I've never owned a poncho before. The ponchos of my youth were brown, nubbly things with unsightly fringe. Not at all attractive. And besides, how would you do things, like ride a bike or climb a tree, with your arms trapped underneath an acre of crotcheted acrylic. Fast forward a few decades to the two recent winters I spent working at home, where, too lazy to start a fire in the wood stove, I would pile on sweaters and blankets. I started to think a poncho might not be such an impractical garment after all. Then, while I was working on my quilt of red concentric (consquaretric?) squares last year, I started dreaming of more red squares—knitted ones.
In late winter, I found myself free for an afternoon in Belfast, Maine, after a friend I'd planned to meet up with had to deal with a houseful of sick kids. So of course I made my way to Heavenly Yarns, in its new, upstairs, airy location, and set about searching for the right yarn. I didn't yet have a pattern, but I knew what I wanted—mitered squares, knitted together (no sewing!). And I wanted red, or mostly red, with some other colors, because just one color would never do. And I wanted worsted weight (no more lace weight, not for a while).
I found some almost just-right yarn, in shades of red, purple, and blue, and picked up four skeins. But there was also a turquoise-to-teal colorway that I found irresistible, so I took two skeins of that. To drag the whole thing back toward the warm end of the spectrum, I added two skeins of red-magenta-pink-peach. When I got home, I found the perfect pattern online, and after I cleared the decks of other projects (a certain hat, and another hat), I got started.
The pattern is extremely easy to follow, the mitered squares knit up a dream and don't require any counting of rows and only one purl row to every three knit rows. Yet the stitch work is varied just enough that, along with the suspense of wondering how the colors will come out, it keeps things interesting. I also learned some new knitting skills: picking up stitches (which I've been doing wrong for 20 years), three-needle bindoff, attached i-cord. The whole thing went together much more quickly than I expected (due, in part, to watching a lot more TV than usual; there are a lot of murder mysteries knitted into this project), but not fast enough. I finished it on the second day of summer, a bit late for wearing woolens.
|It also makes a useful headdress.|
Fortunately, we had plans to go to the movies that night, and since movie theaters are cold in all seasons of the year, I got to wear the poncho, and I loved it! It's all the best parts of a sweater—warm and wooly—without any constricting arm holes or cuffs, no annoying buttons or zippers. It's like a blanket you can wear. I can't believe I've never thought of making—and wearing—a poncho before!
Ravelry notes, such as they are, are here.