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  • Writer's pictureSari Åström

Kalevala CAL blankets were given to the President of the Finnish Republic Mr Sauli Niinistö and the

Kalevala CAL project representatives were honoured to meet the First Lady of Finland; Mrs Jenni Haukio in Mäntyniemi (the President’s official residence) where she received the gifted blankets on 6th September, 2017. The Project was represented by the Kalevala CAL project founders Milla Elo and Sari Åström and the volunteers Taina Ilvonen and Pia-Mari Winqvist, who crocheted the gifted blankets. Overall the meeting was heart-warming and memorable.

Mrs Jenni Haukio was very impressed by this valuable gift and how the project impacts the craft culture of Finland. She wanted to send her warm greetings to the whole Kalevala CAL project group and she congratulated the Kalevala CAL team for a very successful project and a beautiful blanket. She sent greetings and congratulations on behalf of the President, Mr Sauli Niinistö. Mrs Haukio was very grateful for the far-reaching collaboration connecting different cultures (like handicrafts, Kalevala Finnish national saga and many people around the world) and she appreciates how this affects the handicrafts community in Finland in a totally new way. Mrs Jenni Haukio informed that she is a patron of the Finnish Crafts Organization as well as a member of the Kalevala Society, so the Kalevala CAL blanket gift couldn’t have a better recipient!

Participants were also honoured to meet the First dog of Finland, a Boston terrier Lennu, who also appreciates handicrafts, Finnish innovation and all kinds of charity!! So it was only fitting that he was also gifted his very own small Kalevala blanket!

Lennu celebrated his own gifted blanket with his enormous and charming smile at Mäntyniemi on Wednesday. People in the photo from left to right: Milla Elo, Sari Åström, Pia-Mari Winqvist, Mrs Jenni Haukio and Lennu the dog, and Taina Ilvonen with her personal assistant Katja Johansson. (Photo by Katri Makkonen, the Office of the President of the Republic)

Kalevala CAL blanket project is a gift in honour of a one-hundred-year-old Finland. Altogether, there have been 19 designers and scores of other volunteers involved in test crocheting and translating the patterns into seven other languages.

The project has been very well received amongst crocheters everywhere with around 30,000 blog visits for each of the five patterns released so far, since the project began in August. There are also already over 15,000 participants in the Kalevala CAL Facebook groups worldwide. Internationally, ‘CAL’ which means ‘Crochet Along’ continues to be ever popular. So this ‘Kalevala CAL’ has been a splendid way to unite Finnish history and handicraft culture, to celebrate our Finnish centenary around the world!

Part of Kalevala CAL project team ready to give a gift to Mr and Mrs President.

People in the photo from left to right, up to down: Milla Elo, Pia-Mari Winqvist, Sari Åström and Taina Ilvonen (Photo by Katja Johansson)

Gift blankets for Mr and Mrs President and their Lennu dog. Click to see the photo bigger.

Grammatical edition 9th Sept

#KalevalaCAL #ArteeniDesign

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