I have always thought these were ridiculous, but I do have some family members that make them. I have no idea why people buy these! I'd much rather look at a roll of toilet paper rather than a creepy little doll watching me do my business.
In some households (I guess) rolls of toilet paper are a shameful secret. As objects, I suppose they are too close to a certain fundamental bodily function for people to feel comfortable around them. Rolls of toilet paper remind us that poop is a thing which exists, and some people can't stand this.
At the same time, there is a certain need for toilet paper. You always want to have a spare roll handy. We have all had that experience of getting caught short and having to holler for help. It's one thing when it happens at home; it's quite another when it happens to a guest at a party or something.
But I still don't see why the answer to this delicate quandary is to hide spare rolls of toilet paper with crocheted or quilted covers, then proudly displaying them out in the open. This is like the worst of both worlds: it's announcing the presence of toilet paper, while making people reluctant to remove the cover and actually use the roll. It's like the quandary of fancy guest bathroom hand soaps times a million.
Let's be clear that this is a very different thing from the issue of crocheted Kleenex box covers. That's a case where you have a thing hanging around your home or desk, and you want to make it a little bit prettier. Tissue box covers don't attempt to actually hide the tissue box.
My #1 least favorite form of toilet roll cover is the toilet roll doll. If you have ever wondered, they sell the dolls separately: they have a head and arms, but a cylindrical body to fit inside the toilet paper tube. It's up to the crafter to create a big flowing Southern Belle style dress in order to cover that naughty toilet paper under her voluminous skirts. And all the while you're in the bathroom, her glassy eyes keep staring.
Image courtesy JustMakingConvo