Poncho With Pizzazz
Easy Fashion Knitting Project
By Sylvia Braden
The poncho is a simple,
classic design with endless possibilities. These instructions are for a
specific type of poncho based on the traditional Mexican woman’s upper
garment called a quesquimitl.
It consists of two
rectangles, both the same size: for a 16” fashion doll, the dimensions of
each rectangle should be approximately 3” x 6-1/2”. My “poncho with pizzazz”
is handknit in garter stitch using five colors of yarn in various textures,
for a handwoven look. But it could be knit with finer yarns and smaller
needles for a softer, drapier look, or crocheted, or sewn from a woven
fabric such as silk, with a ruffle or beaded fringe (if using a non-stretchy
fabric, make the neck opening larger by cutting the rectangles a little
narrower, say 2-3/4” instead of 3”). While the two rectangles must be
the same size, they can be made in contrasting colors and stitches. I made
my two rectangles different by varying slightly the colors and the stripe
sequence, as you’ll see below:
Small amounts of yarn in
five colors (less than 1 ball total). I used yarns of roughly worsted weight
(and thinner yarns held together as one) with U.S. #7 needles. The specific
colors and yarns I used were:
Lavender—Mission Falls 1824 Cotton
Light Avocado—GGH Merino Soft
Hot Pink—Schachemayr Nomatta Catania cotton
Purple Heather—Plymouth Encore Worsted
Blue/purple/black “railroad” novelty yarn—Plymouth Eros
You don’t need to use
these exact yarns (I happened to have them all on hand). Use yarns you
already have, or treat yourself to one or two new balls in gorgeous colors
and textures, or to make the project even easier, just use one ball of a
beautiful variegated yarn.
Cast on 30 stitches in
purple. Work even in garter stitch (knit every row, no purling):
*Work 3 rows in purple, 3
rows in lavender, 3 rows in “railroad” and light avocado held together*
Repeat from * to *. Work 3 rows in purple, 3 rows in lavender. Cast off.
Cast on 30 stitches in
lavender. Work even in garter stitch:
Work 2 rows lavender, 2
rows pink, 2 rows purple, 2 rows lavender, 4 rows pink and “railroad” held
together, 2 rows purple, 2 rows lavender, 2 rows light avocado and
“railroad” held together, 2 purple, 2 lavender. Cast off.
Weave in loose yarn ends (from color changes) on wrong side. Sew side A to
side B. Fold on dotted lines. Sew side C to side D.
Cut about forty-five 6” long pieces of purple and railroad yarns (90 pieces
total). The easy way to do this is to wrap yarn around a 6” long piece of
cardboard or other similar object (I used my husband’s checkbook!) Hold
wrapped yarn together and cut at both ends.
Hold 1 strand of purple
and 1 strand of railroad together, then fold them in half. Hold folded
strands in front of poncho at lower edge. Insert crochet hook from back
through to front at edge. Grab fringe and pull through fabric to back..
Using hook, draw loose ends of fringe through folded end, making a loose
knot. Pull knot tight, and so that it lies right against fabric edge.
Repeat at every other
stitch (stitch 1, stitch 3, stitch 5 etc.etc.) continuing around all four
(optional): With tapestry or other large-eyed needle, weave single strand of
yarn around neck edge of poncho. Leave two tails of loose yarn; untwist the
bottom ½” or so of each strand and shape into fringe, separating and
flattening with your fingers.
Weaver’s Wearables by Virginia West, 1979
by Kaffe Fassett, 1985
Doll Poncho,” by Janice Helge,
© 2003 Sylvia Braden.
Questions? Comments? Photos
to share? Write me at