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.
These socks use 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 at a gauge of 32 st x 44 rows in 10 x 10 cm / 4 x 4 inches. 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 -- recommended needle sizes are 2.75 mm / US 2 and 2.25 mm / US 1) 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: Women’s Small (Medium, Large) corresponding to foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23) cm / 7 (8, 9) inches and foot lengths of 21 (22, 23) cm / 8.25 (8.67, 9) inches. There are detailed instructions included for adjusting the foot length for a comfortable custom fit.
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.