I just finished watching the episode of the new Martha that I had TiVo’d today. I missed the first episodes, but luckily, this was the Poncho episode. So, I thought there would be a lot of talk about crochet. There wasn’t. But despite that–I really enjoyed the show. Martha has a great attitude. She jokes and shares stories about her time in prison. She had David Spade on and played a Saturday Night Live piece where he impersonates her. She makes fun of her ankle bracelet. She even showed how to make the microwave meals she developed while in the joint!

In the beginning of the show, they made it sound as if they would demonstrate how to crochet, but that didn’t happen. They did show a lot of ponchos and interviewed a family of crocheters, which was nice.

I was thrilled to see Martha start the show by driving The Yarn Bus, a custom designed van that Flying Fingers uses to bring New Yorkers to their enormous store in the suburbs. She was riding with Lily Chin who was crocheting a-mile-a-minute. I think Lily is great, but I was a little disconcerted to hear them talk about her being the world’s fastest crocheter, when that title is at least up for grabs and will probably go to Lisa Gentry who defeated Lily in a head-on battle at Chain Link, the Crochet Guild of America’s annual conference, this summer. (Lisa also won the title for the Guinness Book of World Records earlier in the summer.)

I’ll bet Lily was disappointed they didn’t mention her own poncho design (she has a version of the Martha poncho) or her new line of yarn. Also, Martha Stewart Omnimedia is selling off-the-rack completed version of her ponchos… The profits go to support “women and families in need,” but I wonder, who’s making them? The handmade poncho is selling for only $50.00, so how much are the crocheters who spend hours (given that they don’t work as fast as Lily Chin) on each one getting? Might they be women in need? The site doesn’t list a country of origin, so it’s hard to know more. I do worry whenever I see mass-produced crochet.

So, while it looked like the poncho craze was fading in the light of the shrug or bolero, it seems now like it’s probably here to stay, at least for another season.

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Martha, Lily and the Yarn Bus