Could something involving a stick and string cause Gore to become a yarn destination for the world?
Needle and Hook by Crochet Birdie shop owner Kerryn Gillan would say “yes”, because it is already happening.
The shop, which sells yarn and crochet and knitting equipment, has been open in Brennan Ln since June of last year.
Mrs Gillan said it was the hat she crocheted for her newborn daughter in 2010 which started her business off.
“A friend saw her hat and said saw that person’s hat and said ‘Can I have one?’. The someone saw that person’s hat and said ‘Where did you get that?’
“It just kind of snowballed from there.”
It was very satisfying making items.
“If you make a wee hat for your baby you’re like ‘i made that out of a stick and some string’.
“It’s quite mind-blowing, really.”
Touch Yarns of Clyde approached her and asked if she would design patterns using their merino wool.
“Now I’ve got a catalogue of patterns.”
Mrs Gillan has had her design label Crochet Birdie for 10 years.
Birdie was the nickname her uncle gave her when she was three weeks old.
“My uncle reckoned I had a nose like a beak .. it stuck.”
Before lockdown many overseas visitors came to Gore just to visit the shop.
“My mission is to make this a destination yarn store. It already is a destination, but I want more people to know about it.”
She was a big fan of crochet.
“I seriously love it. It’s changed my life. It teaches you so many things.”
She was not good at relaxing, but with a crochet hook and wool in her hands she found it easy.
“It gives you a thing to sit and do. Crochet and knitting have got a beautiful repetitive nature about them.
“You are kind of like subconsciously meditating by counting the stitches, watching the stitches.”
Most people did not find crochet easy to learn, especially in the first hour.
“About an hour and a-half in . they sit back and pat their work and say achieved.’
She sells crochet patterns and demonstrates how to make items online.
During lockdown, she was unable to sell wool but able to carry on the business online.
“One day I did a live video and there were about a 100 people on there at the same time and we were all sitting there crocheting.”
Only natural fibre yarns were sold in the store.
“We try to celebrate New Zealand yarns.”
The business was continuing to grow.
“I need to float my own boat because people just totally underestimate it.”