One of the joys of living in (far) northern California are the occasional warm, winter beach days. Brief windows of heaven between storms. IF we are lucky.
I’ve been complaining so much lately about how frigid it has been…and how cold I feel All. The. Time. Then I looked at the thermometer and realized it was still 50 F (10 C), which is probably substantially warmer than it is across much of the planet. Some of you might even say that’s down right tropical. (Not me.)
What can I say, I wasn’t built for winter.
Thank goodness there’s wool…
Pattern: Sheltered by Andrea Mowry, size Medium.
Yarn: Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed, Sweatshirt colorway.
Skeins/yards: 10 skeins, 1,400 yards (1,280 meters). This felt like a very large project to me. I wrapped up this project with a mere two yards (roughly two meters) of yarn left. That’s after I used my swatch. Too close for comfort!
Mistakes: Not too many! I made a little goof on the faux seaming on the front (of course it was somewhere obvious) that I was able to “embroider” after casting off. I don’t think anyone will notice.
Construction approach: The front and the back are knit separately and then attached before knitting the cowl neck in the round. The hood is knit last. There is a LOT of picking up stitches to finish the borders and to support the faux seaming. This was kind of a pain, but I do like the final results. I thought Andrea’s pattern was quite clever and was generally impressed with what she brought to the table with this design.
Modifications: The only modification I made was the seaming of the hood. The pattern called for a three-needle bind off to replicate the faux-seaming, but my attempts at the three-needle bind off came out too thick. I didn’t like it. Instead I held the needles as if to do the three-needle bind off but instead slipped the stitch from the front needle over the stitch on the back needle. I did this a second time before slipping the first set of merged stitches over the second set. Doing this, I was able to create the faux seam without using any extra yarn. It was a little tight but didn’t bunch or anything weird.
Pattern notes: Andrea’s pattern was generally well written and clear. Thumbs up.
Blocking notes: I was slightly (okay, very) petrified my poncho would grow TOO much during blocking. I always hate blocking my knits a bit for this reason. Things can go sideways so quickly! All my fretting was for not. My blocked poncho came out just fine.
Overall: I searched for the Perfect Poncho all year long before falling instantly in love with this design. I’m glad I went for it. This baby is substantial. It would probably take up an entire carry-on suitcase. I do feel like I am wearing an entire sheep when I have this thing on. (I probably do have an entire sheep on when I wear this thing…) I don’t feel like this poncho is particularly flattering and definitely wouldn’t wear it out to dinner or even to work. This is, however, the perfect knit to wear to the beach or around the house on a cold morning. It feels more like a workhorse knit than a fashion knit. The hood would be my only critique. It came out too pointy for my taste. I have this thing against pointy hoods. I like how the hood looks when it is down but probably won’t wear it up unless it’s a weather emergency.