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Mystery Revealed: Dracula's Lair

Now that both October and Halloween have come and gone, it's safe to lift the veil of mystery on the Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens. This pattern was something that I'd been planning for maybe three years in a row... but I always chickened out in the end. Oh, the irony is not lost on me.

Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens 2019: Dracula's Lair

I'm a big chicken *bleep* when it comes to horror movies. The Ring freaked me out. To this day I have not seen The Blair Witch Project. The worst nightmares I had from a movie growing up? Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom... and it isn't a horror movie at all! (What can I say, the Kalima! scene has forever scarred me.)

Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens 2019: Dracula's Lair

Rather than jump scares and CGI monsters, I much prefer the suspense, thrill, and atmosphere of oldie movies when movie makers had to be inventive with plot and story telling rather than showing too much on the screen. Most often the things you imagine are far scarier than the things you see.

Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens 2019: Dracula's Lair

For the first ever Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens I wanted to start with a true classic of the genre. These mittens were inspired by the 1931 black-and-white version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the Count himself. The bats were an (un)dead giveaway that it'd probably have something to do with vampires...

French movie poster for Dracula (1931), directed by Tod Browning

My favorite stills from the movie are the ones of Mr Lugosi in full-on Dracula mode with his hand poised, ready to strike his unsuspecting victim. Designing the mittens I realized that drawing on a canvas that's only around 30 pixels wide was rather limiting, to say to least. But I think I was able to capture the Count's likeness quite well with just a few stitches, complete with his slick coiffure and handkerchief in the breast pocket.

Castle detail on the Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens

The left mitten features a scene of a long stretch of staircases leading up to a hill with a big castle on top. Is it a cliché? Probably. Was it fun to do? You betcha! The castle at the top of the hill also gave the perfect mid-point cliffhanger for the mystery knitalong.

With the castle itself I had to use a bit of creative license. I used the real-life Dracula's Castle, Castle Bran, as a the starting point but — would you believe it — it wasn't menacing enough. So I embellished it a little by giving it a derelict look by adding looming towers with broken windows.

Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens 2019: Dracula's Lair

There's still time to finish your mystery mittens and participate in the prize draw. Post a photo of your finished mittens in my Ravelry group by November 10 at the latest. I will draw three winner on November 11 to receive a free pattern and two skeins of yarn, each.

A cloud of bats on the Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens

The mystery knitalong was so much fun that I'm glad I finally took the plunge and hit publish on that pattern! My head is now teeming with horrific movie ideas and Halloween-y themes to last for a decade...


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Horror-riffic Halloween Mystery Mittens 2019: Dracula's Lair

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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