I have made a bit of progress with the Gin Poodles for my Etsy shop and for the craft fair I’m doing this summer. I’ve got four of the cheeky little fellers all ready and waiting to find new homes.
Here they are! I love them, they’re so cheerful, I’ve got room for five on this shelf so there is an empty spot for my next one, which will be bright pink and purple, then the next five will be dotted around my living room. You can actually see them from the street, I do wonder what people think when they walk past. I hope they cause a bit of amusement anyway.
That orange feller (Jazzer) is very bright isn’t he? If anything I’d say he is actually a bit brighter than that in real life.
I’m hoping to secure a stall at the excellent Fleet Carnival Makers Market this summer, I’ve sent off my application now so fingers crossed I’ll be accepted and allocated a stall. Its held just down the road from me so I don’t even have to worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to set up. I reckon I will need 10 Gin Poodles in hand to fill up a decent section of my stall so I’m only knitting Gin Poodles for the time being.
So here are the three others a bit closer up that I have finished so far, let me tell you the pom-poms take an age to make, there are 10 of them for each poodle and they use a ton of yarn. They are very good value for the amount of work and materials that go into making them. I do love making them and of course I like selling them even more but I do miss them when they are sold.
These are the next two Gin Poodles in production. The pink one just needs another seven pom-poms (just!) but I ran out of the cerise yarn after making three so this one will have either two tones of pom-pom or will have a full set of purple ones, I’ll see what it looks like when I put them together. After the pink one – which I think I’m going to call Justin – will come a green one (Tom). I do sometimes have two on the go at once because I like to have a project for the train and I can’t really make pom-poms on the train because they cause a bit of a fluff cloud which isn’t fair on fellow commuters really, so the green one is in the knitting stage which means I can carry it about with me. Can’t tell you enough times how much I love those Brittany needles.
See the book? I’ve had to give up on it, it is interesting but a bit too intellectual for me and by 162 pages I couldn’t take another battle scene. I want to read Sue Grafton’s D is for Deadbeat next but can I find a copy anywhere? No I blooming well can’t. They don’t even have it in the library. I’m going to have to buy a copy online I suppose but I really wanted to start reading it this weekend. Could have sworn I had a copy somewhere….
I have an Etsy shop called GinPoodle its where I sell all the things I make, and seeing as it is called GinPoodle the one thing I definitely have in stock in abundance at all times is of course… well actually I haven’t had any Gin Poodles in stock for a while now.
I don’t know who that happened really other than I’m quite often crocheting 1940s style hair snoods but its not really an excuse is it? So yesterday I decided to pull myself together and get at least one finished and up for sale by the end of the day.
The actual knitting part is fairly quick to do, its making the pom-poms that takes the time. I used to use a traditional pair of discs but that takes forever so now I’m a massive fan of Clover pom-pom makers, they really take the pain out of making them, I can whip one up in no time. I do still need 10 for every Gin Poodle though so its still a hill to climb. I did buy a Multipom but I didn’t really like it, I found the pom-poms come out looking quite cubic at this size, I expect its better for smaller ones.
Then there are the eyes, nose and ribbon to sort out, until those are on I’ll admit the poodles do not look their cheeky best. That wicker storage unit in the background holds all my snood making yarn. Yep, there’s a lot of it isn’t there? I’m not ashamed to say every one of those drawers is groaning with yarn and that’s not my entire stash.
So here it is finished and listed for sale with a very bright peachy orange ribbon.
One Gin Poodle is very far from what I would call fully stocked so here are the beginnings of the next one, though I’m not sure I have enough of this flecked cream yarn so the body colour may well change. I’ve signed up to do a makers market at the local carnival in the summer so I really need to concentrate on building up some stock for that rather than making things reactively or more accurately, randomly.
I’ve been very behind with my reading too, I have a very reasonable set it yourself reading challenge on Goodreads – my goal is only to read 26 books this year, which is only one book a fortnight so that should be easily do-able but here I am five books behind schedule and it’s only March. In between bouts of frantic poodle knitting and watching Tipping Point I’m reading as much as I can. Despite this book being a Daily Mail recommendation its actually pretty good – its about a woman who was put in a mental health institution 60 years ago by her family and then basically just left there and never spoken of again, so when the hospital is marked for closure her granddaughter hears about her for the first time as her only surviving relative. Its a good read but pretty chilling to think this sort of thing really did happen.
In this picture, artfully photographed by Dawn Elliott photography (www.dawnelliottphotography.co.uk) and modelled charmingly by Vintage Vi (www.vintagevi.co.uk)you can see one of my ribbon fastening 1940s style snoods. I make and sell these based on an original 1940s design, (www.etsy.com/shops/ginpoodle) I make an elasticated version too but the ribbon one is what I want to talk to you about.
When you buy a new snood the silkiness of the ribbon means it can be a swine to keep in place, the bow can work loose and can even come undone completely.
So my top tip is before you put it on, with the ribbon untied give it quick spritz with hairspray. Don’t go mad or you’ll get manky looking dark patches, all you need is a little bit to stop the ribbon being so slippy. Over time the ribbon will behave better and it will get a coating of hairspray every time you wear it but its the first outing that needs help or you might end up flinging it across the room never to be worn again.
If you do go a bit mad with the hairspray or if the ribbon loses its lustre after a few wears give it a handwash with some shampoo and it will perk up no end.
Finally, I also want to say, and this is a bit of a sore point with me, is that this is a snood. The knitted tube you wear around your neck is a cowl. I blame Nic Kershaw.
I love a bit of kitsch, I’m really not into minimalism at all and I definitely do not want a show home, I like a home to be filled with things you fall in love with and make you smile.
I’ve always liked the things you’re not supposed to like, I’d love a crinoline lady on my loo roll, none of my crockery matches and my living room is full of knitted poodles. Actually the poodle take-over isn’t too bad at the moment because there are only four in here so here are some photos of Gin Poodles that have since been rehomed via my Etsy shop – http://www.etsy.com/shops/Ginpoodle.
A Gin Poodle is a bottle cosy, or rather something you use to hide your bottles of gin from prying eyes.
Lots of people have told me their grannie had one of these as a loo roll cover back in the 60s or 70s, I think the ones they mean are crocheted and had long floppy ears, I developed this style based on those but I’ve fluffed mine out to make it a bit more cuddly and fun.
The body goes over the bottle, and the head sits on the top, the head comes off to reveal the bottle top.
This one is actually sitting on a bottle of rice wine vinegar, I’m not much of a drinker so I quickly ran out of bottles of booze for my poodles to sit on. I say they are for gin but they fit a bottle of wine perfectly. The neck on a bottle of champagne is a bit on the long side and who hides champagne anyway?