Images: All images courtesy of Myssyfarmi
To celebrate mothers (and grandmothers) everywhere, we look back at a past issue where we learnt about the Myssy Grannies. In the countryside of southwest Finland lies a sleepy little place called Pöytyä, where a farm-based design company makes organic and original ‘myssys’, traditional knitted wool hats. Whereas much of the clothes we wear today are made in factories, each and every myssy hat from Myssyfarmi is hand knitted by a Pöytyä based grandma - the first of whom was founder Janne Rauhansuu’s own mother.
The myssys are often created while getting together for knitting circles, where coffee, pastries and laughs are shared. Every now and then the grannies take to the road to take part in events, where they teach their knitting skills to the younger generation of Finnish knitters. Each woman signs their handiwork with pride. ‘Knitting has been an essential part of my life since I was little’ says Soili, ‘and I find it unbelievable that the products that I knit by hand here in Pöytyä can the next moment be worn by someone in France or as far as Japan!’.
For the Myssi grannies, as they are affectionately called, the cottage industry production style that is traditional in Finland guarantees that they are free to determine when and how they work. Knitting for them is more than a hobby—but a way of life—and provides them with community, new experiences and of course, the means and income to explore new opportunities such as travelling abroad for the first time. The lifelong passion for knitting that the retired ladies bring to their creations has now become the very essence of the Myssyfarmi brand. There are now over 50 grannies in the team and the company receives regular requests from avid knitters around Finland to join the Myssy Grannies. According to Anneli, one of the myssymummot, “the best thing is being part of the group and the sense of belonging’.
Find out more about the skilled and enthusiastic Finnish grannies helping to revive the Nordic wool tradition on the Myssyfarmi website. Read the complete article in Selvedge Issue 96 Nordic.