Dragon Scales Cuff

I'm very pleased with how this beaded cuff turned out. Want one? It's easy!

By the way, if you are wondering how to knit with beads, please check here is some help from Knitty, where I first got the idea for knitting beaded cuffs. The instructions for adding a bead to your knitting (they're pre-strung, btw):

Insert the needle into the stitch to be knit, slide a bead up close to the needle, and pull the bead through to the front as you complete the stitch. The bead should sit on the right leg of the "V" formed by the knit stitch.

Thanks, Elizabeth!

I'm knitting my fourth cuff now. The first two were Lily of the Valley cuffs and the third is this Dragons Scales one I designed with help from Barbara Walker's Treasury, and the fourth is now in progress, a snakeskin one with help from the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary. More on that later.

In this pattern, I adapted the 'Dragon skin' pattern from Barbara Walker, but I shortened it so the scales are smaller and more suited to a bracelet sized project, and also I had to work out where to start and end the patterning since the swatch in the book uses a center line and builds the scales around that, whereas I sort of wanted to just have the scales overlapping in this design and no lines running through the middle. It took more brainpower than I thought it would. Please reap the benefits.

-First, select some DMC no. 5 Perle cotton and US size 1 (2.25 mm) double pointed needles. Don't be distracted by your ordinary cotton floss, it's not the same and not handy for knitting. I tried.

-Find a few beads that will fit on the cotton, if you want. I found some interesting square glass beads at a local beading shop but this would look nice without beads too. Oh, and I used sew on snaps to connect the ends around the wrist, but be creative--I've used hook and eye closures, and you can always sew on a couple of buttons and then crochet loops to go around them!

-String on the number of beads that you want. I chose to just do 7 and place them intermittently through the knitting, like drops of blood, in my fanciful imagination.

-Cast on 18 stitches. I used a long-tail cast on, but you may do whatever you like
-Knit five rows, ending on a right side row if you used the long tail cast on, or knit an additional row if you started on the right side in the first place.

Pattern rows:
Row 1: sl 1, k1, yo, ssk, k1, m1 [make one stitch], ssk, k2, k2tog, k2, m1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 2 & all even rows: sl 1, k1, purl 14, k2.
Row 3:
sl 1, k1, yo, ssk, k1, m1, k1, ssk, k2 tog, k3, m1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 5: sl 1, k1, yo, ssk, k1, m1, k2, ssk, k2, k2 tog, m1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 7: sl 1, k1, yo, ssk, k1, m1, k3, ssk, k2 tog, k1, m1, k1, k2tog, yo, k2.

Repeat the 8 row pattern to desired length. I repeated it 8 times, placing beads intermittently through the scale pattern. You could omit beads or use as many as you like.

After 8 repeats I knitted five more rows in garter stitch to overlap the initial garter stitch rows. I blocked it to straighten it out well and sewed in two black snaps.

My cuff was designed to overlap to allow sewn in snaps to connect. Depending on how you want yours to work, you might want to knit a little less so they just meet and then button or hook or whatnot. Please feel free to comment on this pattern!

1.7.08 ETA: errata fixed within pattern.


  1. I came over from the Ravelry designer's group. I like your bracelet. It's cute and perfect for a headband too since I need those quite a bit. Great mods on Barbara's original pattern.

  2. Hey this is ArtSi from Ravelry, My friend made your snake cuff and recommended that I do this one! :D it's really lovely, so I agreed immediately. thanks!


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