Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


The moment I placed these two colourways together I knew they were destined for a peacock pattern. The yarn is bright and vivid, and it seems to subtly change with variations in lighting, like the iridescence of peacock feathers.

Peacocks in turn remind me of Flannery O'Connor, who returned to the image of the peacock repeatedly. The title comes from the name of a collection of her essays, among which is “King of Birds,” her famous account of raising peacocks.   

spacer model: Anna Strehlau spacer photos: SpillyJane

Adult Medium


Hand Circumference: 8 inches



White Oak Studio TVYarn Sock [100% Merino Wool; 175yd/160m per 50g skein]
spacer [MC] The Italian Job (gold/olive)
spacer [CC] Breakfast at Tiffany’s (deep turquoise)

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set of 5 US #1/2.25mm double-point needles

spacer Notions
spacer Waste yarn of similar weight to working yarn
spacer Yarn needle



spacer36 sts/38 rows = 4 inches in stranded color pattern

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Instructions for working the Long Tail Cast On can be found here.

Directions and tips for color work can be found here.

Instructions for grafting can be found here.

skp: Sl 1 knitwise, k1, pass slipped st over st just knit. 1 st decreased.

2x2 Twisted Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 4 sts):
All Rounds: [K2 tbl, p2] to end.

The chart for this pattern is very large and fits on a letter-sized page.
Click the here and print the resulting page.

Using MC and long-tail cast on or other stretchy cast on method, CO 72 sts.

Divide sts between needles, placing 18 sts on each of four needles, and join to begin working in the round. The needles will be referred to as Needles 1 through 4, the first needle of the round being Needle 1, etc.

Tip: One way to create a strong join is to slip the first st on Needle 1 to the end of Needle 4, then to pass the last st on Needle 4 over the slipped st and onto Needle 1. The two stitches will have switched places.

Work 10 rounds in 2x2 Twisted Rib.

K 1 round.

Work Rounds 1-32 of chart.

Round 33: Work in pattern to indicated thumb placement; k 12 sts indicated by red box using waste yarn; slip these sts back to left needle, then work them again, using MC and CC in pattern as set; continue in pattern to end of round.

Note that for right mitten, thumb sts will be on Needle 3; for left mitten, they will be on Neede 4.

Work Rounds 34-80 of chart, decreasing as shown. When all rounds have been completed, 12 sts remain. Break MC.

Slip sts from Needle 2 to Needle 1, and sts from Needle 4 to Needle 3. Graft sts on Needle 1 to sts on Needle 3, using CC.

Carefully remove waste yarn from thumb sts, placing resulting live sts on needles. There will be 24 sts: 12 sts each above and below thumb hole. Divide sts between needles, placing 6 sts on each of four needles. Needles 1 and 2 hold the sts which were below the waste yarn (towards bottom of mitten), Needles 3 and 4 hold the sts which were above the waste yarn.

Use tip of each needle to pick up 1 st at outer corners of thumb holes; these sts will be picked up at beginning of Needles 1 and 3, and end of Needles 2 and 4. 28 sts: 7 sts on each needle.

Join both yarns at beginning of Needle 1, and work as follows:
Round 1: [K1 using MC, k1 using CC] to end.
Repeat this round until thumb measures approx. 2.25 inches, or reaches tip of wearer's thumb.

When shaping tip of thumb as directed below, work colors as follows:
If working a [skp], use same color as first st on left needle.
If working a [k2tog], use same color as second st on left needle.

Decrease Round: Skp, work in pattern to 2 sts before end of second needle, k2tog; skp, work in pattern to 2 sts before end of fourth needle, k2tog.

Repeat this round 4 times more. 8 sts remain.

Redistribute and graft sts as for top of mitten body.


Weave in ends and block as desired.


SpillyJane (also known as Jane Dupuis) lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She enjoys knitting on the porch of the home she shares with both her husband and her cockatiel Pookie (who is afraid of yarn.)  She really, really loves mittens. 

Keep up with her knitting exploits here.