[Renae, not actually a knitter, sent me this extremely cute entry and design for a nifty, er, needle holster that could equally well be sewn or knit. Isn't it cunning?]
I can see it now:
Buffy's been particularly low lately, what with all the strife and drama that goes on in her life on a regular basis. So Giles (ever-well-meaning as he is), comes to her, during one of her quiet moments while she sits in the library- staring at nothing. With pursed lips and wringing hands, he approaches. "Em.. Buffy..? Can I have a word?"
Receiving no response, Giles continues. "I know you've been having difficulty with your duties as the Slayer, you heavy work load at school, taking care of Dawn.. everything that's been going on lately with Angel and-"
"Giles, stop rambling." Not even bothering to look up, Buffy remains still, staring at nothing. She keeps her place at the large, empty table, stiffly leaning her elbows on its surface.. "All your pre-presentation blah-blah blah isn't doing me any good either, so just spit it out."
"Well.. I thought that perhaps you could use a bit of a hobby.. to keep yourself occupied and do something a mite.. productive in the interi-"
"I beg your pardon?? Did you say you want me to do something else??? Don't I already have enough on my plate right now???"
"Yes, I know but-"
"But what? You want me to go feed starving kids in Uganda on the weekends? Use what little spare time I have left to myself to build houses for poor, deserving people in under-served neighborhoods? Run track for some charity organization or another?? Aren't I doing enough to save the planet already, Giles??? What is it now?"
"Well, you see.. em.. Xander and Willow thought perhaps that you might be taking your duties as Slayer a bit too seriously as of late... That all of the events in the last few months have taken too great a toll on you... So, they came to me with their concerns, not wishing to trouble you further... And well.. at this point I would have to agree.. so-"
"Wait wait wait wait wait. Just.. stop there." Shaking her head and bringing her hands up in front of her in a "hault" position, she looks up at Giles sternly. "Even YOU think I'm stressing too much about everything?? ..I'm sorry, but aren't you the person who's always telling me I don't take my job seriously ENOUGH??
"Most of the time, yes. But-"
At this Buffy stands up, crosses her arms, and gives Giles a look that could kill... Her mouth is creased with a deep frown, and her jaw is clenched so tightly it begins to tremble slightly."Great. So now, NOW, after EVERYTHING else I've been through, over all this time.. NOW you're telling me that I'm apparently SO broken, I can't even handle a conversation?? With my two best friends?? What, you afraid I'm gonna start foaming at the mouth & you'll have to cart me off to the nearest nuthouse or something? People afraid I'm just gonna lose it and start indescriminately bashing heads in, hmm?? Am I some sort of a monster to you and the guys now, Giles? Some killing machine with a hair trigger that could go off at any moment, hmm??? You guys need to band together just to TALK to me these days???"
In the next second the two heavy library doors swing open with a bang, and Willow practically falls in- with Xander close behind. Nearly toppling over one another, Xander rights himself and pipes up. "Buff, give the guy a break. It was mostly our idea." Willow's voice chimes in tentatively as she straightens herself up, offering a quavery "yeah, Buffy. We just wanted to give you something to do to help you relax."
Turning on them with her arms at her sides now, fists clenching and unclenching reflexively, Buffy cocks her head and hisses, "oh really? And what exactly did you have in mind, huh???" With a razor-sharp look that's more of a grimace than a smile, Buffy sets her teeth on edge and snarls "do tell."
Just a jot trembly, Willow pulls something out of her pocket and offers it to Buffy. Meanwhile; Xander dumps his backpack out onto the nearest table, his eyes darting back and forth between it and Buffy's stern face.
In the same instant, (and with only a moment's hesitation), Willow and Xander speak one word- just as Buffy takes the paper Willow's offered and begins to scan its contents:
A small smile cracks one side of Buffy's frown, and she looks up at her three friends; her anger clearly beginning to erode as it gives way to a queer mixture of amusement, confusion and incredulity.
"Excuse me?? Did you just say 'knitting???'"
Giles clears his throat, steps forward and nods. "Indeed. It's an old hobby of mine, and I thought you might actually enjoy it."
"But isn't knitting for old ladies and spinsters and stuff?"
Willow begins to collect some of the things Xander dumped out on the desk; balls of yarn in light purple, black, a few miscellaneous pieces of hardware, and 2 knitting needles. "Wuhl, I'm not a spinster yet, but I like it a lot. My Aunt Bernice got me into knitting when I was just a little kid, and now I make all kinds of stuff. That's why I drew up that pattern for you. I thought Giles and I could teach you to knit, and you could use it for Mister Pointy, 'n then make other stuff, just for fun... ..If.. if you wanted..." Looking down at the floor, Will hands Buffy her knitting implements and backs away. "Giles caught me knitting in the back a few weeks ago, and it all started there. I hope, I hope it's okay, Buffy. We- we didn't mean to go behind your back or anything. We were just worried.. I promise."
Xander steps forward, his hands helt tight in his pockets, choosing his words carefuly. "Yeah, it's just.. we thought you might like it." His face brightens then, and Xander continues with a grin. "It's all kinds of fashionable nowadays. I saw a big gaggle of girls doing it at a coffee shop the other day, and no one there was anywhere NEAR granny-hood. Plus, Will even found you a magazine with all sorts of trendy-ish clothes and junk you could make with it. You could.." he searched for his words for a second, pausing with a creased brow and gesturing vaguely with his hands a moment, then resumed, brightening again, "you could start a business or something.. some fashion boutique like you girls like to do... It could called.. 'Slayer Chic.'"
Looking a bit bewildered, Buffy rolls the soft yarn back and forth between her hands. "So, you want me to actually MAKE this thing?? Don't get me wrong, Will.. he's totally adorable and all that, but.. you actually think that I could make something like this?? I mean c'mon guys, we all know I'm not exactly the handy type..."
Smiling, Xander reaches a hand out and vigorously tousles Buffy's hair, earning him a raised eyebrow from both Willow and Giles, and just a hint of a scowl from his now-bedraggled victim. "Absolutely," he says, grinning. "If Will and the G-Man can do it, anybody can. Besides, you do stuff most people couldn't even imagine. Learning how to knit should be a total breeze." Suddenly noticing Buffy's mild look of consternation, he glances about himself moentarily and pauses. "Heh.. right?" Smiling stiffly he pulls his hand back, holds it behind his back, and goes very, very still.
After shooting Xander a retaliatory glance, Willow perks up, bouncing for a second off the balls of her feet. "Right... Besides, it's vampy, it's stuffed, and you can actually wear it when you make other stuff. ..Or when you're out on your suuuuper-secret missions, brutally staking the dam-ned hearts of the malevolent undead."
Unable to do anything but acquiesce to Willow's beaming, childlike fervor, (eerily perky and cheerful though it was), and everyone else's "quiet" concern, Buffy feigns a touch of aggravation, by rolling her eyes and shrugging sullenly. After a moment though she lets her facade break, and now, smiling in true, she gives in at last and pulls Willow over to the table- where she and Giles begin to help Buffy with her new creation. (Something Willow has affectionately named "Count Stake-You-Lots.".)
Looking on, Xander lays out the materials, and starts fiddling with the shiny new hardware.. wondering if maybe he might give this whole knitting thing a try, too...
Not long after, Buffy has a new accessory, Mister Pointy has a new home for him and a friend, Giles and Willow have made a few more of their own knitting projects, Xander has learned how to tie his hands in knots while annoying Willow with her own knitting implements, and Evil has one more fashionable (yet delightfully quirky) reason to fear Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.
My first thought when I learned about this challenge was a stake holder (or needle holder for those HUGE needles some knitting projects require), done in the shape of The Count von Count's head, (the vampire from Sesame Street). The needles/stakes would be the Count's fangs, and the whole little guy would fasten to a belt slung around the hips of the wearer. No doubt this could be made by a talented knitter, but as I don't knit (yet) I've been thinking about using a pre-made plush doll's head. (But I just can't bring myself to decapitate an innocent, ready-made creation- so methinks I'll just have to sew n' stuff my own.)
The idea would be to insert two stakes/needles into the top of his head, (where lined, ready-made holes would be), which would then come out from the underside front of the upper jaw, as if the stakes/needles were his fangs. :) (They could either be surrounded by fake "teeth," or not, depending on each person's preferences.) Since the Count had such awesomely large, pointy ears, O-rings could be inserted into each ear on either side, (like earcuffs or punk earrings) to act as anchors for fastening and unfastening the Count's needle-holdin' noggin to a belt. (Which could easily be either knit or some other fabric, even leather.) One or two rings on each ear could be used, (again, depending on the user's preference), and the belt could attach via large/sturdy lobster clasps or double-ended snap hooks like you can get from any hardware department. :)
And heck, if you really wanted to get creative, you could even put a pouch or zipper pocket in the back, behind the Count's noggin. :) (The side that rests against the wearer's hip, waist, etc..) This design could have a ton of customizations- felting and firm filling to be a pin cushion (with a little bat attached like the li'l extra on the classic tomato design, maybe?), all kinds of stuff! :D Go crazy!