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Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Pattern: Marianna's Poncho

My friend Lonnie recently returned from a trip to Peru (where she oversees hand-dyeing operations for Misti Alpaca) and couldn't wait to show me this gorgeous poncho she'd brought back. Here's the front:

And here's the back:

The poncho was designed by a Misti employee named Marianna, who gave it to Lonnie after Lonnie fell completely and totally in love with it (and probably gave every indication that she wasn't taking it off, ever).

Lonnie asked me if I would take a look at the poncho and write up a pattern for it. If you've been knitting for a while, you'll recognize "Marianna's Poncho" as a variation on the basic "one long rectangle" poncho that started the whole craze years ago. As someone whose retinas retain a permanent poncho-shaped afterimage from seeing so many of them come through the shop, I thought I never needed to see or knit another poncho again. That said, this poncho is warm and soft and chic, and it looks amazing on Lonnie, who claims it's the most comfortable thing in her entire wardrobe. The horseshoe cable definitely freshens up the silhouette, as does the hand-dyed tone-on-tone yarn. My preference would be to wear it point-in-back as Lonnie does, which also helps to de-poncho-ize it.

Free Pattern: Marianna's Poncho

One size fits most (the dimensions of the knitted rectangle that you'll seam into a poncho are 22" wide by 53" long)

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Chunky (5 skeins)
Needles: US 11, straight or circular
Other Materials: a cable needle; 1 size K crochet hook (the poncho itself is knitted; the crochet hook is to do a crab stitch around the edge of the completed poncho)

Gauge: 3 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

K - knit
P - purl
C8B - cable 8 back (move four stitches to a cable needle and hold in back of work; knit next four stitches; knit stitches from cable needle)
C8F - cable 8 front (move four stitches to a cable needle and hold in front of work; knit next four stitches; knit four stitches from cable needle)


Cast on 70 stitches.

Row 1: (RS) K25, P2, K16, P2, K25

Row 2: (WS) P25, K2, P16, K2, P25

Row 3: K25, P2, C8B, C8F, P2, K25

Row 4: P25, K3, P16, K2, P25

Rows 5 - 8: repeat rows 1 and 2 twice

Repeat these 8 rows 24 more times to obtain a total of 25 patterns of cable, ending with row 6 on the 25th repeat.

Bind off.

To turn your rectangle into a poncho, seam the short (cast-off) edge of the piece to the end of one long side, creating a point.

With the same yarn as poncho and size K crochet hook, crab stitch around the entire hem and neckline of the finished poncho to prevent the edges from curling. (You will be able to do this, even if your crochet skills are zero -- here's a link to a super-helpful tutorial on doing crab stitch, also known as reverse single crochet.)

Wear with pride, feeling all snuggly and cocooned. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

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