Knitting a Poncho

There were delightful positive responses to my last post on the Random Poncho. Thank you! The question asked by several readers was about the size of the poncho. I posted another poncho over a year ago, and being a different size, I thought I would show a comparison. I once made a poncho that draped within 6″ of the floor! I sold that one and never took a photo, but I believe the longer the drape, the more elegant the look, however the shorter versions are more practical.

This alpaca poncho is my constant companion around the house, running errands, and even to dinner to fight off a chill in the air. It fits in my purse so I can easily take it along. Smaller than last weeks poncho, the dimensions are a 25″ x 50″ rectangle with a 13″ neck opening. This wrap never gets in my way so I can wear it while working.


The Random Poncho is a 28″ x 56″ rectangle folded in half. The neck edge is the stitched side so it is also 28″ long when folded. I left a 13″ neck opening (that number works for me) and stitched together the remaining 15″. I started with 8 rows of garter stitch, before the main rows that are 8 stitches in stockinette on each end to give a nice edge. I think the stockinette edge also looks good at the neck and on the shoulder seam.

Both of these ponchos are asymmetrical when worn. I like the point hanging down one leg, but if you want symmetry, you would add the folded edge length to the neck opening. In other words, the rectangle in this case would be 28″ in width but the length would be 13″ for the neck + 28″=41″ then of course doubled so a knitted dimension of 28″ x 82″ before folding and seaming. The bottom point would swing down between the legs and the whole poncho would be longer.

Ok, I admit it, I’m a poncho nerd!

I’m in Bar Harbor, Maine next week, but hope to come back to my clean studio and start back into my fall sewing!

Random Poncho

Random-poncho_3I finished my first accessory for fall travel to Rome and Italy! Taking my chosen color swatches I went to The Loopy Ewe and picked out four skeins of yarn. Three are Hedgehog fibers sock yarn and the gold is ShibuiKnits Pebble. I wanted to make a shawl or poncho, but I just couldn’t decide. Making a swatch of the knitted fabric didn’t help solve the question. A shawl that would have good dimensions as a poncho was the temporary answer and as you see the poncho won out in the end. Ponchos can be worn as a scarf but are also cozy and easy to keep track of during travel.


The pattern is my own and completely random! I’m kind of a math geek and love the idea of randomness. You almost have to put your brain outside of the project and just knit. I started out and knitted the rust color until I was bored with it. Then I divided the piece into 3 sections and knit with the main colors. At that point the knitting looked a little bland so I started a stripe of yellow. The four colors were getting all tangled up so I stopped the yellow as it became a square. That gave me the yellow square motifs.
Random-poncho_2The other bit of randomness are the tassels. I had a million (I tend to exaggerate) ends to weave in, and thought why do we always have to weave them in? Aren’t there other options? Yes some of them are tassels! Randomly placed of course.

A girlfriend and I are going to Anderson Ranch for art classes this week. I’m looking forward to the cool days in Snowmass Village, Colorado. I might even try to blog with my iPad if I find a few minutes. I need to start practicing for my Europe trip with the Tilton sisters.

Design Outside the Lines Retreat



I just returned from a fantastic vacation. We spent 4 days at a house on the beach in Bandon, Oregon We found a lovely restaurant or two and read a lot of books. During the day I walked on the beach and collected small pieces of driftwood. I had to ship boxes home full of wood, textiles and clothes!

Afterwards we went to the lovely town of Ashland Oregon, which is the home of Diane Ericson and one of the locations for her Design Outside the Lines Retreats. I can’t even begin to describe the inspiration I obtained from Diane the other guest teachers Gwen Spencer, Mary Glenn, Miles Frode, and the other attendees. Each day we would all show up wearing something we made and there was a cacophony of oohs and awes all over the room!

Diane gave us an overview of putting together pieces of fabric as inspiration for making a garment. She often starts with one of these fabric collages and then decides what to make out of it. We drew, stamped, sewed and embroidered to make some truly unique textiles. I think this one will turn into a small purse at some point, but it also may end up on a jacket.Stitching-Sample-DOLweb

Gwen taught us how to make slippers. We all received kits with the padding and patterns that she had developed. I just had a few bits of hand stitching to do when I returned home. Diane’s stencils adorn the little black dupioni silk pieces.Ashland-DOL-Slippers_web

Miles, a talented and enthusiastic artist, gave an inspiring talk on painting, stenciling and stamping on fabric. He also taught us several easy ways to make our own custom stamps. I bought a piece of his hand painted fabric and will be waiting for the perfect placement.Miles Frode fabric

Mary Glenn showed us an easy way to make a lined handbag. I can’t wait to make one, but I ran out of time at the retreat. She was also our fitting specialist and everyone kept her so busy she needed a sign up sheet! I finally got together with her on the last day and had a lesson on tissue fitting. I learned so much in that half hour, and I think I know how to approach fit in a better way now. There is so much more to learn…

The next blog will be about what I collected and purchased in Oregon! Lets just say that Ashland has great shopping, and that my husband is a fabric and shoe enabler.