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Episode 95: Tighty Aran Whities

by Brenda Dayne on November 11, 2010

In this episode, Granny Squares (my latest obsession) Granny Panties (should they be illegal?) and your grandmother’s knitting as Franklin Habit delivers advice from a poncho.

I’ll be discussing the Queen’s Facebook account, live, from 1:15 – 2:00pm on Friday, 12 Novermber. You can listen here, after the fact.

Knitted granny panties featured prominently in Project Runway’s Season 8 finale.

Then they showed up at Urban Outfitters.

Another attempt by the fashion industry to make grown women look ridiculous? Or Next Big (knitted) Thing?

The gay little autumn leaf in the header is from Holiday Doodles, this month’s free font from PS: You should totally use Yultide Doodles to make Christmas cards this year.

This week’s Audible recommendation is At Home: A Short History of Private Life, is written and read by Bill Bryson.

Check our Brother Amos at Space Cadet Creations; and maybe not the world’s longest scarf, but surely the grandest scaled scarf in all of North Wales.

I feasted on glorious images of (mostly) knitting at the oddly named Feitoamao Tumblr blog, where I discovered the video embedded above. I also found an amazing knitter of Icelandic sweaters, and conceptual artist Jarod Charzewski’s piece, Scarp – a Geology of North American Consumer Culture, and bookshelf porn. From there I stumbled upon a blog devoted to Granny Squares, and found a wonderful tutorial for a Granny Square I’d never seen before (which isn’t saying much, I’ve not seen that many), which further inspired me to learn more Granny Square crochet patterns. If you know of some beautiful ones, please share.

If you’re looking for a hard copy of last week’s Audible pick, it’s available from these Amazon sellers.

Special thanks to Franklin Habit, for his Advice from a Poncho.

KniTunes were provided by and used with the permission of:

Download Episode 95

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

51 Jessica Powers November 24, 2010 at 10:37 pm

ahahahaha – adult soakers is all I can say! We saw a whole ensemble of baby cables: weird retro bra top, matching granny panties, and a cardigan to go over it all. The ad had the woman lounging in said outfit at a picnic…riiiiiiiight.

On another note: finally cottoned on that you’re from Portland, so no wonder you sound like a Seattle NPR radio person! Love it to pieces since it makes me feel at home to listen to the podcast down here in NZ. Keep up the fun work!

52 kim langley November 25, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Thanks for the podcasts and the great links. The tighty whities are simply strange, remind me of the soakers i used for the kids diapers.

I added a gavatar, hope it shows up.

53 Laura Sue November 27, 2010 at 12:23 am

Wow, Brenda Dayne, how good it is to have you back. And thank you for repeating the essay by Franklin Habit. As a woman over 50, I am one of the invisible population. We are so disregarded and considered so unimportant that when people make fun of us they don’t even consider the possibility that it might be wrong or in bad taste or insulting–or that it might hurt. “Not your grandma’s knitting” is considered funny and oh-so-hip. Young women trying to distance themselves from their elders, argue that knitting is SO cool–but would never consider that their elders who knit are. Nobody wants to be considered old. I’m not expressing this well, but I am so grateful to you and to Franklin who are respectful. Not just of older women, but of small towns, of the everyday, of that which gives real purpose to life, not just to that which has flashing lights. And do you know what? It is a very good thing to be old.

54 Glenda December 8, 2010 at 5:27 am

Oh my gosh. These are… Wow. There are no words. My head had envisioned something pretty awful and I thought I would never wear those but if given a choice between the horror in my head and the horror in those pictures, my head wins.

On a different note, great to have you podcasting again. I check my iTunes more often than I know you post looking for your next episode. I’m very glad that you’re healthy and that you’re back.

55 Leslie December 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Hi Brenda, I loved the episode. A few years ago I had an epiphany about Granny panties and I’ll share it. Our youngest daughter had just become a new Mum and my husband and I along with my parents traveled to be with her and her husband to lend a hand. It was Christmas so it was a particularly busy time of year. The health nurse quietly voiced her concerns that Crystal may have been over extending herself with so many house guests and was surprised when our daughter informed her we were the one’s keeping things running while she recuperated and tended to the new baby. As Mum and I folded yet another load of laundry ( I had forgotten the amounts of laundry a new baby inspires!) it suddenly dawned on me that my status in the world had changed.
“Mum, I said, ” do you realize now that no matter how sexy or plain my undies are- from now on they’ll be Granny Panties!” She looked at me and we both started to laugh and the men – once they had been told of the remark also joined in. So, in spite of the fact that I would never remotely consider wearing Aran granny panties, I am proud to say – that frilly or mundanely practical all my panties are Granny panties and I’m proud of it!

56 Leslie December 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’m also checking to see if my Gravatar is working – anxiously awating the next installment of the podcast – knit on knitsib!

57 Kristi December 13, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Brenda, I wanted you to know of another knitting visual site other than fietaomoa it is It is one of my favorites.

58 Aileen O December 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hmm … if I had the legs for it like I did in high school, I’d wear the slinky gray ones as short-shorts. As for the aran cable ones … you’re right, they look way too much like women’s diapers. Maybe they’re the new yoga wear?? LOL ;-)

59 Fernie December 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Wow, when something looks that bad even on gorgeous models with perfect legs you know it can’t be good.

On a brighter (if bittersweet) note, thank you for the Franklin Habit story. It really resonated for me. I remember so well my grandmother proudly telling us that the afghans and sweaters she knitted and crocheted for us were acrylic and therefore machine washable. And how I’ve regretted that I didn’t fully appreciate her hard work and never asked her to teach me to knit, which she would have been so thrilled to do. Who knew that years after her passing I would pay someone in a LYS to teach me what has now become an obsession.

60 Linda January 2, 2011 at 12:13 am

Feitoamao oddly named? Well, since it means ‘made by hand’…perhaps not so much.

61 MelD January 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Now I have caught up with all 97 podcasts, I feel I can take part!
Nice to get to know you, Brenda ;) hope you keep doing this for a long time, you are so enjoyable to listen to and have accompanied me a lot over the last 3mths or so (97 hours…!!!) – I could comment on so much but will wait till I meet you one day… knit on!

62 raquel February 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

quick note – feito a mao is Portuguese for made by hand.

love love love your podcast hope school doesn’t deter you from continuing your knitting. If you’re going to study design/architecture the techniques and process for knitting will certainly help and if you get to incorporate some ideas then goodonya! I wish I had the chance before taking design studios to do more knitting and now that I have I can totally apply it to the creative/inspiration aspect of architecture.

63 Meg White June 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Hi! I know I’m late to comment… will you still see it? I just had to suggest my favorite granny square designer. I’m making a lovely cardigan right now out of Robyn Chachula’s “Blueprint Crochet”. I swear, you’ll want to dress yourself in granny squares!
Thank you for all your work, Brenda. :)

64 Karen Wardell July 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Hi! Have listened to your podcasts forever and when you took a break awhile back, I started over….I listen while I exercise, while I sew and while I knit. Summer for me is time to do all of these things and relax since I am a 4th grader teacher the rest of the year (formerly an art teacher for k-8th graders, but alas, all money has been cut for the arts….)
I had to check online to see if you had a pic of the Aran grannies and there they were!!!!Yep, it’s a diaper look. Thoroughly enjoyed the piece about the poncho…yes I had a poncho that I CROCHETed myself when I was about 11….bright orange. My grandmother quilted….I am the first generation yarn artist….and I am loving it…it is my peace in my life. I love the outdoors and it’s hard to stay indoors here in California….
Love your work. Love that you are back. Looking forward to catching up.

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