Friday, April 30, 2010

Crochet Club

Welcome to Crochet Club.  The first rule of Crochet Club is: you do not talk about Crochet Club. The second rule of Crochet Club is: you DO NOT talk about Crochet Club!

. . . Why are you looking at me like that?

Also:  This is a little preview of a type of Yarn Yuck post I like to call "Wear Something Underneath".

When I first began this blog, I was stunned by the apparent number of people who seem to think that it's okay to wear holey crochet clothes (tops, mainly) with nothing more than underwear underneath-- and sometimes not even that.  I'm here to tell you, it's not okay.  (Not with me, at any rate.)

The examples above are mild, let me tell you.  Tomorrow you shall be more fully initiated into the horror that is holey crochet fabric with too little underneath.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

His Undivided Attention

Isn't this photo from a book of knitting patterns sweet?

The guy can't tear himself away from his newspaper long enough to pay real attention his wife-- who is probably the one who knit him that sweater he's wearing-- and who is (for some mysterious reason) kneeling at his side, clutching and rubbing her cheek against his thigh in a desperate attempt for affection. 

*rubbing her absentmindedly on the shoulder*

"Yes, yes, honey.  I love you, too.  Now, let's see what's on the sports page. . ."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clownin' Around

While I've never been a real fan of clowns (or the circus atmosphere in general), I've also not suffered from an irrational fear of them.  Thoughts of squeaky red noses and giant shoes don't send a shiver down my spine.

However-- this right here?  It helps me understand where the terror comes from. 

Honestly, how was this supposed to help sell knitting patterns?

And WHY (for a certain period of time, at least) did anything to do with children invite the automatic inclusion of clowns??  "Oh, it's for kids?  Gotta slap a clown face on it, then."  It's so mystifying. . .

It's a Three-fer!

Here we have a fine example of the combination of three of the major tenets of Yarn Yuck: Outdated Hair, Awkward Pose, and Ugly Sweater:

Outdated Hair:  Feathered bangs reaching ever skyward.   Need I say more?

Awkward Pose:  Tell me, how often do you find yourself in this position?  One knee in the seat of a chair, one elbow resting artfully on the back, one hand stuffed in your (apparently quite capacious) trouser pocket.  Oh yeah, that's perfectly natural.  It's obviously been carefully selected to highlight the shape of the sweater she's modeling, which brings us to. . .

Ugly Sweater:  Maybe I'm prejudiced against this one.  Maybe it's not really that bad.  I just don't like these huge, weirdly-shaped (one might even say shapeless) sweaters-- the ones where the sleeves seem to originate from the waistline.  The "Henry the 8th in his fatter years" look.  (Yick.)  However, the frequency with which I find them suggests that maybe most people like this look. . . which, rest assured, will in no way prevent me from continuing to mock them.

What the. . .?

Yes, it's back-- the dreaded "What the. . . ?" category, reserved for only the most bizarre and/or heinous acts of knit and crochet (and possibly occasionally other yarn-related craftiness).  You never know when it will strike! 

Today, I offer up for your amusement befuddlement horror. . . CROCHET MULES:

Now, the crochet mules are embarrassing enough on their own. . .  (What is with those ballet-style laces on the middle pair?) 

. . . And the exceedingly bare (and in one case, hairy) legs take it to a whole 'nother level of ohmygosh. 

But then (if you're like me) you take a closer look at the. . . um, positioning (if you will) of the three pairs of legs. . . combined with their bareness. . . and you either shudder or burst into snorts of laugher.  Or both, either simultaneously or in rapid succession. 

Yes, you might have gone your entire life without ever picturing three people doing scandalous things while wearing (possibly nothing but) crochet mules, but thanks to me, that crisis has been averted. 

You are welcome.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Just for Baby"

I don't know about you, but nothing makes me want to knit a darling little top and bottom like the image of a mysterious disembodied baby head. . .

What were they thinking when they designed this page?

~ ~ shimmer-shimmer dream effect à la vintage TV shows ~ ~ ("Vintage" because maybe I'm missing it, but they hardly ever seem to use the shimmer-dream transition effect in current programs, which is kind of sad, actually. . .) ~ ~

"Ok.  So we've got a photo of the baby jacket. . . and these. . . What would you call these, Bob?  Bloomers?"

"I don't know, Dave.  I always kinda thought bloomers were more frilly or somethin'. . ."

"Well, whatever they are, we've got a photo of them.  These look like baby clothes, don't ya think?  I mean, I can't picture anyone with an ounce of autonomy wearing these things, can you?  And then there's that nifty (and might I add, rather cleverly worded) line of text:  'Just for Baby'. . ."

"Some of your finest writing there, Dave."

"Thank you, Bob, thanks a lot.  But back to the point-- Do you think it's obvious enough that this is baby knitwear?  Is there anything we could do to make sure there's no possible doubt that it's meant for a baby?  I mean, we don't want to be irresponsible here and accidentally start a hideous new fashion trend among grown women."

"Hm.  I s'pose we could always get a photo or a cute line drawing of a baby."

"True, true.  We could do that.  Or-- and here's what I'm thinking-- we slap the image of a disembodied baby head up here in the corner.  Whaddya think?"

"You've done it again, Dave!"

That gauzy wisp of fabric around the bottom of the head-- the way it hides the baby's mouth from view so you can't tell if she or he is smiling, cooing, or gaping in horror-- is the perfect finishing touch.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now, THAT's a Poncho!

Not much more to say, really. . . Just look at the thing!

. . . (and the rather fabulous black boots she wears with it!)

I can't decide whether it's awesome or horrifying.  Certainly I can't imagine wearing it, myself, but maybe I'm just a fashion-coward. 

One thing's obvious-- You can't escape notice in such a huge, vibrant poncho. 

(A question:  Was this the best the magazine could do for an issue that seems to have been devoted to "the rustic look"?  Brilliantly colored ponchos just don't scream "rustic UK" to me. Who knows what Great Britain was like in 1977, though. . .)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fathers, Lock Up Your Daughters!

I'm not sure what to say about this one. . .

The high waist. . . the fitted sleeves. . . the whole thing (including the guy in it and his pose). . .

He's basically every woman's most secret fantasy-hunk, come to life (well, er, come to vintage photo, at least).  (Ooh, baby!

Wipe that drool off your keyboards, ladies.  (I hear it wreaks havoc with electronics.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hairdo? Hair-Don't!

How best to show off a new knit? 

Try slouching a bit, first.  (Bad posture is a must.)

And if at all possible, wear your hair like this:

. . . It's almost like they wanted to distract you from even noticing the sweater (or whatever the proper terminology is for that garment).  I mean, it's plain enough as it is-- not bad per se, but definitely vanilla-- and then they throw in that weird braid-headband thing. . .

Yep, definitely trying to distract you from the knitwear. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Giant Floor Balls in the Wild

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon another photo of the elusive Giant Floor Ball

Here we find them not in captivity (as in the photo in the entry linked above) but in their natural habitat-- the backyard lounge area. 

Ah, yes!  Here in these verdant surroundings they are free to be themselves, frollicking around the hammock where. . .

*clears throat nervously*

Eh, what exactly are all those pillows doing

*briefly consults volume titled Guide to the Wild Yarnthings of North America*

. . . Ahem.  Yes, well, that concludes our blog entry for the day! 

*shoos a couple stray readers out the door, looks back once more at the photo, shudders, and flicks the light-switch off*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"What The. . ."

Let's say you have a toddler-- a sweet little child for whom you like to knit sweaters.

You love that baby, right?
You want to protect him or her from the scary things in life. . .

. . . the nightmarish things, like, say, blue boogeyman-monsters:

What in the world is that thing?  Why was it brought forth into creation, with its donut eyes and sausage nose?  Is it a stuffed toy or (*shudder*) a costumed person?  Either way, it gives me the creeps-- and because it doesn't appear to be knit or crochet, one has to wonder why it was included in the photo shoot at all. 

. . . Creepy.

Afghan Envy

She sat in the wicker chair-- by a herculean effort refusing to shiver, despite bare legs-- and watched as her "friend" snuggled luxuriously beneath the afghan. . .

. . . The afghan, that marvel of yarn emblazoned with columns of colorful peacocks so realistic you could almost hear them calling through the still, oppressively warm twilight of some exotic, perfumed place. . .

Long had she coveted the handmade blanket.  Sheila deserved that afghan-- so much more than Margot ever would-- and it had been the subject of an unacknowledged coldness between them for years-- the bright, multicolored elephant in the room. 

Today, she kept a careful distance, choosing the chair on the far side of the room, the better to observe her enemy.  Today, she watched-- watched and plotted.  Tomorrow, she would act. . .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"People! I'll never understand 'em. . ."

The baby in the photo of this "Infant's Knitted Set" caught my eye:

She's really staring at that mitt on her hand*. . .

She looks perturbed. . .

"I'd really like to try to stick my whole fist in my mouth again.  (I'm pretty sure I can do it, this time!  I've been thinking about it, and I have some new strategies in mind.)  But for some reason they keep putting these horrible-tasting things on my hands!  Now, why would they go and do a mean thing like that?  Sometimes I just don't understand people. . ."

Poor kid!

*Yes, I know people sometimes put mitts/mittens on young babies to prevent them from scratching themselves. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Slimming Effect

What do you think of this knit dress?

It does have rather a slimming effect-- I'll give it that much.

On the other hand, the placement of the colorful chevron pattern looks almost like a HUGE tie. . . the cravat-ish thing at her neck is bizarre. . . and her knit ski cap (or toboggan, as we always called them when I was growing up)-- well, it looks like she robbed it off some scruffy fisherman, with little regard to how it might look (especially in combination with this dress).

. . .So I guess it just depends on how important you think it is to look skinny.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Knit Dickie

(Don't worry, this one's completely kid-friendly and safe for work. . . unless you object to weird-lookin' knit clothes, that is.)

I've never quite understood the need for the dickie-- you know, those tops (though it requires an extraordinary amount of generousity to call them tops) that lack sleeves, sides and a waist and are essentially just a neck with a front and back flap.  Maybe they serve a purpose beyond making the wearer look silly, but I've yet to discover it. 

To be fair, dickies aren't meant to be seen in full.  Under ideal circumstances, you only see the neck and never even know that it's a fake.  (That's right.  I said it.  Dickies are fake clothes.  You gonna do something about it?  Yeah, that's what I thought.) 

However, when you're presenting people with a pattern for making a dickie, they really need to see how the final object should look. . . and so you're left with photos like this one:

(No matter how hard you try, you can't help but look silly in a fully visible dickie.  Poor guy.)

Now, technically, these next two are called "helmets", but I postulate that this was merely a ploy to convince manly men to wear them.  Clearly what we have here is nothing more than two (tightly) hooded dickies. 

"I'm sorry, honey, but what with all the holiday bustle, I didn't have time to knit the rest of the sweater in time for Christmas.  Can't you just wear it like this?"

On the bright side, this is a great project for lazy knitters.  So much faster than knitting up the whole garment!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Once Upon a Photo-Shoot. . .

Once upon a fashion-knitwear photo-shoot, there was a very bored model. . .

"Woe is me, for I am teh bored. . ."

"I even look skyward in my ultra-extreme boredom, because this emphasizes the degree of my boredness (as well as showing off my long, elegant neck)."


"It is so boring being a beautiful modeler of fashion-knitwear. . .  (By the way, what is with these oversized sleeves?  So ugly!  I just don't get designers, sometimes. . .)"

*weary stumble*

"Excuse me while I lean against this stone wall.  My extraordinary level of boredom has left me weak. . ."


". . . I must rest. . . (Modeling is such hard work. . .)"


And so the fashion-knitwear model drifted into a deep and dreamless slumber (and no she did not snore and whoever says she did is a foul liar and should be made to wear acrylic granny-square sweaterdresses for the rest of her miserable life-- As if!). . .

She slept in untroubled peace until the photographer (or was it the art director?) trod upon a twig, snapped it, and woke her.

Grumpy after her interrupted nap, the model was fussy for the rest of the afternoon, and the remainder of the photos from the shoot showed it. . .

This is her "you're starting to get on my nerves" expression:

. . .Followed by the "you really don't want to mess with me today" look:

But I think my favorite might be this one, the "That's it!  I've had it!  I will now strangle you with your camera strap":

(Seriously, though-- that model does look incredibly bored or ticked off in many of her photos in this magazine.  It was enough to catch my attention, at least.  Some very pretty knitting in many of the photos, though!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I question the wisdom of knitting (or crocheting) a skirt to match a top.   It really doesn't seem like the best of ideas, but I suppose it's possible to do it well.  (Or at least not to do it so badly that you render yourself ridiculous.)

Knitted shorts to match a top, on the other hand. . .

And there's that hood / hat /thingamabob that goes with it, too.  And all of it in orange

We can only pray that this sort of thing never comes back into fashion.
(Was it ever in fashion at all?   One has to wonder. . .)

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Career Girl"

(Hm.  "Career girl" isn't a euphemism like "working girl", is it. . . ?  Nah, didn't think so.)

This hat is mysteriously named Career Girl:

Now, the obvious question is this:  What sort of horrible career requires you to wear that ridiculous-looking thing (and how can I make sure I never have to do that for a living)?!

What are those things poking through the beret supposed to be?  Bizarre flowers from another planet?  Antennae (like the ones you find on aliens from another planet)?  Whatever they are, without them, the hat would be merely plain and ugly.  With them, though, the hat is elevated to a higher plane of oddity.  It's mesmerizing, somehow. . .

"Roxanne!  You don't have to wear that hat tonight!
Girl, that thing looks silly!
You don't care if it's wrong or if it's right!"

(or something. . .)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get Thee to a Nunnery!

When my husband first saw this one, he didn't think it was that bad.  Maybe he thought I liked it and was trying to be supportive.  After all, it does look like an oversized doily, and I am in the process of learning doily-making.  (Hush.  We all have our weaknesses.  One of mine happens to be crochet lace.) 

Anyway, I don't know what he was thinking, but here are my problems with this one:
  1. It is so very, very PINK.  Pink is fine in moderation, but this is too much (possibly because of the background detail photo).
  2. (As mentioned earlier...) It looks like a gigantic (pink) doily has engulfed the model in crochet lace. 
  3. It's hard to tell for sure because of the posing, but it looks like the sleeves are way too long.  A little extra length in the sleeves, ok.  This much, no.  
  4. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but it looks like the model isn't wearing anything under the crocheted top.  (This would explain the odd pose, would it not?  Cleverly (?) using the arms/elbows to cover the naughty bits?)  You should never (no, never) wear holey crocheted or knitted lace without first putting on something underneath.  (For goodness sake, girl, at least wear a bra!)  It's indecent, and it's almost single-handedly leading to the moral breakdown of modern civilization. 
But aside from that, I love it.

ETA:  Apologies for the lack of a photo with this post, earlier.  Also, upon looking at this photo again (and another, in which the model is posing in a different position), I see that she is wearing something (a bra) under the crocheted top.  (As well she should.)  However, I am still shocked to my very core-- and plan to remain so for the foreseeable future.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    U-G-L-Y, You Ain't Got No Alibi. . .

    The pattern calls it "A Little Pixie Hat".

    I call it UGLY.

    (And I think that's putting it mildly.)

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    "Smurfette? Is that you?"

    Today, I present you with two blue women in very orange knitwear:

    (This is where you should insert your own joke about Avatar or the Smurfs.  Thank you for your cooperation.)

    I know about complementary colors.   You know, certain colors are opposites on the color wheel, and putting them close together makes them "pop".  Blue and orange happen to be complementary-- but I still think this is taking things a little too far, don't you?

    Monday, April 12, 2010


    Monogrammed socks:

    Protection against the worryingly high rate of sock theft reported nationwide.

    (Downside, you have to wear your pants awfully high if you want anyone to see your initials...)

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    "Gentlemen Prefer"

    Gentlemen prefer. . . what, exactly?

    Can't be blondes, because this woman's obviously not, and yet she has their full attention. 

    Maybe gentlemen prefer bright, garish sweaters (the most logical assumption here, I think, given that this is a knitting booklet).

    Of course, on the other hand, it might be that gentlemen prefer huge baskets of assorted tropical fruits. . .

    . . . or brunettes with bizarre, gravity-defying hairdos. . .

    . . . or women in high-waisted polyester pants. . .

    I guess we'll never know.   (Don't you just love the expressions on those two, though?   And the way that one guy is leaning in a little closer?)

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    The Value of Selecting the Right Name

    The Sweater Workshop-- not to be confused with "sweatshop". 

    P.S.  What kind of sweater is that in the upper left-hand corner?  A dog sweater maybe?  Or a sleeveless sweater for an unhealthily skinny person?  Odd.

    P.P.S.  Whoever thought "sweater" was a good name for a garment, anyway?  When you're raised with the word, you tend not to think much about it, but really, when is it ever a good idea to put the word "sweat" in the name of something you want people to buy, make, or wear?  Yuck. 

    Monty Pythonesque

    Is it just me, or don't these ladies look like something out of the animated portion of an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus

    It's mostly because they're colorized, I think.

    (Side note:  What is the woman on the left holding?)

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    CSI: Special Knitwear Unit

    Maybe I've watched too much crime drama, but this awkwardly posed model gives me C.S.I. flashbacks ('way back to the episodes when Grissom was still on the show). 

    I mean, who would purposely lie in that uncomfortable position?  And what is she lying on?  It almost looks like a rock (though I'm pretty sure it's not).

    . . . It's kind of creepy.   The sweater itself is ok, but the posing gets an F.

    Yarn Yuck Rule #79:
    Whenever possible, avoid posing your model so that she looks like the victim of a homicide.


    This one is only funny because of the name, I think.

    The "Ladies' Swagger Coat". 

    Can't you just see it in the model's pose that she knew the name of this pattern when she modeled it?

    I actually kind of like the coat.  It seems very comfortable and just the sort of thing that you could wear anywhere and do anything in.  No wonder she's swaggering, with a coat like that!

    (Still. . . )
    Yarn Yuck Rule #27:
    Some of us can't help but be swayed by the names (rather arbitrarily) given to objects, colors (of paint and cosmetics, for instance), and books, but do try not to take the pattern name too seriously or literally.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    What the. . .?

    A word of warning:
    If you're a teensy bit prudish (as I myself happen to be), you may wish to shoo any stray children or other innocents from the room before scrolling down to this post's photo. 

    Sorry to trouble the rest of you folks,

    but since this is generally-- I hope--

    a fairly family-safe blog, I felt I ought

    to give a little warning this time. . .

    Wouldn't want to embarrass anyone. . .

    . . . I don't want to be the reason little

    Bobby or Susie start asking Mommy

    awkward questions, for instance. . .

    I also wouldn't want your co-workers

    (who just happen to pass by at

    the wrong moment) to think you're

    a total weirdo. . . 

    Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blog entry!

    The title (which, to remind you, is "What the. . .?") says it all, really.

    What more is there to say-- what more to do than to stare in horror and disbelief?

    (Still, because this is a blog, I will say something more. . .)

    What is this meant to be?  A swimsuit?  Lingerie?  Either way, it is clearly the result of a severe lapse in judgment. 

    Also:  If (perish the thought) you ever find yourself compelled to crochet a swimsuit / teddy / whatever the heck this thing is, please consider using a color slightly more appealing and flattering than harvest gold (with a touch of pea soup).  Just a helpful hint. 

    (Dear Readers, prepare yourselves:  There are more entries in the "What the. . .?" series just waiting to be written and posted.  You'll never know when one might pop up next.  Live and read in fear, my friends.  You're never as safe as you think you are.  Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!)

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Fanny Pack Prototype

    Some ideas come before their time.

    In this instance, I speak of the crochet "pocket belt" and "purse belt". . .

    . . . or (as I think of them) the fanny pack prototypes. 

    No, really.  Aren't they essentially just an early, crocheted version of a belly bag (or bum bag, pouch, belt pack, hip sack, or whatever other term you prefer)? 

    More proof that there are no new ideas.  (So why even bother getting up in the morning, right?)

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    "For Men Only"

    Personally, I think these sweaters are fairly amusing.  With the green vest, it's mainly the way it's worn. . . and the neckline.  (A V-neck would be more masculine here, wouldn't it?)  Then there's the harvest gold cardigan with that silly-looking belt.  However, in this case, mocking the knits is only an afterthought. 

    The name of this knitting pattern book-- For Men Only-- takes on a whole new meaning when you look at the posing of the models. . .

    Is it just me or is Dude A looking at Dude B a little too interestedly for them to be casual acquaintances or best buds?

    Maybe it's that "one hand on his hip and the other hand on his chin" pose. . .

    "Hm," he seems to be thinking. . . "Hm. . . I never noticed before how perfectly Dude B's feathered hair feathers. . .  That is one fine-lookin' man!"

    . . . Or maybe I've just been looking at knitwear too long and it's addled my brain. 

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    The Horror! The Horror!

    I realize that the early 1960s were in many ways a more innocent time. . .

    . . . but I still can't fathom that there could have been any era in which these ski masks didn't strike instinctual horror into the hearts of all who saw them:

    I mean, seriously-- EEK!

    In my quest for a decent photo of these monstrosities (from Easy-to-Make Fashions: For the North South East West), I came across this "nightmare ski mask" and an even more horrifying selection of ski masks.

    Feel free to blame me for the nightmares.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Like Mother, Like Daughter

    "I shall call her. . . Mini-Me."

    (Ok, so the sweaters themselves look nice enough. . . and I guess it isn't so weird for a mother and daughter to wear matching clothes. . . or at least I'm sure it wasn't back in the 1950s. . .)

    It Needs Something. . .

    You know those times when you're dressing for a special event?  And you stand in front of the mirror, plucking a molecule of fluff off your gorgeous handmade sweater (you know, the one with the elegant, classic lines), twitching your lacy black skirt into the perfect position. . . ?

    . . .And you think to yourself, "It just needs something. . . some little thing to make it perfect. . ."?

    Well, that missing "something" is most definitely not a big honkin' satiny bow. 

    (Just sayin'. . .)

    Yarn Yuck Rule #182:
    Don't overpower your beautiful knitted or crocheted art-to-wear with loud accessories.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Shawl We or Shawl We Not?

    Shawls seem to be difficult to pose in photos.  Maybe it's because the shawl itself is an awkward accessory for modern times.

    Don't get me wrong-- I like shawls, in theory.  I have a folder full of patterns that struck my fancy, and I fully intend to crochet at least one shawl for myself, one of these days.  However, even I have to wonder whether I'll ever get a chance to wear my shawl.  (You know, in public.  Where people will see the shawl.  And preferably not stare, point, or stifle giggles at my expense.)  I'm not a dress-up kinda gal.  Like so many other women, I tend to dress casually, and I question the usefulness of those gauzy confections of laceweight. 

    Perhaps some of my reservations regarding shawls stem from the aforesaid awkwardly posed photos.  I mean, if a model-- someone who is paid to make clothes look good-- can't pull it off, what chance do I have? 

    There are certain poses that photographers appear to rely on rather heavily, when photographing shawls.

    There's the "grasp the shawl in your hand and extend your arm at shoulder-height, even though you probably hardly ever hold this position this in real life (outside of maybe a gym), because this is the best way to show off the detailed pattern":

    Then there's the "(almost) raise the roof dance" pose, again with the shawl's corners carefully grasped in the hands. 

    I have never seen anyone do this "in real life".  (Of course, I don't know if I've ever seen anyone wearing a lacy shawl, period, in my real life. . .)

    This pose is almost always done with the model's back to the camera, as shown above, but occasionally you get someone really daring who shows you the other side:

    (This is generally best avoided, especially when your model insists on wearing a smileless, dead-eyed expression likely to inspire fear and dread in the hearts of her audience.)

    Some photographers try somewhat more realistic posing. 

    For example, here we have the be-shawled young woman in a street setting, straddling some type of railing (???) and looking a bit miffed.  (Whether this is because she's straddling some railing on the side of a road or due to some other circumstances, I cannot say.) 

    I should point out that, despite the increased realism, the poor model is still forced to put her hand on her hip, jutting her elbow out to put the exquisite crochet detailing on display.

    (When I get around to making my crochet lace shawl, will I be expected to keep one elbow bent at all times, the better to show off my handiwork?  Will I look [even more] ridiculous if I walk around in non-bent-elbow comfort?  These are the kinds of things that keep one up at all hours of the night. . .)

    On the other side of the spectrum (way, way, way across from the "attempt at realism" side), we have this pose, which I like to call "the Count Dracula":

    (Please note:  The Count Dracula should not be attempted by amateurs.)

    So, I'm left with yet another dilemma:  Assuming I ever do crochet myself a shawl, how am I going to pose it for the "big reveal" photos?