The Iralai Toque is 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.
This warm, close-fitting hat uses slipped stitches that are crossed and cabled to create a twisted effect. Elongating the stitches to be slipped helps keep the hat stretchy and comfortable while also bringing out the subtle colour details we all love in hand-dyed yarns. Meant to be just slightly slouchy as a nod to the traditional conical Canadian toque, this hat is available in six sizes from toddler to adult and it features a crown knit in pattern as well as a twisted-rib cuff. Add a snap pompom to the top for an added pop of colour!
This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit in the round (both on circular needles and double-pointed needles) and clearly explains all techniques required to create the stitch pattern. 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 chart.
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.