It's always so odd to me to hear about UK people not being able to find good wool. It's a common complaint from UK folks, but I dunno, when I think of England's green and rolling hills, I think of sheep on them. Another misconception blown away!
Your son is easily the coolest 11 year old I've seen. Great job knitting it, and on raising such a stellar kid.
Do you mind if I link to this post from www.wearwithstyle.com? Given safety concerns around kids, I'll understand if the answer is no.
By the way, my six year old said for months she wanted to be JoJo the clown (from Disney channel, which we don't even get). Got a costume half-off at the Disney store, we were all ready to go... and literally two minutes before time to dress up she decides she wants to be a princess. AAAARRRGGHH!!
OK, to show what a good sport I am, I'm going to post a link to my sad little hat with my inferior yarn and inferior stitches. Now that I know what I'm doing and I'm not trying to knit a hat in twelve hours, I'm going to make a couple without dropped stitches or holes in general. Luckily, some non-knitting people weren't looking carefully and thought the holes were part of the design because they were sort of evenly spaced...
The pics funny because I kept trying to hold the camera out and get the whole thing without cutting off the pom on the top.
Heh. I just didn't want to say anything, because I'm kind of, you know, biased. I know some folks have made them over on the LiveJournal knitting channel, and I haven't had any complaints yet. I'm always open to criticism, I've got a very thick skin. Haven't heard any yet though.
As for Australia, I think it's just unwashed wool or wool that's more direct from the sheep, isn't it? I hope so - my knitting secret pal this time around is from Australia, and she sent me a hat she'd knitted, and also some loopy mohair. I also made a Coronet from Knitty and send it to a friend down there, and nobody said anything about it.