Julia’s not pulling the wool over Elizabeth’s eyes

PASSIONATE knitter Elizabeth Hocking says the images of Prime Minister Julia Gillard with knitting needles and a ball of wool hasn’t improved the Prime Minister’s image in her eyes and doesn’t make her feel like they are kindred spirits joined by the love of the same craft.

“She’s not getting my vote - even if she stands on her head,” said Mrs Hocking.

Although she does concede she understands the Prime Minister taking up the craft to help her relax.

“Knitting is very relaxing - you can even do it watching television,” she said.

Mrs Hocking who has been knitting covered coat hangers on a voluntary basis for the hospital auxiliary for the last 15 years says nothing would persuade her to vote for the Prime Minister in the upcoming election, even if she is a fellow knitter.

“I’m a third generation Liberal voter and that won’t change,” she said.

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Every Wednesday Mrs Hocking who has volunteered with the auxiliary for decades sits at a stand outside the auxiliary coffee shop knitting covered coat hangers and selling other knitted items and preserves made by the many volunteers who work for the auxiliary.

“It is the baby items that are always really popular.

“I’ve sold bootees, a layette and bunny rug this morning - people love buying knitted items but the young ones aren’t taking it up,” she said.

“But we’ve got quite a lot of knitters here among the ladies of the auxiliary,” she said.

Owner of Caboodle in Orange Julie Mendham said she has been surprised at the media response to the images of the Prime Minister knitting, which she believes has stereotyped knitters.

“We have people from all ages and professions who knit.

“They are people who work full time, but don’t knit until they get home at night to relax, so people may not be aware just how many knitters there are out there now,” she said.

Mrs Mendham said she is encouraged by the number of young people coming into the shop to buy yarn.

“Some of the craft teachers at schools are really encouraging children to knit now ,” she said.

Mrs Mendham said anyone who wants to learn how to knit is welcome with open arms.

“We teach people one on one and help them with their stitches. 

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