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This week’s pattern took a little extra time to set up because it had to be dug out of an enormous pile of miscellaneous vintage paper goods. Somewhere in that massive stack sat an absolutely patriotic salute to this great land, and consarn it, it would be found if it took all night. And it did! And here it is, the Americana, in all its star-spangled glory. The directions don’t come right out and say it but you can only knit it while listening to John Phillips Sousa marches.

Speaking of directions, apparently I have to come right out and state the blindingly obvious: THESE PATTERNS ARE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. DO NOT TAKE THE IMAGES AND SELL THEM, DO NOT PASS THEM OFF AS YOUR OWN. Linking to them is totally fine; printing a copy out for your own use is fine, but anything that involves you taking them and making money off of them, STOP. DO NOT PASS GO. Fellow free-pattern sharer Bex recently alerted me that an Ebay seller stole images from our websites and sold (is selling) them in her store. On the downside, this is extremely rude, lazy and annoying. We post these patterns FOR FREE, buying or digging through archives for the originals, spending time scanning and cleaning them up, not to mention maintaining a website where people can find them, all for the sheer love of vintage knitting goodness. So when someone comes along and snags the images to make a quick buck, it hurts.

On the upside, this is the first time it’s happened in my several years of sharing, and in a rare burst of good mood I shall take that as a general sign humanity, or the chunk of it that enjoys looking at vintage patterns, generally understands what theft is and avoids it. Now, onward to patriotic knitwear!

Let the Eagle soar!

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First off, thanks to Angry Jim for telling me about this. Somehow the topic of public television came up, and he recalled a show broadcast on the midwest PBS affiliate called ‘Star Gazer’. I don’t think it was ever broadcast in the tri-state area; as a child nerd I was an ardent fan of our PBS affiliate, Thirteen (Nova, Mystery! various live opera broadcasts, Ghostwriter!), and would’ve remembered something as strange as ‘Star Gazer’. He mostly recalled the effeminate nature of the host, and I said it was probably just the 70′s trappings of low-budget public television offerings. Well, no…

You can check it out here for yourself.
The Pussycat And the Scorpion’s Tail!’

Other show titles include “The Moon Visits Three Bright Planets In Pre-Dawn Skies Plus An Invisible Goodie”, “”Watch The Two Brightest Planets Race Toward Each Other For A Super Close Meeting”, “The Seven Sinister Sisters Fly High Across The Sky At Midnight On Halloween”, and “Celebrate September With A Triangle Of Planets! And Love And War Meet”.

Really you should watch it, as aside from the jarring voice, bizarre greenscreen effects that probably inspired Tim and Eric, and the entrancing theme song (synthy, yes, but two hours later it’s still stuck in my head and so soothing), it offers up an immediately useful and entertaining tidbit about the night sky that you can view with your naked eye. It purports to be the only ‘naked eye’ astronomy show going, and whether that’s true or not, I doubt anything else could be this entertaining.

I also recommend visiting the site to check out the history of the show- as Jim pointed out, he looks perfectly normal in the introduction through the 1980′s, but something changed dramatically between then and his current appearance (and it’s not just the hair). There’s also gems like this from the FAQ page:

Question: Why did you change the name of the show from ‘JACK HORKHEIMER : STAR HUSTLER’ TO ‘JACK HORKHEIMER : STAR GAZER’ ?

Answer: The name was changed due to our presence on the internet. When people, especially children, were accessing our Star Hustler site by using a search engine, STAR HUSTLER was not the HUSTLER they got to link to…so, after some upset folks wrote to us calling attention to the situation we realized that like it or not, the word Hustler didn’t have the same connotation as it did when the show began over two decades ago.

Do Not Watch The Sun.


Jack Horkheimer’s chipper tone and clear enthusiasm about stargazing come through strongly. Even if this was shown to a group of bored teens, the overall goofiness would probably help them remember the information more clearly. It’s also pleasant to note the show is free to all PBS stations- why not contact your local PBS affiliate and have them show it here? I’ll definitely do so myself.

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