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. . .