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Is it Tuesday already? This blissful, pleasant weather has a fogging effect on the brain, especially after the stark, existential angst of a long winter. Just toddling out into sunlight and parking it leaves one happy as a lotus-eater.

Speaking of which, this week’s pattern was designed specifically for the ultimate in zoned-out bliss, the floating hedonism that is a cruise. It hearkens to a distant era when the following were all absolutely normal: 1) You and your well-heeled friends would take a month off genteel parlor boozing to cruise to warmer climes. 2) You would have an outfit, nay, SEVERAL outfits specifically for use on the boat IN ADDITION to outfits specifically for eating/drinking both on and off the boat. 3) These outfits would be entirely knitted… 4) …by you, after imbibing a ladylike 2 gallons of rum. At least, that’s the general impression I get from Hemingway novels, 30s drink recipes and various etiquette manuals of the time. The cruise menu items are even boozed up! (check out the ‘soused mackerel’ and the exceedingly long ‘beverage’ list)

It seems appropriate then, that the pattern (the one on the right), incorporates ‘purposefully’ dropped stitches along with the cabling. It’s a simple yet interesting (and in summer, cooling) combination of heavy and airy.

The pattern includes a blouse, skirt, coat, scarf, and I’m surprised it didn’t include knitted heels. I recommend listening to the original ‘Anything Goes’ soundtrack on loop while working on it.

All Aboard!

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For this week’s free pattern, I thought I’d share some non-Wikileaks-related cables. See what I did there? TOPICAL. Though it looks complex, the sweater’s knit sideways with simple increases on one edge creating shaping. This would look nice in a bright jewel tone, or perhaps stripe it up with the cables a different color than the background.

I’m not quite sure why they called this blouse the Tarantella, other than every sweater in the book’s named after a melody and they seemed to be running out towards the end. On close inspection it’s too staid to have anything to do with either Italian folk music or poison spider bites. I suppose it would hold up nicely as you whirled yourself to the point of collapse though.

(By the lack of chuckling the audience probably had no idea what to make of this.)

Play that tarantella while the Cubans hit the floor.

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So, apparently ‘chunky knits’ are in fashion now. Cue obligatory runway pictures:

Yeaaah, whenever the ‘fashion world’, aka the evil cabal of bitchy women and gay men plotting to make everyone feel bad about themselves for not looking like a 15-year-old boy, knock their heads together and come up with something you’re already doing, it’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, seeing a sea of trendy folk trotting about looking like you can be quite irritating, not to mention confusing (remember the 90s? When jocks co-opted flannel and The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Very perplexing). On the other hand, when what you like is ‘in’, it’s everywhere and easily purchased. Yay! (A major exception: the persistent ‘glasses as fashion accessories’ trend. 50′s-style Ray Bans in every store are no consolation for the thousands making a mockery of myopia to try and look like they read Kierkegaard. What’s next, leg braces to accentuate long leg lines? But I digress). For those of you who already knit, for those of you who already enjoy vintage patterns, this week’s just another treat. And for those of you who enjoy being fashionable, this week’s pattern will also suit.

Fashion- turn to the left!

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Flipping aimlessly through channels, I came across ‘Dr. Cyclops’ on TCM, a delightfully silly movie from the 1950′s involving a mad scientist shrinking island visitors. Much to my joy, the evening’s entire theme was ‘Mad Scientists!’, including ‘Dr. X’, ‘The Devil Bat’, ‘Murders At the Rue Morgue’, and ‘Return of Dr. X’. A quick perusal of their website revealed equally neat-o themes, including ‘We Come in Peace’, ‘How To Drive Someone Crazy’, and (on Halloween, of course) ‘Vincent Price Horror’. Oh, just looking at this month’s screenings makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop!

Oct. 20th features an evening of camp and vampires, with Carl Theodore Dryer’s ‘Vamypr’ on the same page as ‘House of Dark Shadows’! Joy! If you haven’t seen the former, I urge you to tune in and watch Dreyer’s phantasmagorical imagery.

My mom walked in as this frame came up, paused for a second and said ‘…I don’t even want to ask.’

The latter….my mom and aunt used to cut school, run home and catch ‘Dark Shadows’ on TV. Growing up my cousin regaled me with tales of the tragic Collins dynasty, and I managed to catch a good chunk of the melodramatic soap in SciFi Channel reruns. Yes, it is very cheesy. It’s the nature of the medium. The plots are high gothic bordering on the ridiculous and its creator claimed he ended the series because they ran out of supernatural creatures to throw in the mix. If it doesn’t tickle your fancy there’s two by Russ Meyer(‘Faster Pussycat’ and ‘Mudhoney’) on right after.

(Vampire Barnabas is the one in the cape.)

As an added bonus the website is chock full of original trailers. Check out the trippy ‘House of Usher’ one, boasting of “The Screen’s Foremost Delineator of the Draculian…Vincent Price!” Delightful.

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