Technology fueling knitting renaissance in Auckland, stitchers say
Knitting is making a comeback in Auckland with membership numbers swelling in some clubs.
While many old practices like letter writing have succumb to the pressures of the digital world, knitting clubs have thrived with the help of technology.
Auckland Knitting Group's Megan Mills said she had been running free knitting classes out of her Western Springs home, twice a month, for more than 10 years.
She was recently forced to split her group into two separate classes as she couldn't fit everyone in her lounge, which seats about 20, she said.
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Most people who contact the group found it online.
"If our group only got its members from flyers or on library noticeboards, I'm sure it wouldn't have grown like this," Mills said.
The knitting group had remained relevant and was experiencing membership growth because of its willingness to use technology, she said.
The group used Youtube tutorials as well as blogs and websites to learn new techniques and share ideas.
"We're all connected to a global community of knitters now, it's like nothing I dreamed of when I was a kid. The digital shift has been a tremendous boost and I think it was in more danger of becoming a dead art before this tech boom."
Society of Wool founder Kirsten Vernon said while it was easy to grab a new beanie or jumper straight off the rack, there was a sense of "creative accomplishment" that came with making something.
Society of Wool is an online store selling starter knitting kits and yarn, complete with step by step instructions.
Another big reason stitching circles around the city had been expanding was newcomers' desire to create fashion garments where their creativity was a real focus, Vernon said.
"New knitters also have a strong interest in environmentally sourced yarns and also sustainable production techniques that avoid environmental harm," she said.
Business at Society of Wool had boomed in the past two years with more young people deciding to pick up the needles and give it a go than ever before, she said.
The textile takeover was not limited to knitting however, with secondhand sewing machines attracting a lot of interest on Neighbourly also.