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Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Tale of a Very East Poncho

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the ups and downs of my current main knit project today - the Very Easy Poncho. You wouldn't believe how many problems I've had with this project ! I've experienced major highs and lows throughout the project. I started thinking about the idea of the poncho many months ago and it's appeared several times on this blog, read back for more.

Initially, central to the project, it was a garment I could make using the first finished hank of yarn that I'd personally dyed and then handspun on my new spinning wheel. I had a lovely time dying the wool, choosing how to spin the dyed wool and combining the different colours and then spinning. I also found a lovely - easy knitting pattern. At the begining, this was a very exciting project. I knew ,I didn't have enough of my own yarn to complete the poncho but had an idea to use some amazing Indigo dyed yarn produced by a lovely friend. The Indigo yarn and my own yarn worked brilliantly together and my project plans seemed to be perfect !

Move on several weeks of stocking stitch - 130 stitches on the needles and 62 ins. long. This is a seriously long piece of knitting ! I knitted my own yarn and changed to the Indigo when a I felt like it - this was another high - the colours worked well and the stripes that emerged were just lovely. I used a pretty progress keeper to manage a few inches of knitting everyday. All seemed to be well.

When a I eventually finished the long rectangle shaped knitting it was time to construct the poncho. I blocked the fabric and read the schematic diagram on the very brief pattern and proceeded to seam the poncho. This is when my major problems started. I made the first seam and was very proud of my work - so satisfying and very neat. I made another seam, as per the diagram (as it read to me). It was immediately obvious that something was wrong. Still not sure why I hadn't realised there was a problem before starting these seams ? After reading and re-reading the pattern details and researching via Ravelry, I finally ripped out all the seams - not an easy job and very time consuming. All my lovely work was at risk of being completely ruined. The ripping out was begining to damage the edges of the poncho and I needed to undue every single stich with extreme care. This was a serious low point.

I did have photo references for the finished garment and studied the photos, off and on for a few days. Then yesterday, I had a Eureka moment and finally - I had the answer ! I'd not thought through the construction properly. As the name suggests, this poncho is a very easy construct. It's simply a single seam at the back, created by attaching a part of one side of the folded rectangle. It's so simple I can't quite believe I'd missed it. I've had so much grief over the last few days and now I'm repeating (to myself) - I can't believe Id missed it. I'd fixated on the diagram and didn't translate the way in which the garment would be worn ? As I write, I stil can't believe what I did.

I'm sure the final garment will be lovely. The fabric drapes beautifully and the colours are very special. I need to make the seam - I'm going to try and re create my first seam and be very proud of the job - again ! I also need to add some icord edging to all the edges of the poncho, I'm hoping the icord will help neaten up any 'unpicking' issues. I will reblock the poncho and hopefully it will be complete in a few days - ready to wear.

On balance, I'm still loving the project. It's been a great learning process for me. I'm will definitely approach patterns and schematic diagrams differently from now on. This garment was always going to be special because of the handspun/hand dyed yarn, the first handspun too. I'd invested so much hope and care into the knit - I wanted it to be something I could be proud of. I'm  now thinking, I will immediately forget all the pain, once the garment is complete. There will be more photos when this times comes. Until then, this is where I am :


Thanks for calling in and sharing my 'pain'.