Do you remember my Home Poncho from last winter? Well here I am again embarking on another poncho making journey following a pattern from this months Simply Crochet magazine (issue 25). The Cowl-neck Poncho is a design by Simone Francis, and although I still have an irrational fear of written crochet patterns, I managed to get over it and jumped right in to give it a go. It was the bright colours that immediately caught my eye on the page, but also I do have a bit of a soft spot for crochet ponchos. I know they are a bit daft and not everyone's cup of tea but I really do like them. More to the point, I really enjoy being wrapped up in warm woolly layers during our cold winter months, and this chunky wool poncho promises to be a cosy little number.
Simone's pattern uses Drops Nepal, an aran weight wool/alpaca mix which comes in 50g balls and 31 lush shades (you can see all the colours on the drops website here). She uses "light beige" as her main colour, but I've chosen "light grey green" for mine. I also decided on a slightly different approach for the colour mix too - I've gone for mostly cool shades of blue and green with a few hot colours thrown in for good measure.
Now lets chat about the pattern. After my first look through, I simply sighed, closed the pages and put all poncho-making thoughts out of my mind. As is often the case, the start of this pattern read like absolute gibberish to me. 1FPTr? 1BPTr? What are these letters supposed to mean? It seemed way beyond my basic crochet skills.
The next day, I had another look and when nothing obvious sprang to mind I decided to use Google. I discovered that FPTr = Front Post Treble, and BPTr = Back Post Treble. I knew this was some sort of a rib stitch, but how to make my hook do these complicated rib-like things? The answer my lovelies, came to me via You Tube. I found an excellent video of a very nice sounding American lady performing Front Post Doubles (US terms here) and Back Post Doubles. I watched the video three times, then decided it maybe wasn't quite so tricky after all.
I won't even begin to explain how to make this rib pattern, you just need to go to the video and all will be shown to you in clear, visual detail. But I can tell you it is much easier than you would first assume, and it produces a really deliciously squidgy, bouncy, stretchy bit of crochet which looks and feels more like knitting. It's marvelous! I LOVE crochet rib!!!
So back to the colours. I've got this lovely Light Grey Green as my main colour, it looks quite grey here in the photos but in real life it's a lovely, soft greyish duck-egg blue colour. After much deliberation with my other colour choices, I decided to leave out the Dark Grey Green (middle row, second from right) and the Olive Mix (bottom row, far right).
I've also decided against giving my poncho a tassel fringe, which means I am able to increase my colourful rows. I'll have to see how it grows, but at the moment I'm aiming for roughly 22 granny rows (the original pattern has 16), with a couple of rows for some sort of an edging.
I've got my main colour (Light Grey Green) plus ten other colours....
Light Olive : Denim Blue : Royal Blue : Forget-Me-Not : Medium Blue
Grey/Purple : Purple Mix : Cerise : Orange Mix : Deep Red
I've arranged them into a pleasing stripe order and I'm now keeping my fingers crossed that it's going to turn out ok.
The yarn is good to work with, it's a fairly robust aran weight yarn worked on a 7 mm for the cowl (although I used 6.5 as I didn't have a 7 mm) and then a 6mm for the main body of the poncho. It's not mega-soft (it is quite woolly!) but I keep trying the cowl on to make sure I can cope with it near my skin and it feels very warm and pretty ok around my neck.
I'm really sorry about these poor photos, but by the time I came home from school this afternoon the light was fading fast. But I wanted to give you an idea of how it's coming along....
....I'm enjoying this woolly hooky very much and it makes a great portable project to take out and about in my bag now that my Cosy blanket is quite a size.
It's not often that I have two projects on the go at the same time, I'm rather enjoying the variety. It's the Spice of Life and all that...