When I was a girl, I had a "Mia" doll with long brown hair that, when you pressed a button on her stomach, would magically pull back into her head so that she had a bob instead of a flowing brown mane. When you pulled her hair back out of her head again, it did make a ratcheting noise but, I, being a kid and all, didn't mind it a bit.
In those days I had what they call magical thinking, and I think in many ways I still do, but my magical thinking links more to situations like the following:
If, when I cook, I dice onions and there's a really large one that I allow to go into the pot with the rest, it will always end up on my plate. Always.
Ditto for burnt things.
Or a wonky looking cookie.
And although what I'm going to say doesn't really belong in the realm of magical thinking, I did sleep with a towel or a blanket across my neck for about 20 years. You can blame a guy named Andy Warhol whose movie, Blood for Dracula was on at the drive-in behind us. Instead of watching The Sting with everyone else in the car, I watched his movie out of our Rambler's back window-with no sound--and was so terrified of vampires that I never slept without something laying across my neck (as if a blanket would stop a hungry vampire. Oy. The things we do.)
Which brings me to this: As I look at Susan B. Anderson's career in knit design and such, I am blown away at her magical approach to designing knit toy patterns.
"Mia" doll may have had hair that I could push in and pull out of her
head, but who other than Susan
would have thought of Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys? I mean, sure, when I was little, I think we may have had a Barbie head and torso with a crocheted dress we could put over a roll of toilet paper, but inside-out dolls? When we turned our Barbie-the-Toilet-Paper-Cover-Doll over, all we got was, well, the inside of a crocheted skirt, but in her book, Susan's knit toys flip over or inside out and you get an entirely different view, and I'm not talking about panties or anything like that.
What's especially great, is with every new technique, Susan presents a tutorial and each project that follows builds on the techniques and there are a number of tutorials throughout. There are lots of how-to pictures with close-ups, so even if you are a relative beginner, you will find this a joy.
Oh, all of our old toys. My "Mia" doll is probably my most memorable. That, and my Happy Homemaker (or something to that effect) Candy Maker. That thing gave me such a terrible burn I still carry the scars, but that is a different story.
That said, I'm able to give away a copy of Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys. All I ask is that you leave a comment telling me your favorite toy memory. I'll wait about a week, and announce a random winner.
Can't wait to hear about your beloved toys!
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