Central Otago’s creative felters are gearing up for the biggest event on their craft calendars in recent times.

More than 90 registrations have been received for the 15th convergence of felters, affectionately dubbed Felting Frenzy by the group of women across Central Otago who are running this year’s event.

Those women belong to the Southern Fun Felters and have spent many hours preparing all aspects of the hree-day event, which will take place in Queenstown from September 23 to 26.

Convener Gillian Shaw is among the many people working behind the scenes.

The group recently met at the art and craft rooms in Cromwell to compile goody bags, which are valued at more than $100 each.

A wide range of items have been donated for the bags, including biscuits, cotton and 25g of what is believed to be New Zealand’s finest micron sliver, from Forest Range in the Lindis Pass.

The reusable bags, donated by New World, have been personalised thanks to felters from as far afield as Ashburton and Invercargill, who have created a felted panel of their choice to be placed on the front of the bags.

Floral arrangements were among the subjects of choice for the panels, each displaying the creativity of the maker.

Registrations have been received for the event from as far afield as Canada, the United States, Singapore and Australia.

The convergence, which is a gathering of like-minded people, takes place every second year, and is organised by a group in Australia one year and a New Zealand group the next.

“Two years ago the convergence was in Toowoomba and they asked for a New Zealand group to put their hand up to organise the next one in New Zealand,” Mrs Shaw said.

“I didn’t put my hand up straight away, but somehow, along the way, my hand got put up and I’ve taken on the job of being the convener of this year’s convergence.”

She has been supported by a committee of seven, which has organised a range of events for Felting Frenzy, including classes and demonstrations.

There will also be traders, an exhibition and a fashion parade.

A suitcase sale will also take place.

“You can sell anything as long as it’s legal, out of your suitcase – it doesn’t actually have to be felting,” Mrs Shaw said.

The event will take place at Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown.


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