Monday, January 25, 2010

Statler & Waldorf Knitting Bag

This will be the story of the Christmas present I had the MOST fun making this year.

One of my best friends is one that I am lucky enough to spend my days with at work with. She is of like mind, like heart, and the only work mate I’ve ever had who was willing to speak up for me when it might just be at her expense…..but that’s another story. I have worked at the school for 13 years and have no idea how I got along without her with us! She has such a hilarious sense of humour and an incredibly quick wit and sense of sarcasm. Whenever we can manage the time, we go to the staff room for a cup of tea together. We seldom talk of work….it’s what we’re knitting, our children, our family, personal things. Often we are laughing when someone else walks in the room.

One day, one of our favorite teachers came in, glanced at us and said “You two remind me of the two old guys in the balcony on Sesame Street.” We knew “the two old guys”, but couldn’t remember their names so we rushed back to our computers to “google” them (after hassling that teacher about knowing what he watches on TV ….and he doesn’t have children!)

This is what comes up as a description: “Statler and Waldorf are a pair of Muppet characters. They are two ornery, disagreeable old men who first appeared in the television series The Muppet Show heckling the rest of the cast from their balcony seats….. Despite constantly complaining about the show and how terrible some acts were, they would always be back the following week in the best seats in the house.”
Their comments were fraught with sarcasm and double meaning. Here are a couple of examples:

Statler: You think this show is educational?
Waldorf: Yes, it will drive people to read books.

Statler: Well, Waldorf, they finally made it to Broadway.
Waldorf: Yes, and I already bought tickets.
Statler: Are they good seats?
Waldorf: Sure are. They're on the next train out of town.

Statler: This show is awful!
Waldorf: Terrible!
Statler: Disgusting!
Waldorf: See you next week?
Statler: Of course.

And yes, some of these comments are close to what we say to the younger teachers that come in the staff room while we’re in there!

So along comes Christmas and I want to give this special friend a gift that will make her laugh and be useful as well. I have a number of patterns for bags and totes so I went through them for ideas ….the plan being to make her a knitting bag. I taught her to knit socks last school year and this year she gave everyone in her family a pair of socks! More than I can say! Lo and behold I found my pattern by elinor peace bailey for a purse called “Repressed Bag”. See her website here:

And this is the pattern as she designed it.

Now my idea was to do a take-off on this bag and make it into Statler and Waldorf.

Because they are in a balcony and we never see their lower extremities, I just wanted to make the faces look like them. So I used the bag pattern, fabric that looked like an elderly man’s suit, doe suede for the heads and hands, and bits of fur for their hair, eyebrows and moustache.

Here is what I produced. Terry laughed so hard I thought her chair was going to go over backwards when she saw it. It is truly a pleasure to make something for someone special and have it so well received.  That was MY gift! 

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