Giant-knitting guru Jacinta Stevenson invites us round to hers for a yarn.
When she’s not on the road hosting extreme-knitting workshops around New Zealand and over the Tasman, Jacinta Stevenson, the craft artist behind Plump & Co, enjoys life in her newly built Hamilton home, where she lives with her husband Andrew and their pooch Zeus. She loves nothing more than relaxing in her pared-back abode filled with pieces she’s made herself and sourced from local makers.
Jacinta, how would you describe your approach to interior styling? I’m generally quite minimalistic, except when it comes to houseplants! The beauty of nature is important to me, and as a result most of the art in my home is natural history-related, from botanical illustrations to zoological photography.
I prefer to invest in quality, long-lasting materials and items that will survive changing trends. I’m quite happy to spend time researching and hunting for the perfect piece and repurposing things I already own. I like to combine interesting textures and patterns, and enjoy collaborating with friends. My talented friend Annique Heesen, from Gezellig Interiors, helped me with the interior details and finishes in this house.
So fill us in on some of the lucky finds and precious objects you’ve collected. I spotted the vintage cane chairs in our living area on the side of the road in Huntly. I bought them off a lovely lady who was selling her collection of interesting objects and furniture before she relocated south.
The circular embroidery artwork beside my bed is a very special piece that was handmade by my best friend Bec Roberts. She and her partner Thomas Brooks collaborated on it, which makes it even more precious as I’ve known them both since I was five. Tom created the artwork, then Bec embroidered it.
The Plump & Co pieces in your home are standouts. Can you tell us a bit about your work? Plump & Co is a textile business that specialises in extreme knitting yarns. We process ethically sourced wool to create luxurious, durable yarns that are perfect for knitting into homeware such as blankets and wall hangings.
We also teach people the mindful practice of giant knitting and hold workshops around New Zealand and Australia. They give busy people a chance to take time out for themselves and to experience the instant gratification of creating a finished piece on the spot. People leave our workshops with new skills, new friends and a functional piece of art for their home.
What are your favourite pieces to make or teach others to make? There’s so much creative satisfaction in knitting a wall hanging, but I love teaching people how to make blankets too. You don’t need to know any fancy stitches, so it’s perfect for beginners. I get so much enjoyment in seeing the pride of newly skilled knitters leaving our workshops with a blanket they didn’t know they were capable of making.