Theodóra´s traditional costume

The charming little doll Theodóra is wearing the peysuföt, an Icelandic traditional costume made for her by Hélène Magnússon. Sewing is kept to a minimum to make the clothes and accessories just as enjoyable to knit as they are to play with! New pieces of clothing will be added regularly to make a complete wardrobe for Theodóra. 

The pattern is just for the costume, not the doll that is a separate pattern. Look for all the patterns of the dolls, clothes and accessories.

Back to Issue 01 – Autumn 2010



Theodóra's traditional costume Pattern* **

4 €


Traditional costume Kit (yarn without instructions)

15 € (plus shipping cost)

The pattern story

In the old days, the peysuföt was the Icelandic costume and was worn everyday

Like most Icelandic women of her time, Theodóra Thóroddsen, who’s poem inspired the doll in the first place, was wearing the peysuföt everyday. It is one of the traditional Icelandic costumes.

Poet Theodóra Thóroddsen was wearing the traditional costume everyday

In the 19th century, the peysuföt* consisted of a black knitted jacket that was closed at the front but left a gap through which the shirt underneath could be seen. It was knitted on very fine needles in a rather intricate manner and was shaped after its owner’s body. It had a pleated knitted piece at the hem; the cuffs and front edges were trimmed with black velvet. A woven apron, chequered or vertically striped, was worn over the skirt. A neckerchief made of silk and a black tasselled cap completed the costume. The cap was knitted and the tassel decorated with a sleeve made of silver or latten-brass. Women also wore black or red socks and traditional soft shoes made of skin with knitted inserts inside.

*Main source: the National Costume Board:

Hélène adds:

“I never meant to make an accurate replica of the peysuföt but recreate the principal features for an overall realistic look. I also tried to keep sewing to a minimum and make the clothes as fun to knit as they are to play with!”

The designer

Hélène Magnússon likes to put a new spin on old Icelandic knitting traditions. She enjoys designs with strong ties to Iceland and that tell a story. She is best known for her research into the traditional Icelandic intarsia that was mostly seen in knitted insoles in the past centuries. Her book, Icelandic knitting: using Rose Patterns is available in three languages. She is a French native but a true Icelandic knitter and has an Icelandic family. Hélène abandoned a law career in Paris for the love of Icelandic nature. She worked as a mountain guide for many years in Iceland and studied textile and fashion design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. She is the head and designer behind The Icelandic Knitter.


Wool, size & info

The pattern
The kit

Size: height of doll 37 cm / 14.5 inches.

Gauges: 10×10 cm / 4×4” = 19 sts x 26 rows in stocking st on 3,5 mm/US 4 needle with Létt-lopi; 26 sts x 42 rows in stocking st on 3 mm/US 3 needle with Einband-Loðband.

Yarn and material:
Létt-Lopi from Ístex 100% pure Icelandic wool, light spun, medium weight, 50g/skein, 50g = ca.100m/109 yds: shade 0059, 55g (skirt and jacket); shade 9420, 7g and 1409, 5g (apron).
Einband-Loðband from Ístex, 70% Icelandic wool, 30% wool, fine lace-weight, 1-ply worsted, 50gr/skein, 50g = ca. 225m/246 yds:
- shade 0851,  30 cm/ 12″ (shoes);
- shade 0885: 4 m/4.5 yds  (inserts);
- shade 0059, 4 g (cap and shoes);
- shade 9009 (socks);

Metallic thread 30 cm/ 12″ (cap); 3 pairs of little black eyes and hooks (costume).

Needles and notions: circular needles 2 mm/US 0, 2,5 mm/US 1, 4 mm/US 6, 5 mm/US; crochet hook 3 mm/US D3; markers, safety pins, measuring tape, tapestry needle.

Techniques: knitting in the round, one stitch below technique, i-cord.

Pattern: once you've made your paiement, you will receive an email with  instructions on how to download the pattern. It comes as a PDF file. We don't send pattern by snail mail.

Kit: includes the yarn and material. Kit doesn’t include the needles and notions. Shipping costs are included in the price. Pattern is not included and has to be purchased separately.

Errata: a mistake was found in this pattern, please check the errata.