Saturday, 14 August 2010

And there's going to be an election!

News to you? Either you don't live in Australia or you've been living under a rock. (Is it a large rock? Can I come and join you?) I am so over this election campaign. I never thought to hear myself say this, as I've been interested in politics all my life, so I am shocked at myself.
But this is such a non-campaign. I've rarely heard so much said about so little.

I have another plan. How about every ballot paper, House of Reps and Senate, henceforth includes the option None Of The Above? If NOTA wins (as I suspect this time, it might), we hold another ballot in four weeks. But no-one currently in parliament is allowed to run again for at least five years. 
Yes, this does mean they can't run next time either.
Goodbye Tony.
Goodbye Julia.
Wayne and Joe, you're out too.
Sorry, Bob, you might have done better but the electorate didn't like you enough either. Maybe you could ponder what it means to run the country as well as saving the world?
Now, who is left that might just have an idea about where this country might go? There must be someone... (and no, Nick, it ain't you.)

And how about we change the way we do things? No more having weeks of, "will they call an election?", followed by two weeks of "yes we did, but we aren't campaigning yet", and then tarradiddle US-style Campaign Launches where every creaky ancient politician is dragged out of retirement to tell the wildly-applauding party faithful, and the omnipresent cameras, just how great the latest batch is. And then two weeks of being as nasty as possible to the others, without actually stating any policies that might distinguish one from another. No more. Hooray, I hear you say? But what would we have instead?

From the minute the PM steps out of the Governor General's office, no party may advertise.
No new policies may be launched to public fanfare (or, more likely, indifference).
Anyone kissing other people's babies in shopping malls will be arrested as a child molester. (Hey, anyone else would be!)
Any politician who holds a press conference about *anything* is immediately disqualified from running.
Let's see the politicians running *from* the cameras for a change. With a paper bag over their heads.
Let them sit quietly in parliament wondering if they've done enough.

Extreme? Not really.
Guys, if you didn't bother to tell us what you stood for before the election was called, we don't believe what you say you stand for, once it has been called. Sorry, but we just don't.
You've had your chance to show us what you stand for, what ideas you have, what vision you have for Australia, during the past three years. If you didn't bother, you don't deserve our vote.

Me, I just wish I could vote None of The Above.*

*Opinions authorised by Nola in Bennelong for the entertainment of regular readers

Now we return you to your normal viewing. Thank God for textiles!

Actually, I've been quite busy...

... though much of it has been on real world stuff and not involving lovely textiles.

However, I have not been idle. I finished a jacket I've been knitting this winter, from yarn I bought at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair in 2009. OK, I know I didn't 'fess up to buying it back then, when I was crowing just a smidgen about how little I bought. But, in my defence, I did buy it at the very end of the last day I was at the show, after it had been calling to me all day. And since the Exotica stand was immediately opposite the Bendigo Woollen Mills stand and the tub of yarn was right where I could see it all day, I think it was just meant to be mine. And that's all I have to say about that.

The cable was down the front of a jacket on the cover of The Knitter, Issue 3. That jacket had other cables and was knitted in quite a different yarn. Why make it the same way as the pattern you actually really liked in the beginning? That would be obvious.

I'm not sure if it's a hard cable or I'm getting dumber (I do have my suspicions about that) but it took me several tries to get it right. I hate those cable patterns with weird deformed X's and Y's that all look the same. For some reason, I kept cabling back when I meant forward (or vice versa) and it wasn't until I stopped knitting and worked out what it was I would do, if I were making that cable *without* the pattern, that I actually saw what I had to do. So, strangely, it seems I am much better working without a pattern than I am when I follow one. Scary thought...

So here it is, my very classy masterpiece.
It has a moss stitch band, which gives the edge some definition. Here's a close up of the tricky cable:
Not that tricky, is it? The problem was that little outer curve on the larger twist, which cables the other way. Of course it does! Obvious, isn't it? It really is a lovely cable. The yarn colour is a beautiful greyed purple-maroon, somewhere in between the colours you see here. Evidently, it's one of those colours that are impossible to reproduce electronically...

I also found another garment I knitted earlier, in the workroom this week. I'm not quite sure why it was in the workroom, because when I tried it on, it fitted beautifully and looked great. I think I had some idea that the zipper wasn't put in well, or that the neckline didn't sit right. I am rarely my best critic when it comes to finished garments.

This one was based on a picture in a magazine, possibly Family Circle, which I cut out back in (ulp) the seventies, because I loved the shape of it. I think it was meant to be knitted in Herdwick - remember those yarns that were all heathery, in neutral tones? The unattributed designer was inspired by the garments of the 1940s, and it had something of the feel of a bomber jacket. The yarn I used is actually reknitted. I know, nobody does that any more but I loved this yarn so much, I couldn't bear to say goodbye. It would have been a Patons yarn, probably Totem, which started out as a medium silvery brown. I knitted it up in the late eighties or early nineties as a traditional gansey, the fishermen's jumpers from the ports of the UK. From memory, I used a design from Whitby, the port closest to the place my mother's forebears emigrated from, in the mid nineteenth century. They came to South Australia and their marriage was the 51st in the new colony.

I wore that jumper for years, but alas, a moth decided it was the perfect home for her new babies. I washed it and set it aside because I really didn't want it to be the end. By now, the yarn had aged to a lovely silvery beige, the colour of a well-weathered fence. Eventually, I unravelled it, setting aside the spoilt part. I modified my basic cardigan pattern to something I thought would end up similar to the picture from the magazine. It doesn't look quite the same (I think that one had a collar) but I'm very happy with how it turned out.
There's a neat little shaped slot at the neck, which I don't think was on the original either...
...and it has a ladder pattern up the sleeve (not visible in the main photo).
It actually looks great when I'm wearing it but I don't think you need to see that!