Gillard drops a stitch with royal baby knitting photo

Jun 26, 2013, 00:15 IST | Agencies

Australian PM Julia Gillard has revealed she is knitting a woollen toy kangaroo as a gift for the royal baby but was forced to defend her 'slightly absurd' decision to pose for a women's magazine with her needles and pet dog.

The Australian Prime Minister, who has named knitting and watching Game of Thrones as her favourite pastimes, agreed to a staged photo shoot and candid interview for The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Last stitch bid: Julia Gillard at the photo shoot

Despite supporting Australia becoming a republic, Gillard said that knitting for the baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be a ‘cute project to work on’.

“In terms of knitting for Kate’s baby – I knit for babies, in part, because they are smaller projects,” Gillard said.

“I’ve got not that much time in my life. You can get them done and there’s a sense of satisfaction in having completed it.”
The photograph attracted widespread attention in Australia and triggered another skirmish in the nation’s ongoing gender wars.

Critics said the magazine story was a blatant ‘stunt’ and accused Gillard of lacking gravitas and re-enforcing clichéd stereotypes about women.

But supporters pointed out that the cycling-obsessed opposition leader, Tony Abbott, frequently appears publicly in body-fitting Lycra outfits.  

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