“Plushies,” “Softies,” and “Stuffed Animals”

When in the company of various friends, I sometimes pick up on slight nuances in the way individuals might refer to the same things in different ways. I love the variations in speech due to upbringing, geography, and so on, often wishing that I had more exotic or esoteric words to twist around my tongue, almost as if talking in a secret language. My theory is that this could be why foreign accents are so appealing in general. It’s always striking to hear others call a soda “pop”, a “soft-drink,” and generally anything other than… Soda. That’s all I’ve been raised to call it, and that’s all I will probably ever see it as.

Since I’m pretty much obsessed with crochet and knitting, with small animals being my project of choice, everyone I talk to knows about my love for stuffed animals. This is what I call them. However, within the crafting community, they are more commonly referred to as “softies,” although this term can sometimes be reserved for cloth-made toys only. I hadn’t considered any other alternatives in which to categorize my work, until I made a gift for a gamer, who reminded me that within that particular demographic, they may call them “plushies.”  Laughably, this isn’t even considered to be a proper word to my spell-check program!

This friend happens to have quite an impressive collection of commercially purchased plushies, so I wanted to make something different, that wouldn’t be at the dealer’s room of any old anime convention. Knowing him to be a fan of the game Katamari Damacy, I jumped at the idea of making the Prince after finding a pattern on Etsy.com.

A good idea, right? No muss, no fuss, just follow the instructions and you’ll have an instant plushie. …Wrong. Maybe I just can’t follow written patterns anymore, or maybe I’m just too much of a perfectionist to allow certain details to go unnoticed. It just killed me how inaccurate it was in certain aspects! Either way, after having paid for the pattern and trying my hardest to make it work, I ended up winging it. I simply decided I didn’t like the length of the head, size of the face, rough decreases and size of the body, not to mention some of the color details and lack of feet.  Too bad I didn’t think about how these inaccuracies would drive me crazy before I forked over the money. Small as it may seem, I’m somewhat up the river now as far as funds for crafting go, and I’ve been working my butt off to make ends meet.  That’s why my posts haven’t been quite so regular or length as of late.  My apologies!

Anyway, despite nearly loosing my mind after recreating the entire pattern from scratch, this plushie was met with great appreciation.  Call it what you may, but hopefully it will be more meaningful than the mass-produced neighbors it is probably sharing shelf space with now.

5 thoughts on ““Plushies,” “Softies,” and “Stuffed Animals”

  1. What will you come up with next? So cute! Have you ever done a dragon with wings?

    About language: What you think is boring, meaning your own expressions, other people will think it exotic… literally. I have a Brooklyn, NY accent and I’ve had NJ guys tell me that they thought it was sexy… eeek… can you imagine that? I always thought my accent was clunky, manly, harsh… never would have thought sexy.

  2. Hi, found you by way of Tag Surfer. In case you were curious, I call them “fuzzies” ever since coming to know a different definition of “plushies”. Although I call the crocheted ones “amigurumi” most of the time.

    That’s such a pain that you paid for a pattern and have such a rough time of it. I think if you’re going to charge money for a pattern it better the hell be all-but foolproof. That’s why I’ve never charged for a pattern, heh, just in case.

    Anyway, nice meeting you. Keep up the good (or as we say around here, “wicked good”) work.

  3. It would be called a “Snuggly” in our house but that’s because it was our dd’s word for them from early on and it’s sort of stuck!

    It really, really anoys me when bought patterns are wrong, I can excuse it with free ones but if I’ve paid money I want to be able to do it with no extra effort.

    Could you appeal on your local “Freecycle” group for yarns to craft with? Or (horror of horrors) sell some of your wonderful creations to raise some cash? I hate it when ends don’t meet :-(

  4. The Prince shares shelf space with no other. It is way too cool and too meaningful to be associated with store-bought plushies.

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