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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
Have a great Sunday!