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Upsized . . . Kerryn Gillan (left) helps Nichola Sayer, both of Gore, come to grips with the large crochet hooks needed to create items with bulky merino wool at a workshop in Gore. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

BY MARGARET PHILLIPS

The clack of huge wooden needles was a dominating sound at two extreme knitting workshops in Gore.

Extreme knitter Michelle Stewart, of Wanaka, hosted the workshops alongside Plump & Co owner Jacinta Fox, of Waikato.

The workshops, held at the Stable Kitchen in Gore, attracted nine participants at one session and eight at the second.

The large-gauge pure merino yarn matched the oversized wooden needles, which allowed knitters to create items such as scarves, blankets, throws and even decorative bowls.

Mrs Stewart started her online knitting and wool store, The Woven, more than a year ago and created the Knit Club in Wanaka.

It was proving an increasingly popular informal weekly gathering of new, returning and experienced knitters.

The extreme knitting workshops had been held in Queenstown and Wanaka with success.

This was the first time workshops had been held in Gore.

Ms Fox founded Plump & Co, a band of knitters who make items and produce yarns and knitting accessories that are sold nationally and internationally.

“We want to create a real country-based brand,” Ms Fox said.

“We sell DIY and ready made – we ship it around the world,” she said.

She studied textiles at Massey University before setting up the company.

The wool was felted and was very soft, she said.

“It’s very soft and beautiful and cosy.

“It’s a lovely hobby.”

The wool could be knitted tighter or looser, she said.

She began the company more than two years ago because she could not get the wool she needed for large-gauge knitting.

As well as yarn the company stocked large needles and crochet hooks.