Thorfinn Tonttu Socks


Twisted cable ribbing representing the ropes of the longships sits above a knotwork motif representing shields and oars. Thorfinn Tonttu stands at the water’s edge waiting to embark on his adventure while noisy gulls circle the skies above the longships.

Thorfinn Tonttu is restless; not content to stay at home protecting the farmstead like his parents Jussi and Johanna he feels the call of the sea. He has decided to join a Viking expedition and see the world beyond his shores. Where will he end up? He doesn’t know, but he is dreaming of new lands to explore!

I named my latest tonttu after Thorfinn Karlsefni, one of the first Scandinavians to sail to North America, but there is also a strong link between the Orkney Isles, the North of Scotland, and the name Thorfinn. The small town that I have lived in for twenty years reflects it’s Viking origins in its name, and I often look up the Firth and imagine the longships sailing down, returning to their homes here in centuries long since past.


Method: These stranded colorwork socks are knit in the round from the cuff down. With a modified Eye of Partridge 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 back of the leg and the center of the sole. There is an accompanying photo tutorial to aid in correct placement of the heel.

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 2 sizes. All instructions that differ depending on the size you are knitting are indicated with parentheses and color coded like this: M (L).

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.

Size Sock Circumference Approx. UK Sizes
M 8” 20.5 cm Ladies 5-8
L 9¼” 23.5 cm Men’s 9 -11

This pattern was designed with Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4 ply, but 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. 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 three colors) I used the following quantities of Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4 ply:

MC – 2080 White approx. 270 metres (295 yards)
CC1 – 324 Navy approx. 130 metres (142 yards)
CC2 – 2150 Rust approx. 20 metres (22 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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