Sunday, May 09, 2004

Last Saturday, I decided I had to have a poncho. I wore it out today. A one-week poncho! It was perfect for today's chilly spring weather.

It wasn't exactly what I'd imagined it would be when I started, but the finished result was cute enough for both Steph and Jenna [!] to demand to try it on.

So what the heck...I'm gonna share.

The great fun was diving into my rather small stash and finding enough Araucania Nature Cotton to make it, no waiting. You'll see in the pics that it can be worn straight across your body, or with the point in the front. I designed it to be worn straight across my hips, but fringed. However, after a massive disaster with the Araucania fringes and my washing machine, I learned the hard way that this yarn knits and machine washes/dries like a dream, but isn't meant to fringe. So i just cut out the fringe and wore it with the point in front.

On Jenna, who is shorter and more normally chested than I am, the straight way was the perfect length and it looked great on her. Same with Steph. But it looks much better on me the pointy way.

Pattern notes:
- I picked up the neck 1 for 1 and knit it up, rather than starting with the ribbing and knitting down. There's a lot of stress on that point of the poncho, and I wanted to give some stability to the neck area by doing it this way. It worked very well.

- In the photo, you can see that the point is acting a little weird. That's because I stopped increasing, thinking it would look better that way when worn straight. I was wrong. So the pattern below tells you to increase till you bind off, which will avoid the problem.

- Fringing is optional - you'll need a suitable yarn that can handle being washed without turning into cotton felt.

Freeform pattern follows. Don't stress over this -- it's a freaking poncho, for heaven's sake.

Instant Poncho!
By Amy R Singer [that's me]

Finished measurements after washing/drying: 26" around at neck, 86" around at hem, 18" long (measured straight way)

araucania nature cotton - 6 skeins
needle size: US#11 and 10.5 circulars (the Denise set was perfect for this since the circumference of the project kept growing as I worked down!)

gauge (before washing): 15sts/18 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch on larger needles

With larger needle, cast on 112 sts.
Join, PM [1st], k 56 sts, PM [2nd], k to end of row.
Row 1: Sl 1st marker, kfb [knit into front and back of stitch], knit to 1 stitch before 2nd marker, kfb, sl 2nd marker, kfb, knit to 1 stitch before 1st marker, kfb.
Row 2: K one round.
Repeat two rows until desired length is achieved (approx 260 sts around - 20" long measured the straight way).
BO very loosely.

With smaller needle, pick up sts one for one around neck (112 sts).
*K2, p2*, repeat to end.
Continue 2x2 rib for 10 rows.
BO loosely.
Wash on warm cycle, dry on high and enjoy!