This was the pattern for round #5 of Sock Madness 6, a speed knitting contest.
(See the Sock Madness Forever group for more information.)
The color pattern of these socks is neither achieved by an intarsia nor an embroidery method. It’s done by simply weaving in the contrast colored yarn between the stitches while knitting a plain stockinette sock with the main color.
In Estonian knitting, this technique is called ‘roosimine’ (which means ‘rose’) and the corresponding patterns are called ‘roositud’ patterns. Traditionally, it’s used on mittens and socks and most roositud patterns are quite geometrical and done in a set of bright primary colors. You can find some real Estonian examples here:
To make it easier to get used to this very versatile technique (and to have less ends to weave in), I used only one color for the weaving strands on these socks. But it lends itself to using up small pieces of leftover yarns in multiple colors for the roositud motif. So go wild and work each of the little curlicues in a different color if you like.
Oh - by the way: to prevent being bored to death by a plain stockinette foot after all that fun with the roosimine, there is some arch shaping and a bit of striping going on, too.