Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thrifty Acres: From The Ridiculous To The Sublime - Part Two

Hello! Yesterday I discussed what I liked from the Fall-Winter 1965-66 issue of McCall's Needlework & Crafts - ie, what was "sublime". So, of course, today I get to talk about the ridiculous ads and projects in this magazine!

Are you ready? You'd better be, for first up are these knitting projects:

Now, I'm all for staying warm in cold weather, but seriously?! Even if I was an accomplished knitter, I could not make these in good conscience, lest the kid wearing either item get laughed off the playground. 

The accompanying text reads: "GIRLS' FACE MASK...Fringed yarn bangs and pompon "hair" are amusing". No, they're not - the girl just looks like some freaky clown. 

"BOYS' SKI MASK: Warm little Indian wears his feathers knitted over pipe cleaners, his war paint of duplicate stitch. Knitted nosepiece sewn on". Guess it was okay in the winter of 1965-66 for boys to run around pretending they were "Injuns" in war paint! 

Native Americans who lived near water caught and ate fish, of course, so perhaps a boy who liked to pretend he was a Native American would have also liked a pretend fish skeleton hanging up in his bedroom. After all, the caption reads "Fanciful crafts animate a young boy's world". 

I don't doubt that statement overall, but I tend to think there are better craft projects than those that are meant to replicate dead fish! I'll give the project designer credit for "fanciful", all right - as in the use of a ice cube tray divider for the fish skeleton. 

I think we can all tell that this knitted toy is supposed to be a dog, but can anyone guess what breed this is supposed to be? 

If you answered "basset hound", then you are correct, according to the magazine. However, the body shape doesn't really resemble that breed, so I don't know why the magazine folks labeled the toy as such. 

But if you think that was odd, wait till you see what was used to design the following necklace:

Can you tell what those white things are? I'll give you a hint - they're related to one of our most popular holidays. 

Did you say "turkey bones"? Yes, this "bead-bone necklace" uses seven vertebrae from a cooked turkey neck. There are explicit directions on how to achieve the cleaned, white state (boil, then soak in bleach water overnight, then dry bones in the sun) - but my question is - why? I wondered if anyone actually made this. It was suggested as a holiday bazaar item, but I'd call it "holiday bizarre".

But that was far from the only repurposed item from nature shown in this magazine, for we also find:

Since the picture is in black and white, it may be hard to tell what these are supposed to be, and what they were made of. So, I will tell you the name of the project: "Corn Stalk Zoo". I guess this isn't too bad, but it just struck me as a little odd. 

Last but not least is an ad; it is what inspired me to do a blog post on this magazine:

Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to start one's own business, and there are plenty of knitters today who have their own yarn shops. But how much business would the owner get if she had the same demented look on her face while running the shop? 

A close-up:

You can just hear her cackle like the Wicked Witch of the West as she counts her money. "Today the yarn shop - tomorrow the world!" she chortles evilly. 

Why anyone from the Yarn Paradise company allowed this to run in a nationally-distributed magazine is beyond me. Surely they could have found someone who could have drawn a more pleasant-looking face!

But, after all, this blog post was about that which was ridiculous. And as I commented in yesterday's post, ridiculousness makes for cheap entertainment!




  1. Because I always wanted a turkey bone necklace.

    1. I can make you one after Thanksgiving if you'd like!