And so the days are filled...

27 September 2005

Forbes Fortune

I started to get a little bit worried about the Forbes Forest scarf that Grumperina was making for me under the auspices of the Stitch Ya Neck Out swap when I received an e-mail from her asking if I'd received it. After an hour of pacing to and fro, the parcel serendipitously arrived in my mailbox wearing the badge of honour of a well-travelled parcel: an 'opened by Quarantine Services' band of tape covering the gash where some suspicious Quarantine officer had previously opened up the box.
There was a leaflet enclosed explaining that my mail had been opened because their screening process ("which uses detector dogs") had indicated an "item of quarantine concern" in my mail. Ooh la la, what had Grumperina surreptitiously included - a ball of contraband yarn??? Some foodstuffs ordered direct from Argentina? As it eventuated, I think the item of quarantine concern was some lovely Tealuxe brand green tea with dried pears from China (rather than the Australian-origin wool with which the scarf had been knitted).
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Australia has a long and gory history of inappropriate exotic species being introduced inadvertently, or even more stupidly, purposefully. As a result we have GIANT CANE TOADS marching toward the border of New South Wales as I type. (The moment those fellas hit Sydney, I'm out of here.) (Quarantine seems to be so important here that they even have celebrity public awareness campaigns about it.)

In fact I have had dealings with AQIS in a past job - when I worked in a hippie organic whole foods shop, we detected some bugs in an imported batch of Red Clover. So I did the right thing and rang up AQIS to come and inspect the goods. They arrived within an hour, and had me fill in a 'Goods Seizure' form. I tried to get the officer to at least have a mock wrestle with me over the package of offending clover, to try to justify the wording on the form, but he didn't seem to see the humour in it. As it turned out, the bug was a common tobacco beetle, not of "quarantine concern". But they were also kind enough to tell me they had found evidence of cotton fibres, "rather like a gym sock" in the clover, that had probably gotten mixed up in it when they were drying and milling the stuff. Ugh, I prefer my organic hippie tea without socks.
But I digress. What was in this parcel which was so thoroughly examined by the heroes of Quarantine Services and their canine companions? It was a beautiful scarf! Voila!
Forbes Fortune
Grumperina and I have been colluding, as previously reported on the SYNO blog. Because of my yarn substitution, the scarf has come up a bit short, so instead of casting off, Grumperina placed the last row of live stitches on some waste yarn so I can add to the scarf until it is an acceptable length. She generously offered to add two more balls herself but I felt bad asking my swap knitter to do THAT much knitting on a boring old scarf, especially when it is clear that she has bigger fish to fry. But the review from Grumperina is that this is a fantabulously fun pattern to make, so I couldn't let her have all the fun, could I?? (oh no, maybe I've just been Huck Finn'ed?)
I feel very fortunate indeed to have in my possession a Grumperina Original. (I'm the only kid on the block who has one, at least to my knowledge.) The knitting is impeccable. I only hope as a beginner-bobble-maker my knitting will even come close to matching up. Thanks Grumperina for a beautiful scarf! Can't wait to wear it!! And it does remind me of home a bit too...