120 Yards of Awesome

As a treat for my knitters, I'm giving away mini-skeins of Whisper Lite. Here's a small pattern that works well with these little skeins:


Whisper Neckerchief:

120 yards of Whisper Lite

Size 9 needles.
CO 5.  
Set Up
Row 1:  K2, kfb, k2.  (6 sts)
2:  K2, p2, k2. 
3:  Knit
4:  K2, p2, k2.
5:  K2, kfb, k3.  (7 sts)
6:  K2, p3, k2. 
7:  Knit
8:  K2, p3, k2.
9:  K2, kfb, k3.  (8 sts)
10:  K2, p4, k2. 
11:  Knit
12:  K2, p4, k2.
Stitch pattern
Row 1:  K2, kfb, (sl 1 wyif, k)*, repeat * until last 3 sts, k3.  (odd # of stitches). 
2: K2, p1, (sl 1 wyib, p)*, repeat * until last 2 sts,  k2.
3: K2, (sl 1 wyif, k)*, repeat * until last 3 sts, k3.  
4: K2, p1, (sl 1 wyib, p)*, repeat * until last 2 sts, k2.
5: K2, kfb, (k, sl 1 wyif)*, repeat * until last 2 sts, k2.  (even # of stitches). 
6: K2,  (p, sl 1 wyib)*, repeat * until last 2 sts, k2.  
7: K2, (k, sl 1 wyif)*, repeat * until last 2 sts, k2.
8: K2,  (p, sl 1 wyib)*, repeat * until last 2 sts, k2. 
Continue rounds 1-8 of this stitch pattern until you have about 10 yards left.  
Row 1 and 2:  Knit.
Row 3:  K2, (yo, K2Tog, K1)* repeat * until last 2 sts, k2.
Row 4: Knit
Bind off loosely.  Now you can thread the long pointy end of this shawlette through the yarn overs to make a little neckerchief cowl.  
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2014 Spring Preview

I have made the decision to retire a vast majority of UPP's traditional colors.  Never fear, BRAND NEW colorways are around the corner.  Starting in January 2014, I will be dyeing limited edition colorways which will be available for six months.  I am hoping this will keep things fresh and exciting for my customers! 


So, without further ado, let me introduce the 2014 Spring Colors in their sketch form!  I'll be dyeing samples all month, and putting the new colors up here and on Facebook, but here is a preview.  These colors are inspired by plants and animals of the seashore. 


I hope you enjoy them!  The nice thing about this grouping is that all the all yarns should look good together, which will help in colorwork.  All of the colors can be dyed on all of our yarns.

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Meet the Sheep!

For those of you who haven't visited in person, I thought it would be nice to have a virtual sheep introduction - right before fall shearing, when the sheep are looking their best, except for being a little wet with morning dew! I have Icelandic sheep, which are a rare breed in the US and the only breed in Iceland.  They come in a bunch of colors, and have a dual coat, with a long staple outer coat and a shorter staple inner coat.  We sell our fleeces and fiber to spinners and felters here.  

Icelandic fleece is especially suited to felting.  This means if you are a spinner, and you are washing an Icelandic fleece, you need to be EXTRA careful to NEVER hit warm wet fleece with cold water or agitation.  You will instantly felt it.  This is a benefit if you are a felter, obviously.  The wool will literally felt on the sheep, as often happens in the spring, after they are rained and snowed on all winter.  Then, we shear off an Icelandic "Phelt" - big beautiful long wooled hunks of fake pelt.  When these are washed, you can either use them in felting projects or as fake fur. If you are interested in these, contact me.  They are a neat product from the sheep for the creative crafter.

But, I'll leave spinning and felting tips for later.  If you have specific questions, leave them in the comments.

If you are interested in a particular fleece from the fall shearing, contact me.

Daisy and Dharma

Two of our Black and White girls


White Ram


Black and white ewe

Bright and Alpha

White ewes


Moorit grey horned ewe


Moorit Ewe (our oldest sheep!)

Firaga and surprise Guinea

White lamb

Dusk and Aurora

White and Black Mouflon ewes

These aren't all of our sheep, just the ones who weren't feeling shy this morning.  Hope you enjoyed their pretty faces!

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Check out my favorite UPP projects!

First off, welcome, Holla Knitters, thanks so much for taking the trouble to visit my blog!  Subscribers will all be getitng a copy of the wonderful pattern "The Crash" by Sarah Hurwitz.

The Crash out of Onyx Superwash Merino Worsted

If you aren't familiar with Unplanned Peacock Yarns, take a moment to learn about us.   Today, I'd like to showcase some of my favorite projects I have seen that have been made with UPP.  They will give you an idea about how the yarn knits up.  Our colorways are dyed in such a way that pooling should be very minimal, and you should get an even distribution of color.

Fern Superwash Merino Worsted - notice the great color distribution!

On to the projects!

First off is Christy Straight's soft and elegant Haapsalu Shawl - named "The Elliott Shawl" in honor of her cat.  I dyed this yarn to match her kitty's fur coat.  I love doing custom work, especially when it is used in such a special project.

Haapsalu Shawl out of Slate Whisper Lace

Next is this crocheted afghan by Fran Stafford.  She made it out of many different green tones of UPP Superwash Worsted. It's so pretty!  The benefit of using hand dyed yarn that has as much color complexity as some of our colors is that you can do a relatively simple piece and it will turn out effortlessly gorgeous.

Afghan out of Superwash Merino Worsted

Jennifer Crow had some random skeins of UPP lying around, so she made this epically huge shawl - it is such an interesting shape and the color choices are wonderful!

Travelling Companion Shawl,

designed by Karen Strauss, Forest Superwash Fingering Merino and Whippoorwill Peacock Sock

Next on the list of UPP awesomeness is Frosti Goodeman's shawl made out of Lagoon Peacock Sock.  She thinks this shawl is too busy, but I love it.

Shawl in Lagoon Peacock Sock

One of the most accomplished knitters I know is Catherine Long.  She knit this enormous Shetland shawl out of Whisper Lace.  If you've done battle with even one skein of Whisper, you know it's a true marathon - and she used TWO!  I love the way she did the colorwork in the border, it adds so much to an already heirloom project.

Shetland Shawl out of Blossom and Cream Whisper Lace

These are only a select few of the many amazing projects people have made.  If you want to see more project pics of UPP yarn, check out our gallery or browse the back pages of our blog!  If you make something, whether a basic garter stitch scarf or a tablecloth sized shawl, please send me pictures!  Not only do I love seeing your work, but you might win Knitter of the Month and get a free skein of yarn!

Free Pattern Giveaway

Wait, there's more!  As a thank you to the Holla Knitters, here's a free scarf pattern, done with any skein of Unplanned Peacock Fingering Weight Yarn.  This will ONLY be available through the 20th.  This pattern was originally done for our Yarn Club.

Basil Scarf Pattern

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Congratulations Jackie Murton!

Jackie Murton has been a huge supporter of Unplanned Peacock over the last year, and it's past time she gets honored as Knitter of the Month!

She talks about her knitterly life:  "Let's see... I started knitting in 1997 while I was pregnant with my first child. At that time I could only knit scarves. After my daughter came along, I put knitting aside for a while. Then in 2001 while I was carrying my twins, I was put on bed rest and picked up my kitting again to beat the boredom. That is when I learned to read a pattern and I knit their christening outfits. A dress for my daughter and a sweater and shorts/knickers for my son. 

I began writing my own patterns last year when I realized I was constantly tweaking the patterns I saw in magazines. Especially changing pieced sweaters into seamless. That is when CRCjaxknits was born.  My first published pattern (and my favorite) was my "Sunburst" hat, knit using UPP Diva Sock in Pumpkin. 

UPP is still my favorite yarn to design with. It's beautiful colors and soft hand make it a joy to work with. Plus, it's durability helps it stand up to constant "frogging" that comes with the designing process."

Here are some of her designs, all of them are available here.



Java at Sunset out of Sunset Carnival Bulky


Java at Sunset out of Sunset SW Sport


At Autumn's End out of Sunset SW Sport 


At Autumn's End out of Sunset SW Sport


Wallflower out of Snakeroot SW DK


A Hat for All Seasons out of Botanical Twisty Aran (discontinued)


Yarrow Fingerless Gloves out of Yarrow Twisty Sock


Sunburst Hat out of Pumpkin Diva Sock



Bring Home Baby out of Waterlily Superwash Fingering Merino (discontinued)


Thanks so much to Jackie for her awesome support, designing with our yarns, providing FREE patterns, and writing patterns for our Fairy Tales Yarn Club!  UPP couldn't do it without you!


If you are interested in becoming Knitter (Spinner, Crocheter, Weaver, Felter) of the month, send your finished UPP project pics to sheep@unplannedpeacock.com.  You may win a free skein of yarn!!



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Congratulations, Jennifer Crow, Knitter of the Month!

Jennifer is a very prolific knitter who has been a friend of UPP for years and years. She's helped in our booth, and you may have met her in Greensboro or Maryland.  She's also spent time skeining yarn, and being a UPP cheerleader.  She knits like the wind!  She has been a past employee at yarn shops, and does test knitting for pattern designers.  


Travelling Companion Shawl, designed by Karen Strauss, Forest Superwash Fingering Merino and Whippoorwill Peacock Sock

Baby Socks out of Quaker and Kiskadee Superwash Merino Fingering

Array Baby Sweater out of Quaker and Kiskadee Superwash DK

Baby Socks out of Ultramarine and Poppy Peacock Sock

Socks out of Primrose Superwash Merino Fingering


Baby Hat out of Quaker Superwash DK

Array Baby Sweater out of Quaker and Kiskadee Superwash DK

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Knitter of the Month June!

I've been remiss about running Knitter of the Month during spring festival season.  I hope you all will forgive me!  Without further ado, here we go for June!  You can vote from now until Friday, midnight.

Renee Feamster

Sunburst Hat (designed by Jackie Murton) in Rose Diva Sock

Renee runs a darling little yarn shop in her parent's old farm house in Lewisburg, WV.  Taking a trip to the Country Road Yarn House will reward the fiberista with gorgeous views and a nice selection of yarn (including Unplanned Peacock).  


Barbara Jacksier

Lazy Katy (designed by Birgit Freyer) out of Maypole Superwash Fingering Merino

Barbara is an avid lace knitter, and she has made a lot of shawls out of Unplanned Peacock.


Jennifer Crow

Travelling Companion Shawl, designed by Karen Strauss, Forest Superwash Fingering Merino and Whippoorwill Peacock Sock


Jennifer is an accomplished knitter who has helped Unplanned Peacock at shows.  She's been a friend and supporter for years!


Time to Vote!


Who should be Knitter of the Month?
pollcode.com free polls 

Interested in becoming Knitter or Crocheter or Spinner of the month?  Upload your pictures onto our website, or email me photos!   It's easy to do - just find the color of your yarn and upload it onto that page.  You may win a prize!

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Welcome Holla Knitters!

I'm thrilled to death to be a part of the wonder that is the Holla Knits pattern club. Katie Canavan has written a pattern that is just perfect for hand dyed yarn.  The beauty of this pattern is that while it looks stunning in tonal yarns, the more variegated yarns would be highlighted by the interesting stitch pattern.  

Isn't it just perfect?  Introducing the Julep Jacket.


For those of you who are new to our Unplanned Peacock Yarns, let me introduce myself - my name is Natasha, and I've been dyeing yarn for about 5 years now, and previous to that, I was a theater costumer.  While I was working in the theater, I did a lot of costume crafts, which included a lot of dyeing and painting of fabric.  When I learned to knit and spin, and became TOTALLY OBSESSED with fiber arts, I decided that dyeing yarn was a natural progression of my career.  It allows me to be creative, messy, and best of all - people can make stuff with my stuff!  It's a collaborative art form when the dyer meets the knitter (spinner/weaver/crocheter!)  This partnership is made even better when patterns are designed especially for the yarn that's been dyed.  It's an amazing feeling knowing that my work is being used to make heirloom and well-loved crafts.

Shawl knit by Jean Hogle out of UPP Chives Diva Sock


The number one question I am asked is "what's the deal with your name?"   

When we first moved to our farm in Ferrum, VA, we had sheep that were happily eating the weeds in our yard.  One day, I went out to tend to them, and a big elegant blue head poked up out of the weeds.  We had been hearing this mournful cry every night, and even though I was an avid bird watcher, I had never heard one quite like it.  Now the mystery was solved.  The peacock was a male with a glorious tail.  We named him Picasso, and he's stayed on the farm ever since.  UPP was just a glimmer in my mind at that time, but when this peacock appeared, I thought the name "Unplanned Peacock Studio" was just the perfect mix of metaphor and fun.  


My dyeing is a bit out of control. I can never quite tell what color I'll get, even through the best efforts of making it reproducible.  It's a bit unplanned, which to me makes it more enjoyable.  That element of beautiful chaos makes it interesting and challenging all at the same time.

Picasso, our mascot.  He will be getting a girlfriend this year.


If you haven't knit with our yarns yet, be assured you will be getting the very highest quality wool yarns and fiber.  The colorways are complex and typically non-pooling, because of my dyeing process.  I dye with acid dyes, and the yarn is very colorfast.  People have knit socks and sweaters that they have worn for years without durability issues.  Because my colorways are very complex, it is very important that people buy the correct amount for a project at one time, as it is very difficult to exactly reproduce dyelots.  When you have up to 5 colors flowing and mixing together on a skein of yarn, you get a stunning result, but if you try to get the identical result again, it's incredibly difficult.  If you have any questions about the quality of our yarns, you can order a mini-skein to test out.  


A bunch of our Silk Merino Laceweight


In fact, throughout the month of May, as a gift to our customers, we'll send you a free mini-skein with any order from our website!


Random sheep picture

Aries our Icelandic ram modeling a Honey Cowl out of Superwash Merino Worsted in Fuchsia


Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and we are @unplannedpeack on Twitter!  There's also a Ravelry Group.  We welcome wholesale orders and custom dyeing as well.


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Congratulations, Tonya Willett - Knitter of the Month!


Tonya in her Forever Scarf out of UPP fingering in a one of a kind color way

Tonya is an amazing knitter.  I've met her numerous times at fiber festivals and yarn shops in NC and she always shows me her amazing new projects!  Tonya has been kind enough to contribute pictures to our site.  Here's what she says about her knitting and crocheting life:

"My name is Tonya, I've been crocheting for about 20 years and knitting for about 10. I taught myself to crochet from a book when I was pregnant with my oldest son, who is now almost 20, a baby blanket that I still have. I always wanted to knit but ended up being a single mother of two boys with a full time job and not much time but I really loved the look of knitting, especially socks. In 2003 I came down with 'Cogan's Syndrome' leaving me completely deaf and bedridden for months. I got myself a book, a ball of sock yarn and some dpn's (this was before the day and age of 'magic loop') and swore at everything for about 2 days and finally produced a sock. (who starts knitting by learning socks from a book? I had no idea what I was doing!) I knitted socks like crazy, drawers full. For me, for the kids, for the neighbors, friends, socks, socks, socks. Then someone said to me 'why don't you knit other things?'. I didn't really have a good answer and that kind of prompted me to broaden my horizons and start knitting everything, also expanding my obsession. Now I knit everything, all the time. I'm only slightly deaf now (I have a cochlear implant), and not bedridden anymore. I  just went back to school in January along with having another son, making for a total of 3, ranging in ages from 4 to almost 20. To say I'm busy would be an understatement but I always make sure I find a little time at least to knit every day and try to get in at least one good knitting day a week to keep my sanity. It is a dream to eventually play around with dying as well but where I live right now doesn't provide me with the area I need to explore that so I will settle for expanding my stash and knitting as fast as I possibly can. Feel free to add me or check out my projects on Ravelry: Tmarie2009.   =)"

Here are some of Tonya's projects:

Socks out of Sun Conure

Socks out of Bluegrass

Midsummer Night's Socks out of Lime

Quincy Q Monster by Rebecca Danger out of Winter Peacock Sock

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February Fiber Artist of the Month!

 As you know, every month we choose an awesome crafter to be our knitter/crocheter/spinner of the month.  Between the yarn club and shows, I'm late for February, but that's no reason to skip it!  So, without further ado, February's contestants are:

Tonya Willett

Quincy Q Monster by Dangercrafts out of Winter Peacock Sock

Midsummer Night Socks out of Lime Peacock Sock

Socks out of Bluegrass Peacock Sock

Socks out of Sun Conure Peacock Sock

Tonya is a very accomplished knitter who has been a fan of UPP from way back.  She always visits us for shows in North Carolina.

Jeniffer Cox

Green Crochet Shawl out of Blossom Silk Merino Lace

Jeniffer crocheted this shawl for her sister's wedding from yarn she got at Sunflower Fibers in Fayetteville, NC.  When she is not making gorgeous shawls, Jeniffer is serving in Afghanistan, and she has taught knitting classes there!

Sherry Roberts

Handspun including wool from our Icelandic Sheep

Sherry is an accomplished spinner and fiber artist who enjoys making her own fiber blends.

Jackie Murton

Java at Sunset in Superwash Merino Sport and Carnival Bulky in Sunset

Anyone who follows this blog is no stranger to Jackie's work, since she's been incredibly prolific in making patterns out of UPP yarns!  This one is a new freebie which will help you reduce the amount of waste in your life - with a reusable coffee mug and sleeve instead of a throwaway!  Jackie is also helping design patterns for the Fairy Tales Yarn Club - her first release will come in March!

So, who do you think should become Fiber Artist of the Month?

Who should be February's Artist of the Month?
pollcode.com free polls 

Interested in becoming Knitter or Crocheter or Spinner of the month?  Upload your pictures onto our website, or email me photos!   It's easy to do - just find the color of your yarn and upload it onto that page.  You may win a prize!

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Congratulations, Leslie Rueff, January's Crocheter of the Month!




Leslie Rueff, lover of the mountains and Virginia Beach native, has been crocheting for over 2 decades (larcyarn on Ravelry). She is a member of the Crochet Guild of America, enrolled in their Master’s program, and founder of Roanoke Crochet Club, a non-profit service group of crocheters. She’s openly addicted to Indy hand paint yarns and became bi-craftal just over a year ago through Cate Leonard's positve knit coaching.  When not with her middle school choir students, Leslie can be found performing as a Soprano soloist in the community as well as teaching yarn classes at Mosaic Yarn Shop in Roanoke. 



Waves of Warmth Hat, out of Lagoon Superwash Merino DK

Leslie has started designing crochet patterns, and she has done two with Unplanned Peacock Yarns.  Her latest is the crocheted Uberyarn V-Stitch Chunky Scarf pattern


Interested in becoming Knitter or Crocheter or Spinner of the month?  Upload your pictures onto our website, or email me photos!   It's easy to do - just find the color of your yarn and upload it onto that page.  You may win a prize!


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Congratulations Cat Leonard, December's Knitter of the Month

Cat is a regular and familiar face at yarn shops and knitting get-togethers in Roanoke and Blacksburg, VA.  She's always a friendly face who can teach anyone how to knit.  She's a frequent Unplanned Peacock Knitter!

A Hat for All Seasons, knit from Dragon Twisty Aran

When Cat Leonard was seven years old, her mama taught her to knit and purl.   Then she proceeded to NOT do it for the next 45 years.  She grew up, married her high school sweetheart, raised a bunch of young'uns, and one day found herself with an empty nest, no marketable job skills, and nothing to do but housework.   Yikes!   She had to find something and find it fast to avoid doing all that housework.  Quilting?  Naw.....too fiddley.   Painting?   Hmmm, don't you need talent for that?  Martial arts?   Not with worn out old knees!   She wondered if she remembered how to knit and purl.  A quick trip to Walmart, one skein of Ugly Plasticky Red Heart Yarn (but, of course, she didn't know any better), and a cheap set of Bates Highly Annoying Aluminum Needles (remember she didn't know any better) later and  Cat was in business.   YES! She remembered how to knit.   And YES!  She remembered how to purl.  And YES!  She could continue to avoid housework while diligently justifying a sedentary lifestyle as long as those needles were clickin'.   Happily, her skills improved, she learned how to read patterns, and her taste in yarn and needles reached Rolls Royce levels.  Today, her stash is impressive and her collection of UFO's (unfinished objects) is legendary.  Her favorite item to knit is socks(because that is the only project she ever really finishes), and her favorite yarn with which to knit them is Anything Unplanned Peacock. 

My name is Cat Leonard and I approved this message. :)

Would you like to be Knitter, Crocheter, Spinner, Weaver or Felter of the month?  Simply send me your photos of your completed projects!  We have a contest every month and you could win free yarn!

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