Peacock's Tail Pattern

From Beeton's Book of Needlework (which is now in the public domain, and is available from Project Gutenberg).

Cast on a number of stitches divisible by nine, as it takes nine stitches for each pattern, and two for each border; the border, which is in plain knitting, will not be mentioned after the first row.

  • 1st Row.--2 plain for border; 2 plain *, make 1, 1 plain, repeat this four times from *, make 1, 2 plain; repeat from the beginning--then 2 plain for border.
  • 2nd Row.--2 purl, 11 plain, 2 purl; repeat.
  • 3rd Row.--Take 2 together, 11 plain, take 2 together; repeat.
  • 4th Row.--Purl 2 together, purl 9, purl 2 together; repeat.
  • 5th Row.--Take 2 together, 7 plain, take 2 together.

Begin from the 1st row.

Thirteen stitches are large enough for a stripe for a sofa-cover. These stripes should be sewn together after all are finished.

Note this is knitted from the top of the diagram down. In order to have the decreases lean in the right direction, I'd use K2tog for the first decrease in the 3rd row, and SSK for the second; and P2tog for the first decrease in the 4th row, and P2tog tbl for the second; row 5 as row 3.

Row 6 is not mentioned. I think it's just purl to end.

(Note this is similar to part of the "feather and fan" stitch.)


  • "plain" means "knit".
  • "make 1" probably means what's described in section 292 of the same book as: "To Increase. [293] Increasing or making a stitch is done by throwing the thread once round the needle and in the next row knitting it as an ordinary stitch." — see diagram below.

Last edited 2007-06-09 01:43:26 (version 3; diff). List all versions.