Saturday, January 28, 2017

The poncho that pooched

I've been knitting for a very long time. I can't always tell when a pattern is going to turn out well, either in function or fit. I had a poncho as a teen that I wish I had kept so that I could have created a pattern from it. It was very simple but no pattern that I've seen over the years comes close to what I'm remembering.

I selected a pattern available through Ravelry called the Liliane Poncho. The pattern was not difficult and was adaptable to many weights of yarn. As a poncho, exact fit wasn't an issue. I chose Rowan pure wool yarn as it was a color I liked and the yarn store had enough of it in stock....or so I thought. That isn't a comment on the store, I'll explain in a moment.

There is some shoulder shaping to this poncho which is nice for a flattering fit. Knit on circular needles, the only purling done is within the 20 stitch panel of cables in the center front. I should have paid closer attention to the shoulder shaping. Much of this was knit in public areas where I wasn't about to try it on. The shaping would have looked much better if I had stopped at the green arrow rather than the yellow. My poncho pooches because of the too-long shoulder shaping. If you're a knitter, you'll know that trying things on is important, but trying on a poncho with over 300 stitches on a long cable needle isn't the easiest thing to do.
Last night I lightly steamed all of the poncho and then concentrated on the border, hoping to get it to lay flat. As you can tell in these photos, that didn't work well.
The pattern called for a slightly different border (mine is a seed stitch) which would have been deeper and ended in a V in the front. I would have done that but as I began my last skein of yarn, I could see that I would be cutting this close if I hoped to finish with a suitable length. Perhaps I should have ended the cable panel earlier but there is a rhythm to that cabling and cutting it off in the middle just didn't look right. 

Tomorrow when I see the ladies in my knitting group, I will get opinions and advice. Should I try soaking this entire thing and pinning it to block? Maybe heavier steaming is required? Maybe I should pick up stitches at the bottom in another yarn, knit an edging and turn all of that under like a dress hem? That seems like it would be bulky.
This really is warm and I am often cold. At the very least, this will be something I wear around the house but I really do need to improve the appearance of that border. The cable panel is very pretty.
There were 377 stitches on the needle at the time of casting off. I had trimmed all of the loose ends after weaving in my joins, and knotted them together to improve my chances of not running short. That didn't work. I was 25 stitches short of finishing with the Rowan yarn. I picked a yarn that is nothing like this wool but was closest in color. 

No matter how long you've worked at a craft, a project can still be humbling. By the way, humbling, in this case, is a substitute word for %$#^&* frustrating. 

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