Johanna Tonttu Socks


Spring has sprung and Johanna Tonttu is busy in her garden! The dark cold days of winter are behind her, and she is ready to enjoy all the bright colors her garden will bring forth over the coming season. Surrounded by her beloved flowers and with the birds singing in the branches above she is a happy little creature.

As she grew on my needles, I asked my Finnish cousin to suggest a traditional name for her. We decided on Johanna to honor our ancestor who was probably no stranger to knitting socks and working in her garden.


Featuring a cute tonttu and traditional Scandinavian motifs of birds and flowers these stranded colorwork socks are knit in the round from the cuff down. With a heel flap, and gusset decreases placed on the sole they can be worked in three (or more) contrasting colors. The colorwork is charted to minimize pattern jog and the start of the round is placed at the side of the leg and the center of the sole.

These socks can be knitted on dpns, by magic loop, or on a short circular (in which case you will still need dpns for the heel and toe decreases).

Please note the colorwork design in this pattern is charted not written out. You need to be prepared to read and work from charts in order to enjoy knitting this design.

This pattern is written in 4 sizes. All instructions that differ depending on the size you are knitting are indicated with parentheses and color coded like this: S (M, L, XL).

Please note stranded colorwork does not have the same stretch to it that a plain stocking stitch sock does. For the best fit please choose the size closest to your foot circumference.


Sock Circumference

Approx. UK Sizes

S 7” 18 cm Children’s 13-4, Ladies 1-4
M 8” 20.5 cm Ladies 5-8
L 8⅞” 22.5 cm Men’s 8.5-10.5
XL 9¾” 24.5 cm Men’s 11-13

You can use any 4 ply (fingering) sock yarn that you like and with which you can get tension/ gauge.

Please note I do not recommend using yarns with a high cotton content as cotton doesn’t stretch as much as other fibers and this will affect the fit of your socks.

This pattern works well with three (or more) solid colors, sock shown uses five. This is a great pattern to experiment with color and use mini skeins or any leftovers lurking in your stash! Be creative, have fun, but keep in mind changes will affect yardage and number of ends to weave in.

The amounts of each color required will depend on how many colors you pick, where you choose to use them in the sock, and which size you are knitting. As a guide for the pair pictured (size M in five colors) I used the following:

MC – West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in 11 Marshmallow approx. 160 metres (175 yards)
CC1 – West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in 731 Violet approx. 140 metres (153 yards)
CC2 – West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in 234 Honeysuckle approx. 40 metres (44 yards
CC3 – Artesano Definition Sock in 8362 Mushy Peas approx. 40 metres (44 yards)
CC4 – West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in 1001 Sunflower approx. 40 metres (44 yards)

9 stitches and 10 rows per inch (2.5cm) over colorwork pattern.

3mm dpns
2.5mm dpns / short circular or size needed for gauge.

Other Materials Required:
5 Stitch Markers
Tape Measure
Darning needle for sewing in ends


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