Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Indigo Dragonfly
beauty shot


Each year when our tax refund arrives, we pack all 6 children into the car and do something very decadent: drive to the bookstore. Everyone gets to pick out a stack of books to bring home. Last year my daughter, Kezziah Rose, discovered the Monster Blood Tattoo series by D M Cornish. They set our imaginations alight. We devoured the series.

This shawl is named for one of the characters THRENODY OF HERBROULESSE, "a self-determined girl, stubborn and quick-witted, and even quicker tempered, sent to Sinster by her mother on her thirteenth birthday to be transmogrified into a lahzarine wit. Threnody has ideas of her own which (of course) do not always correlate to her mother’s ambitions for her. Threnody’s request to become a lamplighter was granted her, if only to give Syntyche and the Columbines of Columbris a rest from all the agonies of mother-daughter angst."
-D M Cornish,
The Monster Blood Tattoo Series

As a daughter who had her own ideas, and is now mothering girls of strength who have their own ideas, this shawl is for the balance of trying to live up to the dreams that our parents have for us while dreaming new dreams of our own.

spacer models: Zemeira, Talia, Tirzah and Kezziah
spacer photos: Heatherly Walker




DK weight version:
Wingspan: 60 inches
Depth: 30 inches

Fingering weight version:
Wingspan: 45 inches
Depth: 20 inches


DK weight version
[shown above]:

spacer IndigoDragonfly DK Polwarth Silk  [75% Polwarth, 25% Silk; 750yd/685m per 250g skein]; color: Don’t you have an elsewhere to be? (Cordelia); 1 skein  

Fingering weight version
[shown at right]:

spacer Holiday Yarns Jennifer’s Flock Sock [75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon, 400yd/365m per 100g skein]; color: Lavender Buds; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
DK weight version:
spacer US #9/5.5mm circular needle

Fingering weight version:
spacer US #6/4.25mm circular needle

spacer cable needle
spacer waste yarn
spacer stitch markers
spacer yarn needle
spacer blocking pins


Correct gauge is not critical for this project, but your final measurements and yardage requirements may vary if your gauge is different.

DK weight version:

16 sts/22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Fingering weight version:
24 sts/32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

This pattern uses a provisional cast on: use either the crochet cast on or the open cast on as described here.

Double yarnovers: In Chart A, you will often have two yarnovers next to each other on the chart, where you will wrap the yarn twice around the needle. On the following WS rows, they will be worked as follows: Purl into first yo through the back of the loop, purl the second yo as usual.

C4R [WS]: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and place at back (RS) of work, p2; then p2 from cable needle.
C4L [WS]: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and place at front (WS) of work, p2; then p2 from cable needle.

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click the links below and print each resulting page. Assemble Left and Right halves of Chart A.

Chart A, left sideChart A, right sideChart B


Set Up:
Using a provisional cast on and scrap yarn, CO 3 sts.

With project yarn, knit 10 rows (for 5 garter stitch ridges). Do not turn work at end of last row. Instead, rotate work 90 degrees clockwise and pick up and knit 1 st in each of 5 garter ridges along edge of work. Finally, undo the cast on and place sts on a spare needle, then knit each of 3 sts from CO. 11 sts.

Set-Up Row [WS]: K3, pm, p2, pm, p1 (center st), pm, p2, pm, k3.

Row 1 [RS]: K3, sm, yo, k2, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, k2, yo, sm, k3. 15 sts.

Row 2 [WS]: K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.

Row 3: K3, sm, yo, k4, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, k4, yo, sm, k3. 19 sts.

Row 4: K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3.

Begin Charts:
Row 1 [RS]: K3, sm, work Row 1 of Chart A, sm, k1, sm, work Row 1 of Chart A, sm, k3.

Row 2 [WS]: K3, sm, work next row of Chart A, sm, p1, sm, work next row of Chart A, sm, k3.

Cont in patt until Row 74 of Chart A is complete. 167 sts.

Cont in patt, working as established but with Chart B instead of Chart A, until Row 46 of Chart B is complete. 259 sts.

Finally, cont in patt, working Border Chart instead of Chart B until Row 7 of Border Chart is complete, ending on a RS row.

Bind off all sts loosely using the Decrease Bind Off (working all decreases as p2tog).


Weave in ends and block to measurements, pinning out the points in the Border Chart.


designernamespacer Heatherly Walker is a bibliophile who lives in Northern California with an amazing husband and six imaginative children who let her join in on their battles against trolls and goblins. The rooms of their home are filled with books and in spaces where there are no books, yarn can be found thanks to the yarn fairy.

She blogs about the mishigos of their lives here.