Vol. VII – Living in the Eighties

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Welcome to the brand new wing of the Museum of Kitschy Stitches, sponsored by frightened hordes of knitting designers who paid us off to never mention them or their rotten designs. Using their contributions, which totaled over 18 billion dollars, we built the Karma Chameleon Complex, including the renowned Tumble 4 Ya Sculpture Park.

The complex features fully mirrored floors and ceilings with gold-plated fixtures. The walls are covered with artfully splattered paint in hot neon colors. Masterpieces by Nagel, Haring, and Kliban are displayed throughout the building. The complex will house a collection of travesties from the glory days of the 1980’s, a prohibitively expensive time in knitting history due to the voluminous styles loved by all. Dolman sleeves, baggy sweaters, and bunchy leg warmers were the order of the day and a “fitted” top meant that you could only fit one other person inside. The artifacts within this exhibit have been painstakingly gathered so that we, as a community, could seek to answer the age old question of the 80’s: “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” It is apparent that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

How did anyone manage to knit this sweater? I mean, besides the fact that it used up the entire world’s yarn supply for an entire year, it must have taken at least that long to knit this monstrosity up. And at the cost of a whopping $32,450 to make, who had the money? And where exactly do you store 5,000 balls of yarn while you’re knitting it? And how does the wearer fit through doorways when you’re done? Does she even have a right arm, or is that just a pile of knitted fabric in its place? Was the arm removed specifically to accommodate the sweater or was it just a happy coincidence that she was without it? How far out would this sweater be billowing if she didn’t have it smartly belted, not that, god forbid, she’d ever leave the house with an unbelted sweater.

There are too many questions left unanswered with this thing. Oh how I long for the days of crocheted hot pants using a single skein of yarn.

I think it’s time we finally face the debilitating curse that affected so many of the fashion mavens among us. Popeyeism. This disease was most identifiable by the increased size of the shoulder/arm region. The example above shows advanced Popeyeism of the upper arms. Before this photo was taken, the model was seen squeezing a can of spinach until the top popped open. She then flipped her head back and swallowed the entire contents of the can, afterwards callously throwing the empty can behind her.

Others afflicted may experience inflammation of the forearm, which is often accompanied by the appearance of an anchor-shaped marking on the arm or chest. Speech impediments and speaking from the side of one’s face while smoking a pipe from the other are also known symptoms. Luckily, Popeyeism was wiped out by the early 90’s, but a new batch of outbreaks are expected among teenagers who consider the 1980’s to be “retro” and “funny”. They will start wearing restyled 80’s-esque clothing for the sake of “irony” until they eventually become the very thing they’re making fun of. Let’s all enjoy it, shall we?

Smart brides really put the “Maid” in “Bridesmaid”. Don’t let that bitch try to upstage you! Put her in her place from Day One. Better put the flower girl on notice, too. Who even said your spoiled rotten little niece could be in this wedding, anyway?

Yes, let’s all Get Physical! Let’s exercise in shiny acrylic sweaters that will trap the sweat as though we were wearing Ziploc baggies. And don’t forget the non-absorbent sweat band that will slowly creep down as we tediously lift our 3lb weight until it smudges our Aquatic Blue eyeshadow. And legwarmers, yes! Because when we sprain our ankles and scrape our calves on the cheap stationary bike pedals that we forgot don’t work right, we’re going to need something to cover the bruises and swelling. And throw a mullet in there for good measure. Taa-daa, I have just helped you experience what it was really like in the mid-80’s in a few short sentences. You owe me.

Is it just me or does this sweater not seem all that warm?

Things were not always as they seemed in the 80’s. Illusions were all around us in this veritable land of make-believe. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that the US was being led by an actor who once performed with chimps. (The chimps have certainly come a long way since then, eh?) And nowhere was this penchant for fantasy more evident than in fashion.

Hey! I remember this commercial!

“With the addition of a microwave to every kitchen has come the advent of an array of tasty, fat-laden snacks. Waistlines are expanding, boobs are sagging, butts are spreading in entirely new directions. But don’t put down that Hot Pocket, put on this fantastic new bikini bod instead! That’s right, the new Knit-a-Body system allows you to enjoy the highly processed carbohydrates that are so important to today’s modern lifestyle and still look totally bitchin’! Available in Beach Babe, Voluptuous Valley Girl, and Preppy Prostitute. And now for the guys, there’s the Bulging Bohunk!”

Yeee-haw! Who doesn’t love a pair of overalls fit for a fancy hoedown? Well, slap my knee, turn me blue, and stick my head in a milk jug, this gal, that’s who! She’ll be a monkey’s mama if she can’t figure out those ding-danged clasps that hold everyone else’s pants on. Nope, her uncle daddy never did teach her about such finery. ‘Sides, how’s she gonna find a man if she’s spendin’ all her time fussin’ with those silly pant-holder-uppers? Shoot fire, y’all are crazy! But they do look purty and all the fellers love a filly with her thumbs hitched in a pair of metal clasps, all sexy like. So what else is a gal to do but keep her britches accessible with grandma’s patented fauxveralls?

The only thing more ridiculous than fake nautical clothing with huge handkerchiefs wrapped around the shoulders is fake nautical clothing with huge handkerchiefs knitted around the shoulders. “Look, she like boats!” this sweater begs. “See, she has a little boat. And she’s smiling!” it pleads as is tries to convince onlookers of its authenticity. “She’s wearing a Gilligan hat! She’s totally seaworthy!” it blubbers as it chokes back the tears. I wouldn’t scrape barnacles with this thing.

And just a reminder for anyone who thinks otherwise; the 80s weren’t good for anyone. (click the photo for a close-up of the world’s most pissed-off cat. And I’m sorry to say, it is not photoshopped.)