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 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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Congratulations to Laura Goodman, November Knitter of the Month!

Laura is a terrific knitter and designer.  She has been a long-time supporter of Unplanned Peacock Studio, and she designs patterns as well.  She specializes in detailed lace and cable designs.  You can see her work at Dragonwing Arts and her patterns are for sale on Ravelry.

As you can see from her awesomeness in this photo, which was taken during last year's Unplanned Peacock Open House, she has knitted a lot of things from Unplanned Peacock Yarn!  She is one of the guest designers for this year's Victorian Vintage Yarn Club, and she is planning on returning to design for our 2013 yarn club.  Some of her designs include:

Victoria Socks for the UPP yarn club - Pattern will be for sale in 2013

Nasturtium Mittens done with Nasturtium Twisty Sock - these were from the Herbal Yarn Club 2011

Chicory Shawl done with Chicory Diva Sock - This was from the Herbal Yarn Club 2011

Spring's Beginning Scarf done with Bluegrass Twisty Sock

Aeolian, by Elizabeth Freeman, from Knitty, done with Moss Merino Silk Lace

Tapestry Socks done with Tapestry Peacock Sock for the 2012 Victorian Vintage Yarn Club

You can tell she is prolific AND talented!  Join me in congratulating Laura as UPP's November Knitter of the Month!

Do you want to be Knitter of the Month?  Email us pictures of your finished projects to sheep@unplannedpeacock.com!  The winner gets a free skein of yarn and is featured on our blog!

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Welcome to Unplanned Peacock 2.0


Hi all!  I'd love to welcome everyone to my fancified new website!  I am hoping it will be a better user experience for my customers and myself.  One thing that is going to be a lot of fun is this blog section where I can keep you up to date in a more complete and personal manner on what is happening at the farm, with the yarn, and with our wonderful customers.  Notice also that I will now be using Twitter to update all my friends on timely basis, and this will show up on the front page of the website.  (I've resisted Twitter in favor of Facebook and Ravelry up until now.)  For any new found friends who might be meeting Unplanned Peacock Studio (UPP for short) for the first time, let me tell you about our little dyeing and farming operation.

I'm Natasha Laity Snyder, and I started UPP in 2008.  I have a degree in costuming, and dyeing and painting costumes was my favorite part of the job.   After I learned to knit, it was a natural transition for me to start dyeing yarn.  I have been lucky to find many supportive friends and yarn shops that have helped me build my business.  I started attending fiber shows in 2009, and more and more people have gotten to knit with Unplanned Peacock Yarn as the years have passed.  We are still a tiny business though.  I do all of the dyeing, my husband, Mark, helps me skein the yarn, and friends like Jolaine Kooger, Courtney Vengrin, and Joanna Roye help me at fiber shows.  

Unplanned Peacock has been fortunate to partner with many yarn shops in the area (there's a current list here), and we are thankful to them for supporting our business, and to their customers for purchasing our yarn.  If you live in an area where UPP yarns aren't sold, we are always happy to work with local shops, so please refer us (we even give a free skein to you if your LYS starts carrying our yarn!)  

In addition to all the dyeing, we take care of our flock of gorgeous Icelandic sheep.  Icelandic sheep are an artist's dream sheep (along with Shetlands) because they come in all the colors of the fiber rainbow - black, grey, white, brown, and cream.  They are also extremely intelligent animals (for sheep, anyway).  I think my sheep merit their own blog post, so I'm going to stop talking about them now.  (Trying to get a shepherd to stop talking about their sheep is like trying to get a parrot to stop chattering.) Our sheep's fleeces are for sale, and I'm happy to sell it to you raw, washed, or washed and carded.  I don't dye the Icelandic wool, because it's lovely enough in it's natural state. 

Any questions?  I'm happy to answer them.  Comments?  Let me know how you like my new site.   Please, send me pictures of what you make with my yarn!

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