Monday, 20 January 2014

Roll-Neck Winter Poncho

I've had a bee in my bonnet about making a crochet poncho for over a year now. Ever since I first saw Angie's colourful ponchos on Le Monde de Sucrette. You can see her beautiful versions and find her pattern here.

I skirted round the idea of making one, partly because I seemed always to have other projects on the go and I wondered whether it would work as well for an adult as a child. The other factor that stayed my hook was the classic, poncho-V-neck - sometimes I like V-necks on me, sometimes I don't.

Anyway, after delicious-looking crochet ponchos-in-the-making kept popping up here, here and here I thought I really ought to get my act together and give it a whirl. So my post-Christmas hooky project that started life, first as a tea cosy, then a scarf, then migrated to being a cowl, finally became a roll-necked winter poncho. I hasten to add that the false starts are not all incorporated into the final item!

The pattern is basically Angie's Granny stripe one that I've linked to above and it's a joy - beautifully, heart-warmingly, simple. I used a starting chain of 112 on a 6.5 mm hook and switched to a 4.5 mm hook for the body of the crochet.

The pattern was easy to commit to memory and all that I had to think about was what colour to choose for the next stripe. The sequence of colours are random choices from the palette I assembled before Christmas of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that you can see in the basket in the pic. I used all these colours apart from the pale beige which didn't seem to fit and I added in the bright, kingfisher, turquoise which I ordered, thinking it was a repeat of the dark teal colour, found it wasn't, but used it anyway!

I was tempted by a bolder, brighter palette, which, using a different yarn, say a cotton, or an acrylic one, would have given me but I wanted the finished article to be light and practical and long-lasting to wear and cotton tends to be a bit heavy in anything large, while I find acrylic yarn tends to pill on me.

The roll-neck is my own design. You can't really see the stripes in it much when the top part is rolled over but it made it more interesting to hook and used up the yarn leftovers nicely.

Basically it comprises some decreasing rows of single crochet (UK double crochet) worked into the back of the starting chain and then some more single crochet (UK double crochet) rows without increases and then a raft of rows of double crochet (UK treble crochet) on top which turn down over the single crochet to make a roll-neck collar. I like it very much. It's filled in the slightly chilly, V-neck gap nicely, without being too close-fitting. Cosy.

The palette of colours says winter to me - the cool blues of a December sky, the twilighty violets of a misty morning or evening in January, the deep teal and gun-metal green of a wintry pond, the white and silver pales of ice on grass and leaves, the vivd New Year's green of damp moss that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago and a flash of turquoise and pink that reminds me of shiny, glass, Christmas-tree baubles glinting in fire-light and the odd, maverick rose that refuses to cease flowering, even in the depths of winter.

The border is border number 102 from Edie Eckman's "Around The Corner Crochet Borders" and just finishes the edge off nicely, I think.

I had some trouble with the maths working out the stitch count for this - the instructions for the stitch count you need are given in the format of multiples of "x + y + corners, where y = x - 1" and, predictably, Mrs T got in a muddle with it, so there is a Chinese-style, deliberate flaw in one place to make it come right! No one will know though, apart from you and me and I just couldn't face frogging the whole border to correct the count earlier.

What do you think?

If you fancy making something similar, it was a complete joy to hook and worked up pretty quickly with the Aran weight yarn. If anyone wants more precise instructions for the roll-neck than I've given here, let me know and I'll be happy to let you have them.

Having made one poncho, I am now making another to give to a recently bereaved friend. This one is also in a winter palette of colours, but one of greens, reds and russets, whites and golds with an occasional soft blue. I fancy tackling a third, a lighter one in DK weight yarn for the summer in pastels, perhaps this time leaving the V-neck as it is. Making them in stripes is a fantastic way to use up left-over yarn.
Happy Poncho-Hooking!

... and Happy Poncho-Wearing, of course! 

I love the fact that, unlike a shawl, this stays cosily in place, without me having to keep a retaining hand on it, leaving my hands free to do important things, such as making frothy chai latte with H (whose pics these last ones are - thank you, H!) at the end of a winter's day.

Although Anne says her recipe isn't a chai latte, I can't tell the difference; whatever it is, it's very good!

E x


  1. Beautiful! I love the colour mix. I had a couple of ponchos back in the mid-noughties (is that right name for about 2004) when they were trendy for a few years but don't have them now. It's just the sort of thing I could do with to keep me toasty at school. That and a chai latte of course! x

  2. It's beautiful! Love the idea of the roll neck too - extra cosy :0) x

  3. Such a lovely colour mix, the roll neck is such a clever idea. I have a poncho in blues and white that my Grandma crocheted I think maybe I should dig it out as they are super cosy.
    Clare x

  4. Beautiful! At my mom's house are ponchos that were mine and my sister's, crocheted for us by my grandmother and her mom - my great-grandmother:) I will have to get them out next time I go east for a visit.

  5. I love the pretty edging and as ever the colours work together beautifully. I can see the advantages over a shawl and it would be an excellent cover up for reading in bed on particularly cold nights. Another crochet temptation from you!

  6. I am mentally rummaging through my yarn stash as I write. I have a friend who knits ponchos but I don't like having heavy needles and crochet might just be the answer.The colours are beautiful and your chai latte looks ever so inviting.

  7. Dear E
    Another beautiful crochet project which is extremely useful too, now that Winter seems to be putting in an appearance. Ponchos seem to be making a comeback don't they? I had one when I was little (lime green and navy blue I seem to remember - well, it was the 70s!) and I think they are great!
    I have just ordered the book 'Crochet for Absolute Beginners' because I am determined to have a proper go, despite my false start with the two classes I attended last year, which really weren't for beginners at all (and I didn't want to make a hat!) I am hoping that I'll get on better this time as I am really inspired by all the lovely creations in Blogland...
    Best wishes

  8. Hi Elizabeth I just love the pocho and have made a couple recently myself. one for my 97yr old nana and one for myself. i have also made some shawls for my nana as well as finished the shawl that you gave me a bag of wool for! and used up the rest of the wool on my nanas shawls and she was so pleased as she gets so cold now. I have not been on my blogg for nearly a yr now but hope to return very soon. I have been an avid reader of yours and love all your posts especially your previous post about january, made me feel like i wasnt alone.
    Anyway your poncho is amazing and as always i love your colour choices you seem to have the knack of choosing colours that go well together , i am sure you will wear it a lot as they are so useful to throw over when its a bit chilly.i love mine and intend to make more as well and like you thought about making a lighter one for spring. keep on with all your inspiring postxxxxGod bless pippaxx

  9. Beautiful work, beautiful colour choice and I particularly like the roll neck. It finishes off the whole item perfectly! :)

    B x

  10. It is perfect Elizabeth. I love the colors and the design. You were right not to do it in cotton, not only is it heavy the drape changes the longer you wear it. I think it is spectacular.

  11. Dear E - LOVE your poncho!!! Great idea with the roll neck .... may have to make one now too! The latte also looked fab. Will have to pop round and join you! x

  12. Oh it's a beautiful poncho E! Such a fantastic way to bring colour into a dreary day x

  13. Beautiful poncho ! And the roll neck is a very clever idea !
    Hugs from France


  14. Always love your colors. The poncho makes me happy just looking at it. Great idea on the neck edging.

  15. My oh my, the poncho is superb! That neck gives it such a professional finished look and I bet it is warm. (Gotta' love a pattern that you can commit to memory, too.) What a yummy looking frothy warm delight to compliment this perfect poncho E!

  16. I think that is beautiful E - the roll neck is inspired - most ponchos lose out in the style and practicality stakes because of the lack of this feature!

    Wonderful colours too - really 'modern' and classy. Well done on getting it done while it is still cold enough to wear!

  17. Wonderful!! ♥ So lovely colors and I like the roll-neck! Thanks for visiting my blog and your nice compliment about my snails, you make me happy :-). Have a nice day!

  18. I love the idea of the roll neck on this poncho and I would like more info. for making it. Love the colors you have chosen, too! Thanks so much!


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