You may have spotted them at one of Prague’s numerous design markets or while browsing the fashionable wares of on-line retailer Zoot—chunky, thick-knit socks in a kaleidoscope of colors that would look just right peeking out of ankle booties.
What you might not know is that these woolly wonders are the handiwork of Czech seniors across the country who are earning money and a sense of purpose knitting Ponožky od babičky (Socks from Grandma) to warm the feet of trendy Praguers or anyone anywhere who wishes to buy from their e-shop.
The project was launched by Elpida, an organization that helps the elderly “become confident respected members of society” via their helpline which offers crisis intervention, and an educational center in Prague 4 that organizes courses and workshops on everything from English to how to operate a tablet.
It’s an eco-friendly endeavor as well; the socks project utilizes old sweaters which participants from numerous regions throughout Bohemia and Moravia pick apart to create one-of-a-kind upcycled crocheted socks.
Intergenerational knitting workshops are also organized by the group, as is the Old’s Cool festival, now on through Oct 6, a series of intergenerational cultural events throughout large Czech cities.
To find out more about the knitting workshops follow Ponožky od babičky on Facebook; socks are available in sizes S-XL (199 CZK/pair) and come in children’s sizes as well (120 CZK/per pair). Socks are labelled with the name and region of the granny who created them.