Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Angel is a Centerfold

Starburst Jacket and Afghan Patterns from Family Circle’s “112 Fashions and Crafts”, 1980

Do you remember the 80’s? I do!

When I wasn’t singing along to the J. Geils Band, I remember cutting the shoulder pads out of all of my clothes. Sturdy, broad-shouldered lasses like myself didn’t require any assistance in achieving the fashionable linebacker look. I also remember using enough hairspray to destroy the ozone layer trying to get my hair to stay in a perfect French braid, with just one lock falling perfectly over my forehead.

Alas, as this unretouched photo of an Eighties Gal proves, the end results rarely resembled the ideal.


And just in case you think this nameless teenager rolled out of bed looking like that, I have it on good authority that she spent an hour before this picture was taken trying to get her hair to behave.

My blood runs cold...

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Fits sizes 8-12.

(See page 112)

Because you may believe you’re size 8, but we know better.

Hey, it’s a giant chart to determine Standard Body Measurements! Doesn’t that look easy to use?

Assuming, that is, you’re part of the 52 percent of Canadians who can actually read charts
MATERIALS: Bucilla “Winsom” (2 oz skns): 1 1/2 skns Apricot #266 (A); 3 1/4 skns Lt Rust #267 (B); 3 1/4 skns Med Rust # 268 (C). For hook sizes and gauge, see STARBURST AFGHAN.
Yep, because nothing says “I’m an energetic go-getter” to prospective employers like a jacket that resembles a cozy afghan.

With regard to hook sizes and gauge, the STARBURST AFGHAN pattern says:

Crochet hook, Size G, OR ANY SIZE WHICH WILL OBTAIN THE STITCH GAUGE BELOW; crochet hook, Size F, for edging only; tapestry needle.

GAUGE: Each diamond motif is 3 1/4’’ wide and 5 1/2’’ long. TO SAVE TIME, TAKE TIME TO CHECK GAUGE.
No, you’re not seeing things. That last instruction was indeed capitalized and bolded. It’s rather heartwarming to know that the pattern editor cared so much about my valuable time. However, considering this garment is made of 102 individual diamond motifs, I have to wonder at the urgent tone of this instruction. Did the editor really believe I’d crochet up all 102 before it occured to me to measure one?

Width across back at underarms: 20’’
Sleeve length from shoulder: 22’’

Funny... that looks like 100 motifs, and the two at the end of the sleeves are shaped differently from all the others. Oh well, I'm sure it won't affect the end result!
DIRECTIONS: Refer to Starburst Afghan. Make 102 diamond motifs in first color combination.
There’s that afghan again! Just in case you’re dying of curiosity, here’s a picture of it.
Oh yeah, what’s sexier than a matching afghan and jacket combo? Every time your man looks at you, all he’ll be able to think about is snuggling in front of a cold fire with you and your basket of colour-coordinated yarns.
(Note: All rnds are worked from right side.)

DIRECTIONS – Diamond motif – First Color Combination (Work 176) –
Don’t forget, for the jacket you only want to work 102. Unless you’re planning to eat way, way too much Tofurky this weekend.

Rnd 1: With A and Size G hook, ch 1 loosely for center, ch 5 more, 1 dc in center ch – corner, * ch 1, 1 tr in same ch, ch 1, work 1 dtr (yo 3 times), ch 3, 1 dtr all in center ch – corner, ch 1, 1 tr in same ch, ch 1 *, work 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc all in center ch – corner; rep from * to * once, join with sl st to 3rd ch at start. Fasten off.

Rnd 2: Attach B in any ch-2 corner sp, ch 5, 1 dc in same sp, * [ch 1, 1 dc in next sp] twice, ch 1, work 1 dc, ch 1, 1 tr, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 1, and 1 dc all in next ch-3 sp, [ch 1, 1 dc in next sp], twice, ch 1 *, work 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc all in next ch-2 sp; rep from * to * once, join with sl st to 3rd ch at start. Fasten off.

Rnd 3: Attach C in any ch-2 corner sp, 1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc all in same sp, * [ch 1, 1 sc in next sp] 4 times, ch 1, work 1 hdc, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 1, and 1 hdc all in next ch-3 corner space, [ch 1, 1 sc in next sp] 4 times, ch 1 *, work 1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc all in next ch-2 corner sp; rep from * to * once, join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off.
Tah-dah! Your first motif is done. Aren’t you excited about having to do 101 more?
Assemble as shown in diagram, following directions in afghan.
Sigh. All right, here’s what the flippin’ afghan pattern says:
Assembly: With C and tapestry needle, sew motifs tog from right side using overcast st. Working in back lp only of each st, start sewing in center ch of one corner and end in center ch of next corner.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
(Note: Jacket fits very loosely and has wide shapes sleeves. If you wish, you may thread a crocheted chain through the waistline to draw in fullness. For a small-waisted look, as in our picture, push the extra fullness to the back, to create a peplum effect. Add a purchased belt.)
Right, bunch it up to create a “peplum effect”, that’ll look good. But for God’s sake, once you’ve got it just right, don’t take the jacket off! Or turn your back on anyone and reveal the “crumpled up afghan effect”.

Hang on, is this the end of the pattern? Seems to me that they forgot something intrinsic to 1980s women’s wear. Either that, or this model suffers from hideous shoulder tumors.
Click here for the printable pattern.