Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do your homework, or else!

Cross Stitch Tabard from Columbia-Minerva’s Sweaters for Kids, 1976.

Parents around the world are now sending their freshly scrubbed children off to prison – I mean school! And whether these parents pray to the God Ganesha, the Goddess Afekan, the Bodhisattva Manjusri, Saint Thomas Aquinas, To Whom It May Concern, or None of the Above; their pleas are all the same: “Please, let this year be different!”

Alas, within a few weeks will come the dreaded phone call, e-mail, or smoke signal. Your children’s teacher will have grown tired of the excuses: “My dog ate it.” “My computer ate it.” “My Mom forgot to pack my lunch, so I ate it.” Your children, those darling little ingrates who are responsible for each and every one of your grey hairs, will not do their homework!

You’ll want to punish the brats, but never has this been a more challenging time for parental discipline. Spanking is increasingly illegal, time outs are a joke, shouting at them just strains your delightful singing voice, and selling them to the Circus will just get you arrested.

Do not despair, parents! You need only look to the 1970s for the answer. Every time your children don’t finish their homework, just send them off to school the next day in this hideous, goldenrod Tabard of Shame. I recommend sewing them into it, so they can’t take the tabard off before the school bully sees them.

Not only will this solve the homework problem, the Tabard of Shame will also teach your youngsters the important life lesson child psychiatrists all yammer about: natural consequences for bad behaviour. But, you ask, what does wearing a tabard, made out of a material and colour not found in nature, have to do with natural consequences?

Simply this, if your kids won’t do their homework, this will naturally be their future:

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Cross Stitch Tabard
Except this tabard isn’t cross stitch. It doesn’t even look like cross stitch. Unless you’re high.
Instructions are for small size. Changes for large size are in parentheses.

You Need: Columbia-Minerva NANTUK-4 PLY (4 oz ball), 4 (4) balls.
This awkward bit of wording makes me suspect that the pattern editor might be high. Hopefully not from smoking Nantuk 4-ply as burning acrylic is a bad idea.
“Boye” crochet hook size K or size to give gauge.

Gauge: 9 dc = 4”; 1 row = 1”

Finished Measurement

Width of back or front: 17 (19)”.

NOTE: Yarn is used double throughout.
Inconsistent layout, use of punctuation and bolding are also early warning signs that your pattern editor likes the gangah.

Ch 38 (42) to measure approx 17 (19)”.

Row 1 (right side): Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each ch to end – 36(40) dc, counting ch-3 at beg or row, Ch 3, turn counts as first dc of next row.
To be fair, typing “or” instead of “of” is probably just an everyday typo. Just like the aromatic cloud coming from the pattern editor’s office is probably just incense.
Row 2: Yo hook, insert hook from front to back between 3rd and 4th dc of last row, yo hook, draw up a 1” loop, complete dc, yo, insert hook between first and 2nd dc of row, complete dc (cross st),
Ooooh, that kind of cross stitch. But it’s not like I intentionally misinterpreted what kind of cross stitch was meant in order to make cheap jokes about illicit drug use.
*yo, insert hook between 2nd & 3rd dc to left of cross st, draw up a lp, complete dc, yo, insert hook in same place as first dc of last cross st, draw up a lp, complete dc; rep from * drawing up first lp of last cross st between last dc and ch-3, complete dc and cross st, dc in top of tch – 17 (19) cross sts with 1 dc at each end, Ch 3, turn.
Lp means loop, not a Bob Marley long play record. Tch means turning chain, and is not a misspelling of thc. And yo hook is a nice, laid-back way of greeting your crochet hook.
Row 3: Sk first dc, dc in each dc, dc in top of tch – 36(40) dc. Rep Rows 2 and 3 for pat. Work to approx 25” from beg or desired length to shoulder, end with a cross st row, Ch 3, turn.
My goodness, why stop at 25”? I say keep on going until the Doritos and Cheetos run out!
Shoulder: Work 3(4) sc, 3(4) hdc, 4(4) dc. Fasten off. Skp center 16 sts of last complete row, join yarn in next st. Ch 3, work shoulder to correspond to first shoulder, do not fasten off. From right side, work sc on side edge, spacing sts to keep edge flat, 3 sc at corner, sc in each ch of foundation ch, 3 sc at corner, work same number sc on 2nd side as on first. Fasten off.
One of the unexpected benefits of using goldenrod yarn is that any stains from cheesy snacks will look like they belong there.

Work same as back to 17” from beg or 8” less than back to shoulder, end with a cross st row, ch 3, turn. Neck –

Row 1: Work until there are 16(18) dc, counting ch-3 at beg of row, yo, draw up a lp in next st, yo and thru 2 lps, yo, draw up a lp in next st, [yo and thru 2 lps] twice (1 st dec). Ch 3, turn.
I wonder if that’s why goldenrod was such a popular colour in the 1970s.
Row 2: Dec 1 st, pat to end (16 sts). Continue pat, dec 1 st at neck edge every row until 10(12) sts rem. Work even to same number of rows as on back to shoulder. Shape as on back. Fasten off. Join yarn in next st of last complete row.
Not that there was any reason why people in the 1970s might have disproportionately gotten the munchies.
Row 1: Ch 3, dec 1 st, work to end. Complete to correspond to first side, do not fasten off. Work sc on sides and lower edge as on back.
And no, that “Row 1” is not a grass-induced typo. This is actually a new Row 1. However, as it won’t be followed by a new Row 2, there may be a great deal of confusion amongst giggle-weed consumers.
Finishing: Sew shoulder seams. From right side work 1 row sc around neck edge, taking care to have same number sc on both sides of V.
If you screw this up, other kids will laugh at yours. So please, for the sake of your children, don’t smoke up and crochet.
Join with sl st. Fasten off.

Belt: Ch 100 or to desired length. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to last st, work 3 sc in last st, continue sc across foundation ch, 2 sc in same place with first sc. Join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off. Beg at center front, weave belt thru a row at desired waistline.
Attention: Handmade by Mother’s speculation regarding the illicit drug use of the pattern editor is not slander. Slander is verbal defamation, whereas libel is. . . I mean, it’s not libel either because it’s a joke. And that makes everything okay, right?


Wit and imagination?

Uh oh.
Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Oh my....I am not high...but that made me giggle. Glad I stick to just blankets for crochetting!!! No ugly tabards!!! thanks for the laugh!

  2. Blankets and afghans have a way of looking good no matter what era spawned them. Even the ugliest ones have a certain charm, and they're always useful.

    Tabards... not so much!