Finnish Baby Socks (Train Socks)
You need 1 skein of fingering weight yarn and double point needles 2 1/2 mm ( US 1 1/2). (Directions written for 5 dp's)
Cast on 40 stitches, divide evenly over 4 needles.
Rows 1-12: * k2, p2 * ribbing
Rows 13-16: purl
Rows 17-20: knit
Rows 21-24: purl
Rows 25-36: * k2, p2 * ribbing
Repeat rows 13-36 one more time.
Next row: Begin knitting the heel flap. (The pattern does not give directions for making the heel. Work any heel you like, making sure you end up with 6 stitches once the heel is done.)
Pick up 7 stitches off each heel flap edge, redistribute stitches so that there are 10 on each needle, and knit the foot as follows:
Rows 1-4: purl on the two needles that are the top of your sock, and knit the two needles that are the sole.
Rows 5-8: knit all stitches
Repeat rows 1-8 two more times.
Next 4 rows: purl on top of sock, knit on sole
Toe decrease: (see * at end)
On each left edge: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
On each right egde: k1, slip 1, k1, pass slipped stitch over
Continue until 4 stitches remain, cut yarn and thread it through the stitches twice. Work the yarn end into the sock, and lightly steam the sock.
The story behind the socks:
The heart-warming and memorable story of the socks as told by Eila Turenius. The original, white socks are kept safe and treasured as a family heirloom by Terttu Latvala.
In early 1939, Terttu Latvala's mother Kerttu Latvala was evacuating ahead of World War II battles along with her 2-month-old baby daughter. Her train trip from Vaasa (coastal Finland) was delayed due to a section of the railroad tracks having been destroyed by bombings. A fellow passenger, a retired needlework teacher, took pity on the un-bootied little feet of the baby girl, and during the delay, unraveled yarn from her own white hand-knit sweater, and used it to make the baby a pair of socks.
Kerttu Latvala, the mother, knit several hundreds of pairs of these socks during her lifetime; a new pair each time a friend or aquaintance had a baby. Terttu Latvala continued the tradition, knitting over 200 pairs herself.
In addition to being easy on the eyes, the socks also stay put very well on little feet.
*Toe decrease explained in more detail (assumes your row begins at the back center of the sock)
On the first needle: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Second needle: k1, s1, k1, psso, knit to end
Third needle: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Fourth needle: k1, s1, k1, psso, knit to end
(Translation by permission from