Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No, this is not a 1940s Voodoo Doll...

Sally Spool from Gifts, Knitted and Crocheted, 1946

But Sally Spool does have magical powers!

Imagine giving your best friend a loose pile of thread spools for their birthday. She’d call you an unimaginative cheapskate, you’d tell her off for hitting on your husband, and the party ends in tears and recriminations. But Sally the spool doll transforms your penny-pinching present into a Gift Galore!

Because we all know what a capital “G” Gift is, right ladies?

A Gift is an expression of YOU.
Because everyone’s going to judge YOU based on the quality of your Gift. No pressure!
And what better way is there to express yourself than through hand-made items?
Which you found in a pattern book and then precisely followed the instructions to replicate. Because freedom of expression would lead to anarchy.
Here is a collection of gifts that are suitable for every one on your Birthday, Christmas, and Just-Because-I-Like-You List.
See that lady in the lower right hand corner? She’s totally thrilled that you gave her a doll made out of spools of thread.

Either that, or she’s melting everyone’s brains with her mutant powers of static electricity.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Sally Spool


17 Spools Assorted Shades.

1 Spool Black “AUNT LYDIA” Button and Carpet Thread, Article 1.

1 Spool White “STAR” Six Cord, Size 10.

1 – 100 yd. Skein Red “STAR” Cotton Yarn, Article 75.

2 Small Black Buttons for Eyes.

HEAD. Cut 2 oval pieces from any White material about 2 x 3 inches, sew them together leaving about 1 inch open at one end for filling. Fill with cotton.
Hey, the Materials Required list didn’t mention “White material”! Now, if I’m to complete this Gift in time, I have no choice but to assault Canadian actor Ryan Gosling.

Although, I’m quite relieved to find out that Sally is White. I had my fill of racist dolls in February, thank you very much.
With a heavy...
Hand? Heart? Foot on the gas pedal?
Oh, that must be the Six Cord mentioned in the materials list! Apparently, the pattern designer doesn’t want me to tear anything else off Mr. Gosling’s body.
...string spool to be used for foot and tie in center of cord. Over the 2 strands of cord string 4 spools.
If you carefully colour-coordinate your spools, Sally could be a Rainbow Pride Spool doll.

To keep your colours straight, just remember “Roy G. Biv” – the Rainbow warrior who defeated Richard of York at the Battle of Wakefield and went on to found the Gay Pride movement!

String opposite foot and leg in same manner. Tie the 4 strands of cord together in a heavy knot. Run all cords through the Black Aunt Lydia, tie another heavy knot. Run all cords through the White “Star” Six Cord and tie an heavy knot.
Wait a second. If we’re using the White “Star” Six Cord as our doll’s body, that means we’re NOT using it to string Sally’s limbs.

Which means the “heavy cord” mentioned earlier is NOT in the materials list!
The arms are made the same as legs using 1 spool for each hand and 2 spools for each arm. Tie all cords around the last knot so cords cannot go through spool. Sew open section of head around knot. Embroider mouth with Red. Nose and eye brows with Black.
I guess it’s no surprise that red and black embroidery floss wasn’t listed in the materials list, either. Looks like I have no choice but to mug Paul Gross this time.

You hold him down while I grab his lanyard.
Use buttons for eyes as illustrated.
Be sure to exactly copy the look of horror in the doll’s eyes. She knows she’s fated to be dismembered the next time someone needs to reattach a button and there’s no black thread to be found in the sewing box.
Skirt. With “Star” Cotton Yarn, ch 23, 1 s c in 6th st from hook, * ch 5, s c in next st of ch, ch 5, s c in same st, ch 5, s c in next st, repeat from * to end of row, ch 5, turn.
The skirt is what makes Sally a crochet project, not just something you did in kindergarten class and proudly brought home for your Mother to hang on the Christmas tree.

And she did put it on the tree. The back of the tree. Against the wall. Where no one could see it.

She probably thought you wouldn’t notice, but you did. Oh yes, you did.
2nd Row. 1 s c in 1st 5 ch loop, * ch 5, 1 s c in next loop, repeat from * to end of row, ch 5, turn. Repeat 2nd row 4 times.
Did I mention that my Mother gave me a big box full of my grade school Christmas art projects when I moved out? “So you’ll have something for your tree,” she said, cheerfully.

But I know the REAL reason she gave me all my gifts back. She couldn’t bear the humiliation of having them disgracing her Christmas tree any longer.
7th Row. Ch 3, s c in 1st loop, ch 3, s c in same loop, * ch 3, s c in next loop, ch 3, s c in same loop, repeat from * to end of row, break yarn leaving a thread to sew back seam.
Unlike many of my early art projects, at least Sally is useful. She’s made of spools of thread, which will come in handy to repair clothes, string popcorn, and sew up wounds during the zombie apocalypse. And yes, you’ll be wanting to string popcorn during the zombie apocalypse.

Still, if the Gift recipient takes this doll apart to use it, she’ll feel guilty for destroying all the hard work the Gift-giver put into making it. But if she doesn’t use the thread, that means she didn’t appreciate your special Gift.

Hey, Sally Spool just might be the pinnacle of passive-aggressive Gifts!
Collar. Ch 15, and work 2 rows the same as skirt, then working across other side of ch, work 9, ch-3 loops, break yarn.

Pompon. Wind yarn about 25 times over a 2 ½ inch cardboard, remove and tie around center leaving 2 lengths about 2 ½ inches, trim. Make 6 more pompons in same manner.
Of course, not all spool dolls are hideous creations of a warped imagination. Some are actually quite adorable.

Earrings. Ch 2, 5 s c in 1st st of ch, break yarn and make another earring in same manner. Attach to side of head.

Place skirt around top of Black spool and sew in place.

Place collar around neck and sew. Using 2 strands of Cotton Yarn, run it through top of head, having about 6 inches at both sides, run strands through last spool from each side and tie at top. Tie 1 pompon at each side of spool at head, one at top of spool. Tie one pompon at each hand and foot.
And others are unspeakably cute!

I bet this is one handmade present that didn’t get hidden at the back of the Christmas tree.

But I guess I shouldn’t have issues about people not appreciating my Gifts Galores. After all, it’s not like a Gift is an expression of ME.

Oh wait, yes it is! *sob*

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Sweet, almost too adorable to be a voodoo doll you might say!

    1. Awww! And it's true, adorable and voodoo doll don't often go together. ;)