Are you in love with those popular, lucious, textured, fashion shawls and ponchos worn by celebrities like Jessica Simpson (from the Newlyweds), and designed by people like Cecilia du Bucourt, Murielle, and Max Azaria? Have you been going nuts scouring the internet for decent instructions so you can make one for yourself? Does spending time zooming in, trying to determine stitches from a fuzzy or too small image sound familiar? If so, you've come to the right place.
Several weeks of blood, sweat and tears, inspired by the creations mentioned above, and I had myself a little crocheted off the shoulder poncho!
- worsted weight yarn, preferably cotton or mostly cotton blend yarn, at least 600 hundred metres (I used a coned 8/8 75% cotton, 25% acrylic yarn in Dark Linen colour) - check out the yarn at joann.com
- 4.0 mm hook (Can 8, US 6/G), or size needed to produce a loose, drapey fabric
This fringed poncho is worked in the round from the top down. It has a slight point at the lower front and lower back edge, but not at the sides. It hangs to about elbow level (plus the fringe), and is more of a mini poncho. To make it longer, repeat the last two rounds, ensuring you end with a Mesh Round, as it looks better that way.
Special Thanks to: Angie for the first photos (shown below).
- Note: Work very LOOSELY throughout entire poncho.
- Note 2: Work INTO chains, not around them, throughout entire poncho.
- Here are the Flower Stitch instructions.
- Ch 102 (96 + 6) to make about 26-30" around first round (neckline). And yes, you do join the end of this long chain to the beginning to make a big ring (loop), as we're working in the round.
- Flower Round 1 - Work Row One of Flower Stitch, ending by working a Petal 5. Then, make an extra Petal 3 (horizontal petal) up to the point where you've got the 3 loops on the hook. Then draw a loop through the point where your very first Petals 1, 2 and 3 of the round join together, continue to draw same loop through 3 loops already on hook, chain 1. This joins the round at top edge of this first Flower St round (your beginning chain joins the round together at the bottom) - about 16 flower centres along working edge of garment.
- Flower Round 2 - Work Row 2 of Flower St w single horizontal ch-7 in place of the usual horizontal petal between flowers, ending with Petal 4 to the point where you have 6 loops on the hook. Draw a loop through the point where Petal 1 and 3 join together (whichever exact spot works out best). Continue to draw the same loop through the 6 sts already on hook, ch 1. This joins together the top edge of Round 2 of the Petal Stitch.
- Mesh Round - Ch 7 (for first dtr-ch1), dtr in same st for first increase point. *Skip 1 ch, (dtr, ch 1) in next ch * half way around poncho. (Dtr, ch1, dtr) in same st for second increase point. *Skip 1 ch, (dtr, ch 1) in next ch * rest of the way around poncho, occassionally working every 3rd chain instead of every 2nd chain to give it a more casual, homespun look. This works out to one dtr at top of each petal, plus 3 in between petals.
- Work another Flower Round 1 with one exception: At each increase point (the space between the 2 dtr's that were worked in the same spot, looks a bit like a V with the top closed), make a "corner" out of petals (work 3 petals into space between 2 dtr's of previous rnd in order to turn the corner).
This is done by working in pattern around until you reach the increase point and have a Petal 5 anchored between the 2 double trebles that were anchored in the same spot on the previous (mesh) round. Work Petals 3 and 4, anchoring Petal 4 in the same spot as the previous Petal 5, and pulling a loop through all loops on hook when done, ch 1 to hold them together. Work Petals 3 and 4 in the same way again, anchoring Petal 4 in that same spot once again. You'll have a Petal 5 and two Petal 4's attached there, with a Petal 3 (horizonal petal) between them at the top. There should be about 24 flower centres including the ones at front and back increases.
Note: For this and future Flower Round Ones, since there is no starting chain, you'll work the base of your petals into the top of every third dtr from the previous row. You may have to fudge a bit to get it to work out evenly.
- For you first "corner" of the round, you have to do it a little differently. You need to make the first half of the stitch only, working the second half after completing the rest of the round. This way, your starting point for the next round is in the correct place.
After you've slip stitched your mesh round closed, make one more slip st so your yarn is attached to the space between the top of the two stitches of the "increase point" on the previous (mesh) round. Since there is no "previous petal 3, 4, 5" cluster to anchor "petal 5" of into that space, instead you need to work a Petal One (the one that starts with a ch-6) and anchor it into that space. Then continue with a horizontal Petal 3, then a Petal 4, into that same space. It'll look like a letter "V" that's closed at the top (sort of a triangle with the point at the bottom). Continue around, making your other "corner" where needed, then work your way back to the starting point of the round again. End your previous
"petal 3, 4, 5 group" like usual, with Petal 5 anchored in that first space again (where your first half of the first flower of the round started), then work a horizontal Petal 3, and slip stitch it to the upper right corner of that first closed "V" (downward pointing triangle).
- Work Flower Round 2, again working a ch-7 for horizontal petals. Make the same type of increase as in previous round to turn the corner at the increase point. It'll work. :)
- Work another Mesh Round, increasing the same way as before.
- Work another Flower Round (Rows 1 and 2), increasing in the same manner as the previous Flower Round. There should be about 38 flower centres in this final Flower rnd.
- Work another, final Mesh Round.
- Cut about 80 pieces of yarn, approx 22" long, then cut those in half. Using 2 strands at a time folded in half, insert crochet hook from wrong side of fabric at lower edge, pull loop through, then pull loose ends completely though loop, and tighten them up. Do this every second ch-1 space all around.
- To adjust the size, you must use a multiple of 6 sts, plus 6 for your first petal.
- Be sure to get lots of practice with the Flower Stitch before starting out. It's easy once you get the hang of it. Then work a few rows in the round, to ensure you're getting it right, so you don't have to rip it out seventeen times like I did. :)
- It's important to line up the joins in your rounds as described in these instructions. Otherwise, your increases may not line up correctly and you will own a cockeyed poncho. :)
- For an alternative neckline (which, to be honest, I intended to do in the first place, but forgot), for Round 2 of the Flower Stitch (Step 3 above), instead of chaining 7 between petal points, work a Horizontal Petal (Petal 3 in the Flower Stitch instructions). Break yarn when round is done, then work the following rounds from the other edge of this ring of flowers (your starting chain). It looks very nice! Note: You'll need to work your dtr's of the first mesh round spaced along your original starting chain, still working 3 between the petal points. Make sure that starting chain in worked very very loosely if you're doing this!
- Your total number of flower st petals per flower round may be slightly different from mine, but it should always be an an even number. This is so you can have your increases centred properly.
- To enhance the fringe for that designer look, for one of the strands of yarn, you can substitue a length of wide ribbon yarn or thin strips of light, gauzy material every third or fourth time.
- People on the internet have said they've made similar ponchos and shawls from acrylic yarn. If you do this, be sure to make a decent size swatch to see if it hangs the way you want it to. Be careful with the actual weight. I like cotton blends myself, as they drape nicely and don't weigh too much if combined with acrylic or rayon or linen, etc. With pure acrylic, you want it heavy enough to hang well, but not so heavy that it's uncomfortable to wear.
- If you leave out the increases for the front and back point, you'll have a capelet!
- If you don't have the time, patience or materials for making such things youself, you can buy them ready made, in various styles:
Do a search for celebrity shawl, celebrity poncho, jessica simpson shawl, bucourt shawl, designer poncho, designer shawl or similar terms. You'll find lots of results (at least in Spring 2004!).
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