Thursday, 16 January 2014

Train Socks and other charity knitting

Some years ago I found a baby sock pattern and read the story about them. This year the pensioners in Järvenpää have a campaign to knit a pair of these socks for every new baby born in the town. The estimate is 400 babies, so a few helping hands are needed. My favourite yarn shop and knitting café  the Flying Mitten or Lentävä Lapanen collects the socks knitted by non-members.
Are you interested to hear the story? During the Winter War, in January 1940, one of the coldest winters of the century, a young mother with her little baby was travelling by train. The train stopped for a long time because the tracks were damaged. A retired handicraft teacher was sitting opposite to the mother and her baby, and she felt pity because the baby had no booties. She unravelled her hand knitted cardigan and with that yarn she knitted socks like this for the baby while the tracks were repaired. The sister of that baby still has the original pair, and her mother has used the pattern to knit many more socks to keep little toes warm.
I knitted the train socks with the rest of the yarn I used for these socks for a certain young lady:

I hope the flat lace pattern is not tickly. The colour is right in the top photo.

This other pair has white toes - I used all the pink yarn left over from the rose socks and it was not quite enough. They are also for someone special, someone who loves pink.
A pair of my socks has already ended up at Lentävä Lapanen for another charity project. A big handicrafts magazine has challenged knitters to knit socks and mittens for the Finnish Red Cross in January.  They will send the socks and mittens to cold countries where help is needed. The knitting café will act as a collecting point, and knitters can easily buy new yarns for more socks when they bring their creations to the shop. Knitting is apparently a more natural way for us to help than making quilts: during my quilting years I have only once found a Finnish challenge to make quilts for charity, but there is always a challenge or more to choose from if you are interested in knitting or crocheting.

The sun doesn't get very high these days, this was taken at 1.15 pm today. The hint of snow we have makes all the difference. The days seem so much brighter with it. While the cold weather lasts, knitting by the fire is the best thing to do.


  1. That's a heartwarming story. You are such a giving person and I can imagine how much the warm socks will be appreciated. Happy Knitting.

  2. What a special story and to think that the very first pair of socks still exist. It's always a nice feeling to know that your knitting, crocheting, quilting or sewing is going to a good cause.

  3. Tänk vad mycket roligare det blir med handarbete, i alla former, när man vet att det kommer till någon som behöver det. Historian är fantastisk och kärleksfull och mycket värmande.

  4. Your socks are so nice and the story was so nice. I am very glad you shared it with us.

  5. What a delightful story! How nice of you to contribute as well! Your socks are so pretty and bright, Ulla. I wonder if there are more knitting challenges because knitting is so much more mobile?

  6. Thanks for sharing the story behind the booties, Ulla. Sharing our skills to help others is always rewarding and I'm happy to hear that knitted items are welcomed too.

  7. A touching story of people caring for each other. We also knit for the premature babies
    and a national campagin called wrapd with love.
    Your socks look bright and cozy against the snow.

  8. Eine berührende Geschichte von der Mutter, ihrem Baby und den Socken. Auch bei uns werden kaum Quilts für Wohltätigkeit gesammelt, Stricksachen (Mützen, Socken, Babysachen) werden auch lieber angenommen....und sie sind nicht so zeitaufwändig in der Herstellung. Genähte Herzkissen für Brustkrebspatientinnen wird jedoch immer mehr gebraucht.
    Liebe Grüsse, Barbara

  9. At last I can see the beautiful socks you spoke of. Lovely work Ulla! That story about the baby booties is really special. The lady was so kind. Maybe you could start a quilt challenge for a person to make a quilt for their local nursing home?


Thank you for coming by! Kiitos käynnistä, voit kommentoida myös suomeksi