Now we find ourself firmly planted in Autumn and the rain, wind and cold weather whips around us, what's better than introducing a new yarn to Knit With Attitude. It's woolly, it's rustic and with a great story, let us introduce Moeke Yarns - Elena.

Moeke Yarns is created by Ioana. Born in 1978 in Romania during the communist dictatorship. With her parents busy working 6 days a week, her childhood along with her brother, was spent being looked after by her grandparents who lived in a small village surrounded by woods. She speaks very fondly of those memories:

'Our grandparents were very special persons – loving, caring and hardworking. Especially our grandmother was a very important figure for both my brother and I – she was the glue that kept the family together. She was also very gifted with all things handmade. Not that she had a lot of choice – those times the shops did not have much to offer.'

Fast forward to her adult life and Ioana follows her dream and works as a sociologist in the Netherlands. But living far from Romania she starts to reminisce on her childhood and begins to crochet and knit as a way to reconnect to that part of her life and to keep alive the memory of her grandmother. Visiting her parents back home she finds a bag of her Grandmothers yarn and in this bag was the spark of inspiration that led to the creation of Moeke Yarns.

Romania has quite a number of traditional sheep breeds and a long tradition in wool processing but which is uneconomical for farmers to sell, so ends up being burned. Along with her brother she hatched a plan to make yarns from Romanian wool, produced with traditional methods and no harmful chemicals, and spun in a traditional fibre mill.

Romanian traditional fibre mills. Video from
Romanian traditional fibre mills. Video from

With a passion for Romania fibre production and its origins, this enthusiasm can be seen all through what is produced. Her website is a a treasure trove of facts and information and well worth getting lost in. Committed to promoting Romanian wool and using only wool that comes from Romanian sheep breeds. Aiming to preserve the traditional fibre mills that serve the shepherds and farmers.

Working with small mills which process wool into yarns for their own consumption, came with a host of problems. Consistency in fibre thickness, weights of skeins and even gauge. The reason being that most Romania knitters who knit with traditional yarn don't use a pattern. They knit with what the mill produces and are the main customers of those mills. Determined to work with these mills and caught between two worlds of past and present Ioana set about to educate. Educating the fibre mills and the modern knitter, so that they understand each other and be brought together.

Elena is a Sport weight, undyed, naturally coloured yarn and we have it in two shades. A natural cream and a grey/brown. Minimally processed which preserves its protective layer of lanolin. A single ply textural yarn with a rustic hand. Made from the rare Romania breed Tigaie wool, so much so that the shepherds that supply the the wool do not have purebred sheep, but mixes of Tigaie with local Merino and / or Turcana. Ioana describes the yarn:

'Elena, the yarns, stand for being close to nature: no harsh chemicals were used while cleaning, washing and spinning the wool. This yarn has personality: it twists and curls, and has great stitch definition. It is old: it was spun by machines that are 100 years old. It is honest: it is about going back to basics, to the core of things. Any garment worked in this yarn will have a rustic, rough feel and even basic textured stitches will be accentuated.'

There are a lot of gorgeous things that can be made with this yarn so lets take a look. Also Moeke Yarns is running a MY Make Along for 2019 which runs to the 17th December. Check it out even more inspiration on instagram under #MYMakeAlong2019

Florrie by Libby Jonson. This simple and elegant cardigan is perfect for autumnal layering. The neckband and front edges are finished with an elegant I-cord edge and are knitted together with the easy, rhythmic, stocking stitch body.

Twillingate by Jennifer Beale. A cool but feminine tank top featuring a striking textured colourwork panel. Airy and loose, it's the wool lovers dream for warm weather. But also makes a great layer on colder days.

Feriga by Audrey Borrego. I love this clean and cosy looking jumper. A pleasing shape given a little patten with a stylish colourwork hem. Knit top down in the round with raglan shaping.

Belleoram by Jennifer Beale. This top has it all, cables and colourwork. What better way to showcase this yarns versatility in a relaxed oversized easy to wear style.

Aurica Sweater by Valentina Bogdanova. A stunning cabled lace panel gives great texture to this cleverly shaped top. An asymmetric neckline draws your eye up from the cabled stitch. Oversized with dolman sleeves makes this a cozy and comfortable to wear.

Grandma by Junko Okamoto has a clever use of the entrelac technique. Entrelac is used to create colourwork motifs of abstract, pixelated plant forms.

Anstruther by Julia Billings shows you this yarns ability to hold definition. With a pattern inspired by fisherman's gainsays and lines to give structure it's the cutest project bag for toting around.