Friday, September 14, 2018

A crocheted poncho


Miss GB turned ten last week and I had been thinking about making her a wearable gift for a while. She has a plethora of crocheted hats; I've made cardigans, dresses and skirts over the years. At ten, I don't think she's too interested in most of my amateur creations anymore (I'm not hurt or bitter, either; my skills are adequate for clothing the younger child, less so for older ones). I do know that she likes to snuggle up in an old woven wool poncho belonging to the Bear, so a poncho just for her seemed like a fun idea. I had a great time making one for her over a few mornings in mid-August, right after school started - when I finally had some time to crochet in solitude (and daylight - not an easy combination to achieve).



I searched online for patterns and came across a simple one on the Yarnspirations website (you can download it for free here or order a kit with yarn from that same page). The suggested yarn is Bernat Pop! gradient cake yarn, which is a worsted-weight acrylic yarn. I bought my yarn from Jo-Ann in a sale and found that two of my three balls had the pattern printed on the ball band. For some reason, that gave me a little thrill. It's like this poncho was just dying to be made. I chose the yarn colorway called Blue Blaze - a combination of minty green, teal, periwinkle, purple and dark blue. Miss GB's current favorite color is "seafoam green," she tells me, so this seemed like a good way to work in that approximate shade, with some other complementary ones for interest.


The pattern is so simple and it works up fast. I really enjoyed it. After the initial round of single-crochet worked into a ring of chains, it's all granny clusters, with increases at the center to create the pointed front and back. The pattern is designed to fit a girl of eight to ten years old. I knew this would work well for Miss GB, even though she's at the top of the age range, because she is very small for her age. If anything, I was concerned that it might be too large for her, but I wouldn't feel confident trying to alter the pattern, so I crocheted it just as written.

The Bernat Pop! yarn was really nice and a lot of fun to work with! It's soft and light, especially for a worsted-weight acrylic. I loved watching the colors pool as I crocheted. At first, the colors changed after every three rows, but as the poncho grew, the pooling became a little random, which I found to be really fun, just trying to anticipate how long a color might last before changing to the next one. The pattern called for three cakes, but I only used about two and a half cakes. Two of my cakes were wound exactly the same way, with the colors going in the same exact order, while one started with a different color in the center and worked outward through the color pattern ending on a different shade. I thought this was really cool, actually, and it gave a bit more interest to the rounds.


You just keep crocheting until the work reaches 16 inches from the neckline to the bottom edge, with no additional edging. I wasn't sure how this would look, but it turned out fine; granny clusters are a sturdy pattern and the work develops a nice weight. For the neckline, you crochet a long chain and thread it through the granny clusters to make a drawstring that can be tied in a bow. I ended up making my chain much longer than the pattern said to make it, simply because I could see that my poncho was going to be a little large for my girl; at least we could tighten it down if we needed a closer fit.


She loves her poncho! I was so glad when she opened her gift, then put it on right away. That's such a good feeling, isn't it? She was happy to model her new poncho for me a few days later on our back porch (pardon the unsightly chain-link gate; I needed to have her in a shaded place for decent photos). The poncho is a bit too large for her; I would have liked to see it come down to upper-thigh length, not the knees, but she's a bitty one and I look at it this way - she'll be able to wear her poncho forever. She might even get married in it.


I tightened the drawstring down as much as I could to make it snug enough to stay on her shoulders. I tightened it further at first and it just looked wrinkly and weird, so we'll keep it like this for now. Again, all the better to grow into.


I'm really happy with the drape. It's light and fluid, but should still be plenty warm and snuggly for chilly weather; she can wear it around the house or as a warm outer layer when she's outdoors. I think this yarn would make a fantastic blanket, especially a striped pattern. I've had my eye on a blanket pattern for a little while that I think would work great with this yarn, the Trio Blanket by Susan Carlson (Ravelry link), which uses Scheepjes Whirl cotton/acrylic gradient cake yarns. I loooove the blanket design, but the yarn is slightly pricey; this Pop! yarn could be a good substitute, but it's a much heavier weight so I'd have to account for that. I like working with this yarn, and it's rugged enough for the kind of heavy use my blankets invariably get, so I'll be keeping it in mind.


A successful project and an appreciated gift. Work it, girl!

Girl Bear's Poncho
Yarn: Bernat Pop! worsted-weight acrylic cake yarn in Blue Blaze
Hook: Clover Amour, size H/8 (5.00mm)
Size: made to pattern, girls 8-10 years old
Made: August 2018 

20 comments:

  1. So pretty! Love making Granny clusters.

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  2. Jennifer, I love this! My favorite colors and I can see by the look on the GB’s face that she loves it very much. You have me thinking it would be a good birthday gift for Piper next month. :-)
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  3. those colours look wonderful on her!! it's just darling and very becoming! wonderful that she will not grow out of it so quickly! well done!!! I am so glad for your happiness in making this lovely make and that your daughter loved it so much!

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  4. What a lovely gift and she looks so cute in it.

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  5. A beautiful gift, made with love. It doesn't get any better than that. She looks adorable.

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  6. Such a lovely present Jennifer, love the colours, girl bear looks delighted with it x

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  7. How lovely, I really enjoyed reading about the making of this poncho. I imagine GB wearing it over her wedding gown, this makes me smile. Have a wonderful weekend. x

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  8. That looks so cosy - what a lovely present. And isn't it nice when things have growing room? I love the thought of her wearing it on her wedding day!

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  9. So pretty Jennifer,there is a real warmth to the colours that you don't often
    see in blue tones.
    It's easy to see how much she loves it and will be able to wear it for years x

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  10. It's so pretty, Jennifer! I love the colors you chose. It was such a thoughtful gift. She looks very happy and proud to be wearing it.

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  11. What a model, what a poncho, it is fabulous! Well done Jen. It is a nice feeling isn't it? Heidi is 11 and still enjoying me making her things but I am living in the moment with it because it won't last forever. Jo xxx

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  12. Oh so pretty.. she is looking great!

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  13. I haven’t even read your whole post as I am so excited to tell you that 2 minutes ago I read another blogpost which talks about that exact yarn! What are the chances of that! It’s here if you fancy a read - http://tangledthreadsstitching.blogspot.com/2018/09/no-speedy-stitching-this-week.html?m=1

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  14. It's fabulous. I always wanted a poncho as a child but my mum wasn't a crocheter so it's something I never got. I think the size looks great on her, it'll allow room for her to grow and still be a nice fit.

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  15. It looks lovely and, with growing youngsters, it's always best to have something a little too big than too small.

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  16. Oh Jennifer, this is perfect! I love how your projects are so carefully thought out. Mine are often not! She looks gorgeous in it and so happy with it! Serious Mummy Brownie Points! I also agonise over sizing but in this case I think it’s looks perfect, with room to grow too. Well done you. Xx

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  17. Lovely model and poncho! Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. xx

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  18. Gorgeous! She wears it well and clearly loves it. The colours suit her too. I was thinking about my granny square poncho today funnily enough, it always comes out in the autumn.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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