Do you think all of these Bernie Sanders memes are a hoot? Try to feel the amber with crochet.
Corpus Christi’s Tobey King has just broken the shape of the beloved internet meme by crocheting an adorable acrylic and cotton doll of the Vermont Senator in his now famous coat and quirky brown gloves – a look that takes the leap from the crowd Ensemble of Inauguration Day to Sensation Photoshopping Made Within Hours. Now this fuzzy little creation warms hearts and fights hunger to boot.
On Tuesday, King auctioned her original Sanders 9-inch prototype doll for $ 20,300 on eBay. All proceeds went to Meals on Wheels America.
Now, more than 30,000 people have purchased the downloadable pattern for the doll for $ 5 from King’s Etsy shop, TobeyTimeCrochet.
Video: Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express News
King whipped up the Sanders doll on Thursday, the day after the inauguration, when the memes flooded the internet. The first doll pictures, which she posted on her Instagram account @tobeytimecrochet on Friday, quickly generated thousands of likes. (They are now more than 139,000 total.)
King said when she first posted photos of the Sanders doll, she never expected it to go viral, but when she did, she saw “the opportunity to use it forever”. On Friday night she had the doll sample in her Etsy store, and on Saturday afternoon she had the doll prototype on eBay, where bids exceeded $ 15,000 overnight.
“We’re all looking for something to enjoy right now,” said King, 46.
King hopes Sanders will find out about her doll and the auction, and that he will agree. “I really hope he thinks it’s cool and that I’m doing something good,” she said.
It seems likely. When the Sanders memes went viral, his campaign store began selling sweatshirts and t-shirts printed with the photo to help Vermont’s Meals on Wheels and other Vermont charities. They are now sold out.
While Sanders’ office did not respond to a request for comment, a spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels America expressed her appreciation for the King’s doll auction.
“In the midst of the pandemic, the demand for meals on wheels has skyrocketed … awareness of our cause is needed more than ever, and on behalf of the entire nationwide network, we appreciate the support,” said Jenny, vice president of communications Young, who confirmed Meals on Wheels, would receive 100 percent of the doll’s five-figure eBay sales.
King said the eBay bidder’s winner wanted to remain anonymous. She noted that some of the Etsy shoppers who bought her Sanders doll pattern made their own donations to Meals on Wheels programs and other charities.
With the proceeds from selling the doll pattern, King has gone from being a home mom to being a main breadwinner with an Etsy shop by his side.
Early last year, King’s husband, Travis, lost his job in Washington just weeks after they moved there with their 9-year-old daughter. While looking for full-time work, King and her daughter moved to live with King’s mother in their hometown of Corpus.
Now Travis King is helping answer any Sanders doll messages that flood her inbox. “Being so successful has made a huge difference in our financial situation,” said King. “Now we don’t have to be apart anymore. We can bring this family back together. “
It’s not the first time King’s crochet has turned heads. In 2019, a crochet doll from Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared on the hit NBC series “This Is Us” after the show’s prop master discovered this viral sensation online.
King went on to sell approximately 100 of the crocheted Ginsburg dolls. Now she offers downloadable patterns for a Ginsburg-inspired crochet robe and crochet “dissent collars”.
As for King’s youngest Sanders doll, she simply adapted an old pattern she used to make similar dolls for the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Recycle and reuse, just like Sander’s mittens.
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