When scrawling through the endless reams of pictures on Instagram a total delight came to my attention. Plump and Co are a beautiful business based out of Hamilton bringing pure joy to people worldwide with their knitting and workshops. “knitting on steroids” as owner Jacinta likes to refer to when explaining the resurgence in crafting and in particular the large needles she uses for her workshops and beautiful pieces she creates.
When I discovered she was doing the rounds of smaller towns and cities throughout NZ, I knew she would have to come here and I basically begged (it didn’t take long, she got married here and who doesn’t love Queenstown?) her to come here and let me help her set up a workshop.
Knitting to me has always brought a hefty dose of nostalgia and comfort when I think about it. Times way back when as a young person, my mum would sit us down with some wool and teach us to ‘cast on’. Still layered in feelings of mystery, the world of knitting and craft in particular is making such a resurgence for women and men around the globe that hoards of newly found small business owners are popping up everywhere selling their wares. Sometimes bad (knitted underwear anyone?) and often very very good (Plump and Co and their ‘anyone can’ attitude) using your hands again need felt so wonderful. And the fact that the needles she uses are so hysterical adds an added humour to it all (45 mm). It’s knitting, just knitting and the young and the old are getting involved again.
To get started our needles are laid out waiting for us to pick them up and like most I picked them up and immediately dropped the again. They’re huge and slightly slippy but just look majestic. Settled cozily in Front Room Gallery it was the perfect space for seven of us lucky souls to get going.
Jacinta quickly explained the process of the workshop, all about wool and where it comes from. A ‘bump’ of felted wool is very high quality, it is ‘felted’ so it doesn’t pill, pull or end up all over your Sunday best. Each bump is approx 1kg and beautifully felted for you to use on your large needles. Everyone goes home with something. Which is one of the amazing things about the class. Normal needles have seen me take the whole entire year to create something that sometimes only my mum would know what it is. Here, I came away with a scarf. A full scarf ready to wear and show off to anyone who would walk past. “I made this. Who me? Yes me.”
Classes are small so Jacinta can spend time with everyone and each stage is explained in turn. Pick your wool, what you want to make, cast on and then you’re away. Jacinta has an amazing way of making you feel like you’re creating something the queen would love. The love and excitement of helping people make something with their hands is so joyful to watch. You feel part of something. You also feel mighty pleased with yourself for not being slumped at home infront of the box. I got out. I got my hands in. I made something.
As the class was drawing to it’s conclusion, Jacinta explained how to ‘cast off’, how we should care for our wool when we got home and how this process doesn’t need to stop once we left here. Needles and wool were available to purchase and she is also available for any ‘help’ moments.
Wool Superwoman? She’s ready and available.
This was one of the most inspirational workshops I’ve been on in so long. I came away feeling inspired, wanting to do more and knowing my previous history of feeling a bit rubbish in the craft department irradiated. I was hooked. Jacinta is a knitting legend, getting people out and using their hands again.
Would you like to see Jacinta here again? What workshops have you been on and loved?
I was a guest at Plump and Co workshop but as always my opinions are my own.