Today, I’m so excited to share with you this free tutorial to knit your own peacock. I introduced my new knit peacock toy here on the blog.
This pattern is like a sampler piece, giving the knitter short, simple practice in a whole gamut of techniques: knitting in the round and flat, knitting an I-cord, knitting decreases and increases, knitting short rows. It’s not for total beginners, but if you can knit and purl, and are interested in testing out any of those techniques above, this pattern is great for you. Furthermore, because the final peacock is so small, the project can be finished in a single afternoon or evening.
A great pattern for your scrap remains of yarn from old projects. Be creative with color combos; I’m excited to see what you come up with!
If you are unsure about I-cords
, or short rows
, these are links to some of the many YouTube videos out there which are so helpful and invaluable to knitters.
So, without further ado:
Miniature Peacock Knitting Instructions
k = knit
p = purl
CO = cast on
DPN = double pointed needle
ssk = slip, slip, knit. Slip the next two stitches onto the right hand needle, stick the tip of your left-hand needle into them from below, and then knit them together as one. A decrease stitch
k2tog = knit two stitches together. a decrease stitch
p2tog = purl two stitches together. a decrease stitch
m1: use the tip of the left needle to lift the strand between the two needles. Knit this strand through the back of the loop, as if it were another stitch. an increase stitch
w1: wrap one. slip the next stitch onto the right-hand needle, wrap your yarn around slipped stitch, return slipped stitch to left-hand needle. an important step in constructing short rows
Scrap yarn in your favorite peacock colors
Set of 4 Double Pointed Needle in two sizes. I used sizes US 4 and US 3. The important thing is to choose sizes that will combine with your yarn to make a slightly stiff fabric.
Small crochet hook
Embroidery thread (in color of your choice for peacock eyes) and needle
Body: Knit in the round
CO 24 stitches and divide them evenly over 3 DPNs of your larger size
Knit 7 rounds
Round 8: [ssk, k4, k2tog] 3 times (18 stitches)
Knit 12 rounds
Round 21: [k2tog, k1] 6 times (12 stitches)
Round 22: [k2tog] 6 times (6 stitches)
Cut your yarn with a tail of about 5 inches, and pull the tail through the remaining stitches, making a slip knot before pulling tight. Use a crochet hook to pull the yarn tail into the body and out of sight.
Beak: Knit flat
It’s best to use a thinner yarn for the beak than you used for the body, if you have one in the right color.
CO 5 stitches onto your smaller needles
Row 1: knit
Row 2: p2tog, p1 p2tog
Row 3: knit
Row 4: p2 tog, p1
Bind off, but cut your yarn leaving a tail of 7 inches (or so). You will use this yarn tail to “sew” the beak to the body.
Crown Feather: I-cord Knitting
CO 3, with thinner yarn and smaller DPNs
Knit an I-cord 5 rounds long and CO one additional stitch at the end of the 5th round
Knit 2 more rounds of I-cord (with 4 stitches)
Bind off in I-cord pattern
Use a crochet hook to pull the yarn at the top (the fat part) of your I-cord through the middle and out the bottom.
Building the Peacock’s face
1. Crown Feather: Use your crochet hook to pull the ends of yarn from the crown feather through the top of the peacock’s head. Flip the peacock inside out and tug/wiggle those yarn ends until a bit of the I-cord is inside the peacock too. After quickly flipping the peacock right-side-out to check that the crown feather is the length you want on the outside, secure it by using your crochet hook to help you tie the two yarn ends to stitches on the inside of the peacock. Cut the yarn tails so that they won’t show when the peacock is right-side-out, around 1 inch.
2. Beak: Lay your peacock body flat in a sort of bell shape, and place the beak where you want it. Use a tapestry needle, and the tail of yarn you left on the beak to “sew” the beak in place. Turn the peacock inside out to tie the tail securely, and cut it short enough so that they won’t show when the peacock is right-side-out, around 1 inch.
3. Eyes: Use embroidery thread and embroidery needle to add simple eyes on either side of the beak.
Tail: knit flat, in garter stitch. The tail is constructed using short rows, leaving 2 additional stitches unknit at the end of every even-numbered row which creates the sharp wedge shape of each feather. On odd-numbered rows increases and decreases are used to give the rounded shape to the feather tops.
CO 18 stitches with your first tail color and your larger needles
Row 1: k17, m1, k1 (19 stitches on needle)
Row 2: short row k17, w1, turn
Row3: k16, m1, k1 (20 stitches on needle)
Row 4: short row k16, w1, turn
Row 5: k15, m1, k1 (21 stitches on needle)
Row 6: short row k15, w1, turn
Row 7: k13, ssk (20 stitches on needle)
Row 8: short row k12, w1, turn
Row 9: k10, ssk (19 stitches on needle)
Row 10: short row k9, w1, turn
Row 11: k7 ssk (18 stitches on needle)
Row 12: k all stitches (including those you did not knit in previous short rows)
Switch colors here if you are making a multi-colored tail.
Repeat rows 1-12 four more times to make a total of 5 “feathers” in the color(s) of your choice. On the final repeat, instead of Row 12, CO all stitches.
– Use a crochet hook to weave in all yarn ends except for one (long-ish) one which you will use to attach the tail to the peacock body.
Tip: if you are using the color pattern shown here, don’t cut the yarn each time you change color. When you switch back to blue and green for the fourth and fifth feathers, you can just cross the yarns over, and save yourself having so many ends to weave in.
Attaching Tail to Body:
Center the peacock body on the tail, Use a tapestry needle and the remaining yarn end on the tail to “sew” the tail to the lower-half of the body. Sew only as high on the body as you need to to make the tail secure, so that it retains a bit of wave and movement.
That’s it, your peacock is finished!!!
I’ve been developing my own patterns for over a year now, but I still feel like a total newbie in terms of writing up my patterns for others to use. If you make a peacock, I would love, love, love your feedback. Was this pattern clear? What parts are more difficult to follow? Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter?
Share your peacocks on instagram
(hashtag #yarnbirdy), facebook
(tag @yarnbirdy), or Ravelry
, because I would love to admire them!