Browsing Tag

poncho

So Cute Your Heart Just Might Crack: Celia’s Poncho

And it’s not even my own kid.

Usually when I think a kid is so cute my heart could burst, it’s because it’s Reed. I do have a few exceptions, however.

Like Celia.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life This young lady is going places. At the ripe old age of six.

Celia needed a new poncho. Auntie to the rescue.

This is relevant to you for several reasons:

  1. I designed a pattern that works up in a week of evening knit-flixing. If you have young people staring you down, in need of hand made gifts this holiday season, look no further. Plus the pattern uses Malabrigo Rios (affordable and gorgeous) and superwash (we are talking about children).
  2. The poncho is easy. Yes, there are a few short rows for that nice curvy bottom and a bit of i-cord edging on the neck. And a wee bit of three-needle bind off to seam the shoulders. Mostly, however, it’s just stockinette with a smidge of garter edging because folding and rolling knits increase my blood pressure significantly. There’s nothing fussy or incredibly innovate here. Sometimes simple is better, in my humble opinion.
  3. The pattern includes three size options to fit children age three to seven. Plus it’s a poncho, so needless to say, sizing is forgiving anyway. Thus, if you have more than one child in your life that requires a hand made gift sometime soon, this one, single pattern could very well be your one-stop shop.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

You’re welcome.

I love Malabrigo Rios. The colorways are fabulous and the yarn is soft. (Celia HATES wool–won’t go near the stuff. Little does she know auntie just knit her a 100% wool poncho. Hee hee hee. I am so sneaky. Or maybe she knows and was just too polite to say.) Rios is also relatively affordable, and it’s superwash. Kids = dirty, messy, sticky everything-all-the-time.

I used the Indecita colorway, which reminds me of a mermaid tale. I already know I am going to knit myself a top of my own out of this stuff.

Next year.

In the meantime, I am super happy to share this new pattern with you! It’s called Celia’s Poncho (hello creative me), and it’s available on Ravelry for $ 6 USD. Subscribers, check your inbox for a COUPON CODE to SAVE MONEY.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted LifeOkay knitters, quick, off you go to knit a lovely little poncho for that kid in YOUR life that makes YOUR heart crack.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

Sheltered Poncho — Off the Needles!

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…

Sheltered Poncho designed by Andrea Mowry. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Brooklyn Tweed's Sheltered (sweatshirt colorway).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!

Sheltered Poncho designed by Andrea Mowry. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Brooklyn Tweed's Sheltered (sweatshirt colorway).Time on the needles: Two months of hardcore, monogamous knitting. I’m exhausted.

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.

Sheltered Poncho designed by Andrea Mowry. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life in Brooklyn Tweed's Sheltered (sweatshirt colorway).

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.

On Why Knitting Makes Me Fat

why-knitting-makes-me-fat

Hazards of knitting (besides sitting on a pointy knitting needle and bleeding to death):

  1. Decide to knit BIG poncho and buy 10 skeins of Really Expensive Yarn. Surely 1300 yards (1189 meters) oughta do it. Or at least that’s what the pattern says. Buying expensive yarn = stress. Eat chocolate.

  2. Knit and knit and knit and knit. This project is taking forever, and really I should be working on a new design (or at least thinking about a new design). More stress = more eating = more chocolate…also fresh bread and soft brie cheese.

  3. FINALLY, nearly TWO MONTHS later, working on the cowl. Sure to be done any second now (this was two weeks ago, mind you). Wind and start on the Final Skein. Anticipation of success = celebratory eating = probably was wine (I don’t exactly remember, to be honest).

  4. Finish cowl. Start on hood. Have never knitted a hood before. How big can a hood possibly be? Surely smaller than a hat? HOOD TAKES FOREVER. Impatience = more eating = back to chocolate.

  5. Nearing the end of the hood. Also nearing the end of the FINAL skein. Start to ask self: now just where did I put my swatch? I might need that. Pretend not to sweat it, but actually sweat it Quite a Bit. It’s all a blur, but I assure you, LOT’s of (American) Thanksgiving leftovers were involved. LOTS. Good thing this poncho isn’t fitted.

  6. Look at remaining yarn (not much). Find swatch (Thank God). Decide an 11th skein will likely be needed. Hatch a plan to have father pick up skein from Websters when he is in Ashland (five hours from where I live) on Sunday (if needed, but probably will be needed) and deliver when he visits next week. Pray Websters still has a skein and the dye lot will be Close Enough. EVEN MORE LEFTOVERS CONSUMED. (Why did I bake THREE pies?)

  7. Knit like a maniac. I must know. Will I have enough yarn? Or not? Finish short rows on hood. Still (a little bit) of yarn left. Look at photo in pattern and debate whether or not the finish trim is REALLY needed. Possible to skip?  Or reduce? Too much fretting = finding the bag of peanut butter cups I hid from my family last week and then forgot about = more eating.

  8. Finish hood. Figure out best way to seam hood (not as easy as it was supposed to be, but it all worked out). Decide hood is too pointy, but it’s too late now. Perhaps pointy hoods are underrated. File for: Ponder Another Day. You’ve got bigger problems now. Eight rounds of 100 stitches each and just a tiny bit of yarn plus a swatch. More peanut butter cups.

  9. Knit a few rounds. OUT OF YARN. Unravel the swatch. Praise yourself from hiding it from Reed. (He loves to steal my swatches.) Knit a round. Look at remaining yarn. Gulp. Knit a round. Glance at remaining yarn. Pretend to “weigh” remaining yarn in hand. Stress nibble. Knit a round. Repeat. Realize at some point you will surely have to tink when you try to cast off and can’t bind off the final twenty stitches. Seemingly inevitable. Still, you soldier on. Benefit of chocolate = bravery.

  10. Done. All rows. DONE. Ten feet of yarn remain (a bit more than two meters). That’s all that’s left out of 1300 yards. Two pathetic yards. From my swatch. Seriously.

Why Knitting Makes Me Fat. Knit humor from Andrea @ This Knitted Life.
Ten skeins knit. Ten pounds (4.5 kg) gained. At least this poncho will hide my waistline.

Now I am going to go freak out about whether or not my poncho will grow too much after I drag it out of my bathtub. I know my family (and cat) are going to be so incredibly excited about stepping over this (GIANT!) thing all week long as it dries on the heated bathroom floor. #livingwithknitters

Stormland Poncho Pattern Release

stormland-poncho-by-this-knitted-life-knit-in-malabrigo-worsteds-polar-moon-colorway

Hey everyone! I’ve got something fun to share! (Besides the fact that it’s Cyber Monday over at Craftsy and the Easy Pie Wedge shawl kit I have been drooling over is $18 off. HUGE SAVINGS site-wide!)

This Stormland (easy folded-style) poncho is my second (grey) poncho design this fall. The first was Stoneland, which I also love.

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

Stormland is a bit heavier and SUPER cozy soft. It’s knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon), which I love because (a) it’s grey and 2016 was apparently The Year of Grey, (b) it’s respectably affordable, coming in at about $12 for 210 yards (192 meters)…a total steal!, and (c) it’s soft and actually great yarn. The price point on Malabrigo Worsted makes big projects more affordable. By comparison, the Sheltered Poncho I just finished knitting (hallelujah!) in Brooklyn’s Tweed Shelter cost me nearly twice as much.* Ouch, but Shelter is a pretty awesome yarn also with a whole different vibe and ethic going on.

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

Stormland further rocks because it’s mostly stockinette. Hello Gilmore Girl binge! I use a twisted (or flipped) technique to create some raised texture. It’s the same technique I use in my Twist Shawl and Twist Cowl patterns. Super easy, yielding groovy results. Different without being weird. I always like that.

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

I chose to launch Stormland immediately following (American) Thanksgiving it conveniently hides evidence that I have consumed too much stuffing (and mashed potatoes…and pie…and wine…and champagne…and little bits of chocolate for emergency stress relief) when I wear it so the long bit is in the front, over my tummy. (Reed has been commenting on how much he loves my “squishy tummy” lately. NOT A GOOD SIGN!)

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

Before this fall, I had NEVER worn a poncho of any sort. NEVER. I was, in fact, an anti-poncho person based on some sense of Fashion Principle (which is odd because I have no fashion sense whatsoever and have to talk myself out of wearing yoga pants to work Every. Single. Day.)

I will say this: I am a convert. It’s like wearing a shawl that you don’t have to fiddle with. When the house is chilly in the mornings before the fire gets going, I throw on a poncho and feel better right away.

Now that I own three (grey) ponchos, I wear them all the time. This means I have been stalking up on black and pink shirts to wear under them, but that’s just a technical detail.

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

This is an easy folded-style poncho. Basically you knit a big rectangle, seam it together with the mattress stitch (very doable even if you haven’t tried it before…don’t freak out…you’ve got this!) and add a bit of I-cord finish (also not as hard as it sounds if you haven’t tried I-cord before).  I-cord finishes are my absolute favorite. It’s like making earl grey tea with cream and honey. Knitting projects just are not the same without I-cord.

 

 

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

Stormland is available on Ravelry for $6.00 USD. (Subscribers check your inbox for 30% off coupon code!). Instructions are clearly written and have been tech edited. We all loathe finding mistakes in patterns we’ve paid for. Total waste of time.

Stormland easy-folded style poncho knitting pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Polar Moon colorway).

*It also required a bit more yarn,to be fair.

Many thanks to my talented friend Anna for being such a good sport while Reed terrorized her art studio during this photo shoot. Anna and I have done a number of photo shoots together, and using her Actual Studio as a back drop was a ton of fun (minus Reed running around with wet magenta paint on a paint brush…). If you are in the market for some stunning art, check out her site here!

Sheltered Poncho In-Progress

I feel like I’ve been working on this poncho (Sheltered by Andrea Mowry) for a long time.

This is probably because I HAVE been working on this poncho for a long time. I’ve been knitting my long-coveted poncho (with Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter) almost exclusively for nearly two months. All my design work has been set aside as I treat myself to a (substantial) knitting vacation*.

It’s been marvelous although perhaps nonstrategic on my part.

Although eight skeins in, I’m excited to move on to my next project (Knitting Vacation, Part 2) and starting to wonder just what I will do if this (magnificent) thing doesn’t fit. There’s nothing like knitting up more than 1,000 yards/meters of exquisite (expensive) yarn only to discover you really screwed up and selected the wrong size.

Because I’ve never done that before…

I can already tell this finish poncho is going to be SUBSTANTIAL and am slightly concerned I may feel like I am wearing the fleece of an entire sheep when I eventually put this thing on.

I guess that’s why they call a poncho a poncho.

The pattern itself is fabulous, although I’ve been humbled by it. After knitting for nearly two decades, it’s forced me to realize I don’t know how to knit.

At least I don’t know how to twist stitches.

I won’t drag you down with the technical details except to say I’ve swatched and swatched and swatched and just can’t figure it out. I can quickly twist stitches no problem when knitting in the round, but, For the Life of Me, I CANNOT efficiently twist stitches when knitting back and forth.

I can knit stitches that twist to the right one row but twist to the left the next row.

And I can knit stitches that twist every other row.

I can also knit stitches that simply do not twist.

I CANNOT knit stitches that just twist every row in the same direction all the time without first picking up the stitch, flipping it over to twist it, and then knitting the darn thing. Takes forever. Sadly I have had this problem before, and it has taken me a long time to even begin to understand what in the hek is going on.

I think, but am not positive, this is because I might be a Combination Knitter.

That’s right. I don’t even know if I am or if I am not a Combination Knitter.

But I suspect I am.

This is when I wish I had a lifelong technical knitting expert super-geek living next door that can help me with this stuff. Knitting alone in the middle of nowhere with only the company of YouTube has it’s drawbacks. Nothing can replace the company of other knitters and the ol’ fashioned knitting guild. Nothing.

YouTube doesn’t really give you much when you search for why is my knitting screwed up, am I or aren’t I a combination knitter, and how to twist stitches with combination knitting (even if maybe you are not a combination knitter?*!?!???).

Trust me, I’ve tried.

How can something so easy and straightforward be so…well, difficult?

Nevertheless, I have plodded on, albeit slowly (I’d probably be long done by now if I were just working in speedy stockinette). I’ve enjoyed the slowness of it all, taking my time. Not rushing. Very unlike me but pleasant all the same.

I hope to finish the front today. The back is already done. Then there’s some seaming and cowl/hood, which I hope is knit in straight stockinette and not twisted stockinette.

Time to go read my pattern and check. Gulp.

*I believe it’s essential to knit patterns designed by others to continually learn new skills and approaches to knitting and generally broaden one’s knitterly horizons. And, to remain humble and grateful for the talent and artistry of others.

The Stoneland Poncho-Pattern Release

Finally. It’s ready for you.

Stoneland Poncho by This Knitted Life. Knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amona sportweight. This easy folded-style poncho is knit in a simple cable fabric stitch for texture without being overly-complicated.

I know I’ve been teasing you with glimpses of this easy folded-style poncho for MONTHS. I am proud to introduce you to the new Stoneland Poncho.

Stoneland Poncho by This Knitted Life. Knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amona sportweight. This easy folded-style poncho is knit in a simple cable fabric stitch for texture without being overly-complicated.

I love this thing! Now that the chilly mornings have arrived, I have been living in Stoneland. This is the first poncho I have ever owned, and I lament the decades of my life that have passed without such a fabulous accessory in my daily knitwear arsenal. It’s cozy like a shawl, bigger than a scarf, and doesn’t fall off your shoulders all the time. There’s nothing to tie or secure. It’s like a blanket you wear, except you look MUCH better than if you were actually wearing a blanket.

I know a lot of you think you aren’t poncho/wrap people (uh, hi Mom) …and, until this year, I WAS just like you. But now I know: PONCHOS ROCK. Seriously. I have already cast on two more.

Stoneland Poncho by This Knitted Life. Knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amona sportweight. This easy folded-style poncho is knit in a simple cable fabric stitch for texture without being overly-complicated.

Stoneland is knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amano sportweight. It’s light and soft with an easy cable fabric. The pattern also includes little tricks to avoid cabling with a cable needle to save time. (Thank you to all the readers who encouraged me to figure that out. It was well worth the ten minutes I spent on YouTube.)

This is how you knit Stoneland: knit a rectangle and sew the short end to the long end. Then you are done. Although Stoneland does include a teeny tiny bit of i-cord edging on one end for a clean finish.

Stoneland Poncho by This Knitted Life. Knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amona sportweight. This easy folded-style poncho is knit in a simple cable fabric stitch for texture without being overly-complicated.

I love how the neckline lays just so! And it’s so cozy.

Stoneland is available on Ravelry for $6.00 USD. If you are a subscriber, check your email for a 25% off code. Even if you aren’t in the market for a poncho pattern right this minute, please consider taking a moment to add the pattern to your Ravelry favorites so you can find it again in the future.

The pattern includes sizing for small through extra large.  Written instructions include all measurements in both metric and English units. Stoneland has also been tech edited and test knit by a cadre of fabulous knitting enthusiasts.

Stoneland Poncho by This Knitted Life. Knit in 100% alpaca Puna Amona sportweight. This easy folded-style poncho is knit in a simple cable fabric stitch for texture without being overly-complicated.

I truly enjoyed knitting Stoneland, and I hope you do too. This is a great knit for fall (or any season).  I love that the stitch has texture without being too busy. It’s subtle, but not just stockinette. This results in a piece that is very wearable but not severely boring.

Please visit the Ravelry page for Stoneland here. I hope you love this one as much as I do.

As always. many thanks to the beautiful and talented Anna for modeling for me. Mwah. 

And, joining the Yarn Along and between books (yikes!)

The Poncho, Baby

Or maybe it’s a wrap.

Either way. It’s done.

A simple poncho knit from a seamed rectangle.Now, I’ll be honest. This is my first “poncho.” I kinda cheated. It’s a seamed rectangle. This may or may not technically qualify as a poncho. Call it will you will. I like it.

It’s like a shawl. That you don’t have to wrap around and situate just so. It will never fall off your shoulders. It stays put. Like a blanket that you wear, but better. More stylish.

I love this thing, and I already know that I am going to live in it just as soon as the temperature drops this fall.

(Speaking of ponchos, did you see the pattern Drea Renee just released? Oh my goodness. I swoon. This will definitely be on my forthcoming Fall Bucket List of must knits. Seriously. Check it out.)

A simple poncho knit from a seamed rectangle.

This poncho wrap thing is knit in a DK weight 100% alpaca. The pattern is sized small through extra large, which will require 700 to 1,300 yards (640 to 1,189 meters) of yarn.

The pattern itself requires cabling. I found this stressful at first but quickly learned (based on reader encouragement) to cable without a cable needle. The pattern includes my own personal technique for this little trick, although many methods exist on YouTube and other handy digital knitting references.

A simple poncho knit from a seamed rectangle.

Seaming is easy (the mattress stich), and there is a wee bit of I-cord finishing. Nothing too intense.

A simple poncho knit from a seamed rectangle.

I LOVE the neckline. Perfect drape. No weird rolling or folding.

A simple poncho knit from a seamed rectangle.

I’m on the prowl for testers, so shoot me an email if you are interested. Yarn substitutions are fine. The pattern has already been tech edited. I learned this the HARD WAY during my last test knit when I sent out the first version of the pattern written for back and forth knitting when it was supposed to be knit in the round. I fainted. Seriously. Most mortifying moment ever when I realized my mistake. NEVER AGAIN. (My email address is on the Contact tab at the top of the page. Thanks!)

With a little luck (and hard work) the pattern will be ready for release this fall.

This is Going to Take Forever

This poncho is going to take forever. As in: possibly to be finished by 2050. Although things are progressing with more gusto now that I finally settled on the final number of stitches to cast on.

First there was a wee bit of 120 stitches. Too many? Frog.

Then there was a second go using 90 stitches. Too narrow? Frog.

Now there are 100. Perfect? Time will tell.

Apparently swatching will only get you so far.

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Next time I won’t be so passive after casually entering my LYS and announcing that I need 1,000 yards (914 m) of grey yarn, “DK or Worsted,” and happily shrug when I am instead offered 1,000 yards of Sport.

It’s not all the same. Not at all.

DSC_0021

This particular stitch pattern requires a bit of cabling two out of every eight rows. This means I knit three rows all happy and dreamy. Knit knit knit. Purl purl purl. Blood pressure down. Bliss. Then I hit my row of holding stitches in back (or front, as the case may be.) Teeth tight. Blood pressure up. The aging process is accelerated.

I just broke down and bought my first ever cable needle*. The one with the notch in the middle. It’s arriving on Friday. I am trying to decide what gift to shower the UPS man with. Fresh squeezed ice cold lemonade, maybe. Or cookies?

I’ve been making due with my usual method of slipping a couple of stitches onto a double pointed needle. This was after You Tubing various methods purporting to teach one how to cable without a cable needle. But try as I might to squeeze here and twist there, I can’t figure it out. I am hopeless. My fingers only offer up so much coordination.

Usually the double pointed needle works well enough, but everything seems so extra slippery this go-around. So I am upping my game: a cable needle with a notch. I figure it’s my best hope. I am sick of picking up stitches that try to run away from me as if I am the Wicked Witch of the West.

(Insert cackle laugh.)

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In other fronts, I FINALLY started a Ravelry group for This Knitted Life. Please join! As a first matter of business, I am seeking volunteers to test knit my newly-named Linto Creek Cowl (otherwise known as the Yak-Tacular success). I lacked modeled photos when I wrote my original blog post but have added a couple pics to the Ravelry forum so potential test knitters can inspect how it wears on a human. That always helps. If you are interested in the test knit, you can also just shoot me an email. (My contact information is at the top of this page.)

I am joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and thinking she must be having that baby girl awfully soon now. I am still outstanding on my baby shower gift! Eep! The good news is that I know what I am going to make. On the reading front, I have picked All the Bright Places* by Jennifer Niven back up after being distracted by some wait-list library books with tight check out windows.

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