Saturday, December 29, 2012

That Seventies Pattern

I never know how a post is going to affect the reading public, but the last thing I expected after I threw daddy's peekaboo robe at you is that you'd ask for more.

Never let it be said that I don't try to give you what you want.

This is the other woman's magazine from the rack in my now-defunct Living History of the Nineteen-Seventies Bathroom. Woman's Day, April 1974.

wd-74-cover

John F. Kennedy was no longer alive and Jackie Kennedy was no longer a Kennedy; but their faces still sold copies. At least we were spared a portrait of Mama Rose, whose typically gushy, self-aggrandizing memoir is excerpted inside. I will spare you quotes.*

What I will not spare you, because you asked for it, is two specimens from the NEWEST TO KNIT AND CROCHET that's trumpeted below FASHION FINDS and above 50 TIPS  TO MAKE ANY DIET WORK.

(Will the headlines on the covers of women's magazines ever change?)

We have, first, "Mosaic Vest," in crochet.

crochet-vest

All I'm going to say about this is that if I produced a woman's upper garment with beep-beep daisies squarely over each nipple I'd be accused of knowing nothing about female anatomy. (There are great gaps in my knowledge of female anatomy, I admit. But I know where the boobs are located.)

Second, we have "Bare Shouldered Flatterer," in knitting. It's a tube top.

tube-top

Now, I took a look at the pattern and the only thing holding this up is that it's worked in ribbing. That's it. The only thing fighting slippage is k2, p2.  It's the top of a sock, writ large. Reach for anything that's higher than waist level, lady, and nobody will be looking at your bare shoulders.

Just one other thing to point out, and that's her underarms. Unretouched!  Nowadays, even a low-budget magazine with tight deadlines would have taken those out with Photoshop. Even stick-thin models have skin that wrinkles when they move. It's rather comforting to see it, don't you think?

* I don't often edit after the fact, but I've decided to remove the extended Rose Kennedy commentary that was here. I fear it will be prone to provoke tiresome debate, and that's not what this space is for.  Suffice it to say I didn't care for her, or for the Kennedys-as-American-Royalty mythology–in case that wasn't clear from my tone above.

45 comments:

Sue Ann Kendall said...

I got a lot of fun out of those. It makes me glad I didn't start collecting these magazines until the 80s, though I have a "ski lodge" series that must have been my grandmother's from the 60s that features men with natty pipes and women in colors NEVER found in nature in their mini-dresses. One could NOT bend over in those!

mehitabel said...

The scary thing is that I remember those magazines and those patterns. The crocheted vests, with and without central daisy motif, were very popular. I tried making one but it came out rather--odd?--and I wound up sewing the sides and bottom up, and my daughters used it to carry their dancing shoes to and from class.

noricum said...

Actually, I'm thinking her nipples are closer to the bottom of the yellow or green square. (Won't anyone please feed her?!?)

Miss Sandra said...

Any particular reason why men couldn't express themselves back in 1974?

ali said...

I saw the vest and nearly went blind. Those were the days. Tasteless, senseless and yes, Mama Rose was a plaster saint that we all could emulate. NOT.

Jeanne B. said...

Am I the only one who looks at the crocheted vest and sees a face? A horrified, open-mouthed screaming face?

What is IN these generic Wal-Mart cold pills, anyway? Yeeesh.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with noricum: Her nipples are at the bottom of the square containing the daisies, not under the daisies themselves. Not that this fact at all affects the overall...interestingness...of the garment. Not much point in drawing attention to the interesting portions of one's anatomy, if one is going to blind the viewer at first glance.

Fiona MacBride said...

Even in far-flung Small-Town NZ the Myth of Rose, The Mother of the Kennedys , was read out to us in class, by the nuns, from magazines such as this.

Diane A said...

I was interested in the cover of that magazine, when are you likely to need'21 emergency dishes', what sort of emergency would you be having?.

Anonymous said...

Death in the family: potato-based casserole
Unannounced visit from the in-laws: hastily defrosted lamb chops & Scotch
It's a Wednesday: something with green beans
Failed to go to the supermarket before a public holiday: BBQ something
Power outage: toast leftover marshmallows on a camping stove and tell the kids you're "camping indoors"

stellamarys said...

Actually, it was Rosemary's father who had her lobotomized while Rose was away. Lobotomy was thought at the time to be curative of the acting out Rosemary was doing at the time - running away, and being found with strange men in compromising situations. This is what I've read about it, anyway - not that I'm such an apologist for the Kennedy family at large.

Pretty Knitty said...

Oh my! I never did crochet one of those, but I did have some yarn-and-fashion mishaps in the late 70s...lol! What were we ALL thinking?

RubyC said...

Perusing through those old magazines is good for a few laughs. I remember when we moved mother out of her house. She had stacks and stacks of the magazine called Workbasket that were years old.

Thanks for the walk down memory lanes - hmm

Linda W said...

I agree with mehitable - the scariest thing about these magazines is that I was there. No wonder I quit knitting and didn't start again until 10 years ago.

SarahSeattle said...

It is great to see a fashion, and know that it is purely awful! I was too busy with small children, carpools and lack of money to pay attention then. Now? I am glad I wasn't paying attention, who know what trauma I might have foisted on them.

Claudia said...

Yikes! I was in junior high and high school when those things were the "fashion". It was a pretty ugly decade, although we did have some great music. But, really, what was everyone thinking?

The scary part is seeing some of those "fashions" making a come-back now. Remember, folks, those who don't learn from history are doomed (doomed, I tell you!) to repeat it.

Seanna Lea said...

This is awesome. I just find the crochet vest hilarious! I'm pretty sure that the top daisies would not align with my nipples. They look high up even on her.

And yes, the wrinkles on her arms are reassuring. Why do we make models look like modeled plastic again?

nays said...

I second the screaming face... made me back away from my screen lol.

Patricia said...

Double sided tape, Franklin. And if you couldn't buy it, you could make it.

Franklin said...

So, I have learned two new things about boobs. 1) You can tape them. 2) Nipples are not where I thought they were. Okay, what else am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. I think I made that tube top. And wore it. I'm sorry.

wendy said...

Nipples follow their own strange ecliptic as one ages until they are pretty much underneath, pointing resignedly at the floor. And when you lie down your boobs scoot off into your armpits - I believe this is something to do with camouflage from when we were all living in the Savannah. Low profiles, and all that.

Leslie said...

Franklin, I've admired you forever (way back in the days when you, Jon, Sean and Lars went to Stitches) and today it's turned to love. I read "Suffice it to say I didn't care for her, or for the Kennedys-as-American-Royalty mythology–..." and knew you were of my people, few though we may be.

NancyG said...

I crocheted at least 3 potholder vests back in 1972 and countless other things from the checkout line mags. Family Circle had some great garments based on granny squares - for which I probably still have the patterns...

Anonymous said...

The strapless top would have been a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen if the wearer was in any way well endowed or decided to do anything except sit in a wicker chair. A deep breath, and those buttons would have been popping open. Maybe knitted straps would have helped. The vest is absolutely frightening.

Susan said...

Maybe this makes me weird, but I kinda like the tube top. Perhaps it is because I am a product of the 80's? Talk about bad fashion!

Projektmanagerin: said...

I second the double-sided tape. It does work. Though you would not catch ME in a tube top... ever!

genevieveblog said...

Oh my, I'm laughing so much at this post...

Rochelle said...

I agree with Susan: I remember the 70s AND the 80s and the 70s, while not always beautiful, were sweeter and less hard-edged. So I have a fondness for the tube top too, and for Woman's Day/Family Circle/Good Housekeeping of the era. I read Daphne DuMaurier's The Birds (Hitchcock's inspiration) excerpted in two parts in a late-seventies women's magazine; who among them would do that now?

Also, her arms, pretty and normal as they are, delighted me too, even before I read Franklin's comment. Because she is not only a thin person, but a young one, and that is in fact what skin does.

Musclemom said...

I am really interested in the "Why Men can't express themselves" article mentioned on the cover. Did you find it enlightening?

Jen said...

I can't quit staring at her under arms. It has been so long since I have seen "real" under arms in print that I feel like I just discovered Bigfoot. Dammit I want real under arms all the time.

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Excellent post!
I learned to knit with those. And they never worked. Your analysis of the tube top is right on.

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