Does it look too weird flat? Sometimes this stuff looks weird flat and makes more sense on something foot shaped.
Let’s borrow a pretend foot for a minute and see if that helps give the idea.
Someone always always always asks, so the thing the knitting is on is called a last. It’s the thing they use to make shoes on. If you want them, go somewhere like ebay or etsy and search for “shoe last.” Throw the word vintage in there if you want old ones (probably wood) instead of new ones (probably plastic). If you get them in your size, they come in very handy for blocking/photographing slippers.
No, you don’t need them. Yes, you might want them. Finding that balance is a lifelong