Know any Anglophiles who are hard to find gifts for? Why not cater to their favorite fandoms this holiday season? That’s the idea behind Cait’s Crochet Shop on Etsy, where the adorable crocheted dolls and Christmas ornaments combine two things every honorary Brit loves—needlework and the BBC.
Store owner Caitlyn Orlomoski’s crochet hobby is lifelong, but she told the Dot her fondness for British tv is a relatively new fascination:
“In early 2011, right around the time I joined Tumblr, one of my best friends introduced me to Doctor Who, and I started watching Sherlock based purely on GIFs from Tumblr,” she said. “And then I fell in love with both shows one after the other. I ended up melding crocheting with fandom when I wanted to make a David Tennant doll for my friend's birthday.”
Orlomoski ‘s mother taught her how to crochet when she was young, but it wasn’t until she started making dolls patterned after various Benedict Cumberbatch roles—Sherlock and airline captain Martin Crieff on popular BBC radio show Cabin Pressure—that she started to create her own patterns.
“I designed a bunch of Christmas ornaments based on my previous experience with counted cross-stitch,” she said. “ I do pretty much whatever seems like fun, and I'm always looking for new ideas for the shop.”
Many of her more popular fandom items come in pairs—slash fans, take note. Her favorite is miniature doll set Sherlock and John, designed around an episode of Season 2 of Sherlock in which Sherlock and John [Watson] are handcuffed together. There’s also a set of the whole Cabin Pressure crew, sold together or separately, and, of course, the latest set of doctors from Doctor Who.
Though there’s a definite element of six degrees of Stephen Moffat, head writer for both Doctor Who and Sherlock, Orlomoski also does ornaments for Merlin and any other fandoms she enjoys.
“Everything I make is based on my own fandom-y interests, and I hope that they intersect with what other people like. For example, I don't have anything related to Supernatural in the shop because it's a show I haven't started to watch myself, even though items geared toward that fandom might do well.”
Since joining Etsy last year, Orlomoski’s had an “overwhelmingly positive experience,” including someone taking her doll of pilot Martin Crieff to an actual airfield for a photoshoot, and a young boy who loves Merlin so much he sleeps with the Merlin doll he got for Christmas every night. This year, Orlomoski’s crocheting him an Arthur doll, so he’ll have a matching set. Say it together: Awwwwww.
Like all Etsy shops, the holidays are challenging.
“The best part and the worst part of Etsy during the holidays is getting orders,” noted Orlomoski, who customizes everything and works a full-time job in addition to her Etsy store, “but it's all worth it to see positive feedback from customers.”
Orlomoski advised stressed holiday shoppers to contact her for any questions or custom requests—and if more fandom items are on the agenda, she recommended two other fandom shops: print store Unicorn Empire and button store Pepper's Pins. “They’re brilliant!”
When asked to make the tough choice—David Tenant or Benedict Cumberbatch?—Orlomoski responds, “Benedict, every single time.” (The Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, is her fave, anyway.)
As for expanding her shop and the fandoms she’s fallen for, that’s also on her to-do list: She told the Dot she has plans to add Tolkien dolls in time for next year’s Hobbit craze, as well as Harry Potter dolls and companions for the doctors. And there’s always the possibility of something new catching her fancy.
“My Netflix queue is a mile long and I've three bookcases stuffed with reading materials, so I've always got my eyes open for new things.”
Looks like we know what someone will be doing over their holiday vacation.
Photos by Cait’s Crochet Shop/Etsy