If you’ve ever stopped by our shop, you’ve seen our incredible wall of Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino yarn, affectionately known as KPPPM. We appreciate the vast array of colors (in the 1000s!) and the quality of this beautiful yarn, but we also love the heart and story behind this family-owned business.
Koigu (pronounced KOI-goo) is the name of the farm that co-founder Maie Landra and her family have operated since 1972. It is named in honor of the large farm - now a small village - in southern Estonia where Maie’s late husband Harry spent his childhood. The family believed in continuing the farm’s legacy and found their home in Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada. The barn - shown below - was built in the 1920s and is an original structure from when the homestead was first settled. It is still being used today!
Maie began by using her handspun yarns in detailed woven tapestries, but found that knitting allowed for more time to expand and experiment. Maie’s daughter Taiu returned to the farm after completing a degree at the Ontario Agriculture Business, with the aim of making the fiber business viable. The mother-daughter team tried their hand at a variety of products before determining that working with a commercial wool mill was going to be the best way forward.
The original yarn, Koigu Premium Merino (KPM), was a hit, but the fingering weight KPPPM was an instant success. For the first five years, all skeins of KPPPM were dyed in the farmhouse kitchen and dried outside or over the bathtub - can you imagine?! As demand increased, the Landras added a 5,500 square foot wool shed to house all operations from dyeing and drying to shipping and a showroom. While machines help improve some efficiencies, and a handful of local employees assist, every skein of Koigu yarn is still hand painted and shipped to you via the hands of Maie, Taiu and Kersti.
Koigu may be best known for their iconic KPM and KPPPM yarns, but they have a range of other options including:
- Kersti (a DK weight)
- Lace (a lace weight)
- Chelsea (an aran superwash)
- Othello (a chunky weight)
- Sparkle (think KPM or KPPPM with a bit of bling)
- Mori (a wool/silk blend)
- Karmen (100% silk)
- Emmi (a wool/cashmere blend)
The Landra ladies have more recently added Koigu Origins - an avenue to share their Estonian heritage, recipes, patterns and, of course, yarns!
You can find all of the Koigu yarns we carry in our online shop here!
Not only are all three women talented behind a dye pot, they also design fabulous patterns! They have beautiful garments like the sweater Kersti is modeling below. (Side note, Kersti models a majority of their items and every single one is stunning!) There are also accessories and decor pieces from beginner to advanced skill levels. Check out the patterns we carry, or visit the Koigu Shop to see the full complement of designs!
Brand Q & A
We had the chance to ask the Landras a few questions and were so excited to get responses from not one, not two, but all three generations! If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you know we believe in the fiber arts’ ability to connect us, and it doesn’t get much more special than three active generations of women working and crafting together!
MFY: What is your favorite part of your process?
MFY: Do you have a favorite yarn? If that's not too much like asking if you have a favorite child...
MFY: What is your go-to, feel-good type of project?
MFY: What project(s) are you currently knitting?
MFY: What do you do outside of crafting?
MFY: What makes the fiber arts community special?
Kersti - Shared interest
You can find even more fun facts about Maie, Taiu and Kersti in our stories where they participate in a quick round of This or That! Thank you for the time, ladies!
Photo ©KoiguTo keep up with Koigu, the Landras and their beautiful farm, patterns and yarns, please visit their website at www.koigu.com and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.