Knitting a Short Poncho in Tweed Wool

Kate’s Poncho knitting project finished

After searching for a poncho pattern to knit, I have narrowed it down to Kate’s Poncho (pattern link below). It is a cute, short poncho with some seed stitch on front and back. The collar is also seed stitch but I changed it to a short rib. I’m knitting it for my daughter who works in a cold office. I figure a shorter neckline will be more comfortable.

Finding Tweed Yarn

I knew I wanted to use all one color and a neutral one at that. There is a lot of stockinette and I thought that a tweed yarn would look nice. If the yarn could also be machine washed, that would be a plus. The poncho is not for me, and I’d like it to be easy to care for.

Well, I didn’t end up buying washable yarn, but I did find some tweed wool from Ireland that I hope will be beautiful. The Soft Donegal merino wool is on order from the Dublin Bay website where I found each skein for about $5.00 CHEAPER than many other sites…!! It pays to shop around. They also have free shipping for US orders over $35… ! Yay… what a deal. They also had my first color choice, “Oatmeal” in stock. I bought three skeins for a total of 630 yards.

Although this poncho will have to be hand-washed when needed, it shouldn’t need washing very often. Maybe a spot clean here and there.

Soft Donegal tweed yarn
Tweed wool to knit a poncho

The yarn’s here..!!! Not only was the price of this yarn excellent, the shipping was super fast – it arrived in two days – but the yarn itself is superb. It is very soft wool. If you have ever used Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn, it feels exactly like this. I had no trouble hand-winding the skeins (over my knees).

This is the first yarn I have purchased in a while. I’m trying to use up my stash, but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of matching skeins. The Soft Donegal gets very good reviews from knitters at Ravelry and now I can see why!

Knitting The Pattern: Kate’s Poncho Review

A size 9 needle is suggested and I do not have a 16-inch size 9. I had to go down to a size 8 until I could get my stitches onto a 24-inch size 9 needle. I did that after the first increase row on the patterning.

Kate’s poncho stitches and markers

The Neck

I am changing up the neck for this poncho so it won’t be high. The pattern calls for a seed stitch cowl type neck. I knit a 1×1 rib for about 1.5 inches. By the way, you must cast-on an even number of stitches to do this, so I added one stitch to the normal cast-on number.

Using the Old Norwegian cast-on has created a nice stretchy neck. Once I had the stitches on a 24 inch circular needle, I pulled it over my head to make sure.

I’ve ended up with 13 markers on this project. Each section of knitting is marked and I added four more markers to show where the increases are made. This helped me at the beginning of the project.

This is a fairly simple pattern to knit. Once the knits and purls are marked out, it’s one normal round of following the pattern and one round of increases.

The spit splice method of attaching yarn works very well for the Donegal Tweed. I really love this way of attaching skeins. I used it throughout my striped Warm Up Sweater and had very few ends to weave in. This time I only had two strands when I finished!

I’m doing a twisted rib around the bottom. I like the way it looks. and am hoping it will be good for finishing up this poncho. I am not doing any kind of stretchy bind off, just a normal loose bind off.

Buy the Kate’s Poncho Pattern

Mods: I changed the collar and did a simple 1×1 ribbing. I did a twisted rib along the bottom. I added length and knit to a total of 19 inches long after blocking.

Hand knit poncho drying
Finished – washed and blocked

I used up nearly all of my three skeins of yarn. I could have done one or two more rounds for the ribbing, but chose to leave it at two inches as the pattern called for. If I had knit the normal “cowl” collar, I would have definitely needed all three skeins and possibly more to make the poncho longer.

What Knitter’s Need to Know

What you need to know how to do in order to knit this pattern:

  • Cast-on with preferred method. See my Cast On Page if you need ideas, but choose a stretchy cast on. I did the German Twisted / Old Norwegian which is what I almost always use.
  • Knit, purl, Make One Right, Make One Left
  • Seed Stitch (see below)
  • Place markers where pattern says – you will need 9 (I used 13 total- 4 extra to mark increases)
  • Cast-off and weave in ends

How to Do a Seed Stitch

Just in case you don’t know what a “seed stitch” is, I will explain here.

Alternate knits and purls by row. The seed stitch sections on the poncho are bordered by a simple knit stitch. Those border stitches will always be knits. After the knit, your seed stitch section would begin (first row) with a knit one, purl one, across for the number of stitches in the pattern. When you come to the seed stitch section again, alternate the knits and purls. If you had a knit in the row above, do a purl and alternate across the row. *Remember to always do a knit stitch for the border stitches in this section.

Kate’s Poncho knitting project finished
Me wearing the poncho after blocking

This yarn really became more lovely after washing and blocking. This item was not knit for me, but as a gift to my daughter who works in a cold office setting. She is taller and slimmer than I am, and I hope it will fit her well and keep her warm.

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