Sunday, September 19, 2004

Q & A's on Poncho from Thursday's Entry

On the Internet group known as Crochet Partners, my poncho has been being discussed. One of the members wrote:

Okay, Crocheting-Dee! I will have to admit that your poncho is also the most beautiful poncho I've ver seen! What stitch? What pattern? What yarn? Black or purple - it is 'da bomb'!!! So hip and FUN!
-karen in AL

And in yesterday's journal comments:

I love this poncho, too! And I like it in the blue. My niece has asked me to make her a poncho and I've e-mailed her several pictures to choose from, however, I suspect she'll prefer this one once she sees it. As I live in Edmonton Alberta, it's not likely I'll be able to attend your workshop, so may I purchase the pattern?
Mary "

So I thought I'd address these questions and others that I've received:

1. What did it cost to make this poncho?
     The materials I used were all high-end yarns ranging in price from $7 a skein to $15. I used approximately 10 skeins of yarn.   (I'll let you do the math.)

2. What size hook did you use?
     For the entire project, regardless of what type of yarn I used, I stayed with the same hook. A "Graydog" size K.

3. What stitch(es) did you use?
     Because I wanted the yarn to take center stage, I kept all of the stitches simple, except for one. Depending upon the fiber being used, I did single, half-double, or double crochet stitches. One row, near the top, is of the rice stitch, also known as the bullion stitch, or "crochet on a roll."

4. Is there a pattern available?
     No. It's a one-of-a kind.
     The workshop that I teach is about design elements and how they effect different types of bodies and personality traits. This allows the class participant to go and create original ponchos for themselves or others that will flatter the individual.

5. What color is it? Blue, Purple, Black?
     It's black. Really, it is!!
     Unfortunately black is one of the hardest colors to photograph, and the combination of flash and sunlight combined forces and "altered the photo coloring." In all due honesty, I don't think my hair is that bright orange either.

6. How long did it take you to create the poncho?
     Off and on, sneaking in stitches when I could, it took about two weeks. The most time consuming aspect of the poncho, believe it or not, was knotting the fringe ends. (One of the yarns was "unraveling!!")

7. If you were to make it again, what would you change?
     I think I'd omit the bullion/rice/roll stitch row. The weight of the poncho is pulling them ... in essense, the stitches are being stretched. I'm already thinking of "going in" and fixing it somehow to prevent further stretching.

8. How did you pick the yarns that you used?
     For the past three years, I've been collecting black yarn. A skein of this, a skein of that. Then I went through the collection and picked out those of various textures. Then I went in and selected those skeins that had what I call "a punch of color" and selected those with "punches" that matched even though they were from different manufacturers. Finally, I decided upon two black yarns that "glitzed" ... that reflected light. This helped give the poncho a "life" of it's own.

9. Can this poncho be done with less expensive yarns?
     Oh, absolutely!

10. Would you consider parting with it? Selling it?
     My husband asked the same question! ... no, this poncho I designed for me. We crocheters have the habit of giving or selling nearly everything we make and rarely treat ourselves. This is my treat to myself.

11. What would the washing instructions be like?
     Since it's made with a variety of different fibers, handwashing and laying flat to dry is the only method I'd consider.

12. Are you going to make one for your daughter?
     No! (lol)
     Actually, she already has two ponchos I've created for her. One is green & white from Sirdar's eyelash yarn. The other is of "American Indian" theme complete with feathered trim.

14. Where do you teach?
     You can learn about the design elements by calling Knit Together and signing up for the Workshop. Knit together is in Stamford, and the workshop is being offered several times. (

15. Can you send me the workshop handouts?
     I can appreciate that those living further away may not be able to attend my classes/workshops. The handouts I provide in this class serve as a reminder -- I think having just the handouts may confuse those that are not in the class to receive the personalized instructions.

16. For those of us needing to use actual printed instructions for creating a poncho, what do you recommend?
     There are a variety of free patterns on the Internet, and many books and magazines are coming out with new ones all the time. If you're into the retro look, check out magazines and books from the 1970's ... using today's fibers, yesterdays patterns will surely help you make your own "da bomb" ponchos tooJ

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