This was a return to knitting Fair Isle jumpers after a long break - 20 years or so. It had become too expensive to buy wool to knit with so I just stopped. Then I discovered a spinning wheel with a feed sack full of fleece for sale for fifty dollars at the prison shop in the town where I was working. It looked like a bargain even though the spinning wheel was a bit neglected. I got it back to working order with the help of some builders' twine and some fencing wire. The fleece was pretty dirty and full of spear grass but better than nothing. Then a work colleague brought me in three bags full of black fleece from her pet sheep and I really got going. I hadn't tried dyeing wool before so there's not a wide range of colours in this jumper. The yellows are from turmeric and wattle, the light brown is eucalyptus and the orangey colour is lichen.I wasn't sure how long the colours would last so I made sure there was a strong pattern in the original wool colours that would not fade away. When I finished it I entered it in the Fair Isle class at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and astonishingly won first prize.
Fair Isle jumper at Sydney Royal 2007