March 30th – The Day of Knitters and Crocheters

Today the furious clicking of needles can be heard across the City as people rush to finish their various knitting projects before the day is out. According to Buentoilliçan folklore, all knitting projects must be finished today, else the Waylayer will cause the pattern to go awry, or worse still, allow waursts to hide in each stitch. These superstitions do not seem to have any real age to them, the first instance being recorded in 1836, when Buentoilliçan Fabric interviewed a knitting circle. Whilst these modern myths may grant some added urgency to the situation, the original reason for the haste is far less supernatural.

Back in the fifteenth century the Guild of Knitters, Needle-Binders and Crocheters was a powerful institution, due to the popularity of knitted items at the time. Knitted or crocheted dolls were a common toy in middle-class households, and intricately knitted patterns were sought after as potent status symbols, on account of the time it took to create them and the skill they required. The Guild guarded the techniques and secrets of knitting and associated crafts closely, and only shared them amongst themselves in order to keep supply low and prices high. On the 30th of March hundreds of new potential recruits would present the work they had created in their spare time to the Guild. Only those who showed significant promise, or who created a new pattern or technique that the Guild wanted to learn, were granted entry into this exclusive club that effectively controlled all yarn-craft-related trade.

Over the years the secrets seeped out into the populace and the process of knitting became progressively industrialised with the invention of new machines. There was, however, a desire amongst many to keep wearing and creating hand-made objects, so whilst the Guild dwindled (eventually becoming part of the Union of Creative Textile Workers), the day maintained its meaning as a day to finish knitting projects. Today a number of civic projects that many knitters have spent the last few weeks producing will be publicly exhibited. All the trees in Dimitri’s Park of Bathing will be ‘yarn-bombed’ with colourful patterns around their trunks and web-like constructions strung between them, depicting famous knitters such as Lady Goliyn. Many of the City’s statues will be given outlandish knitted hats, and some of the more risqué naked examples will be awarded equally risqué crocheted underwear. Last year the two bears that guard the entrance to the post office were given fetching waistcoats. In the east of the City, these creations are usually made with linen, cotton, hemp or synthetic yarns, in opposition to wool, due to the high proportion of vegans who live there. A more recent innovation is a wood-fibre based yarn, heralded as the ‘future of knitting’ by its proponents.

In households all across the City, knitted gifts are exchanged between lovers, who have often spent the past year producing them. In another superstitious twist, today is thought to be the only day when knitted gifts can be exchanged and not result in the fulfilment of a ‘sweater curse,’ where the person receiving the sweater (or other knitted item) will break up with the giver shortly after receipt, or just before the item is finished. A knitted item such as a scarf is thought to be a particularly romantic gift, partly due to the length of time they require to be produced, but also because of an old saying, ‘[they] stitched-in their love’, thought to be inspired from a scene in the famous Heinbrow play, The History of the Knight, in which the eponymous knight cannot be killed because they are wearing a jumper knitted by their lover who thought deeply about an aspect of the knight they loved whilst making each stitch. The saying is used to describe any instance of particularly impressive craft.

To save the local wildlife entanglement and to prevent the loss of reusable yarn, most of the exhibits on show around the City today will be taken down tomorrow, so it is advised to enjoy them whilst they last. The old monarchic statuary yard by the river is a particular site of artistic endeavour, where the many depictions of the Traitor King and his kin will be rudely adorned, or made to look like entirely different historical personages. After night falls you might notice some of the exhibits glowing slightly, the result of a bioluminescent compound made from a particular form of mushroom in which the yarn is soaked. A number of the knitted wonders that hang beneath the many bridges of the Moway river will look particularly impressive at night due to their use of the compound. The greenish-blue tinge will reflect on the surface of the water beneath them, creating a haunting, shifting reflection, like ghosts trapped beneath the water.

Other festivals happening today:

  • Happy Fenrich’s Day of FANTASTICALLY Cheap Sunglasses
  • The Festival of Very Fast Shoelace Tying
  • The Crispiest Flatbread Competition