Vintage Soft Toy Pattern

Cutesy +

Saw this 1953 image on Etsy whilst browsing vintage patterns and found it fairly irresistable How cute can a stuffed dog get? The pattern is downloadable here as a PDF file for around $6. If only I could crochet...I'd be tempted to have a go at these.


Young Yoko...Image from "Yokos Blog"
Young Yoko...Image from "Yokos Blog"

In the chunky annals of celebrity romance, few relationships have provoked as much controversy as that between John Lennon and Yoko Ono. They famously met at London's Indico Gallery in 1968 and while love was not immediate, it didn't take too long for the fires of passion to ignite with an explosive force. Of course it was nobody's business but their own but the press and fans didnt see it that way. They rarely do.
No, they were famous figures parading about out there on the world stage, John through his music and Yoko by association, so in media terms, it was open slather. Once it became public knowedge that a hallowed Beatle had not just hooked up with, but was positively flaunting, a strange new girfriend, the criticisms came thick and fast and it was largely Yoko who bore the brunt. Why? What was it about Yoko Ono that people so loved to hate?


For a start Yoko wasn't mainstream, not even by hip rock n'roll standards. She was an avant garde artist who wore offbeat clothes and no make-up and therefore was not acceptably glamorous in the traditional tabloid-beauty sense.
In interviews and photographs she appeared confident and strong..arrogant even and perhaps not fawning, feminine and visibly appreciative enough about securing one of the world most celebrated sons.

And of course she was Asian. The 1960's wasn't yet far enough away from the Second World war for there not be some residual resentment toward the Japanese. It was not often overtly mentioned but there was an undecurrent of suspicion and distrust; Yoko was described variously in the press as "harsh", "'ugly" ,"scheming', "homewrecker", "ambitious", "crazy",a "gold digger" and "the destroyer of the Beatles".

While she may have been ambitious, Yoko was no gold digger. Already independently wealthy, her background was far more illustrious than John's. Yoko was the great grandaughter of the founder of the Yasuda Bank and in Japan she had been educated at Gakushuin School, widely considered to be the nation's most prestigious private school. The family had relocated toward the end of the war to avoid the bombing threat and in America Yoko went on to study music at Sara Lawrence College. Always experimental, she developed an interest in minimalist art and off the edge music and began staging her own performances and exhibitions from early adulthood.

John and Yoko
John and Yoko

Soldiers of Peace. john Lennon and Yoko Ono
Soldiers of Peace. John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Relationships and Volatility

Yoko had had an impressively dramatic and volatile life before John. Her first marriage was to composer and pianist Toshi Ichiyanagi and things had ended badly. While still married she had attempted suicide and was institutionalized for a period in Japan, during which time she met future husband jazz musician Anthony Cox, to whom she became pregnant.
Before their daughter was born, Yoko had divorced Ichiyanagi and married Cox, though it was not a particularly happy union either. Cox was prone to mood swings and erratic behaviour and would later take off with their child Kyoko (whom he had custody of) raising her amid a Christian cult called the The Walk.
That Yoko and John Lennon were both still married when passion rained down on them like sheets of water in a hurricane, added fuel to the bad press fire but if they cared too much, they didn't show it. Theirs was a publically defiant union - and the world -and the Beatles, could shove it. Far from shrinking into the shadows they staged public events, that were often quirky and attention getting and made loud noises about world peace.
Yoko formed the Plastic Ono Band but apart from one hit, Give Peace a Chance, featuring John on vocals, the public didn't warm to Yoko's shrill, off the radar music which has been bagged by some critics for being as melodious as "nails on chalk". Yoko always did blend art with music, somehow in the process rendering it inaccesible to the mainstream.
Eventually, with the birth of their son Sean, the couple settled into a version of domesticity, but by the close of the seventies, more music was on the horizon . The Double Fantasy album came out in 1980 and in an event that rattled the world, John was murdered by Mark Chapman at the entrance to the Dakota Apartment Building later that year.
Still Screaming
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~ Dylan Thomas
After Lennon's death Yoko went through a quiet period, largely out of the public eye but eventually resurfaced through various art and music projects as well as her comittments to world peace.
Never shy of self-expression, Yoko is still screaming in her 70s (she was born in '33). The artist/musician/squillionaire has been blamed and criticised for many things. Perhaps some of it has been justified, some of it not. Did she break up the Beatles? Doubtful -it seems likely a split was inevitable; nothing is forever. and they were pursuing their own interests, going their own way. Probably above all else, she's been criticized for just being herself but love her or hate her, Yoko Ono is an original. Keep on screamin'.