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Perth resident Trish Lambkin has never lived on a farm or raised sheep, but she has dedicated hours to knitting hundreds of life-saving jumpers for lambs feeling the cold.
About a year ago, Mrs Lambkin read about a Marie Knight from New South Wales calling on knitters to make jumpers for lambs orphaned by drought and circumstance.
Without proper care, the lambs are in danger of freezing to death in paddocks during cold winter nights.
Mrs Lambkin was inspired, so she picked up her needles and her wool, downloaded a copy of the pattern and started knitting.
“Every lamb that doesn’t grow up to be a lamb chop costs the farmers,” she said.
“If they can have a better quality of life while they are with us, why not?”
What’s in a name?
Mrs Lambkin took her husband Stanley’s surname long before she began knitting sheep sweaters.
“People look at me and think: ‘Oh, that’d be right’.”
As it turns out, there is a link between the name Lambkin and caring for sheep.
“It’s something to do with shepherds,” Mrs Lambkin said.
Keeping busy during COVID-19
However, it is not just the lambs benefiting from the jumpers.
Mrs Lambkin says the cause has helped rediscover her passion for knitting after giving it up some years ago.
“I am just so thrilled to be knitting again,” Mrs Lambkin said.
“I’ve just been revelling in it. It’s a win-win for me.”
It has also been a help during COVID-19 restrictions, which forced Mrs Lambkin to take nine weeks off work.
“You can’t go anywhere, you can’t do anything, and you have to be on guard wherever you are,” she said.
Happy little lambs
Lucinda Liddelow has been using the jumpers on lambs her husband brings home from his work at a Mingenew farm.
Mrs Liddelow said the brightly-coloured jumpers helped to protect motherless lambs from the elements during their first weeks of life.
“We’ve had quite a few lambs where some of the mothers have passed away or abandoned them,” she said.