From paper dolls to amigurumi
As a kid, I was a huge fan of paper dolls. My favorite set was called Katie's Country Store. It was part of the Gingham's Collection by The Rainbow Works and I kept it at my godmother's house to play with when we went to visit.
When I think back on it now, it's amazing to me that I enjoyed so many hours of playing with these simple pieces of paper. Even more amazing is that I still have my set, carefully stored in the original box, more than 30 years later.
I started thinking about my paper dolls this morning as I was finishing up a new amigurumi pattern (you'll have to wait and see what it is!). I wondered "what was it about these simple toys that I enjoyed and cherished so much?" And I realized that it was simply the possibilities.
Barbie comes with a back story and Care Bears already have distinct personalities created for you by the storytellers and animators. But Katie was a blank slate. She could be whomever I wanted. Sometimes, Katie was the daughter of the general store owner, minding the store while her father went to the next town for new inventory. And sometimes, Katie was the girl from the farm outside of town, sent to pick up a few things for her family. All I had to do was change Katie's outfit and she became someone new. I could dream up a new story and fill in all the details from my own imagination.
In a way, I hope that my amigurumi toys do the same thing for their new owners. Whether the ami belongs to a kid or someone who's a kid at heart, I hope the little critter will trigger the imagination and inspire a story all its own.