Woollen socks knitted using the pattern from Ilmari Kianto’s home vicarage

We wonder whether you will be able to think more clearly, or produce text more fluently, if you are wearing a pair of woollen socks made using the same pattern as the one worn by one of the most notable Finnish writers of the early 20th century, Ilmari Kianto, who lived in Suomussalmi and wrote over 60 books.

You can try by purchasing a pair of woollen “Vicarage socks” from the Meadow Shop. The pattern originates from Kianto’s childhood home, the old vicarage at Karhulanvaara in Suomussalmi.

The socks have been designed at Kianto’s wilderness home based on a photograph found in his studio, Turjanlinna.

The long, multi-coloured socks are knitted by many “Grannies” from Suomussalmi, including Kirsti Heikkinen, 74. She has knitted woollen socks for more than 30 years and is truly the mother of thousands of woollen socks.“Knitting is my passion, absolutely. If need be, I can knit two pairs of these socks in 24 hours,” she says.

Kirsti Heikkinen also knits woollen socks in grey shades, designed after the pattern of the original Suomussalmi woven wall hanging. The grey socks are made in shades of dark and light grey with some off-white yarn, while the newer model, the Vicarage socks, feature as many as eight colours.

Leg warmers, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, have also been designed based on the Vicarage socks.

Which woollen socks does the super-knitter lady, Ms Heikkinen, prefer for herself?“I never wear woollen socks. I live in a block of flats and my feet are never cold here,” she says with a hearty laugh.

It is easy to imagine that this lady will knit into the socks some of her hearty laugh and positive outlook on life, making them true happy socks!

Knitted woollen socks and leg warmers, and other handicrafts made by local Grannies are a part of the Meadow Café of the Silent People’s broad cooperation network, which includes not only local artisans, but local businesses, public entities and cultural sector operators as well.