Moeke Yarn

Happy Easter, dear friends! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend with your families! Our small family is staying home tonight to enjoy just quiet time together. Knitting, crochet and good movie are on the menu, of course.

Today I would love to share with you one special person – Ioana, the creator of Moeke Yarns.

After I published La Flor, Ioana bought a pattern and wrote to me a very sweet message congratulating on the design. We started exchanging emails and at some point she asked me if I would like to try her yarn. To say that I was ecstatic is to say nothing! This means so much to me and here is why…

The first time I heard about this yarn company and an amazing fiber and life journey of Ioana was more than one year ago. Ioana became one of the first guests of Ashley’s Woolful podcast and that episode is still one of my favorite… I remember that day, it was a warm, cloudy and rainy afternoon after a long day at work, I was sitting with my knitting catching every single word of this beautiful story. So many things in Ioana’s story resonated with me and were familiar.

This episode was in January 2015 and at that time I wasn’t knitting with wool, devoting my knitting time to plant fibers, because of the hot climate. But I became more and more interested in different types of yarn, their characteristics and their story. As Ashley said, I was maturing as a fiber enthusiast.

After this episode I decided to follow Ioana’s fiber journey. I wasn’t very active in social media back then devoting my free time to actually making and writing the blog, but I really wanted to follow Moeke Yarns’s journey and I decided to start my own Instagram feed. Ioana was one of the first people I followed. I am so happy I did, as #knittersofinstagram are amazing!!! So much inspiration out there!

But back to Moeke. It is amazing how much we have in common with Ioana and how close I feel to her journey.

We were both born in communist countries and we both grew up in the village with our grandparents. At that time young parents had to work a lot and there was just no opportunity for women to stay home and take care of their children. Just like Ioana, I spent my childhood, all school breaks in a remote village with no electricity, TV or other advantages of civilization. I am not regretting it, it was a very happy childhood. We were always outside, playing, reading, helping in the garden the whole day. We didn’t have electricity, reading good books with the candle light, no refrigerator, storing the food underground, no washing machine, walking miles to a river and washing the clothes in the cold water, no supermarket packed food, picking up our fresh veggies from the garden and getting the water from the well (it was my favorite activity ever!!!).

Ioana’s Gandma Elena was a very important person in her life, a hardworking and loving woman. And she left such an important impact on Ioana’s life. Ioana left Romania at some point in her life and now lives and works in Netherlands. One year she came to spend her vacation with her parents who live in grandparent’s house now and she found there a bag full of yarn that was hand-spun by Ioana’s Grandma 16 years ago. It was so inspiring and emotional to see this yarn and it was a beginning of a wonderful journey of creating something absolutely unique – raw minimally processed traditional Romanian wool. And this is how Moeke Yarns were born.

“Moeke” means grandmother or old woman in Dutch, this yarn is a tribute to Ioana’s Grandma, her motherland and it is the way to give back to the community that she loves so much. What I love about Moeke Yarns is that every single member of a family is involved in the process. Ioana and her brother are sourcing the wool and finding local mills to work with and their parents, who are very enthusiastic about it as well, are helping with cleaning and processing it. The wool cleaning is done manually (literally by Ioana’s father hands!!) and also mechanically using only eco-friendly detergents.

You can see now how special and precious this yarn to me. A couple of weeks ago I finally had the opportunity to touch it.

Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog

Elena yarn, named in honor of Ioana’s dear Grandma. Raw, unprocessed, undyed 100% Romanian wool. It is hard for me to put in words how I felt knitting with this wool. It is the most real, honest and alive fiber I have ever worked with…

Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog

It smells of pastures and of fresh wind… These tiny twists of the thread were worked by 100-year old machines. It is rustic, strong, durable and sturdy. Even the simple stockinette stitch looks different and unique in its texture.

Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog

Now everyday I can’t wait to get to my table and hand wind these skeins into balls. Just touching it, feeling how the thread is running through my fingers feels so special.

Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog

Ioana and I have some exciting plans for the next knitting season! There is still a lot of work ahead and it is early to say anything concrete, but I’ve never felt more inspired and fiber-happy! I will keep you updated on the progress!

Moeke Yarn | The Gift of Knitting Blog

You can find Ioana at www.moeke-yarns.com and @moekeyarns on Instagram.

Have a great Sunday!


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28 Comments

  1. Amazing story and so beautifully written. Reading it was the perfect start to my Easter morning.

  2. What beautiful yarn, and a lovely story to go with it to. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  3. What a fascinating blog to read and it is interesting that you both had so much in common. I just love the story of the beginning of this yarn. Thank you for sharing it and I look forward to seeing what you will be doing with this yarn in the future.

    • Thank you, Christine! The universe is amazing, isn’t it?! There are thousands of miles between us, but our paths cross in such peculiar ways…

  4. Amazing story! Looking forward to see your collaboration!

  5. It seems like a really interesting yarn in so many ways. I can see why you are drawn to it and look forward to seeing how your partnership evolves. These are exciting times for you Alina.

  6. Ioana’s story is truly wonderful! Thanks for sharing.
    Always a pleasure to know more about yarn and its people.
    I can imagine how you must feel with this yarn on your hands….

  7. As always this post was beautifully written, Alina!
    Adored getting to know more about Moeke yarns through your words. What a treasure and talent Ioana is. I totally get the feeling you had when you described working with her yarn for the first time. There are yarns that you can feel the history and connection through with every stitch.

    • Thank you, Andi! I have to give credit to you for finding out about Moeke. Your blog was the one that led me to Woolful in the first place!

  8. I loved reading this post, Alina. Every word of it. Thank you for sharing not only Ioana’s story and describing her yarn so beautifully, but thank you for giving us a glimpse into your childhood as well. This was wonderfully written and I am filled with awe at the images you have given me to contemplate. And thank you for linking to the podcast – I’m going to enjoy listening to it. :^)

    • Thank you so much, Becki! Oh, you will enjoy Woolful so much – it is really a special place! I am happy you loved Ioana’s story – it is really worth telling over and over again!

  9. Beautiful stories and beautiful wool. Wishing you both the best in your future collaborations.

  10. I have been sitting here just gazing at that beautiful yarn and thinking over your words Alina. I knew you grew up in Russia, but had no knowledge of your story and what an amazing story it is along the story behind this exquisite yarn.
    You have sparked my interest in the upcoming project you hinted at and I am looking forward to hearing more soon.

    • Thank you so much, Tracey! I was growing up in the country that has been going through so many drastic changes at the time! It is really nice to have these memories…

  11. I loved the story of you and her, the similarities and the emotion behind that lovely yarn. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Love this post a million times! What a touching & beautiful story behind such a unique yarn. I can hear the wonder & enthusiasm in your words to be able to knit with something so special. Can’t wait to see where the story goes!

  13. Beautiful story and beautiful yarn! It’s perfect for you; I can imagine you savoring each stitch and swatch.

  14. I’ve only just had time to listen to the Woolful podcast and take in Ioana’s Moeke yarn story properly, but it was absolutely worth waiting for – thank you so very much, Alina, for introducing me to Ioana! She too writes wonderful blogs – and her story is so moving – and continues to be moving because obviously she’s got some very complicated things to deal with now everybody wants her wool … and the sheep are still “in production”, so to speak. You were both born into such a different world – I love the small details you write about like loving getting the water from the well. We have lost a great deal in our busy busy “civilised” world today. And your passion for this beautiful Moeke yarn comes through – trouble is, now I want some too!

    • Thank you so much for this wonderful comment, dear Katherine! I am so happy to hear you’ve made some time to listen to Ioana’s story… I re-listened it so many times… I really admire what she and her family does for the community and for the fiber world! I enjoy every single stitch with this special fiber and I cannot wait to share my projects with you!!

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