Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
A Stack of Old Knitting and Crocheting Books
Discovered at: Mostly at Thrift Town in El Cerrito, where I saw a woman in a muumuu hollering at a cashier that she wouldn't pay 79 cents for a broken G.I. Joe toy set.
Like gardening, running, and developing knowledge through careful attention to facts expressed in written words, clothes-making was once a necessity that in post-industrial America has been reduced to a hobby. Part of the allure of keeping such archaic pursuits alive is the certainty that soon -- in post-employment America -- they will again become necessities, a dark time during which ravaged villagers will come to regard hobbyists as Prometheuses, except with tomato plants or decoupage rather than fire.
Or maybe hobbyists do it because it's fun.
But that's hard to believe, based on these old knitting and crocheting books your Crap Archivist recently turned up. In fact, these seem to have been designed to dissuade potential hobbyists from ever being inspired enough to invest hours and yarn into DIY fashion. Perhaps these publishers wanted to kill the hobby so that one day, when we need them, they'll be the only ones who remember how it's done -- the Squantos of hideous scarves.
Anyway, here's their handiwork, which probably won't become your handiwork:
Ever wanted a hat that expresses your patriotism as well as your love for Jiffy-Pop? It can be yours, with only a sizable investment at Jo-Ann Fabrics followed by countless hours of purling! (Note the gold bling chain the man is rocking. I presume that each link commemorates one of his victims. And hey -- isn't that Cybill Shepherd?)
That's from Knitted and Crocheted Boutique, a pamphlet with no date on it that presumably hails from the late 1960s or the first breath of the 1970s.
We move ahead now to 1975's Easy Art of Crocheting Your Wardrobe, a book so bad that the stylish woman on its cover is attempting to step out of it. See her beam with the possibility of escape!
The highlight is this, the "versatile coat dress."
The name is accurate, if by "versatile" they mean it works as a dress, an afghan, and a cat's idea of heaven.
Here's another ambitious project.
Why not dedicate a year of your life to looking like you dressed yourself with the spoils from a shipwreck?
Next: The knitted man!