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I am pleased as punch at Spectacle’s excellently curated ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ series, starting Feb. 1st with amazing 60s gender battle ‘The Laughing Woman’. Ranging from psychotic obsession to pure loathing, the four films are excellent antidotes against saccharine concepts of ‘love’ and ‘romance’ that get pushed on well-meaning folk from January onward.

If you’re a fan of Jodorowsky, I highly recommend catching ‘The Laughing Woman’ (also released as ‘The Frightened Woman’, to give you an idea of the power plays going on within the film). It’s gorgeously shot and beautifully set-dressed, each room’s color and design carefully composed. It’s also equally comfortable with sky-high symbolism:

THE LAUGHING WOMAN (Piero Schivazappa, 1969) from Spectacle Theater on Vimeo.

Why yes, that is a giant psychedelic automated vagina-door he walks into! This movie also features the artiest and most ridiculous cutaway for implied sexy doings I’ve ever seen – I couldn’t figure out a way to shoehorn it into the trailer but go see this movie if only to catch it: man at the wheel, stopped at the train tracks, the woman’s head dips out of sight; cut to – a small, brightly decorated train slowly rolling by draped with Mod ladies casually blowing wind instruments IN CLOSE-UP.  And still the description does not do the sheer ludicrousness of it justice. This is shortly followed by them driving along again, only to bank right AND DRIVE INTO THE LAKE BECAUSE IT’S AN AQUACAR. Absolutely outstanding. Oh, also there’s lots of interesting gender politics and psychological torture and whatnot, but mainly, there’s a 60s sportsaquacar and now I must own one.


Adding to the visual excellence is the score – by turns ominous, silly, and catchy as all get-out.  It’s extremely 60s – electronic organs, backing chorus, and wah-wah- guitar all over the place, with an adorable ‘theme song’ apparently sung by a French woman reading badly translated Italian to English lyrics. The grimy version pulled from the film is heard in the trailer, but due to a wonky transfer it seems to be sped up a bit from the original. If you visit Spectacle Theater’s page for the movie, you can download the amazing score for yourself and take a listen.

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Remember several months ago, when I posted about this sniveling thief bythelightofthemoon (toknittowoo on Etsy), who stole patterns from me, Bex and a number of other free pattern sites to sell on Ebay? Remember how I put up the stupid watermark so this wouldn’t happen again? Well, it turns out just because you have no morality doesn’t mean you can’t figure out Photoshop. Behold, a pattern put up AFTER the watermarking:


Here’s the link to the original FREE pattern, which I will again clarify is for personal use only, NOT FOR RIPPING OFF AND BADLY PHOTOSHOPPING INTO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BACKGROUND. Also, for the briefest lesson in pattern copyright – the pattern is not just for the image, IT IS FOR THE PATTERN INSTRUCTION, so guess what sister, you’re still stealing even if you did make some collages. And you also just blatantly stole a bunch of my patterns and stuck your stupid name over the top.

What’s even worse, this louse has set up her own website full of stolen patterns, presumably as a hedge against the inevitable shutdown of her completely stolen Ebay store. If you’d like to contact her through her new shop, as the email she lists for the ebay store, mariella@coolers.fsbusiness.co.uk, doesn’t seem to work (or perhaps she’s just blocked my email, possibly the only intelligent thing she’s done), please feel free to click here and write away.

I am absolutely crushed by this. This is the second time, after personally contacting them to stop no less, patterns have been stolen from my site. Until I can figure out a better way to share these images with good honest folk without getting burned again, I won’t be posting any more free patterns. Sorry guys. If anyone out there slightly better at watermarking or protecting images has any suggestions, please do let me know.

Also, be sure to tell as many people as you can, internet or in person, that thanks to the generosity of a large group of vintage pattern lovers, so many wonderful patterns are available absolutely free on a variety of sites. In fact, there are several sites out there that exist just to aggregate free patterns. Some have ads and probably derive revenue from clicks, but they at least link people back to the original and don’t try and sell them hogwash. It just boils my potatoes to think not only is someone making a profit off of stolen goods, but someone on the other end of the transaction is getting bilked out of their hard-earned money. Or if they’re a kept man or woman, someone else’s hard-earned money. And this person has already had over 14,000 sales. Times the ridiculous $5.00 for a PDF, that’s quite the stolen income, and until I can figure out a better way, I’m not helping them make another dime.

Again, that thief’s name is:

Mariella Shearer
24A Silver Street
GL11 4ND

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This week’s pattern, the stripey number on the left, is again from Holiday Handknits, the 60s wonder that keeps on giving. It isn’t just a quick-knit dress to greet the nicer weather with, it also teaches you how to project yourself into other people’s photos and hover several inches off the ground!

(The first tip-off was the hard-lined hair.)

Also the hoverfoot.

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Per request, I’m sharing another pattern from the very 60s ‘Holiday Handknits’. I very nearly posted this last week, but thought the chunkiness, extensive bobbling and nehru collar might put off most knitters. Not that that’s stopped me before.

(Check out the sharp Photoshop work.)

People bill and coo over the costume design in ‘Mad Men’, but the above is an important reminder not to pick and choose at what we recall from a period, lest history repeat itself:

Barbarella and David Bowie actually pull off silver lame quite well.

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I came across this image out of nowhere last week and decided immediately I must find a pattern inspired by it to share.

For those unfamiliar this is not a photoshopped image from someone’s Prisoner/Star Trek crossover fanfiction, but a still from original series Star Trek episode ‘Squire of Gothos’. Wikipedia’s episode overview, ‘A powerful being torments the crew of the Enterprise’, applies to nearly any episode and is as useful as ‘Kirk disregards the Prime Directive’ or ‘A primitive society’s god is really a supercomputer’ as a distinguisher.

He’s so happy! Kirk’s just hating in the background.

So, Adam Ant teleports some of the crew down, shenanigans ensue, alien life gets punched and a computer gets smashed. There’s also swordfightery!

But this episode wasn’t just about the dudes of the crew; a lesser-known yeoman catching the villain’s eye is also thrown into the works. Aside from thinly-veiled social commentary dressed up in cheap sets, Star Trek also reflected its age in the way it portrayed women. Sure, it’s great that they even featured women working on a sort-of similar level to men, but just as often those ladies were in skimpy costumes or had to be rescued or let pesky emotions get in the way of doing their job.

Except for T’Ping. Cold As Ice.

I despaired of finding a pattern that somehow combined the weirdness of 60′s modern with sci-fi elements and a throwback to the 1800s, but then I came across Holiday Handknits. I’ll let the images speak for themselves (the Star Trek images are courtesy of Sheryl’s Star Trek Women).

(I think Mrs. Robinson’s got her eye on your boyfriend.)

(I know, I know- technically not a woman but an android.)

…Which brings us around to this week’s pattern, one of the few that embodies its era’s style while still appealing to a modern sensibility. This little crocheted number could be dressed down with a shirt underneath or dressed up with…a handful of ostrich feathers…as seen here…

Fandancing Time!

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