Saturday, September 16, 2006

Design 101, Part 2

5 The Knit-in-the-Round Square Poncho.

Intermediate beginner
Covers Arms
Can be tedious towards the end
Can appear tent like

Another favorite style.

This poncho is also started at the neck edge, but there are 4 points, and there are increases either side of each point, (8 increases every other round) and laid flat, it resembles a square.
But unless it is worked in garter will not quite lay flat--still Square is the best name for the shape.

The neck opening is square too (Vnecked in front and back) --though both this poncho and ponchos 4 and 6 can be started with 8 to 12 inches of ribbing to make a turtle neck –something I never do!

I have made this poncho as a ‘cape’ too… (instead of knitting in the round, I knit it ‘flat, with center front opening.)

6- The Knit-in-the-Round Round Poncho

Basicly the same as the square poncho, with all the same advantages and disadvantages. The major difference is, the 8 increases every other row are spaced further apart, and NOT LINED UP.

The round poncho looks best when knit short (elbow length) and its especially suitable for lace.

It can be knit flat, (cape like) with a center front opening, or knit in the round.

When worked in a pattern like feather and fan, the increases can occur, not regular as rain 8 every other row, but with 16 increase every 4 row, or 32 stiches increased every 8th row.
The naturally curvy edge of a feather and fan pattern is quite becomming at bothe edges too.

Beginning with 8 repeats of a 8 stitch pattern can be increased to a 10 stitch pattern after row . This would create 16 increase in 1 round. The pattern could be increased again, (to a 12 stitch pattern) after another 4 rows… and so on. Feather and Fan is one pattern that works will with this kind of increase.

You can even use Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi shawl formula, if you remember you are really starting your shawl at round 12 (and need to knit 4 rounds to be at a magic number (16) and double your stitches then, (and again at rounds 32, 64, 128, etc) –and fill the rounds in between the increase with small patterns, in lace or just using fancy stitches.

A variation on this basic design is the arc, or incomplete circle. Acr's are closer fitting. The stitch gauge and the number of increases in each round are the decisive factores in making a circle or arc shape. Both cthe circle and the arc also work well as capelets.

7-- The Triangle Poncho

Easy Versital
Very narrow/close fitting
Not perfectly symetrial
Can be tedious to knit towards the end

This poncho has less ease than most, (I’ve listed that as an advantage, but it could just as easily be seen as a disadvantage!)

Started with just 3 stitches, with increases every row, the poncho starts out as a large (very large!) triangle. It works best when the triangle is symmetrical, so garter, or even sead stitch are good choices.

The bound off edge is folded to make a smaller square shape, and then sewn together to make a center front seam, leaving the edge closest to the fold open a neck opening.

Because of the fold, the direction of the knitting in back is straight, but it's diagonal in front.

8—The Notch Square.

Versital shape
Roomy, with out being tent like
Good coverage for lower arm
Best suited for advanced knitting techniques.

This shape is more often seen in crocheted poncho’s, especially those made from ‘granny square’ motifs.

It is made from 2 idential notched square are sewn together.

It could be started at several points, but I think this style would look wonderful in entralac. One of the side seams could be replaced with a provisional cast on, the second side seam could be eliminated by grafting.

Plain or fancy, single color or multi color (or Noro self patterning colors) knit entralac square could be substituted for the normal granny squares.

I don’t think I have seen a poncho knit like this.. (but I would love to!)

There are, no doubt, other styles/techniques for knitting poncho’s -- but thesse 8 styles are by far the most common. And each of these styles have many variations, and are open to improvements: the Rhombuis poncho often has an extra line of increases at the shoulder line.—the Folded triangle benefits from this as well.

Changes as minor as a fringed or not fringed change the final appearence of a Poncho dramaticically. Solid colors or striped with a self striping yarn, or striped with a variety of yarns area other way to change the final result.

Poncho's might seem loject to start desgning with--but a simplely shaped geometric froms they offer a beginner opportunity to think about how to make shapes to fit the human form.


Sarah said...


I so need to make one for my neice!

Maybe for Christmas.

And you've got me thinking, thanks!

MamaDawn said...

Thank you so much for this... it's awesome!

Love your view on knitting too! Going to use this to make my 2 dd's matching ponchos.... linked to you here so everyone else can read it and do it too!