Evergreen Poncho Pattern Release
The Evergreen Poncho pattern is now available as a pdf download from my Ravelry Store. See below for details of the introductory offers.
I came up with the design after being Inspired by the shiny green leaves of evergreen trees and shrubs like camellias appearing to thrive even in the snow and reminding us that spring with all its greenery and flowers is the next season to arrive. The individual repeats of cables always make me think of leaf shapes, especially when the cables are paired. I wanted to create a garment that would be comfortable to wear, fun to make and work well across a range of seasons.
After sketching the design, I initially worked a knitted swatch for the cable plus a moss stitch collar however the texture and drape of the second swatch in crochet worked a little better. Which do you like best? Let me know in the comments at the end.
Shortly after, I saw that Crochet Now were looking for designs with a winter woodland and snowy winter weather theme. The poncho with its snowy evergreens as inspiration seemed a good fit for both of those so I sent my idea in. I was thrilled to hear that it was chosen and then even made the cover of the magazine just before Christmas. You can read more about creating the pattern and working with a wonderful sample maker, Amanda, who made the sample poncho shown in the magazine and in this blog post.
The poncho is a warm, easy to wear, alternative to a coat that works well over fashionable big sleeved garments that won’t fit comfortably in coat sleeves, so if you enjoyed making any of those styles, this could be a great partner for them. It is also lovely and warm around the neck even though it doesn't have a snug fit. I think the crocheted linen stitch worked really well in that area, especially with the lovely Dolphin Blue Paintbox Yarns 100% Wool Worsted Superwash supplied for the sample by Love Crafts. It was a good weight for a larger project, working up at a good pace feeling heavy to wear. It's very soft too, so there's no itchiness where it touches the skin. Superwash yarns are quite stretchy and drapey, so I added a tip in the pattern to measure your poncho while it's hanging up on a coat hanger or on the person you are making it for to allow for this rather than giving specific row counts or measuring it flat on a table. It also takes account of people substituting yarns to fit their budget, yarn availability in their area, style preferences, health and ethical considerations. Not every yarn will turn out the same way and I want all crafters to feel they can create something they'll love.
It's also a form of outerwear that is suitable for a range of seasons as it can be worn over a coat on the very coldest days and feels almost like being wrapped in a blanket as you trudge through the snow. During Autumn and Spring when the weather can be changeable, it's an airy and comfortable layer that works well over light clothes and the woollen yarn helps the body to maintain a comfortable temperature by simultaneously trapping pockets of air between the fibres and allowing your personal humidity to be drawn away from the body. In this way it can be much more comfortable than a traditional lined coat.
I had always thought that a poncho was not a practical garment for windy weather, so I designed this one to have an interesting four eyelet waist fastening to prevent it becoming unwieldy or failing to keep you warm on a windy day or perhaps catching on trees and dangling into a stream when the dog or child goes for an unexpected paddle and needs help getting out! It even gives you several wearing options as the belt can be left off, fastened through either pair of eyelets. Using the upper eyelets only makes this a great maternity wear option that is also usable afterwards when you can fold the arm section up if the baby wants cosy feed in the park on a cold day (Right now mummy! There's no time to get home or to a warm cafe!) or both for a more fitted look. My usual way to wear it is to have it secured through the upper eyelets in the back, crossed over in front and then fastened inside rather than passing it back through the lower eyelets.
The instructions for a plaited cord and yarn belt ensure that everyone gets a belt that will match the poncho and work well for their size. Note that the one in the sample turned out a little shorter than I wanted so I increased the length of cord used in the written pattern. It could also work well with a ready made slim belt, ribbon or decorative cord if you don't fancy plaiting your own belt. When worn through both pairs of eyelets, you should be able to knot the belt and when worked through just one pair you'll be able to tie it in a bow.
The simple shaping makes this an easy and relaxing crocheted project with just a little focus required every few rows to make sure you work the cables in the right direction. For anyone looking to try cables for a first time, this project's simple repeats and use of front and back cables make it an ideal project to learn on, and the pattern includes some helpful hints to make sure you always find the right stitch without difficulty. I find a regular cable round very motivating to see the progress I am making with a project, and spur me on to get to the end.
If you prefer a yoked cowl to a full size poncho, the pattern includes instructions for that and also details of how to lengthen or shorten the poncho to suit your preference.
It also has ideas for how to customise the fit for your personal measurements based on the position of the eyelets. One of the great advantages to making your own clothes should be having them turn out just how you want and I want my patterns to support the maker with that, whether that's about getting a good fit for their figure or more of a style choice. I love seeing how creative people can be and seeing how different versions of the same pattern turn out is one of the best parts of being a designer.
The Evergreen Poncho was originally published in Crochet Now Magazine in December 2022 and a downloadable copy of the individual pattern for the poncho including a bonus "Make it your own" section is now available from my Ravelry Store and there is a discount of 20% automatically applied until 7th May (UK time) but if you subscribe to my mailing list during April or May you'll receive a code to save 50% instead, plus monthly news, updates, behind the scenes info and exclusive offers just for subscribers.
Do let me know if you make the poncho. I'm always thrilled when I see that someone has used one of my patterns!