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This will be the last Free Pattern Friday for the next two weeks -I’m blowing this popsicle stand and heading to the Eternal City. That’s right, I’m going on spring break in ROME! SPRING BREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK,YEAH! I’ll either be getting very rowdy or face existential crises while looking my sharpest. Why Rome? It’s got the most history crammed into the smallest space for your euro, plus they have way better coffee than Paris.

For anyone else gearing up for a visit, do not do what I did and watch the following movies:

‘Mamma Roma’ (Pier Paolo Passolini) – a bleak tale of a mother willing to sacrifice everything for love of her son in poor, postwar Rome. It does not go so well.

‘The Bicycle Theif’ (Vittorio DeSica) – a bleak tale of one man’s quest to get back the bicycle on which his and his family’s livelihood depends. It does not go so well.

‘La Strada’ (Frederico Fellini) – a naîve young girl joins a man in a traveling roadshow, bearing his many cruelties. It does not go so well.

“La Dolce Vida’ (Frederico Fellini) – a jaded newspaper writer hangs out with a bunch of nihilistic rich hedonists as they try not to stare too hard at the void in their lives. It does not go so well.

Each film painted a more harrowing picture than the next. So instead of a long, dark journey into night, I recommend watching ‘Roman Holiday’, starring the always-charming Audrey Hepburn.

It highlights the beauty of Rome without using it as a backdrop for humanity’s cruelties, though it is sort of bittersweet. This week’s pattern is the sort of dress she might wear if she had another day free to wander. Well, she doesn’t because she’s a princess and they have responsibilities, dammit. But you can whip this up and trot about to your heart’s content!

Molto Bene!

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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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Patience. Fortitude. Sheer Willpower. Behold a full ballgown, teal no less, knit eight and a half stitches to the inch. Requiring each individual panel to be neatly made and sewn together. With lace work. In a combination of straight and circular stitching. Poorly photographed from the NYPL and cobbled together in Photoshop with blurry lettering and bad lighting intact. It makes losing 5 lbs. or taking dancing classes seem like a breeze.


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Aw, nertz. I thought I’d set this thing up to post automatically, but it appears this was not the case. C’est la vie.


This week’s pattern reminds me of New Jersey native and fashion icon Debbie Harry. What with her predilection for showing off her incredible gams, you’d save time, yarn, and more closely emulate her style by knitting the skirt about 3 feet shorter. Even better, follow a pattern for knit shorts (say, this pattern right here), and make a trendy lil’ romper.

Modern Knitting S47 39

You just keep on dreaming.

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I wanted to save something this elegant (and time consuming) for after the holiday season. At first it seems counterintuitive; somewhere out there a knitter’s cursing me for not posting this 2 months earlier so she’d have the perfect 30′s screwball romantic comedy outfit for the office Christmas party. But on this first day of the new year, as we blearily rub our eyes and stumble over half-empty champagne glasses, what do we see before us? A dull stretch of winter before the cluster of February holidays hits us like bizzare, irritating PC bricks (I’m looking at you, combination Presidents’ Day & Ash Wednesday). So in that time so grey Lewis Black said, “you want to slit your wrists just to see some color”, why not work this dress up in a lovely jewel tone? If you’re not up for the full-length number (for sanity or budgetary reasons), it would look just as elegant as a longer tunic/dress going just above the knees or ending a few inches below the belt for a blouse.

Several commenters pointed out the tininess of the images in the column below- rest assured they’re actually quite large. Just right-click and save or drag-and-drop them to your desktop, and you’ll have the full-sized (and more legible) pattern.

HandicrafterSS34 10

HandicrafterSS34 11

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