Jessica Thompson with her winning tree jumper in Palmerin St.
Jessica Thompson with her winning tree jumper in Palmerin St. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Meerkat wins jumper award

WARWICK streets were transformed into a colourful winter wonderland last week as trees throughout the town were wrapped in an assortment of woollen creations and decorations.

Jessica Thompson made the pilgrimage from Brisbane to dress her designated tree and unveil her dynamic design and the effort paid off.

Despite not having lived in Warwick for almost four years, the former Warwick resident was declared the overall winner of the jumper competition.

Her tree, a prickly palm in a prime position outside Suncorp in Palmerin St, features a cuddly crocheted meerkat called Melvin.

Miss Thompson has spent the past three months compiling her prize-winning piece. She scrapped an earlier design after pottering away at it for about six months.

Although she was ecstatic to be named the winner, Miss Thompson said she created her piece because it was something she loved to do and treasured the simple pleasure her entry brought.

“It’s nice to stand by while people are talking about my tree, hearing them say nice things and knowing I’m bringing joy to people,” she said.

“It makes my heart smile when I see people taking their photo with my tree.”

The creative woman has been involved in Jumpers and Jazz since its inception. This year was the first time she has taken out the top spot.

Asked why she continues to create jumpers and participate in the festival now that she lives in Brisbane, she replied simply “it’s just in me”.

“I never thought I would win and when they said my name I just started crying,” she said.

“All of the trees are fantastic and they keep getting better and better every year.”

Miss Thompson confesses to a passion for crocheting and said the emerging trend of “yarn bombing” is one she is hoping more people will embrace.

As the number of trees being decorated in Warwick grows each year, Miss Thompson said she believes this is because the artform is becoming more popular with younger generations.

“Younger people are really getting into it. They can go to the pub and have a drink and a stitch,” she said.

“It’s a cheap and accessible artform – all you need is wool, a hook or needle and your own imagination.”



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