You may recall more than a year ago that I entered a pair of socks in the Think Outside the Sox contest. I didn't win any prizes, and my socks weren't chosen for publication in the book. But I did make a friend thousands of miles away.
Leena Siikaniemi e-mailed me last year after seeing my post. We exchanged e-mails about the contest and about knitting. Because the socks came to STITCHES South, I was able to see and touch Leena's socks. And she shared with me a secret -- her socks, which appear to be circular intarsia, are actually double knitting! If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you've probably figured out that I am a fan of double knitting. I might have thought of it for a sock cuff, but not for the whole sock. The idea is true genius! So I am very excited that the Think Outside the Sox book is now out and available. You can follow the pattern to make Doublefun socks for yourself, beginning on page 120. Leena also created the very first socks in the book, the Forgettable Socks that begin on page 4.
After STITCHES South this year, I e-mailed Leena to congratulate her. She had been following the festivities online. Someone had sent a picture -- were her socks really on the back cover? Yes they were. Did she have a copy of the book? No, she hadn't gotten one yet. Not a problem -- I could easily get a copy and send it to her. So I went to the May Atlanta Knitting Guild meeting with a congratulations card for guild members to sign. Thank you to Bill from Only Ewe and Cotton Too, who was kind enough to bring a book for me to buy, thus saving me the trip over to Crabapple.
At one point in the meeting, Whit Robbins was talking to the group about STITCHES South. She talked about all we accomplished and how much fun we all had. And then she asked me to come up to the podium. Huh? She pulled out a package . . . from Leena in Finland! This was totally unexpected. I opened it in front of the group. Leena had made Doublefun socks for me! They are just wonderful! And they are in my colors too. How did she know? I believe the socks got passed around at least part of the room, as many people were curious about their construction. Leena also sent me a couple Finnish postcards depicting children knitting. I wouldn't know where to find knitting-themed stationery in Atlanta. What a delightful surprise!On Saturday morning I put a thank-you card, a congratulations card, and a copy of Think Outside the Sox into the mail. I've never sent anything to Finland before. It was only about $15, which I think is very reasonable. I am eager to hear from my internet pen pal when she finally has the book in her hands.
Thank you, Leena, for sharing a truly brilliant knitting idea with the world! Big warm alpaca hugs! :-D