Cable-Knit Poncho

Again, mom asked for a poncho and mom shall receive a poncho.

Mom’s requests:

  • Square-shaped
  • Point down the middle
  • Tassles
  • Big enough to keep arms warm and cover crotch, but small enough that it stays out of her way while she washes dishes
  • High-collared neckline
  • “You should try cable-knit, I know you’d be so good at it!”

The basic shape of making a poncho is just two rectangles (when seamed in the right places, it creates a diamond shape with a hole for your head in the middle). I took her measurements and created a stitch pattern that included varying types of cables and a mock cable, garter stitch, and seed stitch. Note: in order to design a cable knit that lies flat and opens up to your desired length, there needs to be sufficient gaps of either garter or seed stitch in between the cables, otherwise they pull together. Alternatively, blocking might help force the cables to lie flat.

Once the 2 rectangles were seamed together, I picked up stitches along the perimeter and did a few rows of seed stitch. The front and back points are separate pieces in the shape of a picture frame corner I stitched on later. Then I used a method of picking up stitches along the edge of the corner piece and tacking them at the end of each row all the way around on each side, joining the two corner pieces together. You could also just make separate strips and seam them on later.

I knit the shape of a shawl collar with a slight overlap and attached this in the neck hole. As a finishing touch, I attached tassles evenly around the bottom hem.

The one issue with this poncho is that the points visibly bend towards the side. This was in part due to the pull of the cable knit pieces, as well as the seed stitch borders which didn’t have enough ease around the corners. I did some research that said blocking might resolve the issue, but I didn’t want to risk ruining the whole thing, and mom was satisfied the way it is. I’m all for back-tracking to fix mistakes and perfecting the final product, but in this case it may have done more harm than good. I’ll know for next time!

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