martian mischief

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Location: Athens, Georgia, United States

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

As requested by some of my Knitters Review friends, here is a universal poncho pattern that includes a "baby buttonhole". I would love to see some of your finished pictures of this pattern.

Poncho pattern

This is knit in a circular fashion from the neck down. Without the baby “buttonhole” it can be used to make ponchos for everyone from infants to large adults.

Use whatever yarn you wish and select needles that will give you the knitted fabric that you like. You will also need needles two sizes smaller except if you are using the rolled edges.

Work a gauge swatch to determine your stitches per inch. The only place on this pattern where you need to know your gauge is in the neckline openings. That is also the number of stitches you need to cast on. Work this gauge swatch in the needles you will use for the main part of the poncho. If you skip this part, try your poncho on before you knit too much of it to be sure it goes over your head.

Multiply your stitches per inch by your neckline measurement. For most of us this is 20 or 22. Cast on that number of stitches. Use a marker for beginning of row. Directions for joining into a circle and other circular knitting hints can be found on my blog:

Decide on what neckline finish you want to use.

Rolled edge—do nothing just begin pattern rows.

garter stitch edge—using smaller needle, work 8 to 10 rows in.

Crew neckline—using smaller needle, work 1 ½ to 2 inches in ribbing .

Turtle neck—using smaller needle, work 4 to 10 inches in ribbing . Work ribbing until it is a tall as you want the finished turtleneck to be and then double it so it will fold back on itself.

Gathered or adjustible neckline—using smaller needle, work 4 rows in garter stitch, one row in yo, k2tog, then another row in plain knitting. This will leave you a row of eyelets into which you can insert twisted cord or ribbon etc.

Flat neckline—begin regular poncho pattern but, using the smaller needle, work 1 ½ to 2 inches in a stitch that will not roll like seed stitch, garter stitch or ribbing. The difference between this finish and a crew neckline is that increases are made in this finish that allow it to lie flat against the body.

When your neckline finish is completed divide stitches on needles into 4 equal parts. Keep the beginning of round marker a different color. Switch to your larger needles.

You may use any increase that you wish. A YO will give you spaced holes along the increase line. Opposite increases on either side of the marker look the best. An M1 is my personal preferred increase as it gives a solid fabric. Other increases change the appearance of this line. Use the one you prefer.

Row 1—beginning at beginning of round marker,* k1, increase, k to one stitch before marker, increase, k1, sl marker* repeat a total of 4 times which will take you back to beginning of round marker.

Row 2—knit

Repeat these 2 rows until the distance from neckline to edge is 8-10 inches.

Baby Buttonhole

Decide how you want to wear poncho. Do you want it with a point down in front and back or rectangular—straight across on the bottom front? Fold your mini poncho both ways and decide. You will need to measure and mark opening for baby. For the pointed front poncho, mark 10-12 inches of stitches across the increase line. For the straight across poncho, mark 10-12 inches of stitches centered between two increase lines. Continue knitting but work these stitches to match your neckline finish, that is in garter, ribbing, seed stitch, etc. Work about ½ to 2 inches then on the next row, when you get to this section, work one inch in pattern then bind off 8 (infant) to 10(about 3 yrs old) inches of stitches, work the last inch in pattern. Work around until you come to this section again and cast on stitches equal in number to those you bound off. As you continue in pattern work another 1 ½ inches in a non rolling finish on these stitches, then continue alternating poncho rows until you are at your desired length. Again work rows in a stitch that does not roll around edge and bind off.

It is suggested that you use needles 2 sizes smaller for neckline finish, edges of baby neckline buttonhole and bottom edge. Garter stitch, ribbing, and seed stitch all match the main body of the poncho when done in a smaller needle. I don't recommend ribbing, which draws in, for the bottom of the poncho. Garter or seed stitch will keep the edges flat