My fabulous friend Amani has been having a bit of a tough time lately. We were having tea and chatting when she mentioned wishing she had a little cheerleader to keep in her pocket, something to remind her that she has people backing her up. I was inspired. The crafty part of my brain clicked on — that insane and constantly overcommitted part that loves starting new projects, especially quick ones that I’ve never tried before, no matter how many unfinished projects are hiding around the apartment.
Now I suspect that I’m not alone in harboring some lingering bitterness towards cheerleaders based on a combination of fact, stereotype, and painful junior high experience. Cheerleaders have an unfortunate and often deserved reputation for being conformist, elitist, superficial, and mean to nerdy kids. Fortunately, a friend of mine in Virginia moved to Chicago a some years back, joined a radical cheerleading group, and completely changed my views. Like rollerderby, cheerleading can be reclaimed and reinvented. It really just comes down to enthusiasm, and what’s wrong with that?
We could use a little more enthusiasm in our irony-drenched culture, and we all cheer for our friends. So what could be a nicer gift for a friend in need of encouragement than a pocket-sized cheerleader? Here’s the one I made. Wanna make one too? Then leave a comment. If there’s interest, I have my pattern for the body and outfit. I could easily be persuaded to put together a little tutorial. I just don’t have time to do it if it’s not going to be used.
Of course it’s not that complicated. You don’t really need a tutorial. So if you go off on your own and make one, please let me know. Or better yet, put a picture up on flickr and tag it “pocketcheerleader.” Let’s start a crafty craze. It could be like the totally awesome sympathy dolls, only less emo.