The Periwinkle Dragon

Original Knitting Patterns by Carolyn Lisle
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Iralai Fingerless Mitts

The Iralai Fingerless Mitts are inspired by Antilope cervicapra, the Blackbuck (“iralai maan” in Tamil), a species of antelope from the Indian subcontinent. Its long corkscrew antlers are one of the most impressive features in the animal kingdom. They have unfortunately often been the target of poachers for this reason, so today in India they are protected by both custom and law.

Backs of hands wearing dark purple fingerless mitts with bright green flecks in a twisting spiralling pattern. Side view of hands holding a white mug and wearing dark purple fingerless mitts with bright green flecks in a twisting spiralling pattern. Top-down view of hands holding a white mug and wearing dark purple fingerless mitts with bright green flecks in a twisting spiralling pattern.

These mitts use slipped stitches and small cables to create a twisted effect and to break up pooling. Elongating the stitches to be slipped helps keep the mitts stretchy and comfortable while also bringing out the subtle colour details we all love in hand-dyed yarns. The pattern is available in three adult sizes and they feature twisted-rib cuffs, generous finger coverage, and an adjustable thumb gusset.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round and clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, cables, and elongated stitches. Within the pattern you will find links to useful video tutorials as well, so the pattern is accessible to an intermediate knitter. Corresponding written instructions are provided for the charts.

This pattern is designed to accentuate highly variegated and/or heavily speckled yarns, though the overlay effect works equally well with solid, semi-solid, and tonal colours for a more subtle finished product.

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