Napier yarn store Skeinz has reopened its online store after being approved by MBIE.

Manager Maree Buscke wanted to reopen as she says the mental wellness benefits of knitting, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown period, are immense.

"It's all about mindfulness," she said.

"Knitting allows people to quiet their minds to focus and balance."


Buscke said tutorials are available online and affordable materials are readily available.

For knitters in lockdown Buscke also believes there is a benefit.

"They're looking for something to just steal their mind and concentration away from the bigger problems outside their door that they can't control."

When they applied to MBIE it hadn't occurred to Buscke that Skeinz would be eligible.

Skeinz is the retail face of Design Spun Ltd which is one of two remaining wool spinners in New Zealand.

Prior to reopening Skeinz was receiving emails every day from people who work in the aged care area or who have elderly parents who cannot leave the house asking if they were able to get wool for them

"They wanted to actually help them get some stress release and solace".

Much of the conversation with MBIE was spent covering an extensive question list discussing the service, who they supplied, what their intention was with supplying and mostly how they would manage the distribution safely.


The service now has one man working in the warehouse packing orders and contactless courier pick-up and deliveries.

The majority of reactions to opening has been positive.

Buscke said she is getting messages of thanks from people who are now able to send isolated elderly parents some yarn to bring some comfort during the lockdown.

Christine Scott Trustee of Anglican Care Waiapu is one of the supporters delighted to see the online store re-open.

Scott is involved with elderly care and said knitting has a huge benefit for them but also the wider community they knit for.

A large number of elderly people knit for charities, hospitals, schools, premature babies, children and other older people.

"During this lockdown these people are isolated.

"They probably didn't have a lot of time to source yarn before the lockdown so now that this is available it means they can spend their time producing a lot of useful garments.

"These people have an actual sense of purpose during the lockdown of providing for people who are going to be in need later," she said.