Dame Christian de Holacombe from the Shire of Windy Meads in the Kingdom of the West reports on Medieval Sock Wars at the recent West/An Tir War. (photos)
Dame Christian writes:
In the first ever MEDIEVAL SOCK WARS in Anno Societatis XLV, here did meet in honorable combat the knitters of An Tir and the knitters of the West at the West/AnTir War. A good time was had by all!
The knitting lists opened at 9:00AM on Friday, with several people already in line and waiting to sign up (we have pictures!).
Thirty-three knitters participated in all: 26 from An Tir, 6 from the West, and one from Caid who graciously declared for the West to assist the side with fewer warriors. Several participants were brand new to knitting or to knitting socks. The sight of flashing sticks and the sound of clicking were common throughout the encampment all weekend long. Some stockings suffered grievous wounds in the battle, as evidenced by cries of "Darn! I dropped a stitch!" but all seem to have recovered successfully.
Knitters were asked to submit their stockings for measurement at 3:00PM Sunday, and the total number of inches knitted was calculated for each Kingdom. The Kingdom of An Tir was overwhelmingly victorious, knitting a total of 223 inches to the West's 41.
First to finish a stocking was Jennet MacLaughlan of An Tir, who appeared at the list table promptly at 9:00AM on Saturday, having finished the evening before. Mighty knitter Jennet, in fact, had finished a second complete stocking by Sunday morning, the only knitter to complete two stockings. For this she received not only the winner's prize but a Judges' Choice award.
Also honored by the judges were Elizabeth Catesby of An Tir, who knitted her stockings in yak wool ("Yak Socks" became something of a tongue twister); Flidais ni Eitigen of the Kingdom of the West, who learned to knit on Saturday morning and accomplished 12 inches of knitting (about half a stocking) in a little over a day; and Chiara Calandra of An Tir, who sat down Sunday morning and accomplished a respectable 4 inches of nalbinding in a couple of hours. Hers was the only stocking in nalbinding.
All participants were honored in a Court of the West on Sunday evening; Their Majesties of An Tir were sadly unable to attend and savor their victory, having had to depart earlier that day for the journey home. All the winners were recognized, and Jennet MacLaughlan presented her winning stockings to Their Highnesses of the Summits after receiving her prize.
Mistress Sabrina de la Bere put forth diverse great efforts in organizing Sock Wars, including the securing of sponsors. Brown Sheep Company http://brownsheep.com/ donated 25 yarn kits, each containing three skeins of lovely charcoal-gray Lamb's Pride worsted. Lion Brand Yarn http://www.lionbrand.com/ donated 25 sets of double-pointed needles, and Yarnia http://www.yarniapdx.com/ donated little gifts for participants and cones of luscious blended yarns which served as prizes and thank-yous.
Mistress Sabrina was most ably assisted by Dame Christian de Holacombe, and Angharad Bach and Elfreda atte Kingeswode helped with the judging. Many helped with teaching throughout the weekend, especially helping those who were new.
The presentations at Court on Sunday included some most war-like words of commendation by Her Majesty Ketiley, and all the knitters were honored with three cheers. At the special command of His Majesty Alfar, these were followed by three cheers for Socks! Huzzah!
Pictures of the knitters and their socks are available online.
O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
+ Kingdom of the West