Archive for the ‘Vintage Knitting Photos – What Were They Thinking??!’ Category

Mary and I are very pleased to bring you our first ever guest post. We love his website and were thrilled when he was willing to post a little something on our blog about the craftastrophes he finds on his many shopping travels!

When I heard that I was being nominated as this year’s Miss August, I was thrilled. I ran to my computer, updated all my statuses–wait, wrong post.

When I heard that ThriftHorror had a chance to share the strange and eerie world of Austin’s used yarn underworld with the fine people at Rewind Knits and Crochet, I thought, “My god. Are they that desperate? I have to help these poor souls.” So, Brandy, Mary, here you are. You’re welcome. Or, I’m sorry. One of those.

Let’s get right to the clowns, which really is our lifeblood down at Thrifthorror. There was a time, just after complex invertebrate life emerged from the primal sludge, but before the lion tamer act, when giant, tentacular clowns roamed the bottoms of the ocean, cracking open clams with their sucker-covered limbs and clustering inside comedically small discarded shells, coming out only to feed or, regrettably, mate. And gentlemen, here is the proof.


True story, the stumpy land-fish worked up the courage to get the hell out of the sea because they were utterly creeped out by these things. It takes a lot to really bother a fish, but drifting, doll-headed octoclowns the color of an epileptic fit are a good way to begin.


Truly, a startling reproduction of an entirely regrettable geological epoch. My favorite part is its beak.

From toys to scare your cat to projects Grandma unwisely began and wisely stopped. Have some wild, wild mushrooms.


I think the one on the left is a loose morel.


Anyway, the best part of this particular piece of embroidered embarrassment is you can actually see the exact moment when the artist figured out where this project was going to end. Then everything got a little bit unwindey.


I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this picture a dozen times on dishes that escaped from the Seventies, maybe a couple of Audobon prints. And you know what? It looked pretty darn phallic there, too. Not the sort of image that mere needlepoint would be able to salvage. The little twizzle of embroidery floss flying away like an obscene party streamer, nice touch. But I really like the delicate shading the artist sketched in right before giving up. You can tell, after this point, it’s really only going to go downhill.

The image could only have been improved with a pair of well-placed puffballs.

Sticking with the “unfortunate nature” theme, you really can’t go wrong with a big honking macrame frog. Unless, of course, you can, and I’ve been lied too all these years. You be the judge.


Remember, someone almost certainly hung this up in a house. Probably the guest bathroom, nobody goes in there, but possibly in the children’s playroom, where they will not only develop a deep fear of frogs, but of all aquatic life, which will serve them well as they grow into upstanding young hydrophobes. I can’t imagine what emotions this frog is trying to express. It’s like he’s trying to file his small business taxes.


Our executive producer, Dr. Chance, says this thing bears a striking resemblance to the monster “Lungfish on “Psychonauts.” I think I disagree. The overall look is more “roadkill.” I should have bought this for the office’s Christmas party: can you get a penalty for rough play in a white elephant party?

This post seems to be going into triple overtime, so I’ll wrap up with this sweet little piece of handicraft from the “don’t do that with wool” file.


Martha Stewart has nothing, nothing at all to say about this piece. It is clearly a bad thing. Each lovingly scalloped ruffle and pleat is a hand-crafted coaster. It only looks like bacon. Unfortunately, that means that when you have a party of six or eight heavy drinkers, you’re left with this.


Which after a few beers, is actually kind of funny. Except for its sad, stumpy little arms and pencil-thin body, and one massive, circular foot. That’s just sad. Baby, pull down your hood. Hide your shame.


Fist full of baby! Soft, organic folds of knit muscular tissue rammed on a stick and topped with a cheap doll head. It’s really the little things that matter in life.

Thank you for the kind invitation, Brandy and Mary! Let me know when you’re passing through Austin and we’ll go shopping!

Best wishes,
TV’s Jacob

Read Full Post »

As many high fashion designers, great artists and creative folks in general will tell you, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Of course the Snuggie can’t be classified as high fashion, art OR creative, but it certainly has achieved full kitsch status (as well as pulling $41 million in revenue in 2009).

I had this ad from Reynolds Yarns that was in the spring/summer 1972 Good Housekeeping Needlecraft magazine earmarked to make fun of (“wild, wooly, wearable translations of the royal robes of Borneo… needs no shaping… who’d ever believe you made it!?”).  Upon further reflection, I felt the need to point out the frightening similarities (sans fringe) –   Multi functional!  Shapeless!  Incredibly emasculating! And Many More! – to the Snuggie.  I will let you be the judge.

Sidenote – doesn’t the dude in the gray, yellow and red Royal Robe look like Steve Carell?  I have money on this guy being a virgin as well.

Read Full Post »

to tell the whole story let your cape do the talking. This cape says “It was a beautiful day as I was walking down the tree lined granny square path near the lake. The recent rain shower left a few clouds in the sky along with a magnificent rainbow. I took some time on a small patch of grass to stare at the sky in admiration…” We are unsure of the rest of the tale, we can’t see the front, but we like to imagine it depicts a trip to the spa for a mani-pedi.

Read Full Post »

What do you expect, it was 1972!  The description states:

“Be the Pick of the Crop!”

“spunky pair of overalls”

“just right for a vacation in the country or on a farm”

“slip them over a body suit”

“you’ll be a real country girl”

I live in the country, have two horses and a barn.
This is not country wear my friends.

I must go now and applique apples on all my clothing.

Read Full Post »

Sure to do wonders for any child’s self esteem, these attractive, upscale winter looks are guaranteed to be a hit on playgrounds everywhere.

I ask you the design inspiration:
*A dickie gone horribly wrong?

*A perverse fear love of clowns and lucha libre?

*My child is annoying me.

While you ponder these designs, make sure to get your evil clown and lucha libre names squared away:

Generate your evil clown name here:

And your new wrestling name here:


Mary’s Evil Clown Name: Dead Eye Maker o Baloon Animals
Mary’s Lucha Wrestler Name: Sangre Ridiculoso

Brandy’s Evil Clown Name: Dave The Facepainted Menace (weird)
Brandy’s Lucha Wrestler Name: Chile Supremo

Read Full Post »

Another delectable and perhaps misguided design, this parka-o-yarn has many features and benefits:

1)  Matching ensemble
2)  Bad Hair Day compatible
3)  Room for another person
4)   Instant conversation starter

How many yards of yarn do you think this took?  An entire dye lot perhaps?  And how many hoursdays weeks months?

Maybe REI will consider this for their fall 2010 winter apparel catalog.  Until then, enjoy from afar.

Read Full Post »

Upon researching a link for our good friend Woody featured in our last post, we delved deep in to the “Cosby sweater” subculture. Mesmerized, one click after another led us deeper and deeper into a love-hate relationship of this “novelty” sweater.

The brightly colored, very detailed sweaters made by Coogi were the “it” sweater of the ’80s/early ’90’s. They became the fashion trademark for Bill Cosby (hence the nickname) and more notably The Notorious B.I.G., which he stated in his lyrics “I stay Coogi down to the socks”. While Coogi has seen a decline in mainstream popularity they remain persistent as they continue to put out fashion forward product lines, influencing the knit industry and urban hipsters everywhere.

Some of the fun and interesting links we found along the way:

  • If you miss Bill C. and his sweaters, he’s getting with the times. You can now follow him on such places as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Can’t wait to get an earful of his socially conscious hip-hop, then click here!
  • Childhood cartoon icon gets a ghetto make over on this rad hip-hop t-shirt. We love how you get a free mix tape with purchase. Be one of the cool kids click here!
  • We’ll never understand where American Apparel is coming from, but that’s the point of being fashion forward. Inspired by the mix and match of ’80’s color these loud socks are a must have to accompany your Coogi mini-dress. To keep your ass calves warm click here!
  • Urban Outfitters makes no effort to hide their inspiration. It’s all in the name “Silence + Noise Cosby Sweater Coat”. This black and white intarsia knit sweater coat will keep you warm with out blinding your friends, click here!

We saved the best two links for last…

  • For those who have yet retire their sweaters, and probably never will, this blog is for you. Rock Dat Coogi!
  • We love blogs with great stories behind them. Here’s this guy with more “bad sweaters” than one guy should have and his tales in spreading the bad sweater love. He’s been featured all over the place, so why not here too?! Check out the Bad Sweater Guy!

We hope you have enjoyed the brief look at the “Cosby sweater”. Now go, be inspired to make some bad knit choices of your own and don’t forget to take some pictures!

Read Full Post »

I am so confused yet fascinated by this whole ensemble.  We can start with the 70’s Princess Leia inspired hair, and work our way down I guess.  Actually, I will let you drink it all in, much like I am going to drink some box wine later to cope with this disaster.

I especially love the perfect twirl she has going on the skirt.

Read Full Post »

Non offensive caption goes here...

Bob, what is up? Are you pissed about the fact your name is on your sweater?  Maybe you are unhappy with your boxy cable vest?  Why so violent?

I bet Bob grew up to have poor dental hygiene, a criminal record, and some unfortunate tattoos.


Some excellent photo styling for sure.

Read Full Post »