Am I fashionably late?

Okay, I said more coming “tomorrow”. By which I meant, um, several days later.

So, between bouts of jousting, I wandered around the grounds of Scarborough Faire with my field knitting bag, working on my one-row scarf. Let me tell you, for all those of you who KIP to get attention – even those of you who KIP to get attention while wearing a kilt – renaissance faires are a tough damn crowd. When there are half-naked muscled barbarians with battleaxes and svelte nymphs wearing wings and lace trotting around, a guy in a kilt with a pair of needles gets scarcely a glance.

I did attract the attention of one woman working in a leather shop though. She perked up as I walked by and asked what I was working on. As I described it to her, I saw her knitting basket next to her – she was working on the Toirneach kilt hose from! The same set that I’ve got in progress right now! Turns out her husband is partial to the unbifurcated lifestyle and we immediately bonded over our shared love of kilts and knitting and all that entails.

However, KIPping while walking is not without its hazards. At some point on Sunday while I was walking around and taking things in and out of my bag, I lost one of my precious, silver-trimmed rosewood needles. I was almost heartbroken until the little voice in my head said “It’s just stuff. And it’s not like you don’t have a gazillion #8 needles at home.” So after checking with lost and found and asking around several times, I bound off the scarf with the stake from Steak on a Stake and proudly wore the scarf (because it was freaking chilly on Sunday).

One of the people I asked about my missing needle was the kind purveyor of coffee and pastries, because I remember having had my work in my hands when I bought a coffee from her that morning. I showed her my remaining needle and she said “I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone found it and used it as a hair pin, because that’s just gorgeous!” I agreed and continued in my skulky way, scanning the ground for my lost needle.

I checked back with lost & found periodically, but the missing needle never turned up. And I went back to the jousting range for each of their shows to take my mind off my awful misfortune.

It rained on Saturday night, so the jousting list was a mud puddle most of the day. Because of this, it wasn’t safe for the horses, so the knights sucked it up and put on a slightly more humorous show than normal.

The cantered out on foot, reminiscent of Monty Python’s Holy Grail. They followed the same general format – first show was feats of skill, second was jousting (this time on foot), and the third was a fight to the death. But since the audience was robbed of the chance of seeing the knights fight on horseback, they went completely over the top and had a beautiful fight in the last show.

The black knight again challenged the hero in a most audacious manner. The hero slew him in just a few minutes, and then turned to the king and queen to claim his victory on the field of honor. But in mid-claim, the black knight sat up, spit out a mouthful of (stage) blood, and yelled “OW!!! You cut me! That really hurt!” And the hero was obliged to kill him again.

And again.

And again.

In all, the black knight was cut through the midsection, had his throat slit, hit in the eye with a thrown dagger, shot in the shoulder with a crossbow, impaled with a spear and finally un-manned while lying on a bale of hay. He eventually had the good graces to expire and his lifeless form was carried off the field on a stretcher.

But oh my, did he put up a fight.


I don’t know what they feed black knights, but this guy had staying power.

After the last show, I went back to lost & found one more time to see if my missing needle had turned up. No such luck. So I was in the unenviable position of having one really nice silver-trimmed rosewood needle. Which is about as useful to a knitter as a bucket of warm yak spit. So I found the nice purveyor of coffee and pastries and told her that since I no longer had any use for the needle, I wanted her to have it as a hair pin. She graciously accepted, and so I was able to turn my loss into a gift.

And, my scarf was long enough to keep my neck warm in the freakishly cool weather. So I’m counting last weekend as a win.

No Responses to “Am I fashionably late?”

  1. Spritely Stephanie Says:

    oh, I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your knitting needle, but it sure was nice of you to turn the other into a gift! I wish I could use my needles to keep my hair up!

  2. Sam Says:

    I started singing the song from “The Tale of Sir Robin” bit of Holy Grail while reading your description of what happened to the black night…XD

  3. janna Says:

    That was nice of you to give the remaining needle away — I’m not sure I could have done that! And isn’t your hair about long enough to be put up? 😉

  4. Hilary Says:

    What a sweet thing to do! x

  5. Kath Says:

    Hmmm….I actually don’t KIP to get attention, that never occurred to me. I just do it ’cause I’m doing it and that’s where I happen to be. What can I say? KIP Happens?

    And sorry you lost a nice needle but yes, one of those gorgeous silver trimmed rosewood needles makes a lovely hairstick for us long-haired wenches. I’ve a set of two black hairsticks that could stand in for short size 9 needles in a pinch!

    BTW – “unbifurcated lifestyle” cracks me up.

  6. Anton Says:

    So exactly which temperature of yak spit is useful to a knitter?

  7. David Says:

    Thank you for compounding the gift of your knitting needle –> hairpin by reminding me of how our losses can become gifts. I work in hospice and we try to help many of our patient reframe what is/has happened in their lives. Illness and dying are not often seen as gifts, but some people are able to see them as such; a life altering event can make one see each day and personal interaction differently even when one knows days are fewer than hoped for or expected.
    If you will pardon the comparison, you were able to make a silk purse (gift) from a sow’s ear (loss), despite the common opinion that it is not possible to do so.
    Carry on!

  8. Cori Says:

    What a great way to make lemonade – by giving the needle as a gift. I am sorry you lost one, but glad you were able to salvage the day! Are there pics of the scarf forthcoming?

  9. amanda Says:

    It was indeed nice to give away the remainging needle to someone who loved it. Nicer than I would be anyway–I have quite the collection of single needles that are now waiting to be stitch holders. I seem to always be needing to hold stitches while I figure out what comes next.

  10. Lissa Says:

    Oh, you met Rebekah at Leather Dreams! She’s REALLY good at spotting knitters in the Scarby crowd and flagging them down. I have to run by and say hi to her every time I go out! And also to bug her into getting a Ravelry account, last I checked she was procrastinating on it, heh. So if you come back up here, pester her into signing up if she hasn’t already!

    It was really sweet of you to gift your remaining needle to the pastry lady! It is too bad you lost one but on the other hand it’s always a nice feeling to do the gifty thing.

  11. geeky Heather Says:

    Look on the bright side…the loss of the lovely needle calls for one thing…


    Yeah. I don’t sound like a girl at all right now.

  12. Carrie Says:

    Aw, that was so sweet of you! And I laughed out loud with the jousting story. Really, you’re very nice. I hope I would have thought to do such a good deed.

  13. Stephieface Says:

    What an awesome sounding joust… I would have loved to see that!

  14. Miss Scarlett Says:

    What a great gift! You’re so thoughtful. Seriously.

    The fair sounds like a great time.

  15. Barbara from Nova Scotia Says:

    After all that, you tease us with only one photo? Seriously!
    And what is it that you and the Yarn Harlot have against yaks? I’m certain yak spit would be very useful in the right hands; not mine, but I’m just sayin’… Give the noble yak a break already, will ya?

  16. Barbara from Nova Scotia Says:

    I forgot to ask, did you in fact get a photo of your giftee with the needle in her hair?