Ruotosukat - socks for homeless people10:41 AM
On a global scale we hardly have a homelessness problem in Helsinki. Everyone is entitled to housing and our beloved welfare state should guarantee that for everyone. For the time being at least. Of course, there are always people who are not caught by the social security net and we have some 8000 homeless people in Finland, most of them in the greater Helsinki region. Whereas the number of homeless people is not huge, the weather conditions in Finland are harsh for those who have to spend most of their time outside. Luckily, we have volunteer organisations, such as VVA (Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry, "Without a permanent residence org") who help those who are not getting help through official channels and also try to change the situation through political lobbying. In addition to the important work they do to change the situation, they also provide practical help. One little thing they do is provide woolly socks for the homeless. Last fall they ran out of socks, though, and there was a challenge for knitters to fill their sock storage by "Night of the homeless", a happening that takes place every October to raise awareness of the homeless situation. I wanted to participate, and found a bag full of sock yarn so I was planning to knit 5-10 pairs of socks. The first pair that I started was this "Ruotosukat", a sock pattern created with self-striping yarn and slipped stitches.
I had to work from the toe up, as there wasn't enough yarn and I didn't know how long I could actually make the legs. After working two-at-a-time for a while I noticed that my other black skein was not the same yarn as the other black and the striped one, and the second sock was turning out smaller than the first one. That meant that I had even less yarn to work with, thus the striped cuffs. Let's hope that whoever wears these will have their pants over the cuffs.
Of course, this wasn't the only project that I was working on at the time, and my plan of knitting 5-10 pairs of socks turned into not even finishing this one pair before the deadline... The good thing is that VVA office is close to where I live, and as the homeless situation has not been solved I'm sure they can use another pair even after the Night of the homeless. Now if I just finish the rest of the socks I had planned, I can drop them off at VVA...