After the runaway success of last year’s Grange Fair knitting competition, the Knitpistols were on a submission frenzy this year. I had finally agreed to enter some of my things (well, okay, almost everything I’ve knitted that turned out half decently) and even got our paperwork hand delivered on time. Wexlermoon and Unraveling were set as well with their incredible horde of apparel, pillows, and little birds. Really, I am continually in awe of their expertise. I myself was putting in my green Wisp, my sister’s Noro scarf, my Wisteria scarf and matching Aspen hat, one of the twin’s baby leaf hats and booties, and my Rose Brown hat. Sadly, the cotton tweed cardigan I was working on did not get finished in time, so I was going without on that submission. Had that been the only disappointment of the event.
Opening day arrives, and we caravan to the Grange to submit our knitted pieces at the proper building. That’s where the drama begins. We go first to the submission table, but are told to go get our paperwork and tags from the other end of the building. So we grab our paperwork and work our way back to the submission table. Upon further examination, we realize there are only about half the tags for the number of items we actually entered. It appears we’ve each got a single entry tag for each general category classification and we all have multiple submissions in several categories. So the women at the submission table tell us to take our tags back and explain our problem to the women at the paperwork table so that they can correct it, and we dutifully trudge back to the table to show them the error of their ways. THIS, my friends, is where we learn of the existence of the unwritten, unspoken rule I like to call the Invisible Knitpistol Clause. Because we are told at the paperwork table that we are not allowed to submit more than one item for any category classification. Not having entered last year, I cannot speak to this firsthand and decided to stay in the background, because I was with two knitpistols who knew their entry regulations backwards and forwards. (For the record, the 40+ page rules handbook states that each item can only be submitted in a single category, but nowhere does it state that submissions are limited to only one item per category.) Let me grace you with a brief snippet of the exchange:
“Hi. We’re missing some of our submission tags.”
“Ah. I need to speak with you over here.”
“Is there a problem?”
“No, but you can only submit one item per category.”
“Really? Where does it say that in the rule book?”
“Well, we did it last year.”
“No, you didn’t.”
“Really? Because we did. I still have all my submission tags and can show you if you’d like.”
“No, you didn’t. I’ve worked this for 18 years, and we’ve never allowed multiple entries in a category.”
“I’m sorry, where is this in the rule book?”
“It isn’t there.”
You get the gist here. So we took our limited options and returned to the other side of the building to the sympathetic women who couldn’t do anything about it, and picked out what we hoped would be the best of the best of what we had to enter. As we waited for them to process our items, we looked over the other entries and I felt somewhat confident. But hey, what is it they say? Pride always goes before the fall? Yep. That’s the one.
Fast forward to Saturday. I was busy moving TheDude into his freshman dorm room at Lock Haven University, but noticed Wexlermoon checked into the Grange Fair and so I kept an eye out for entry updates, but Twitter was suspiciously quiet. Finally unable to wait any longer, I tweeted that I was waiting for Grange knit updates, and only got the following response from Audrey:
“Yeah about that… you should give @wexlermoon a call. She is the one who is at #grange.”
If you can’t read between the lines, let me help you here. Decoded, that reads:
“Yeah about that… you should give @wexlermoon a call. We got fucked.”
So it turns out that the Invisible Knitpistol Clause also extends into the competition itself. Some stuff placed, but it was disappointing, and clearly they were determined not to have the wrong side of the valley take over the competition this year. Do I think Audrey and Hannah got gypped? Definitely. As for me, apparently my three items placed in second or third, but my stuff really wasn’t that intricate (except, now that I think about it, for Rose Brown. That lacework shit was hard). Do I really care about the Grange? No, not really. Yes, it’s a competition, but clearly the BlueHairs got their perms in a snit, and cold cocked us with our own knitpistols to protect their territory. I don’t think we’re looking for a turf war, quite simply because I couldn’t give a crap about the fair. I don’t think the quality is there, so I don’t think it’s a realistic comparison. Let the BlueHairs have their acrylic granny squares, and I’ll take the mohair and alpaca and luscious natural fibers and atypically beautiful and intricate designs.