Having a yarn . . . Eunice Muldrew is one of the founding members of North Otago Creative Fibre. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

North Otago Creative Fibre members spun plenty of good yarns on Monday.

About 50 people, including 10 founding members, gathered at the Brydone Hotel to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.

Eunice Muldrew was one of the group’s 13 original members, attending its first meeting in Steward St on July 26, 1971.

“Fifty years is quite a milestone for a small group,” Mrs Muldrew said.

Still an active member, Mrs Muldrew was somewhat weaving royalty in North Otago – and she has even weaved for royalty.

In 1976, she knitted jumpers for the King and Queen of Sweden as a wedding gift from the New Zealand government.

The 95-year-old loved working with her hands and had been knitting since she was 12 years old.

“I’ve been a knitter all my life,” she said.

Making things by hand was the way of her generation, and she wanted to encourage young people to do the same.

“If you do it yourself it’s a one-off and not mass-produced.

“You get exactly what you want.”

Many of the group’s existing members were elderly, but younger people kept it going, she said.

Life member and treasurer Noeline Wilson, who organised the event, agreed.

While many members had passed away, there had been an influx of younger people joining to keep the group going, Mrs Wilson said.

She credited president Linda MacKenzie, who started Knit and Natter, a group teaching the craft to people from the Waitaki Newcomers Network, for attracting them.

Formerly known as the North Otago Spinners and Weavers, the group’s name was changed to encompass how multifaceted it had become, Mrs Wilson said.

Not only were they spinning their own wool and knitting it, but they were also dyeing, felting and crocheting.