Monday, May 25, 2009
The "F" Word (Fad)
I wasn't a fan of the sock monkey (SM) way back when i was a child. I never had an old aunt that made me one, and anyways I wasn't fond of wool . But i was a precocious sewer of stuffed toys, and remember hand sewing mom's scrap fabric into "animals" with some legs and button eyes. Then making jointed bears, making SMs, and beanie critters. I never lost the love of making fabric animals, and now i'm the old aunt that makes sure all of her nieces and nephews have SMs and other handmade sewn animals.
I began collecting secondhand store SMs while i was in college. The SMs made from kits and patterns have no charm for me. But if the maker put some real love into their SM and didn't just try to make it look like the standard Redheel SM, those are the good ones!! Counting the ones i've made and my collected SMs (including knit and crochet versions), i must have between 20 and 30.
We seem to be going through a significant SM fad. I mean, you can even find SM kits and toys and key chains at WalMart. But for those of us who appreciate the original concept, i.e. lovingly handmade toy from something you have at hand, we can choose from "character" SMs (eg. cowboy SM, batmanSM, exotic dancer SM), SMs from wildly colored/striped socks, and in a related craft, there are the sewn "creatures" which have also enjoyed a popularity boom of late.
I found a maker of lovely SMs on etsy recently: seller littlelittle. (Click on a photo to go to her shop.) Using nontraditional socks, she sews her SMs to be loved toys, rather than fad objects. Her "baby friendly" versions have no features that can become a choking hazard, but instead have obviously hand-sewn eyes and ear stitching. These are simple and charming, made to be loved, squeezed and dragged around by a leg. Which is one of the truest points of a SM, after all.
Please check back this week for more SMs and sewn creatures, as well as special bead finds!
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