Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

We Band of Knitters

Kenneth-Branagh-in-Henry--007.jpg
Dear Ann,
Warning: the following makes no sense. But I’m having fun. Are you having fun? Anybody who doesn’t know what the fuss is about, read the post after this one. Short version: We’re upset with the U.S. Olympic Committee so we’re knitting socks for Stephen Colbert.
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those Ravelers
That knit no socks to-day!
KING. What’s she that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are stitch-mark’d to unravel, we are enough
To do Knit Nation loss; and if to knit,
The more the socks, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one knitter more.
By Bob, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth caffeinate upon my cost;
It yearns me not if teenagers my garments refuse;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a law clerk from the USOC.
Bob’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one knitter more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That she which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let her depart; her pattern shall be downloaded,
And skeins for cowls put into her Namaste purse;
We would not die in that ma’am’s company
That fears her fellowship to knit with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Colbert.
He that knits socks this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Colbert.
He that shall knit this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his knitting group,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Colbert.’
Then will he frog his sleeve and show his scarves,
And say ‘These stitches I dropped on Colbert’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feet he knit for that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cuppas freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Colbert Colbertian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of knitters;
For he to-day that sheds his mohair with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And knitters now in England now-a-bed (due to the time difference)
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their Addis cheap whiles any speaks
That knit with us upon Saint Colbert’s day.
Oh heck, just watch Sir Ken do it.
Love,
Kay

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. Holy cow…now I have heard everything! I actually already have a pair of sock knitted up with no one’s name on them – they are now officially for SC IF he does the piece. How could he turn it down…this absurdity is right up his alley!

  2. Golly, Kay. You’re good. I might have do a reading of this poem by the fire tonight. Hear ye and all that. Owen will complain, but John will support me.
    FYI I think that #knitapair broke the twitterverse.

  3. Favorite line, “…frog his sleeve and show his scarves,” Awesome!

  4. Favorite line, “…frog his sleeve and show his scarves,” Awesome!

  5. I was thinking that I might put some “difficult” literature on my summer reading list because it’s so great to really dive into something and get surrounded by it, really immerse and puzzle out and enjoy… you’re making me re-think my capacity to do that.
    On the other hand, I was NOT going to knit socks this summer, and you’re making me re-think that as well. It’s… just… like my toddler showing off and showing off and showing off and then screaming “Don’t LOOK at MEEEEEEEEE!” And also hitting her big brother when he tries to do the same “trick” she is doing.

  6. This gave me chills! I love the St. Crispin’s speech and adding knitting… inspired!
    Once more into the gussets, dear friends!

  7. The “USOC Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer” has responded to the kerfuffle:
    http://www.teamusa.org/News/2012/June/21/statement-from-usoc-spokesperson-patrick-sandusky.aspx
    I am bemused by the claim that the paragraph that claims the Ravelympics “denigrate” the athlete’s efforts is part of a boilerplate C&D … and that their idea of an apology is for knitters to MAKE THINGS FOR THEM.
    I am sorry. I only knit for people who appreciate my efforts.

  8. You are insane, in a good way. Perhaps you should ask Sir Ken to declaim for you – you never know… Will might be turning in his grave, though!

  9. That was insanely terrific. Though I be not a sock knitter by nature, mayhaps I will rise to the calling! Also, that version of the speech from the Branagh movie always makes me cry :)

  10. That’s a really long speech and I gotta go deal with grade 6 graduation now, but I’ll be baaaack.
    Which is not a quote from Shakespeare!

  11. Has anyone else remembered the thousands of Special Olympic scarves we knitters and crocheters made and donated over the past few years? Anyone who saw pictures of the joy these scarves brought to the athletes should be saying thank you to the crafters not cease and desist.

  12. I wish that I was a sock knitter. Oh how I do, but I’m afraid my sock knitting is below par and not even Olympic, er sorry, um world class. I would consider knitting something I don’t suck at…. Would SC appreciate a Honey Cowl?

  13. Kay- -I totally loved this! I think you have another career ahead of you: adapting the classics for the knitterverse. As for the USOC letter, it’s just a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  14. Well, in the “official” apology at noon Patrick suggested we send our knitted offerings to his team (they will now accept them in peace) but I’m not feeling the love so much.

  15. Well, in the “official” apology at noon Patrick suggested we send our knitted offerings to his team (they will now accept them in peace) but I’m not feeling the love so much.

  16. Good thing the Bard’s works are in the public domain and he won’t be setting his lawyers on you! Of course he had something to say about them too (present company excluded, of course).

  17. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

  18. Dear Kay, How I do love a good rabble-rouser! You are like a Knight of Knitting, and I shall follow your raised banner anywhere!

  19. Favorite line: “For he to-day that sheds his mohair with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,” This is lovely Kay.

  20. OH HELLYEAH.
    [crosses fingers hoping nobody notices that this is elaborate ploy so we can post photos of Colbert and Branagh for a minute before we return to our usual diet of Jack White photos.]

  21. Bravo!!!

  22. Thank you, Kay, for that special report. Haven’t seen the news, probably won’t watch the Olympics in favor of our Lake Superior circle tour, and even have lately been leaving for work without the benefit of Morning Edition. But I can see the world hasn’t changed while I wasn’t paying attention.

  23. Breaking news, they updated their statement to clarify the depth of their apology. Go internet knitters!
    http://www.teamusa.org/News/2012/June/21/statement-from-usoc-spokesperson-patrick-sandusky.aspx

  24. Just plain brilliant, Kay the Bard of the Mattress Stitch.

  25. I have not attempted socks, but have the yarn and pattern. I’ll knit them just for Sir Ken’s and Sir Stephen C’s sakes! :)

  26. Hank V was the first role I saw Ken B play. Whew. You are really hitting the very short list of my favorite talented men tonight!
    I’m sorry…what was the question?

  27. If Colbert has any sense at all he’ll be all over this…you are purely awesome Kay.

  28. Love it!! I hate knitting socks, but will take one for the team!!!!

  29. Bob’s peace, indeed! I was already happy in my heart at the thought of two of my favorites, Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, pretend-presenting handknits to yet another favorite, Stephen Colbert. But now, Kay, you have made me so geekishly happy by bringing up Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, yet ANOTHER favorite! And THEN you knitt-ified the St. Crispin’s speech. WOW.
    Say, do you think Ken could be persuaded to join you on this fantasy episode of the Colbert Report? Also, I think “St. Colbert’s Day” should be May 13th, as it is Stephen’s birthday. (And mine too!)

  30. I tip my hat to thee.

  31. Bloody hell girl. You have surpassed yourself!
    he he he he

  32. Belinda beat me to it, but I think it bears repeating: You’re insane, but the good kind. And supremely talented in both knitting & literary pursuits.

  33. Omg how funny! But shouldn’t Greece have the rights to the use of the word “Olympics”? That country could certainly use the royalty . A stash search is in order to dig up some sock yarn.
    Michele

  34. Michelle–Um, yeah, Greece should have the Elgin Marbles too, but people seem all too content to plunder the place whenever it’s convenient. Greek salad? HELLO? Grease? Obviously a rip-off.

  35. now-a-bed(due to the time difference) Snork!

  36. One of Shakespeare’s summer interns should be in touch any minute. You are a repeat denigrator.
    (but a very very clever one!)XOX

  37. well hooray for a lawyer that actually has commmand of the English language!
    Well done, Kay. Well done (said in her best Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me voice).

  38. well hooray for a lawyer that actually has commmand of the English language!
    Well done, Kay. Well done (said in her best Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me voice).

  39. Whee! Thanks for this. Also, Sir Ken’s Henry V is on Netflix for instant play, for those who can’t get enough of it on YouTube.

  40. You just made my favorite speech even better.

  41. Guess who watched Hank Cinq on Netflix last night? What can I say, I was in the mood.
    When they killed the boys, OMG. “I was not angry since I came to France, until this instant!”
    The tragedy and comedy of life in one sentence.
    Non nobis, domine…..

  42. BRAVA!!!!!!!

  43. My favorite speech from my favorite play done by my favorite actor (I actually have a handwritten note from Ken, complementing me on my production of Much Ado…but now I’m just shamelessly bragging)…and all for the knitting community…doesn’t get much better than that! :)

  44. Clever, clever Kay! tis wonderful. I even stayed up last night to watch Colbert in the hopes that the cause has reached his ears.
    and yes, Sir Kenneth! a recent “Sir.” and deserved.

  45. God, that was brilliant! I fell about laughing at the shedding of the mohair!!! St. Colbert’s Day, indeed! thank you thank you

  46. I’ve been thinking about watching Henry V again and lo and behold there it is. I am so glad that there are other people in the world who hold it in high esteem.

  47. You are indeed having way to much fun. Go you!!
    And shameless in your covetousness of the fame of the Colbert attention – offensive soul!
    Love you so much :)

  48. You, my liege, have made my day.

  49. You are a genius. I love you more than life. Your writing (and Ann’s) can change the tenor of a day from blah (or worse) to laughter and creative possibility. A million thanks.

  50. Jeez Kay… you’re out of control.
    He’s mine by the way.

  51. Hey Kay — @IAM_SHAKESPEARE has been tweeting Henry V line by line the last few weeks – they’re just about to hear the names from Agincourt…

  52. Hey Kay — @IAM_SHAKESPEARE has been tweeting Henry V line by line the last few weeks – they’re just about to hear the names from Agincourt…

  53. Just a thought…Wouldn’t a better public figure to take up this cause be Mo Rocca? Seeing as how he has already felt the wrath of insulted knitters and all…..

  54. You rock, Kay!
    One of my favorite renditions of the Henry V quote is by Lillo Brancato, Jr. in the movie “Renaissance Man”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApcrdI-XPdU

  55. !!! :-) Love it.

  56. One of my favorite monologues, especially performed by (SIR!) Kenneth. *Adore*

  57. One of my favorite monologues, especially performed by (SIR!) Kenneth. *Adore*

  58. favorite line:hold her addis cheap. How can I print this to save it and read it every day? Ha!

  59. favorite line:hold her addis cheap. How can I print this to save it and read it every day? Ha!