Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You Say Fashion Show, I Say Fugly

This is one of those posts where I might insult some of you. Yet I don't feel I need to apologize in advance. I say that because on some level, I feel those who are insulted are really the ones who need to apologize to the rest of us.

What am I talking about? Knitters who give knitters a bad name.

We've all experienced it. We tell someone that we knit and the conversation goes south pretty rapidly. For example, who among us hasn't experienced a similar casual conversation:

Knitter: "Yes...my (insert: weekend, evening, vacation, commute on the bus, etc.) was nice, too. I got to work on a bit of my (insert current knitting project) and make some progress."

Friend/acquaintance of knitter: "Ha! Knitting. My grandmother used to knit. Yeah, that sounds really hip."

Knitter: "No, it's not knitting like that. I don't make doilies and tea cozies."

Friend/acquaintance of knitter: "Yeah, right. Sure you don't."

And there you have it. The perception that knitting is grandmotherly. Many non-knitters out there think that knitting is all about dorky, unnecessary household items, misshapen sweaters, ugly unwearables and scratchy wool items that need a few months with some moths in a dark, damp place.

They don't understand that knitting isn't like that. Knitters are not required to be in a rocking chair with a cat underfoot as they knit into oblivion lining their drawers and cabinets with lacey placemats and gifting their families with ugly items.

We, the knitters, know that. We, through our blogging and shopping at great yarn stores and felting and knitting truly beautiful stuff, hopefully are changing the perception of knitting-is-just-for-grandmothers thinking one non knitter at a time.

But then, out of the blue, you come across a link from the recent Knitting Guild of America's Knit and Crochet Show held in Northern California.

And all bets are off.

This, my dear fellow knitters, are pictures from their Fashion Show held in April 2006.

Am I the only one cringing at these so called fashions?

What IS this thing??

Please tell me you DIDN'T knit a top and matching skirt.

Last I checked, hot pink doesn't match green and black stripes. That aside, this wrap-cum-scarf-cum-giant tube is just fugly.

Knitting with rags. It's the new cool. Really, it is. You haven't heard?

I'm not picking on this item because the woman is large. I could care less. I'm picking on this because it's UGLY. In any size.

No doubt this was a complicated piece to knit. That doesn't make it pretty.

This pattern as a scarf? With different colors? Maybe. As a square jacket that touches you everywhere and flatters you nowhere? No.

Hi. I know A LOT of stitches. Some of them are really, really hard. And I'm going to knit a sweater that incorporates every single one. In one garment. I am. I am.
Hi. It's still ugly.

Was that the whistle for the fashion train about to leave the station? Ladies, aka "Fashion Show" winners? You just missed the train.


Valerie said...

I hear that every day about granny's knitting. Bastards! Just for that I"m gonna knit them a doillie.

jen said...

Just when I thought we were making progress. It's no wonder people are so misled...I can honestly say these examples of ugly knitting take the taco. Wow. And I have been knitting close to thirty years. Great blog, by the way.

miss ewe said...

Yowza. Ouch. I'm so sorry you had to see that. This is just another classic example of when fibre turns bad. Thanks for the giggle.

Ms. V said...

Man alive! The "shoulder holes" in that yellow get-up really, uh, add to its, uh, effect...

Good lord. Someone should take their needles away. Seriously.

Marissa said...

Fug-A-Riffic. Damn.

Kat said...

I don't think my grandmother would find those attractive either - even if she were blind.

I hate that I have to look at 3-4 ugls as sin patterns to find one cute something.

Amber said...

I like the mitered square jacket, amazing knitting feat it had to be at that size aside. The swirly wrap shawl thing, neat stitching, not so much with the yarn. Everything else, including the yellow peep impersonation (complete with yellow fluffy hair) not so hot.

ww said...


You need to do a collection of pics of all of the cool projects that your awesome knitter friends have completed to give knitting a more trendy, hip reputation!


fillyjonk said...

The problem, as I see it, is that people who knit usable, wearable things are often chastised for being "boring" or "too traditional" by some designers.

And when the new Interweave comes out? And I'm rejoicing over how it has three or four sweaters in it that I would not only wear, but make? There's bound to be someone on one of the knitting-message boards complaining loudly about "how DOWDY" Interweave has gotten, and "how BORING" its designs are.

My general rule is: more than two colors (unless it's a true Fair Isle) and you're flirting with danger. More than three colors that are not found in close proximity in nature (I am looking at bright green, black, red, and white as an example) and you're seriously flirting with danger.

but then again, I'm one of those boring people who knits solid-colored sweaters.