There are some designs which somehow manage to demand to be made on the one hand yet come together so reluctantly on the other. These are the ones you try to fix in your head whilst falling to sleep and wake up thinking about.
I’ve been wanting to make a poncho for a while, something really wearable but pretty too, I didn’t want it to be too chunky but it needed to be warm. Something that you can throw on as the nights get colder or if you need to pop out on one of those Sunday afternoons where you haven’t got dressed properly. Versatility is something i think about a lot with my designs.
The imagery of the pine needles which give the poncho that illusion of motion, came into my head during one of those half waking moments where you’re lying in bed, not really asleep but not really aware that you’re awake either. I love optical illusions and wanted to add an element of that, whilst making sure the design was still pretty to look at! I had this vision of each motif being born out of the last, like the way petals open up from within each other.
These images had been sitting with me for a while before I tried to turn it into a pattern. The drawing out of the cabling motif – the falling pines – was pretty straight forward and they are really pleasing to work, seeing them bloom row by row.
Like anything in life, it was the bits you don’t foresee that caused all the problems. I had quite a time trying to get the number of repeats right, the drape right, the increases right. I have re-made this 3 times, and whilst the final pattern is pretty straight forward to work, getting to that point was a bit of a journey and a lesson in tenacity.
Those stomach sinking moments when you know you need to frog about 600 yards of yarn… AGAIN… made me want to relegate this to the ‘I’ll finish that another time pile’ but I wanted so much to see how this one would turn out that I persisted. And persisted. And persisted. Crochet is a wonderful hobby for teaching resilience and patience. It constantly challenges my staying power. There are times where it is best just to give up and move onto something else, but the lessons you learn when you push through the tough bits… that is where the magic happens… in crochet and life, those are the skills which stick with you and set you up to succeed in the future.
Fortunately, in terms of the final pattern, once you get going this is a bit of a couch project. After the increases finishes, the body of the poncho is a 4 round repeat so you can see easily from the round before what comes next – you definitely can once you’ve made it 3 times anyway!
I used just under 8 balls (that’s less than 400g and about 1400 yards) of Rico Classic Baby DK in shade 36 (Jean)(aff). I also used this yarn in my qwerty wrap and highly recommend it. It’s so soft against your skin and has, so far, proved very durable (which was a relief giving all the frogging)
I am so pleased that I persevered with this design as I’m so proud of the finished piece. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be. The technical challenges getting this right have taught me so much that now I’m excited to design more items in a similar style, but I always was a glutton for punishment! I’d love to know what you think or if you’d like to see this pattern worked up in other garments. I’m working on a hat at the moment but think it would also look great as a shawl or even a cape. The fairytale lover in me has always wanted to design a cape!!
Until next time.
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