This is Radu. He’s one of my beneficiaries.  Radu loves weaving and making rag rugs, really anything that uses a gherghef (a loom).  He talks and talks and talks all about his dreams of having really big gherghefs and really little gherghefs for any project he can think of. There’s even a dream of a room of gherghefs.  I’ve heard them all as of course, the staff and other beneficiaries could care less Radu’s gherghef dreams.

When a PCV gifted me with some Knifty Knitters (and the instruction book, thank you), I immediately thought of Radu. After a few demonstration rounds, Radu was off and running, becoming a fular (scarf)-making powerhouse.

His conversations changed. He wasn’t talking about dreams of big and little gherghefs, but what he was going to make — scarves, hats, socks — and who he wanted to make them for — me, his mom, his dad, the workshop ladies, even Zamfira. Apparently he was so chatty at home about something different, that Radu’s mom, who hasn’t been to our center in FIVE years, showed up the other day just to see what he was so happy doing.

Yesterday, Radu finished his first fular (scarf).  It’s quite lovely. (Thanks Marcia for the yarn!!) And he has his first order! One of the seamstresses has asked him to make a scarf for her and brought him the yarn to make it.  He’s so proud, he might bust!

With Radu’s success and excitement, other beneficiaries who were ho-hum about his previous projects now want him to teach them how to do it. My colleagues were talking about how much they might charge for scarves and hats if the beneficiaries can make some.  Fortunately, there were several looms included in the set, so now in the workshop, where there used to be just beneficiaries coloring, there are beneficiaries knitting.  And Radu is the star of the gherghef show!

Now, with the heavy demand for gherghefs, I must either figure out how to make a few additional (I’m thinking PVC might work) OR have a sweet person stateside raid a craft store for a variety of them.