That poor jacket…it has mange…but the "oodles of poodles" scarf will save it!

We get paid at around 7pm the 14th and the last day of the month, ’cause that’s when it’s payday on the East Coast. So there are some comforts to living in the most isolated population center on the planet.

We were gonna go to California Pizza Kitchen to eat, but Christmas shopping traffic was nasty. It seriously took us twenty minutes to travel one block, and this was at 8pm, an hour away from the mall’s closing time! Well, Rob & I don’t like people enough to deal with large crowds, so once we managed to inch our way up to the driveway to go to Barnes & Noble, we turned & parked and went in. God, I love payday.

I bought Crochet! magazine, a book called The New Crochet, and the latest copy of Mothering (which explains lots about my parenting style, but zip about my politics). And so, of course, I must now make fun of the patterns.

I have to come out squarely on the side of disliking Crochet!‘s new look, at least vis á vis their decision to go the starving model route instead of the actual human route. Poor things, I hope they were paid with a hot meal. A hot meal and makeup remover.

And then…And then, you have the patterns.

The Editor’s Choice is the Kimono Coat. OK, this is a kimono. This is the kimono coat:
I apologize for the poor quality; I couldn’t find it on the magazine’s website, & I don’t have a scanner, so I was forced to take a photo with the flash off (shiny paper) & then adjust the photo. Trust me, though, you are much better off not seeing the colors.
Now, if you click the link, or just bring to mind the last commercial for Memoirs of a Geisha you’ve seen, you will immediately grasp the first problem with this “coat.” It looks nothing like a kimono. There’s that odd collar, for starters, and then the cuffs, which are thankfully hard to see in the photo. So it fails the kimono test. Also, it has no closures. No zipper, no buttons, nada. So it fails the coat test. That, & it’s fugly.

But wait! It gets better! Turn the page from the directions for thatmonstrosity, and you see…A poncho. Whew, so glad we’re not dealing in Grandma’s crochet anymore! Why, we’ve moved up a whole generation, to Mama’s crochet! The poncho draws my usual complaint about stuff from the ’70s. We just don’t have the access to drugs they had back then! Ponchos and “Afternoon Delight” are übergroovy if you’re stoned out of your melon, (Which, for the record, it looks like that model is. What do hungry supermodels do when they get the munchies?) not so much so when sober.

But wait! Yet again, it gets better! Turn the page again, and gaze upon the masterpiece that is the “Ribbon-Weave Scarf.” Not that it’s big enough to actually wrap around your neck. Not that it’s attractive enough to actually drape over your shoulders. But hey, at least it gives a use for that pesky ribbon yarn that always seems to kink up on itself! (The hungry supermodel for this project also looks supremely irritated. Even shecan’t believe how dumb a project this is.)

But the best is yet to come. Because on page 24, we get this:
I know! I want to make something fuzzy! But not completely fuzzy. No, that would just be tacky. I know, tufts! Regularly spaced tufts of fur! Regularly spaced tufts of fur with random specks of color in them. Poor thing. It needs some of this.

All the other patterns pale in comparison to this jacket. Even the cropped, long-sleeved sweater.

Thankfully, we still have The New Crochet. No “fussy doilies” here, no ma’am! Who needs doilies when you have the Oodles of Poodles scarf?
Now, isn’t that much better than a doily? Note, please, that the fuzzy black thing around her neck is part of the scarf, and so are the odd dangly things. As for the model…Well, doesn’t she just look like she is someone’s grandmother? And doesn’t she just look like she’s thinking, “My, how far crochet has come since my day, when all we knew how to make were fussy doilies!”

The book describes the scarf thusly:
“The combination of soft, black fuzzy yarn and variegated pinks evokes a vision of a 1950’s poodle skirt, but with a contemporary twist.”

Eh? That scarf evokes this? Really? Um, OK. If by poodle skirt you mean disemboweled mink, then I suppose they’re right.

That’s OK, there’s always this:
Odd how both this model and the other one look as if they are merely tolerating their clothing.

This, by the way, is the “Silk Meringue Bolero.” Because even yeti deserve fashionable cover-ups.

Now, lest you think I am insane for spending $25 of my (er, Rob’s) hard-earned money on a book I hate, let me reassure you I find 90% of the patterns in it to be just lovely. There’s one floral choker that I am absolutely drooling to make, even though I do not have the neck to wear it, and the cover project is just stunning.

It’s just…Have you ever noticed that whenever a crochet publication proudly proclaims its modernity, you’re assailed with oddities like these? We wound up at the Spaghetti Factory for dinner last night, and the table had this doily of sorts on it…It was a circle of velvet with a thread-crochet edging. Very pretty. Obviously fairly complicated (you try crocheting into velvet some time!). Obviously fairly old. Obviously a cut above a lot of what’s touted as “new and now” in crochet.

Again, gimme Granma’s crochet, please!


2 responses to “That poor jacket…it has mange…but the "oodles of poodles" scarf will save it!

  1. That Oodles of Poodles scarf is pretty scary – I can definitely see fear in the back of the model’s eyes.

  2. Have you noticed that while the population of the world is coming in Plus sizes more and more the patterns (and models) look like ads for anorexia helplines? Wake up publishers!

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