Archive for December, 2009

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Knit Out The Old; Knit In The New

29 December 2009

I was going to spend the end of the year showing you pictures of all the items I’ve finished in the last two weeks of the year.  But life isn’t like that, is it?

A Baby Surprise Jacket, knitted for the wife of a work friend.  Unfortunately, I forgot to make any buttonholes.  Will have to make loops for buttons I suppose – or maybe use press-studs.

A summer, short-sleeved jacket for me knitted in linen.  Back and two fronts finished (knit in one piece), one sleeve done and sewn in.  Unfortunately, the sleeve seams are really badly sewn so must unpick and re-do.  And finish the other sleeve.  And sew it on.  And knit some sort of edging – complete with buttonholes, if I can remember them.

A shawl for a woman I work for who admired one of mine.  She chose the yarn and I finished it yesterday.  Unfortunately,  I mis-calculated the size a bit and it won’t be really big enough even after blocking.  So I’ll unpick the cast-off and the border and do a few more repeats.

And my entry for the Easter Show?  Gave up.  I cast it on and off 6 times (350 stitches as it’s 2 ply), got bored so put it away to think about it.  And my thought is that I won’t bother.  It will only get finished on time and to my complete satisfaction if I devote loads of time to it and I’m worried that it will then become a chore.  I’ll get panicky that it won’t be finished on time.  And angry with it.  Frankly, if knitting makes me panic and angry, it’s not worth doing.  I’ve loads of other things I want to knit FOR FUN.   If I can come up with an idea for a smaller item that I may enjoy knitting, I’ll still enter.  If that doesn’t happen, so be it. 

I’m determined nothing gets cast on until at least the BSJ and shawl are finished as they’re gifts.  And there are at least 3 other items I SO want to start knitting.  But as you can see, misfortune has befallen me at every turn.  Perish the thought that it’s just plain incompetence. 

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Peace On Earth?

22 December 2009

Maybe, but not in Sydney.

Carols by Candlelight, attended by about 4000 people on Monday evening, had to be abandoned after a young girl was assaulted and a police officer punched in the eye.  One of the assailants had to be stunned with a policeman’s taser gun. 

What?  (Or, in the common parlance, WTF?)

Silent Night, it wasn’t.

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Saint Mary’s Fighting Fund

19 December 2009

It looks as though Australia is about to get its first Saint.  Mary MacKillop.  A time for joyous celebration all round or a PR exercise by the Catholic Church?

From all I’ve read about her (and it’s difficult to avoid doing that at the moment), she was a good and kind woman who really made a difference to a lot of people’s lives, mainly children.  And in the eyes of some people, that alone would make her a saint.  But in the eyes of the Church, that’s not quite enough.  It has to be shown that she has performed two miracles since her death. 

The admission criteria for sainthood has been changed immensely in the last few years.  Pope John Paul II canonised more people than all his predecessors put together.   Sainthoods were handed out left, right and centre – nearly 500 in all.  But to do that, the rules had to be changed.  What could be thought of as a miracle 200 years ago, 100 years ago or even 20 just doesn’t satisfy the medical and scientific community any more.  So the Church no longer requires 4 miracles but just 2.   And Mary Mackillop has apparently cured one woman of an “inoperable cancer” and another of leukaemia.

Of course, this really doesn’t concern me.  A church in Rome wanting to dole out accolades to add a bit of excitement to the lives of its members in Australia is I suppose only the concern of that church and those members. I just find it really sad that when Europeans came to this country only 200 years ago they didn’t throw off these shackles along with all the others they left behind. 

And why has our Prime Minister got involved in this – even to the extent of visiting Rome and speaking to the Pope about it?  This isn’t a Government matter nor should it be.  Does he view it in the same way Australians view the Olympic medal tables – the more saints we have, the more the rest of the world will respect us? 

As you all know, I took a rather cynical view of the money this country spent to host World Youth Day.  In the light of this latest pronouncement, maybe I can be forgiven for believing that it was perhaps a contribution to the “Make Mary MacKillop A Saint” fighting fund. 

Every Olympic Gold medal costs Australia $15 million.  It would appear that the cost of canonisation comes in at $165 million. 

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Bedsocks And Broomsticks

19 December 2009

Germaine Greer has done it again.  Written an article that’s stirred up a storm, especially among the knitting community. 

I hesitate to give knitted items to non-knitting friends but mentioned this week to a young man I work with that I’d like to knit something for the baby his wife is expecting.  His eyes lit up!  And the next day he told me that he’d mentioned it to his wife and she’d be thrilled to have something made especially for them.  That was such a lovely reaction from a couple in their twenties, I immediately cast on.

And as a Christmas present to a friend in Sydney, I’ve given her a card of yarn samples so that she can choose the colour she wants for a shawl.  She admired one of mine.  It won’t be a surprise when she unwraps it but at least I’ll know that she’s likely to actually wear it. 

Please be assured that if you’re a friend of mine, you won’t be receiving bedsocks in your Christmas stocking this year.

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Take That, You Cad!

14 December 2009

I didn’t sleep very well last night.  At about 3 a.m. I was awoken by my husband hitting me.

David?  Using violence?  I assure you all that this is a first.

I told him to stop, he woke up and knew exactly what he’d done.  Apparently in his dream, there were 10 burglars. dressed in suits, sitting in our house drinking tea.  How he knew they were burglars I’ve no idea as they sounded to me more like a contingent from the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  Anyway, he KNEW they were burglars and tried to hit one but kept missing.  He missed the burglar but he managed to hit me in the arm about three times.   

I suppose I should just be grateful he didn’t try to strangle one of them.

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Our Cat’s In A Flap

5 December 2009

For the first two years of our cat’s life, she had a cat flap.  For the next 7 years, and two houses, no cat flap.

Recently David installed a new front door so that was our opportunity to provide Chloe with her own little door again.  No more having to jump up and down every ten minutes to attend to her whims.

Now I know that cats have very little memory but I really thought she was a bit brighter than this.  Ten days of her own door and she just hasn’t got the hang of it.  I’ve “trained” cats in the use of cat flaps before but nothing seems to be working with her.  We’ve pushed and pulled,  put food on the other side etc but she still sits at the door and wails every time she wants to go in or out.

Is there a TAFE course or similar where she can enroll and be taught by the experts or do we just have to persevere . . . or get a new cat . . . or come to terms with the fact that she just isn’t as clever as we thought she was?

 Chloe at door2

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The Buck Stops Where?

4 December 2009

Parliament of the World’s Religions – Melbourne 2009 – 5000 attendees from around the world- $4.5 million grant from the Victorian Government.

Global Atheist Convention – Melbourne 2010 – 2000 attendees from around the world – Zilch, zero, nothing from the Victorian Government.  (Story here)

What is this Government obsession with throwing money at religious organisations, most of whom are not really short of a bob or two?

After the fiasco of World Youth Day (a Catholic Church event) in Sydney, which cost the Australian people something in the region of $160 million, and the disclosure this week that two ‘Church’ of Scientology schools, with fewer than 100 pupils between them, are to receive $1.6 million in Federal Government subsidies, I wouldn’t blame the rest of the world thinking that Australia is a country rolling in cash and desperate to dole it out to anyone who asks. 

But they draw the line at atheists, apparently.