12 more days until the end of the first MY Make Along. It was amazing - and still is - to spot all your #wip and #FO photos on Instagram and the Facebook group. There are so many patterns made, some so beautifully photographed and skillfully executed that it is a pleasure and inspiration to browse through them. And some of you made not only one but more!
But now that the end is in sight, I want to make a last announcement / surprise and to ask you something.
We are living in such an interconnected world that it is hard to keep something hidden , even if it happens someplace very far away where the language barriers make everything harder. Even so, yesterday I found out that our yarns are presented on the Chinese market by a shop that it is not our official partner shop. The yarns were made available in an online shop after our official partner in China made public that they will represent Moeke Yarns in the country. A bit before that announcement, also by accident, I found out that one of the Dutch shops received a large order from China. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it was just some kind of cosmic justice that put all the pieces in place for me to find out about this scheme.
This post is inspired by the simple fact that last week I got a nasty cold that got me confined in bed for two days. I am in fact happy that was not worse than that, since the season of germ-happiness is ranging around here. And I am also happy that I was able to get me out of bed and functioning in 2 days, and all this with some “low tech” remedies, basically only paracetamol and homemade herbal remedies. And for some of the remedies that I made I used some of the tips that I received from you. I drank lots of herbal tea (thank you Nikki!) and warm milk with honey, freshly squeezed orange jus, and the second bed-day I made me a killer chicken broth. Super concentrated, packed with parsnip, carrots, onion and garlic, and topped with fine sliced fresh chili peppers, ginger, garlic and parsley. Eat that and you are instantly sweating. And you get better.
“Andy” pattern is the first knitting pattern specifically designed for our 2ply Elena yarn. The traditional Romanian yarn is single spun, and women who wanted to make something warmer used two or more strands of yarn together. From what I noticed, knitters nowadays prefer to buy already plied yarn. Shops also asked me regularly if we ever intend to produce a thicker yarn. And so, we did our best to find a traditional spinning mill that can twine singles and this year we have a first version of a Romanian traditional yarn that comes in 2ply.
This is a post that I was on my “to-do” list for a long time. A post in which I make things a bit clearer and maybe more exciting for the participants in the MY Make Along. You already know who the sponsors are. If you don’t, I encourage you to take a look and get to know these wonderful makers, artists, authors and shop owners who graciously agreed to support the event. But the question is: how can all these lovely prizes be won?
We are in the fourth week of the MY Make Along 2016, and it is time for the next interview with a designer! This week, Susanne has offered a free pattern of your choice as a weekly prize. Susanne has designed the Elena Half Hap shawl, a beautiful oversize hap-shawl that feels like a woolly hug. Beside this, she has an impressive range of designs, dedicated to both knitters and crocheters. Take a look at her work on her website and on her Ravelry designer page.
We are in the second week of the MY Make Along 2016, and it is time for the first interview with a designer! Since Alina has graciously offered her La Flor pattern as this week’s prize, I thought that it is appropriate to ask her to be the first guest. And because I want YOU to get to know her, I collected questions via Instagram and the Facebook group :) So here they are, your questions and Alina’s answers! Enjoy!
In 3 days the MY Make Along 2016 will officially start! Exciting moment for me – it is the first time to organize such an event and I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of details that need taken care of! So let me give you an overview of the stuff that I’ve done this week! :)
After the official announcement of the MY Make Along 2016, I have to say that I am amazed and deeply thankful by the warm receive and the enthusiastic response so far! First of all, the Facebook group is growing nicely – we are already over 100 members! And I like the fact that we are such an international group, with fellow crafters from quite a lot of countries – I counted Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and USA! I hope that many others will join and we can make the group a friendly and supportive virtual space, where everyone can ask, give advice or just share the progress on their chosen project.
Or how I started to feel like Oprah
Ok, so here is what I have secretly plotted for a few months now, I call it the MY Make-Along. Is not a knit-along, not a crochet-along but more than that! It is an event dedicated to knitting, crocheting or weaving, a celebration of fiber arts, crafts and makers.
Not long before I left to Romania, I had a chat with a wonderful lady. It was about moving forward in full speed, always coming up with new things and about identity. It so happened that these topics were on my mind for some time now, as I was struggling to keep balance when making sure that this small family business that is Moeke Yarns develops.
Why is it that every time I want to write a blog post I have to choose between writing about the good or writing about the bad? A good strategy for building a brand that transmits values such as security, professionalism, success would be to choose to write about the good and kind of forget about the bad. But, I am not in this yarn making business with the aim to create brands, so here is a post (long one also, sorry about that) about tears, joy, frustration, excitement, friendship and disappointment, all in equal quantity and intensity. A mishmash of contrasting emotions. You would expect that they would cancel each other out and I would be perfectly in balance, right? No, that does not really happen, and to be honest I am a bit of a wreck oscillating between the negatives and the positives.
Yes, this is a blog post about a different yarn than Moeke Yarns and the pattern that I knitted in this yarn. Maybe strange, some would say, but I don’t think so. Every yarn is special in its way, and better suited for a project than other. And I am not only referring to the yarn’s thickness, but also to drape and general feel of the end product. And for this pattern I had something else in mind than Moeke Yarns – I had in mind a slightly oversized sweater, with a robust character. I was not looking for drape and elasticity, and definitely not for lustre and a perfectly uniform appearance. No, I wanted a yarn that was rough and full bodied. I knew it has to be wool (or at least most of it) because for me, nothing beats wool.
Or, how to learn to sew pj’s almost without tears
My first (and very ambitious) piece I wanted to make as part of my Me Made May challenge: pajama pants. I wanted to make some instead of buying because I like corky prints and I am a tactile person (some fabrics I really can’t stand to touch!). I found it always very hard to find the perfect piece that would check all these boxes for me. The logical step: learn how to make stuff myself. And here is the story of my learning process, plus the mistakes I made. I hope that any of you who want to learn a new craft but are still hesitant about beginning, will get some inspiration from my experience.
How about a virtual sewing party?
In my last blog-post I talked about my desire to re-think and change my making behavior. I was unhappy with my erratic, unstructured, unfocused ways and I wanted to make more of my ability and desire to make things. I want to build something - useful and functional items that complement each other and form a coherent unity. In other words, I want to work toward making a handmade wardrobe.