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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

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Chicago, it appears has become a VACATION DESTINATION!

Tourists from the far corners of the USA and beyond surface the near-north Lake areas like frosting on an especially captivating cake.

Do I like that?


NOT when I’m stuck at a crosswalk because 75+ free-floating beings with their nose’ in the sky scraping the sights are crossing against the traffic signals. Most of our downtown (and other main artery) streets are SIX lanes across, plus turn lanes. Fill these with people mesmerized by the bulidings and display windows and you have Heart Attack Central landing right in my driver’s seat!

BUT then again, it gives me the oppurtunity to people watch with no apologies. An endless parade of fashion for the scoping, if you will, streams by my windshield, for better or worse, richer or poorer, sicknesss or …


YES! I’ve been almost rendered lifeless by some of the sights I’ve seen this summer while held captive by PedJam.

Furgeddaboud your basic Butt Pack Misdemeanors – I’m talking from Mini-Skirts & Heels on the oblivious Granny to Dreads & LowRiders/SATIN BOXERS on White Bread Teens, trolling and pouting behind their parents, who are dressed identically in shorts/golf shirts complemented by (dark socks)/sandals.

The Worst Possible Case occurred last night as I drove into Chicago from Crown Pt, IN. I was one block away from parking my truck, posterior/right cheek sound asleep, bladder straining, when I was captured by a flow of bodies going North. A whole group of young teen girls crossed the street wearing those little Minis with pleated skirts and lowered waistbands. THONGage was evident from the rear view. Many were not slim and evidenced HANDLage brimming over the tops of their skirts and AROUND THEIR THONGS.

My mouth was already open when I was rescued by a sight from above – a lone strolling, tall cool drink of a woman in a


It had frisky, flirty fringe which swung back and forth like a mini-hula skirt across her heiny(sp.). A little tank, slim jeans and heels completed the ensemble.

THE Urban Pshawl strikes again!

I am making great headway on my creation – have just passed the halfway mark and think it is going to work out quite well.

33 responses to “Tuesday, July 13, 2004”

  1. ingridh says:

    ugh the dread pleated mini skirt of summer 04 ….so cute on shop models….so wrong on the average american teen figure.

    but who am I to talk, as a teen with (in-hind-sight) a great body I wore an oversized T-shirt down to my knees…so concerned with appearance…so clueless


    Love the poncho!

  2. froggy says:

    oh your poncho pattern is gorgeous! love the off one shoulder. brilliant way to combat the fashion nightmares in the street by creating something beautiful.

  3. judy says:

    Another great poncho! Are you still going to post the pattern for the Mondo Condo?

  4. Bonne Marie says:

    If I have time, the MondoCondo Poncho will be a limited edition release, not a general posting.

    I have had serious problems with the Free Pattern section to the point of considering removing it altogether…

  5. kyla says:

    Your first entry on this comment page read my mind! These ponchos are all the rage. Yours looks awesome.

  6. Teresa says:

    Wow! Love the poncho!

    It’s the first one I’ve seen that’s made me think I’d like to knit it.

    Hope you make the pattern available.

  7. geane says:

    ouch! Sounds like what’s trolling around my neck of the woods..(the too big for yer britches part) :) Instead of eye”candy”…eye”liverandonions”?

  8. Knittykim says:

    That group of teens you saw is why I do not go the the mall when they are out of school. I become so appalled by ‘handlage’ that I can’t concentrate of what I was looking for and the phrase “what were they thinking? Does their mother look at them before they leave the house?” keeps running through my head. In my day it was just tight jeans and concert t-shirts, or off the shoulder sagging tops. tho I am sure that looked gross too!

  9. MJ says:

    Great poncho, and off-the-shoulder makes it sexy. I would wear that! As for kids and handlage… someone buy them a full-length mirror!

  10. Michelle says:

    Oh no! Are people using your free patterns for evil instead of good? Like selling them? How awful!

  11. Thuy says:

    the poncho looks very sexy. i would love to make something like that for my friend’s upcoming birthday. ps- i think “heiny” is correct, or is it “heiney”? hm….

  12. Sylvia says:

    You have to admit, a generation ago there just was not as much ‘handlage’ out there to clothe. Ponchos for all!

  13. Judy says:

    I love and appreciate any pattern I have gotten from you free or otherwise. They are fairly easy, but come out so finished looking and so chic. I am sorry if you are having any problems with your free section. Buttering up aside, I would loooooove to make a poncho like that, you owe it to the world !

  14. Ying says:

    Hey, my sister has handlage and she’s very proud and displays for all to see (she’s 38!). If people want to flaunt, all the better and maybe for a fashion change. Bonne, I loooove the poncho!

  15. Maureen says:

    Love the poncho.

    Fondly remember drives back from Crown Point IN to Streeterville when I did some work at the VA down there.

    Especially feel your pain vis a vis people (tourists) who cross against the light on those east west streets that have a “don’t walk” while traffic makings a left turn into the crosswalk.

    But I look at the tourists this way, they are paying our whopping Chicago sales tax. Gotta love ’em.

  16. rachelkates says:

    I’ve noticed lots o Chicago teen handlage myself lately and don’t recall my teen classmates being so chunko or blind to fashion faux pas. Could it be a positive trend in self-esteem or yet another edition of the Ugly American? Looking forward to KIPing on Thursday!

  17. Tracey says:

    I think two things are happening here.
    First of all the sizes are getting smaller each year. Depending on what store is clothing me, I wear about three different sizes!
    Second of all, teens are sitting on their butts more and eating more crap and doing less all together so naturally: more scary handlage. It’s sad really, I believe in the if-it’s-not-raining-get-your-butt-outside-and-play theory. We also do not have cable which helps alot.

    ANYWAY (stepping down from my soapbox) the poncho is very sexy and chic Bonne, and of course you will look fantastic in it and provide a lovely eyeful for another people watcher :)

  18. Amanda says:

    The poncho is great – please don’t dump your free pattern page – I’ve trawled it endlessly with great enjoyment, am in the middle of the 2x2x3x1 ribby at the moment and still dreaming about future creations based on your patterns. I love the freshness of your patterns. Amanda

  19. melissa says:

    i love the stitch pattern and design of your poncho. it looks beautiful!

  20. Lynette says:

    I love your poncho. The details are great.

    I know what you mean about the tourists. I work downtown, and it’s hard to take a power walk on Michigan Ave. these days without bumping into sightseers. Although that’s the way Daley wants it.

  21. Amanda says:

    Your patterns are great. I wouldn’t mind paying (and have) for them. Including the poncho.

  22. marymarci says:

    Soooo, I’m not the only one that has been noticing that teenagers are HUGE! And what they are wearing is beyond comprehension. Who asked to look at their butt checks anyway?
    It would be a sad day if your free patterns were no more, yours are the best. But I can understand, between the accusations of plagiarism to the out right piracy of one’s work, it happens to everyone who has ever had a pattern published, myself included.

  23. E says:

    I sawt this tonight and thought of the poncho I saw on your blog

  24. Bonne Marie says:

    EEEhaaa – the Ponchotora!!!

    Thanks for the linkage – how freaky is this?!

    I could go to Venice, shop for cashmere ponchos and maybe run into my boy, Viggo…

  25. Sarah W. says:

    Gotta love that Urban pshawl! Can’t wait to see the finished object.

    I’m sorry that you’re having trouble with the free patterns page. I’ve downloaded the ribby cardi from it but also bought your bucket hats patterns and really enjoyed knitting them. If you do get the time I’d love to purchase a copy of the MondoCondo Poncho pattern – it’s beautiful.

  26. Lisa says:

    As to the stuffed sidewalks–welcome to my world! I live in Manhattan and almost daily have the urge to shout “some of us have jobs and homes to get to” when every sidewalk and intersection is filled with clumped-up busloads of bovine midwesterners staring straight up in the air blocking the passage of those of us with places to be. I swear to god, when small town folk visit a city, they don’t understand that it’s not Disneyland or the “NYC” room in a Vegas casino but the place where some folk actually live and work. One of these days, I’m going to get about 50 New Yorkers on a bus to travel to small towns and get in everyone’s way. Serve ’em right.

  27. Dani says:

    Unfortunately, it is not just teenagers in the big city showing handlage. Thanks to cable and sattelite TV, kids here in the country are hip to the same trends as the metropolitan kids. There are little girls no older than 11 in my subdivision wearing hot pants and midriffs, and not all of them have trim little bodies. These kids have no money or cars so their parents must be buying their clothes. What are they thinking? Of course, it doesn’t help that the stores sell low-rise jeans in the CHILDREN’S section. My poor, unsuspecting husband brought home two pairs for my 7-year-old.

  28. Linda says:

    I love that poncho! It’s the first one I’ve wanted to make and wear.
    Regarding clothing choices – your comentary is very funny and I agree. Having self esteem is good but people should still wear clothing appropriate for their body. They look ridiculous and subject the rest of us to viewing it!

  29. Catherine says:

    If you dump the free patterns I hope you will share the poncho pattern for a fee. I don’t care about “free” but I really appreciate your designs.

    As for the wide load tourists, c’mon down to Orlanduh. We don’t have tall buildings but we have da Mouse and Shamu and Spidey, and the malls near them get the most unattractive display of humanity this side of a carnival sideshow. Nobody owns a full-length mirror or checks out the rear view anymore. It’s not about your size, honey, it’s how you dress. Like you don’t own a mirror and don’t care about yourself, and “on vacation” ain’t no excuse, because the European tourists are just as sweaty and look just fine, and their kids are better behaved, too.

  30. nelson says:


    Love your site and your patterns( free or not). I’ve learned so much for you and you patterns so Thank you. I LOVE that poncho!!! I’ve been looking for one to make and this is it, I have a crocheted pattern, so now I’ll just wait for yours. Beautiful poncho.

  31. Sharon says:

    I love your blog. In addition to the wonderful knitting, I love reading about Chicago–my family’s fav city. Former Milwaukeans (sp), who are living in NC (great climate, mountains and beach), we spend our vacation every year in your wonderful town. Chicago is intoxicating!

  32. Kathy says:

    Then there was the mother of a 4-year old who came in the library where I work wearing a pink tank top that was waaaay to short and waaaay too revealing up top. Not only did she had SERIOUS handlage issues, but her black bra was too small! And she kept tugging on the shirt. What does this teach her young daughter?

    Thank God that I have a son, baggy t-shirts, but not interested in saggy pants!

    Love the poncho & looking forward to seeing the finished Onde!

  33. Bdot says:

    What a gorgeous poncho! I certainly hope the pattern will be available for puchase. Your patterns are great by the way….creative, hip and easy to follow.

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