Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ooh La La!

French poodle! from “Make It Yourself with Aunt Lydia’s Heavy Rug Yarn”, c. 1965

Qu'est-ce que c'est? I hear you ask. Or if you don’t parlez la belle langue, you asked in an outrageous Inspector Clouseau accent, what are these things?

Mon Dieu, these are French poodles! And not some Québécois poutine-nibbling posers. Non, these are genuine Parisian poodles. Why, these two have chewed on croissants at a corner café, arguing whether Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophy would have been more cheerful if he had crocheted poodles.

What? You do not believe me? You dare point out that the Aunt Lydia heavy yarn booklets are published by The American Thread Company! You think these are duplicitous dogs (try saying that ten times fast) made in New York City?

Bah! Here is proof that these crafty canines are not fake Frenchies.

I reste mon case.

For the complete pattern and the French poodle in living colour:

Well, more living grey instead of living colour. Also, this poodle is a great deal shaggier than its black and white friends. Is it a French hippie poodle?
Materials Required:
1—4 oz. skein of black
That’s right, your French poodle must be made with ALL AMERICAN WORSTED!

Warning: using AMERICAN WORSTED may result in a Freedom Poodle.
3 skeins of color desired
Clearly, AUNT LYDIA is in quotation marks because she is MA TANTE LYDIA who owns many plumes.

2 toilet tissue rollers, 2 coat hangers, Glue, Black Tape, Newspaper, 2 Buttons for eyes, “STAR MERCERIZED SEWING THREAD, Large eye needle, 1 cardboard for measuring yarn 3 ¼” x 4 ¼”

1. Make FRAME from coat hangers. Front legs are separate pieces of wire. Twist onto neck wire then cut to length and bend.
I’m not sure why it’s necessary to ensure this French poodle has front leg mobility. Ah, there’s a diagram -- I’m sure it will explain all.

Or not.
2. Make BALL TIES by wrapping yarn loosely around card the long way 36 times. Cut yarn across one end. Ties will be 8 ½” long.

3. Make 20 large BALLS. Wrap yarn around card 20 times the long way. Tie very tightly in center with a tie and cut yarn across both ends of card. These are 4 ¼” long.

In the past, I’ve suggested reading instructions aloud for fun. However, unexpectedly yelling out BALLS might traumatize any children in the room.

Or any adults, for that matter.
4. Make 16 small BALLS. Tie and cut same as large balls except use the narrow side of card. These are 3 ¼” long.

5. COMB BALLS until Fluffy. Hold tie very firmly or yarn will pull out. Comb first with coarse teeth, then with fine. Save all your yarn combings.
Naturally, you’ll want start combing balls with coarse teeth. It’s vital that all of your slave’s poodle’s ball fluff be capital F Fluffy!
6. Push TISSUE ROLLERS onto frame. One on NECK and one on BACK. Fill rollers with newspaper. Keep neck wire frame in center of roll and fill around it. Let body roll rest on wire frame and fill below it. Make them sturdy.

Do people in France actually have sturdy toilet paper rollers? I suppose they must, otherwise they would be forced to make their French poodles out of bidets.
7. Cover NOSE and FEET with black TAPE.

8. Pad top of NOSE with walnut size of yarn combings, then wrap yarn around nose to cover combings. Wrap firmly. Leave ¼” of tape showing.

9. Wrap yarn around tissue ROLLERS and LEGS. Apply glue to end and wrap very compactly. Push yarn back tightly. Secure end with glue. Wrap yarn around legs very tightly and tie at feet.

10. Make 2 PUMPKIN BALLS using half of the yarn combings for base of each. Wrap yarn around forming a pumpkin shape ball 2” in diameter, 1 ½” high.
PUMPKIN BALLS? I had no idea that The Great Pumpkin wanted poodle pumpkins!

No wonder he never showed up for poor Linus.
11. Place one PUMPKIN BALL on top of NECK FRAME about 1 ½” back from nose tip. Sew BALL securely to NECK ROLLER at upper edge.

12. To make TAIL, bend 15” wire in middle, and double ends back for 4”. Separate ends. Hook ends around rear of dog, clamp with pliers. (A) Sew a PUMPKIN BALL on tail end of BODY ROLLER holding tail upright. Wrap tail with yarn as legs were wrapped. (B) Tie one small BALL on top of TAIL.

This diagram demonstrates the extreme importance of blocking any French poodle’s rear entry.
13. Tie 4 large BALLS to NOSE and FRAME on top of head. Don’t cover nose.

In the U.S.A., they have Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish. In France, they have Peepers the Four-Eyed Poodle.
14. Tie 7 large BALLS to yarn completely encircling NECK at upper edge.

15. Tie 7 large BALLS to yarn completely encircling NECK at lower edge.

16. Tie 7 large BALLS to yarn around back edge of BODY. Tie 2 small BALLS to each FOOT.
Forget what I said earlier. The only way to break up the monotony of tying up an endless series of BALLS is to start shouting.

I’m certain many S & M mistresses would agree with me.
17. Tie one large BALL on each side of Chest to top of front LEGS.

18. Fluff and pat POODLE into shape.
That’s right, PAT the POODLE!
19. Sew on buttons for eyes and add collar or other trim as you like.

Et voila! You have a French… er, um.

Okay, this last diagram does not resemble the French poodles in the photos. It looks like someone strangled poor Pat the Poodle with duct tape and then glued on marshmallows for decorative effect.

Handmade by Mother does not endorse the abuse of poodles, even ugly novelty ones. So, instead of making this pattern, why not make a marshmallow poodle cake!

Your family and Pat the Poodle will thank you.

Click here for the printable pattern.

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