sure you can come up with something even more creative – and deadly.

Go forth and conquer the world!


http://www.threadless.com/product/261/What_Would_Macgyver_Do
He’d turn it into a poodle, of course!
Click here for the printable pattern.


Read more!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Your Boudoir Needs Poodles, Too!

Poodle Soap Cover Pattern from Bazaar Novelties and Gifts by Beehive, c. 1960

PoodleFest, part the third, AKA PoodlePalooza!

Poodles can be – nay, MUST be used for more than just bottle covers and tea cosies. Your boudoir soap also needs to be poodlized. (Or your bathroom soap if you’re uncivilized enough to lack an actual boudoir.) Without a poodle to keep your soap safe inside its warm, acrylic embrace, your soap might get...

Um, cold.

And we can’t have cold soap!

*shudder*

Quick, click on the link and start crocheting!

Poodle Soap Cover

MATERIALS:

This novelty item for boudoirs can be quickly crocheted to fit a bath size cake of oval shaped soap from 1 (2 oz.) ball Patons Canadiana Knitting Worsted or Patons Carefree Canadiana and one No. F Plastic Crochet Hook (American Gauge). 2 Buttons. Length of Ribbon.

You must use exact yarns specified in order to be sure of satisfactory results.
Although I would think that choosing something that’s waterproof might yield even better than satisfactory results. Just sayin’.
BODY: Ch. 10 sts. (1 d.c., Ch. 1) 3 times in 4th Ch. from hook. 1 d.c. in next 5 Ch. (Ch. 1, 1 d.c.) 6 time sin last Ch. Ch. 1. Working along other side of Ch. work 1 d. c. in next 5 Ch. (Ch. 1, 1 d.c.) 3 times in last Ch. Ch. 1. Join with s.s. in space between Ch. and 1st d.c. Ch. 4.

1st round: 1 d.c. in same space. Ch. 1. (1 d.c., Ch. 1, 1 d.c.) in next space. 1 d.c. in next 8 spaces. (1 d.c., Ch. 1) twice in next 2 spaces. (1 d.c., Ch. 1, 1 d.c.) in next space. 1 d.c. in next 9 spaces. (1 d.c., Ch. 1, 1 d.c.) in next space. Ch. 1. Join with s.s. Ch. 3. This piece should be about 3 1/4 ins. long and 1 1/4 ins. wide.

2nd and 3rd rounds: 1 d.c. in each space of previous round. Join with s.s. Ch. 3.

4th round: 1 d.c. in next space. Ch. 1. * Miss one space. 1 d.c. in next 2 spaces. Repeat from * to last space. Miss one space. Join with s.s. Ch. 3.

5th and 6th roundsAs 2nd and 3rd rounds, omitting Ch. 3 at end of 6th round. Fasten off, leaving an end about 9 ins. long. Insert soap and sew up opening.
Um, wait... what if you actually want to USE the soap?
Note:– For removable cover, sew opening with narrow elastic.
Oh, okay! Still not sure why anyone would want a non-removable cover, though. Unless perhaps they’re planning to use it as a soap-scented paperweight.
HEAD: Beginning at top, Ch. 5. Join with s.s. to form ring. Ch 3.

1st round: 6 d.c. in ring. Join with s.s. in top of Ch.2. Ch.1.

2nd round: 1 s.c. in each d.c. of previous round. Join with s.s. Repeat 2nd round 7 times more. Fasten off, leaving an end about 12 ins. long. Stuff head with cotton or yarn and sew to curved end of first row of body. Tie ribbon around neck.
Yeah, the head can be stuffed with soft materials, but the body, no that has to be stuffed with a brick of soap, that will gradually dry up and crack and get really old and flaky and start coming out through the stitches.

Hmmm, better make sure you use elastic when you sew up the opening.
EARS: Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in 2nd Ch. from hook and in next 2 Ch. Ch. 1. Turn.

Next row: 1 s.c. in each s.c. of previous row. Ch. 1. Turn. Repeat this row 3 times more. Fasten off, leaving an end about 9 ins. long.

Make other ear to correspond. Sew to each side of first row of s.c. at top of head. For fringe, cut 8 strands of yarn 1 inch long and knot 2 strands through each st. along lower edge. Trim fringes evenly.

NOSE: Ch. 3. 1 s.c. in 2nd and 3rd Ch. Ch. 1. Turn.

Next row: 1 s.c. in each s.c. of previous row. Ch. 1. Turn. Repeat this row 4 times more. Fasten off, leaving an end about 9 ins. long. Fold piece in half and sew to head about 1 ins. from lower edge. Embroider contrasting colour over other end to accent tip of nose. Sew in position for whiskers.
Did I miss something? Sew what in position for whiskers? The nose is already attached to the face. Maybe they want more fringe. Or possibly pompoms. One can never have too many pompoms.
Sew on buttons for eyes.

TAIL: Ch. 6. 1 s.c. in 2nd Ch. from hook and in next 4 Ch. Ch. 1. Turn.

Next row: 1 s.c. in each s.c. of previous row. Repeat this row 4 times more. Fasten off, leaving an end about 9 ins. long. Fold in half lengthwise and sew edges together. Sew to curved end of body.
Also known as the poodle’s BUTT.
POMPONS: For making, see above.
Or below. In the first PoodleFest post. Or, if you’re a real risk taker, you could just wing it. Go wild and make pompoms without referring to any instructions at all! It’s like naked skydiving – only you’re not naked and there’s no risk of sudden death.
HEAD: Make 1 Medium Size.

TAIL: Make 1 Small Size.

FEET: Make 4 Medium Size.

Sew pompons in position as illustrated.
So now your bottles, spray cans and soap are all safely encased in poodles. Surely that must be all, you think.

Mwah-ha-ha! Wait for it!
Click here for the printable pattern.
ETA: Go here to see what Faithful Reader Hind did with this pattern!


Read more!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Night of the Living Poodles

Crocheted Bottle Cover, Patterns from Bazaar Novelties and Gifts by Beehive, c. 1960

PoodleFest, part 2, AKA Attack of the Killer Poodles!

Because there’s no such thing as too many poodles. Except when they want to eat your brains.

If you’re very diligent you can make one or two a day, quietly stashing them around the house.

See how long it takes for your domestic partner to notice the increasing population of poodles. Kind of like in Hitchcock’s The Birds.

Reassure your beloved that it’s not a hint, or a threat.

Although you certainly wouldn’t say no to a real live poodle, like the one on the cover of your pattern book. Doesn’t he look soft and cuddly?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

CROCHETED BOTTLE COVER

HEAD: Beginning at top, Ch. 3. Join with s.s. to form ring.

1st round: 6 s.c. in ring.

2nd round: 2 s.c. in each s.c. of previous round.

3rd round: * 2 s.c. in 1 s.c. 1 s.c. in next s.c. Repeat from * to end of round.

4th round: * 2 s.c. in 1 s.c. 1 s.c. in each of next 2 s.c. Repeat from * to end of round. (24 s.c. in round). Worked firmly, this circle should measure 1 3/4 ins. in diameter.

Work even in rounds of s.c. until work measures 4 inches from centre. Fasten off. (lower edge).

NOSE: Ch. 3. Join with s.s. to form ring.

1st round: 8 s.c. in ring.

Work even in rounds of s.c. until work measures 1 1/4 inch from centre. Fasten off. Sew to head about 3/4 inch from lower edge.

With a contrasting colour, sew about 6 sts. over tip of nose to accent it as illustrated.
I like how we can choose any colour we like, just so long as it’s contrasting. Depending on your choice of main colour, Blood Red, Ghoul Green, or Decomposing Peacock would all be appropriate choices.
EARS: Ch. 21. 3 tr. in 5th Ch. from hook. 1 tr. in each of next 15 Ch. 6 tr. in last Ch.

Working along other side of Ch. work 1 tr. in each of next 15 Ch. 3 tr. in last Ch. Join to tr. at beginning with s.s. Fasten off. Make another ear to correspond. Press lightly. Sew to top of head about 3/4 inch apart.

BODY: Beginning at bottom, Ch. 3. Join with s.s. to form ring.

1st round: * Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in ring. Repeat from * 3 times more. (4 spaces in all).

2nd round: * Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in next space. Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in same space. Repeat from * 3 times more. (8 spaces in round).

3rd round: * Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in next space. Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in same space. Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in next space. Repeat from * 3 times more. (12 spaces in round).

4th round: * Ch. 4. 1 s.c. in next space. Repeat from * to end of round. (12 spaces in round).

Repeat 4th round until work measures 7 1/2 ins. from centre, or until it fits bottle neatly up to neck.

Next round: * Ch. 3. 1 s.c. in next space. Repeat from * to end of round. Fasten off. Make a chain 12 ins. long. Darn in ends. Press lightly. Thread through last round of spaces. Tack at centre back, so that it cannot be pulled out accidentally.

POMPONS: for making, see Large Size Knitted Bottle Covers in left column.
Or in previous PoodleFest post.

Stay tuned for MORE POODLES, same PoodleTime, same PoodleChannel!
Click here for the printable pattern.
ETA - it's just occurred to me that nowhere in this pattern are we instructed to attach the heads. Maybe the heads are meant to be unattached. Maybe these zombie-poos come pre-decapitated!

ETA x 2 - Look! It's Nearly Headless Fifi!



Read more!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Your Kitchen Needs More Poodles!

Poodle Bottle Cover Patterns from Bazaar Novelties and Gifts by Beehive, c. 1960

Welcome to PoodleFest, part 1! A whole week (or more!) of Poodle Pandemonium.

I’ve listed this poodle-infested pamphlet as c. 1960, but its original publication couldn’t have been later than 1961 as that was the last year that Patons and Baldwins (Canada) Limited existed before it was engulfed in the maw of the ravenous entity known as J&P Coats, which despite several mergers failed to grow large enough to fend off the Guinness Peat mob.

The Patons brand, of course, is still around, but anyone who tells you it’s an independent entity is lying. It’s nothing but an alcohol soaked zombie now, continuously being reprinted.

Ahem. Okay, to be fair, they’re still putting out new designs. Not that they look even remotely modern.

P.S. If you are the Enid who originally owned this pamphlet, I’d love to hear from you!

So, back to the poodle-rific topic of the day! If you’ve already crocheted yourself a poodle tea cozy, then you know it’s getting lonely. If you haven’t... well, what are you waiting for? Poodles are the ultimate home accessories.

Let’s start with some bottle covers!

POODLE BOTTLE AND CLEANSER COVERS
Shown above as R


MATERIALS:

You can knit two size bottle covers in pattern or Stocking stitch. The Small Size fits a pop bottle...
Perhaps it might help to visualize beer instead of pop. They’re not talking a giant two litre bottle of Coke here. This is hearkening back to the 1960s when Coke was not just sold in harlequin patterned cans, but also in tall glass bottles suitable for a quick supper with your Coke-addicted friends.
...the Large Size fits a larger bottle or a tall can of cleanser.
That’s right, your Lysol needs a cozy! Nothing better than warm Lysol. Don’t believe that leftist propaganda about exploding cans of cleansers.
The Large Size can also be crocheted if desired...
But not today! Geez. How much do you expect me to transcribe in a single sitting? I never learned shorthand!
...and for all bottle covers you will need:– 2 (2 oz.) balls of Patons Canadiana Knitting Worsted or Patons Carefree Canadiana.
Besides, it’s not like anyone these days can read shorthand.
Two No. 10 and two No. 7 Milward Knitting Needles for the Knitted covers. One No. E Plastic Crochet Hook (American Gauge) for the Crocheted cover.
Of course text speak is basically modern short hand, isn’t it? U wudnt mind f teh rSt of teh patRn lookd lIk DIS, wud u?
2 Buttons for eyes. Small piece of ribbon for bow.

You must use the exact yarns specified in order to be sure of satisfactory results.
Only Patons products will do. Anything else and Patons agents will be coming to your house to torch your poodles. How will they know, you ask? Trust me, they will know. They’re always watching.

God damn it, where’d I put the tinfoil?
KNITTED BOTTLE COVERS
Shown above as R


HEAD FOR SMALL SIZE: Beginning at lower edge with No. 10 needles cast on 33 sts.

1st row: K1. * P1. K1. Repeat from * to end of row. Repeat this row for Moss st. for 10 rows in all.

11th row: K1. P1. K1. *P3tog. K1. P1. K1. Repeat from * to end of row. (23 sts. on needle).

Continue even in Moss st. until work measures 3 ins. from beginning.

Next row: K1. P1. K1. *P3tog. K1. P1. K1. Repeat from * to last 2 sts. P1. K1. (17 sts. on needle). Work 3 rows even.

Next row: K1. (P3tog. K1.) 4 times. Break wool. Thread end through remaining sts. Draw up and fasten securely. Sew side edges together for back seam.

HEAD FOR LARGE SIZE: Beginning at lower edge with No. 10 needles cast on 29 sts.

1st row: K1. * P1. K1. Repeat from * to end of row. Repeat this row for Moss st. for 3 1/4 ins.

Next row: K1. P1. K1. *P3tog. K1. P1. K1. Repeat from * to last 2 sts. P1. K1. (21 sts. on needle). Work 3 rows even.

Next row: K1. (P3tog. K1) 5 times. Break wool. Thread end through remaining sts. Draw up and fasten securely. Sew side edges together for back seam.

From this point the instructions are written for Small Size. Any changes necessary for Large Size (L) are written in brackets thus:–( ).
I was almost too distracted by the charming antiqueness of “thus” to notice the frowny face – and I think it’s yelling at me.
NOSE: With No. 10 Needles cast on 5 sts. (L – 7 sts.). Work 8 rows (L – 10 rows) Moss st. Cast off. Sew cast-on edge to cast-off edge. Sew over one end with a contrasting colour to accent tip of nose. Sew other end to head 1 inch above lower edge.

EARS: With No. 10 needles cast on 9 sts. (both sizes). Work 2 1/2 ins. (L – 3 1/2 ins.) Moss st. Cast off. Gather up cast-on and cast-off edges slightly to curve them. Make another ear to correspond. Sew to top of head about 1/2 inch (L – 1 inch) apart.

BODY: Beginning at bottom, with No. 7 needles cast on 9 sts. (L – 12 sts.)

1st row: Inc. 1 st. in each st. to last st. K1. 17 sts. on needle. (L – 23 sts.). Purl one row.

3rd row: *K1. Inc. 1 st. in next st. Repeat from * to last st. K1. Purl one row.

5th row: *K2. Inc. 1 st. in next st. Repeat from * to last st. K1. Purl one row.

7th row: *K3. Inc. 1 st. in next st. Repeat from * to last st. K1.

8th row: Inc 1 st. in 1st st. Purl to end of row. 42 sts. on needle. (L – 57 sts.)

From this point continue even in Stocking st. or work eyelet pattern as follows:–

1st row: K1. * Sl. 1. K2. Pass the slipped st. over the 2 knit sts. Wl.fwd.*
Wl.fwd. Wool forward? Now that’s an abbreviation I haven’t seen before. Well, no worries, this book has an extensive list of abbreviations on the back page. All I have to do is scan down to the W’s and find... absolutely nothing.

Close examination of the pattern seems to indicate that Wl.fwd. is the same as yrn (“yarn round needle”), for which there IS a listing in the back. How nice.

Warning: Handmade by Mother is not responsible for any catastrophic failures that might result from incorrect interpretation of these instructions. Proceed at your own risk.
Repeat from * to * to last 2 sts. K2. Do not forget the last Wl.fwd. as there should be a Wl.fwd. to make up for every slipped st. which has been passed over, throughout this pattern.

2nd row: K1. Purl to last st. K1.

3rd row: K2. * Wl.fwd. Sl. 1. K2. Pass the slipped st. over the two knit sts.* Repeat from * to * to last st. K1.

4th row: K1. Purl to last st. K1. These 4 rows complete one pattern.

Continue even in Stocking st. or pattern until work from cast-on edge measures approx. 6 1/4 ins. (L – 7 1/4 ins.) With wrong side of work facing, proceed:–

Next row: * P1. P2 tog. Repeat from * to end of row.

Cast off Large Size but for Small Size, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, then cast off.

Gather cast-on edge into a circle. Sew side edges together for back seam.

For Small Size, put bottle into this bag and with wool darn in and out through top edge to gather up. Draw up tightly and wind wool about three times around top to hold in place and sew end of wool securely.
I’ve just noticed that at no point has the author of this pattern instructed us to attach the head to the body. For that matter, I can’t quite visualize how our (very) warm bottle of Coke gets in and out of the cozy. Hopefully it makes more sense during the actual process of creation. (See previous Warning.)
For Large Size, crochet a chain 12 ins. long. Darn in ends. Press lightly to remove curl. Thread in and out through top edge.
Okay, this is beyond just difficult to visualize, it’s down right mind blowing. I can understand wanting a gathered end with a carry strap, but does that mean the poodle must be dangled head down whenever you want to carry it?

Damn it, I need instructional clarity!
Tack at centre back, so that it cannot be pulled out accidentally.
That wasn’t what I meant.
POMPONS: For making, see page 20.
Hidden deep within the depths of another pattern, we find...
POMPONS: Wind wool over fingers as given below, required number of times. Remove from fingers. Tie tightly in centre. Cut through each side of loops thus formed. Trim to smooth round shape. Sew in position.

Large size – Wind wool over 4 fingers 75 times.
Medium size – Wind wool over 3 fingers 60 times.
Small size – Wind wool over 3 fingers 50 times.
Smallest size – Wind wool over 3 fingers 40 times.

HEAD: Make 1 Medium Size. (L – Large Size).

EARS: Make 2 Small Size. (L – Medium Size).

FACE: Make 2 Smallest Size. (L – Small Size).

LEGS: Make 4 Smallest Size. (L – Small Size).

TAIL: Make 1 Small Size. (L – Medium Size).

Sew pompons in position as illustrated.

KNITTED CLEANSER COVERS
It’s a bonus pattern!
Follow the instructions for the Large Size Bottle Cover, noting the following adjustments:–

For the Body, cast on 57 sts. Purl 1 row. Work in Stocking st, or eyelet pattern until work from cast-on edge measures 6 ins. for small can or 8 ins. for tall can. With wrong side of work facing, proceed:–

Next row: K1. (P2tog.) 28 times. Cast off. Sew side edges together for back seam. Sew cast-off edge of body to cast-on edge of head. The head is held in shape by inserting the cardboard section of a toilet roll, cut to desired size. Slip this cover over can when not in use. If desired, thread a length of narrow elastic along cast-on edge to draw up edge slightly.
Now THIS is something I can visualize! And not only that, you can reuse another cardboard toilet paper roll, thereby saving a tree. Or at least a very small part of one.

Click here for the printable pattern.

ETA: PoodleFest Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, DIY 1, DIY 2, and Wow! Collect them all!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Granny Square Wardrobe Malfunctions

Today’s Grannies halter pattern from Crochet With Squares, 1974

Make a big square, two small squares and presto... you’re square! I mean, you’ve got a halter. A square halter, fastened in place with two smaller squares.

But squares are sexy! Just like grannies are sexy.

Hmm...

Let’s just look at the pattern, shall we?

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

HALTER

SIZE: One size to fit Misses’ 8-16
“One size fits all” will be reasonably demure on a size 8. But on a size 16, with her breasts falling out the sides – wow. Still not convinced about the “sexy”, but who knew grannies could be so slutty?
MATERIALS: 4 ply Knitting Worsted, 2 or 4 oz. skeins
4 oz. Color 1 (Dark)
2 oz. each of colors 2 (Light)
3 Medium) and
4 (Light Medium)
(sic.) Or to put it more plainly – the random bracketing and confusing numbers are not my fault. I merely type what’s there. But isn’t it nice that you can pick your own Dark, Light, Medium and Light Medium Colours? For that Early Seventies retro appeal, I suggest Avocado, Harvest Gold, Commie Red, and Agent Orange.
F Aluminum or No. 5 Plastic Crochet Hook
1 – 3/4’’ button
A button? So on a size 8 gal, this “one size” will hang like the limp dishrag it so closely resembles, while on the size 16 gal, it will truly be a “potholder”. Or not, as there’s a good chance her button will pop and her pots will fall out all over the place.
GAUGE: 4 dc = 1 inch, 2 rows = 1 inch
Yeah, you’d better make sure you’ve got that gauge right. God knows, it’ll never fit otherwise.
LARGE SQUARE: (15’’ x 15’’)

RND 1: With Color 2, ch 4, sl st in 4th st from hook to form ring; ch 3, 2 dc in ring; * ch 3, 3 dc in ring; rep from * twice, end with ch 3; break off.

RND 2: Join Color 3 with sl st in ch 3 loop, ch 3, 4 dc in same ch 3 loop as sl st; 1 dc in each of next 3 dc, 5 dc in next ch 3 loop; rep from * around, end with 1 dc in each of last 3 dc, sl st in top of ch 3; break off.

RND 3: Join Color 4 with sl st in center dc of 5 dc corner group, ch 3, complete shell by working (2 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc) in same st as sl st, * ch 1, skip 3 dc, a group of 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, a corner shell of (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in center st of next corner group; rep from * around, end with ch 1, skip 3 dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, sl st in top of ch 3; break off.

RND 4: Join Color 2 with sl st in ch 3 loop of a corner shell, ch 3, 4 dc in same loop as sl st; * (1 dc in each dc and in each ch 1 space) up to corner ch 3 loop, 5 dc in corner loop, rep from * around, join with sl st in top of ch 3; break off.
Don’t you just love changing colours every round?
RND 5: (LACY ROUND): Join Color 1 with sl st in center dc of corner group, ch 3, complete shell (same as in 3rd rnd), * (ch 1, skip 3 dc, a group of 3 dc in next dc) up to 3 dc before center st of next corner group, ch 1, a shell of (3 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc)...
Also known as “same as in 3rd rnd”!
...in center st; rep from * around, end with (ch 1, skip 3 dc, a 3 dc group in next dc) up to ch 3, ch 1, sl st in top of ch 3.

RND 6: (SOLID ROUND): With same Color, ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc; * 5 dc in corner ch 3 loop, (1 dc in each dc and ch 1 space) up to next corner loop; rep from * around, (1 dc in each dc and ch 1 space) up to ch 3, a sl st in top of ch 3; break off (there will be 8 more dc’s between corner 5-dc groups in this rnd than in previous solid rnd).

RND 7: With Color 2, rep Rnd 5 (there will be 2 more 3 dc groups between corner shells in this rnd than in previous lacy rnd).

RND 8: Repeat Rnd 6.

RNDS 9-14: Repeat last 2 rnds once each with Colors 3, 4, and 1.

RND 15: Ch 3, work (1 dc in each dc to center dc of corner group, 3 dc in center dc) around, end with sl st in top of ch 3.

RND 16: Repeat last round; break off.
Now hold up your finished square in front of your body. Imagine yourself wearing it. In public. Consider whether it might look better as a bath mat.
SMALL SQUARE: (4’’ x 4’’) Make 2.

RND 1: With Color 1, work same as Rnd 1 of Large Square; do not break off.
For the love of God, don’t break the yarn! You don’t know what could happen! Terrible, unspeakable things!
RND 2: Ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, * 5 dc in ch 3 loop, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc; rep from * twice, 5 dc in ch 3 loop, a sl st in top of ch 3.

RNDS 3 AND 4: Repeat rnds 15 and 16 of Large Square, break off.

CORD: With Color 1, work 1 yd. length of chain sts, sl st in 2nd st from hook and in each ch st; break off; secure ends.
It’s important for ends to feel secure.
FINISHING: Turn top corner of Large Square 3 1/2’’ to wrongside (see A on Chart); stitch in place. Insert cord through opening. Place a small square on opposite 2 corners of large square (B and C on Chart) overlapping squares as much as necessary for desired size...
Aw shucks, looks like Granny’s not a slut after all. Unless that’s what she desires.
...stitch in place. Stitch button for closure to X on B Square (see Chart). Use space between dc’s on opposite C square for buttonhole.


Line if desired? Good God, I take back what I wrote. Granny really IS a slut! She’s flashing her nipples at the entire neighbourhood!

Click here for the printable pattern.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ookpik DIY – Flamey Comes Out!

And the patriotic party hangover continues at Handmade By Mother!

After downing a 2-4 of beer and scarfing down a baker’s dozen of beaver tails on Canada Day, knitting up an Ookpik seemed like an awesome idea. It’s possible that the choice of Pumpkin Patch Kidlin for an Arctic Owl was not an entirely sober choice. Fortunately, the pattern barely required consciousness, as it’s just a lot of knitting in the round.

To see pictures:

However, there was some temporary confusion over which end was supposed to be up. As you can see from the photo, the head of the 1967 sealskin Ookpik is bigger than its body. Plus the instruction to seam the wider end created owl-like horns. However, I decided to go against the original instructions as the smaller end didn’t balance well on the felt base, and vintage Ookie was concerned he was being asked to worship a fluffy mohair/linen/nylon Satan.

Although the fluffy, shedding Satan thought having a partner in crime would be an awesome idea.

At last, we see the modern Pumpkin Patch Ookpik in his natural habitat. Okay, technically that’s a squash plant, but look how happy he is. In fact, you could say he’s downright gay! After all, he’s not so much a snowy owl as a flamey one, and Canada is internationally famous for legalizing gay marriage. So after much giggling, the new Ookpik was dubbed Flamey, the Gay Marriage Owl.

Vintage ookpik doesn’t know how to react to Flamey coming out. In 1967, forget about gay marriage, being gay was illegal in Canada. However, Flamey pointed out that these days being made of sealskin is controversial, so they’ve decided to be pals.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Every Day is Independance Day!

Directoire dress pattern, from McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Spring-Summer, 1972

Bonjour to my American Amis! Just because July 4th is over, and your lawns are littered with blackened cardboard tubes stamped with “Made in China”, that doesn’t mean its time to pack away the patriotic duds. And just because you’re in the mood for red, white and blue, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be cosmopolitan and French.

That’s right, French. 1972 was long before "France Sucks" t-shirts, Freedom Fries and Freedom Kissing. France was still an American ally... well, okay they pulled out of NATO, and then accused the U.S.A. of imperialism in Vietnam. But when it came to fashion, they were still your best buds from the Revolution, and they shared your patriotic passion for red, white, and blue.

So, go ahead and don this Freedom Frock in the spirit of ’72. You can wear your American patriotism from head to toe, and at the same time pretend you’re storming the Bastille. And with no risk of decapitation. It’s the best of both worlds!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

TRICOLOR GOWN

SIZES:
Directions for size 8. Changes for sizes 10, 12 and 14 are in parentheses.

Body Bust Size: 31 1/2’’ (32 1/2’’-34’’-36’’)

Finished Bust Size: 33’’ (35’’-37’’-39’’)

For body measurements, see page 28.
I'm sure you know how to use a measuring tape! Right?
MATERIALS: Unger Dolly...
Unger Dolly is a “French boucle yarn of 100% courtelle (machine-washable synthetic)”, which seems to be an alarmingly light weight. Could it be... sport weight? Ack!


...11 (12-13-14) 40-gram balls red (A), 4 (4-5-5) balls white (B) and 5 (5-5-6) balls blue (C). Aluminum crochet hook size F/4 and steel crochet hook No. 0. (Or English sizes 8 and 10)
Most likely the F/4 is 3.75 mm, and the No. 0 is 3.25mm, lending further weight to the theory that Unger Dolly is sport weight. Prepare yourself for a *lot* of crocheting!
GAUGE: 10 patterns (V st plus ch 3 is 1 pat) = 11’’. See page 24.
If you’re tackling this project and you don’t already know how to measure gauge, page 24 isn’t going to help.
Note: Skirt is worked vertically.

Dress Length Note: Skirt is planned for 39’’ length. For longer dress, work 4 additional foundation chains for each 1’’ length desired (1 V st pat); for shorter dress work 4 chains less for each 1’’.

DRESS: SKIRT: Beg at center back, with size F hook and A, ch 147 loosely (see Dress Length Note).

Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook, sk next ch, work dc, ch 1, dc in next ch, (V st), *ch 3, sk next 3 ch: work V st of dc, ch 1, dc in next ch, repeat from * across, end hdc in each of last 2 ch – 36 V sts.

Check gauge; row should measure 39’’.

Turn each row.

Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), hdc in next st, ch 3, long V st in 2nd ch of skipped ch 3 on foundation ch, * ch 3, long V st in 2nd ch of next skipped ch 3 on foundation ch, repeat from * across, end ch 3, hdc in each of last 2 sts – 35 long V sts.

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc in next st, long V st in ch-1 sp of V st 2 rows below, * ch 3, long V st in ch-1 sp of next V st 2 rows below, repeat from * across, end hdc in each of last 2 sts – 36 long V sts.

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in next st, * ch 3, long V st in ch-1 sp of V st 2 rows below, repeat from * across, end ch 3, hdc in each of last 2 sts – 35 long V sts. Drop A; join B.

Row 5: With B, repeat row 3.

Row 6: With B, repeat row 4. Drop B.

Rows 7-14: With A, repeat rows 3 and 4 four times. Repeat rows 5-14 for pat (10 rows) until piece measures about 40’’ (42’’-44’’-46’’) from start, end pat row 9 (3rd row of A).

Next Row: With A, ch 2, hdc in next st, * ch 1, sc in ch-1 sp of V st in row below, ch 1, long V st in ch-1 sp of V st 2 rows below, repeat from * across, end ch 1, hdc in each of last 2 sts. End off.

FINISHING: With A, weave back seam from upper edge down, leaving 15’’ opening at lower edge for center back slit. From right side, with A and No. 0 crochet hook, work 1 row sc around back slit, keeping work flat. Fold skirt in half lengthwise, with slit at center back; place a marker at each upper side edge.
Ha, you thought I posted this pattern too late for Independence Day. You’ll be lucky if you finish this French-style frippery by the 4th of July, 2010.
BODICE: BACK: From right side, beg at right back side edge marker, with No. 0 hook and C, work 61 (65-69-73) hdc evenly spaced along upper back edge of skirt, end at left side marker. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), hdc in each hdc across. Change to size F hook.

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc in next hdv, V st in next hdc, * ch 3, sk next 3 hdc, V st in next hdc, repeat from * across, end ch 3, sk next 3 hdc, V st in next hdc, hdc in each of last 2 hdc – 15 (16-17-18) V sts.

Row 4: Work row 2 of skirt, working long V sts in 2nd hdc of 3 skipped hdc on row 2 – 14 (15-16-17) long V sts. Working in pat, work 2 more rows C. Join B, * work 2 rows B, 8 rows C, repeat from * until bodice measures 5 1/2’’ from start or desired length to underarm, end wrong side – 14 (15-16-17) long V sts. End off.

Check gauge: piece should measure 16 1/2’’ (17 1/2’’-18 1/2’’-19 1/2’’) wide. Turn.
Or possibly Bastille Day, 2011.
Shape Armholes: Join color to be used in first V st of last row, ch 1, work 1 hdc, work in pat until 13 (14-15-16) long V sts are completed, hdc under ch 1 of last V st of row below.

Next Row: Ch 2, work long V st in next V st 2 rows below, work in pat to within 1 pat of end, hdc in end. Turn. Repeat last row once – 11 (12-13-14) long V sts on one row, 10 (11-12-13) on following pat row. Work even until armholes measure 2 1/2’’ from start, end on row with 10 (11-12-13) V sts.

Shape Neck: Keeping to pat, work until 3 (3-4-4) V sts are completed, hdc in next st of row below. Turn. Work even on these sts until armhole measures 6 3/4’’ (7 1/4’’-7 3/4’’-8’’) above first row of armhole shaping. End off. Count back 3 (3-4-4) V sts on last long row, join yarn with hdc in next st, work in pat across – 3 (3-4-4) long V sts. Work same as for first shoulder. End.

FRONT: Work same as for back beginning neck shaping 2 rows lower than on back.
Or for the end of the world in December 2012.
SLEEVES: Beg at lower edge, with No. 0 hook and C, ch 47 (49-51-53) loosely.

Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across – 45 (47-49-51) hdc.

Rows 2 and 3: Ch 2, hdc in each st across. Change to size F hook.

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in next st, sk next st, V st in next st, * ch 3, sk next st, V st in next st, repeat from * across, end hdc in each of last 2 sts – 20 (21-22-23) V sts.

Next Row: Ch 2, hdc in next st, * ch 3, long V st in skipped st of row 3, repeat from * across, end ch 3, hdc in each of last 2 sts – 19 (20-21-22) long V sts. Work in pat for 2 rows, then work 2 rows B, 8 rows C, until piece measures 3’’ from start, end with 19 (20-21-22) long V st row. End off.

Shape Cap: Join yarn being used in first V st of row below, hdc in same st, work pat until there are 18 (19-20-21) long V sts completed, end hdc in last st. Turn. Work in pat, working 1 pat less at end of every row 11 (11-13-13) times. End.

FINISHING: With C, sew shoulder and side seams. Sew sleeve seams. Baste upper edge of each sleeve and shirr to fit armholes.
No, that’s not a typo. To shirr is “to gather cloth by drawing the material up on parallel rows of short running stitches” (thank you, Websters!). Of course, to shirr can also mean, “to bake in small buttered dishes, often with crumbs, cheese, etc.” I’ll leave it to you to decide which you’d rather do at this point in the garment creation process.
Sew in sleeves. From right side, with C, work 1 row sc around neck edge, working through 2 rows of pat at front and back neck edges.

THE BELT (not shown): With No. 0 hook and C, ch 7 loosely.
Yeah, “not shown”. That’s because a large part of what makes this dress something other than a shapeless, stars... I mean stripes and stripes nightie is the gold pin holding the – most decidedly NOT crocheted – sash in place. Oh well, it’s too late now!
Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across – 5 hdc. Ch 2, turn.

Row 2: Hdc in each hdc across. Ch 2, turn. Repeat last row until piece measures 72’’ from start or desired length. End off.
Et voilà! Vous êtes très sexy. Well, by 1972 standards anyway...



Click here for the printable pattern.

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