Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trending down - a rant

DISCLAIMER. I officially declare today as The World According to Julie Day, which means I get to opine openly about what I hate in current knitting trends. You're now duly warned. All that follows is just my humble opinion (JMHO).

I hate cowls.
Cowls were all the rage when I was in the college in the late seventies. I hated them then, too. Why? Because I have a two-inch neck. Maybe three. (See the photo of Tom and me below for empirical evidence.) There just isn't room to comfortably stuff a knitted loop around my neck. Yes, I know you'll tell me they draw attention up to my face and blah blah blah. But I ain't wearing them!

Much to my dismay, yesterday a cowl-bearing LYS owner chased me around and around waving her latest neckware design. I almost screamed at her: I DON'T WEAR TURTLENECKS, COWLS, SNOODS, OR DICKEYS - NOW GO AWAY!!! Then she started blathering on about how I could make a sweater in super bulky yarn and I almost screamed: ARE YOU NUTS? I'M FAT AND MENOPAUSAL - I DON'T WEAR SUPER BULKY WOOL! NOW GO AWAY!!! It wasn't a pleasant shopping trip, as you can imagine.

Many knitting classes offered today are for cowls, the perfect beginning knitting project. But for me, they're just a mega-yawn. I'll be happy when the trend shifts and no one wears them again for 30 years. Can't come too soon. JMHO, of course.

What is with all the shawls?
I know shawls make good beginning lace projects, but ACK! Half of the most popular patterns on Ravelry are shawls. What I want to know is why isn't anyone wearing them? I know one old hippie who routinely wears shawls but hasn't stopped donning them since the Summer of Love (there's a reference that will date me).

I admit I've got a shawl project stuffed in my purse. I take it with me everywhere and pull it out whenever I have to wait at the chiropractor's. When it is completed, I will wrap the shawl around me when I type because I get chilly sitting still. But neither this chiropractic shawl nor any other will ever become a wardrobe staple. Ever! I'll be interested to see what women do with all these large knitted squares and half-circles; I doubt they'll ever wear them more than twice.

But I do think lace shawls are beautiful. JMHO, of course.

I despise variegated yarn.
Listen. Just because a yarn manfacturer can use ten dye colors in a single skein doesn't mean you should be knitting everything you own in it. The first problem: horizontal striping. Even skinny chicks look heavy with stripes wrapped again and again around their bodies. Second, color pooling sucks! Although some manufacturers are figuring out how to dye yarn so it doesn't pool hideously, most  multicolored yarn does. Variegation doesn't bother me on mittens or socks and even some shawls, but I don't like it on anything else. And I just HATE variegated yarns used with lace or cables. When it comes to knitting something, pick one - lace, cables, or abject color - do NOT combine! I'd like to see your lace and cables but if they're smothered with wildly changing hues, I can't see them at all. JMHO, of course.

Enough with the ruffles!
Ruffles? Really? I'm 51 years old. Ruffles? Little girl dresses, yes. Wide-angled, middle-aged mamas? NO. JMHO, of course.

Death to skulls and crossbones
Maybe I'm too old. No, definitely I'm too old. But honestly, must everything be plastered with the universal sign for poison? God or Satan willing, this trend is dying, but it can't happen soon enough. (Love being able to get in a picture of a pug, however!) JMHO, of course.

Stop reproducing fornicating reindeer
And to end today's rant, I propose putting a permanent end to those horrible sex addicts, the fornicating reindeer. Why do people knit this motif? To shock their grandmothers? I'm not a grandmother but I'm old enough to be one, and yes, it shocks me.

Do reindeers f*** in the woods? Yes. Let them, and respect their privacy. Stop knitting this nonsense!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just my humble opinion!


  1. You are an absolute rollicking scream!
    I have never noticed that reindeer motif.Now I will be looking at everyone I see with reindeer.

    Shawls..Everyone is knitting them, but no one I see ever wears them.

    Cowls..I love them. I can hide part of my double chin in them! I don;t like the massive ones like in the photo, though.

    That poor dog.

    Cables and 'wildly changing hues''s not's fact..they just don't's like flowers and plaids.

    and finally...I'll add 2 more ...

    raglan 'cardis' which have one button at the top and open up into an A all the way down the 2 fronts with a belly stickin' through...

    ANY pattern saying it is for 50" and over which have the word MINIMALIST in the title.
    That's a huge hint about fit right there !


  2. LMAO

    And THIS is why I watch your blog!!!

    And the info on how to modify patterns for big girls. (I have Big Girl Knits, but this is better)

  3. Loved the rant. I agree wholeheartedly on the pirate crossbones,ruffles, and varigated yarn! Pet peeves of mine too. Thankfully, I've never seen the rutting raindeer before and hopefully won't again. While I agree that I don't know who else is wearing all these knitted shawls, I do wear mine, all the time in the winter, in the house and outside the house. Warm but not hotly confining like a coat. I don't knit or wear super light lace--not my stage of life, and I never go anywhere that requires dressing up enought that a lace shawl might be an appropriate accessory. And, I kind of like cowls--not the big floppy 80s ones, but the neck warmed kind. I have a longer neck--though my double chin is erroding that real estate lately--and wrapping my neck in wool really helps keep me warm the way a choking turtleneck never did. Loved the rant!

  4. I hate cowls as well. I'm so with you! And ruffles ... that screams 80's and no one liked that era. Maybe it is just my knitting funk speaking through!

  5. Mariposa: xxxooo! What a lovely compliment.

    Ann: maybe I need to rethink my opposition to shawls... a utilitarian shawl would be a good thing, I think.

    Colorslut: Why a knitting funk???

  6. OH man your blog is hilarious!
    I have to admit I like variegated yarns but I
    have learned to use them. They are cute on kids and as trim on the outer bits of solid color garments.
    Oh and shawls I don't get that either. Why so many? I do have a friend who hung some on her walls and they look pretty cool.
    I don't quite get cowls, or fornicating deer either. I do like ruffles, on little girls, they have there place IMHO. Happy Knitting!

  7. Shaineinok, "hilarious" is truly the ultimate compliment. Thanks for reading, writing, and laughing!

  8. Um, I wear shawls. Sometimes even when I knit so I don't have to crank the thermostat up.
    Are we still friends?

  9. LMAO, Experimental... we are indeed friends. I don't dislike shawls... I just don't think anyone wears them. And I suspect that amples knit shawls because they're too scared to make sweaters or can't find a pattern they're confident will fit if they knit the whole damn thing. Regardless, you and I will always be pals no matter how many shawls you make. :-)

  10. I completely agree with the cowl thing. I can't stand anything near my throat. I never wear turtlenecks. Sometimes the crew neck of a tee shirt or sweater are too much. I will use a scarf or neckerchief if I'm cold in the winter.

    I've seen the deer before and just don't know what to say. That is not something I will be knitting.

    I'm not a big fan of ruffles either.

    As for shawls, I love knitting them. Sadly, I haven't worn them as often as I would like.

    Variegated yarns are good for socks, mittens, and shawls. I prefer a semi-solid/solid color for sweaters.

  11. Okay, but which shawl is that? I have to know ;)

  12. Shelda, I'm sorry, but I don't remember which shawl that was. I know I found it on Ravelry. I hate when bloggers write about something and then don't provide a link. My bad... so sorry. :-(

  13. Every time I Google my anti-shawl rant thought of the day, I end up on your site. And I laugh all over again.

    I despise shawls. And I know a lot of knitters who are making these shawls and they never, ever wear them.

    I also hate cowls. And variegated yarn.

    And fingerless gloves. You are so close to making the fingers, why give up now?!?

    I wish there were a way on ravelry to only see non-cowl, non-shawl, non-fingerless glove FOs. I like the gallery of FOs, but seeing any of the things I can't stand sets me off like nobody's business.