Preparation for Spring – Poncho Style!

Well hello there!  How are you all today and what have you all been up to these past few weeks?  I know, I know, I’ve neglected my blog recently and not done my weekly post’s for a while, but I’m back!  Yay or maybe nay I hear you say?!?! Very poetic, but hopefully `yay’ is the general consensus on my return.

img_2272After a run of health related issues in my lovely little clan of five, some still continuing for two of us, we are slowly getting back on our feet.  With that comes the energy and enthusiasm to finally start completing some of my WIP’s (‘work in progress’ for all you newbie’s to the crafty lingo and certainly not what you may have originally been thinking!). One WIP in particular has come together very nicely whilst having a very housebound February half term.  For those of you who follow me on social media, you will know that I announced on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, that I had completed my free style knitting project last week.

img_2539When I started the project, I really didn’t know how it would turn out or whether I had enough yarn.  I had seven 50g balls of Rowan Truesilk,  shade SH340-Malachite, which is a lovely deep dark grey.  Composition is 100% silk and is a soft gorgeous yarn, excellent value at half the price, obtained from a John Lewis clearance sale last summer.  I would have been mad to have walked away from the bundle! Unfortunately after grabbing the only seven balls I could get my hands on, I realised I didn’t have enough for a cardigan or jumper.  I also didn’t want it’s destiny to be a mere scarf – the yarn deserved more than that! I had an idea of what I wanted to create, but kept it secret as I’ve never been brave enough to plan a knitting project from scratch.  I didn’t want to make promises I couldn’t keep!

I saw something similar when we went to Cornwall last year. We stayed within a stones throw from Padstow harbour with it’s quint little boutique shops.  One shop in particular had some poncho’s that I quite liked, but on trying one on, I wasn’t sure on the quality for the price or the style of it on me.

img_2562Bearing this in mind, I set to work with my swatch and stuck to stocking stitch.  I used the recommended needles on the yarn tape (UK 8, US 6, 4mm).  My swatch was true to the tape measurement, no adjustments needed.  With that I continued to calculate how many stitches I would need to make the desired width of the poncho – 134 stitches to cast on to be precise.  Once I’d cast on, I then continued in stocking stitch, with the exception of the start and end of each row. Ten stitches at the start and ten stitches at the end knitted in reverse stocking stitch to create a boarder along the sides.  I continued in this way until I had used up four balls of yarn.

At this point I started my first of six button holes.  I’d never done button holes before, but once completing my first within one side of the boarder stitches, it was easy doing the remaining five.  There are many video tutorials on Pinterest, and I have saved the one I used within my knitting board for you to see.

To space the buttonholes, I counted how many rows it took to knitted 3 balls of yarn and divided that by the number of buttons I wanting to use to secure the sides together – in this case 6.  My calculations meant I needed to knit 24 rows in between each buttonhole, with the remaining buttonhole ending right at the bottom of the poncho.  It worked perfectly and I finished with just enough yarn to sew the buttons on (and spare in case one falls off in future!).

I must say I an delighted with the result and will definitely try my hand at drafting more knitting patterns in future.  This poncho will be a key feature in my wardrobe for spring and autumn days or those summer days/evenings when there is a little chill in the air.  The colour goes with most of my wardrobe essentials, but I want to make many more of my own basics (such as t-shirts, vest tops) and of course jeans soon, to ensure I have a totally ‘me made’ wardrobe.  Watch this space for more on these projects in future posts.  In the meantime, if you would like further info on how I made my poncho, please do let me know.  For now, take care and see you all soon xx




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