Ponchos or Capelets For Staying Warm in the Office

On this page you will find lists of patterns for knitting (and crocheting) ponchos, or poncho type apparel. I am looking for a pattern to knit and decided to share some of my favorite considerations.

My daughter recently began a new job and mentioned that it is freezing cold in her office. Everyone wears sweaters or wraps of some kind to stay warm. They are not able to regulate the temperature, as I think might be true of any large corporation where the higher-ups want control. “Lets save money and keep the AC turned to 60.” Who knows how they think, but the office workers just have to deal with it.

My daughter mentioned how much she would love to have a poncho!

I’ve had a love for ponchos since I was a kid. My grandmother knit, or crocheted, ponchos form my sister and I and I remember just loving the feel of wool wrapped around me.

Ponchos are warm yet loose. There is freedom of movement and the feeling of being snuggled all at once. Hide your hands, or reach out and easily grab something. Or wear something shorter that won’t get in the way at all.

Because I have lived in Florida for most of my adult life, I never had a need for a poncho. Now that I knit, I have been saving up favorite poncho patterns while browsing the Ravelry website.

A smaller version of the poncho may work better in an office environment. These little ponchos can be called capelets or cowls or wraps. They would be pretty simple to knit. On this page I have a collection of possibilities and have not decided on a pattern yet. Some are free patterns also.


Capelets are the smaller / shorter version of a poncho. They only cover the neck and shoulders. Some are listed as cowls.

  • Bonjour Hi – Capelet from Espace Tricot. This one is a free pattern and uses two yarns together to equal a fingering weight.
  • Getting Warmer – Cowl from Espace Tricot. Knit this cowl bottom up in bulky yarn to create a cowl with a larger bottom section. This is also a free pattern.
  • Converging Lines Cowl – from Purl Soho is knit in a sport weight yarn. This is a free pattern.
  • Lake Harriet Capelet – This one has colorwork designs. It can be purchased at the link.


  • Nascha – by Andrea Mowry, this poncho is knit in brioche stitch. Yikes… I have had trouble knitting brioche, but this is a very lovely 2-color, reversible, poncho. It might be time to really learn this stitch. This one is not free, but it is not expensive. It is basically knit in a long rectangle then sewn up partially to create the neck opening.
  • Indigo Frost – by Isabell Kraemer, is knit in worsted weight yarn. It is a turtleneck with some mosaic colorwork stitches and tiny holes in a short poncho version which is really more like a capelet.
  • Kate’s Poncho – (see photo) Simple, long or short poncho with some seed stitch. Lots of knitters have made this.
Kate’s poncho on recipient
Kate’s Poncho modeled by my daughter

Crocheted Poncho Patterns

I don’t do much crocheting these days, but a lot of ponchos are crocheted. Here is a short list of some nice ones I found at Ravelry.

Poncho vs. Sweater Knitting

A poncho can be similar in some ways to knitting a sweater. Of course there are no sleeves to deal with, but some styles have a neck to knit with ribbing or similar. A poncho is perfect when knitting a gift for someone living far away. Size does not matter all that much.

I would prefer a pattern that uses a worsted weight yarn as it would knit up quicker. Also a washable yarn is needed.

Ponchos come in many styles. Some are simply long rectangles attached after knitting. Some have lots of intricate designs with buttons or other accessories. Depending on the size, they can be expensive to knit needing around six skeins of yarn (approximately for long versions).

I want to knit something fairly simple that would be comfortable to wear while working at a desk. A smaller / shorter capelet might be best for my daughter’s needs. I really like the Converging Lines Cowl or Kate’s Poncho (listed above). Then again, something like the Nascha poncho is appealing because it has such an open neckline. But is it too large? And can I knit brioche successfully? Decisions, decisions.

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