Iralai Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Iralai Socks

May 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches and 44 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
301 - 383 yards (275 - 350 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large)
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This pattern is available for $6.00 USD
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The Iralai Socks 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.

Also check out the Iralai Toque and the Iralai Fingerless Mitts!

Pattern Description

These socks make use of slipped stitches and simple crossed stitches and cables to create a twisted effect. Elongating the stitches to be slipped helps keep the socks stretchy and comfortable while also bringing out the subtle colour details we all love in hand-dyed yarns.

These socks are knit toe-up. They feature a rounded short-row heel and a twisted-rib cuff. The twisting cables are mirrored on the left and right socks, though each only uses two different types of cables to create the effect.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round (either on double-pointed needles or your preferred technique for socks) and clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, yarn over short rows, cables, and elongated stitches. Within the pattern you will find links to useful video tutorials as well, so the pattern is easily accessible to an intermediate sock knitter.

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

There are three standard sizes available: Adult Small (Medium, Large) corresponding to foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23) cm / 7 (8, 9) inches — approximately 56 (64, 72) st — and foot lengths of 21 (22, 23) cm / 8.25 (8.67, 9) inches. There are instructions included for adjusting the foot length to three other possible lengths for each size (pattern support is available by email for help with lengths outside those ranges), and the leg height is completely adjustable.

The socks require approximately 300 (325, 350) m / 325 (350, 375) yards of fingering weight yarn.

This pattern is designed to accentuate highly variegated and/or heavily speckled yarns, though the texture would also work well with solid, semi-solid, and tonal colours.

These socks are rated 4/5 — Adventurous — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because they have unique texture techniques and charts that cross the beginning of the round.