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A Super Simple Poncho

As we mentioned in the last newsletter, Helen's knitting strategy during the Covid shutdown was to knit a simple rectangle, with the plan of creating a poncho. It was all she could handle. And now it is finished!

This poncho can be made with any yarn, but we think a lightweight, summer-ish yarn made with cotton, silk, linen, rayon or a blend of these fibers may be best.  Helen knit hers using three skeins of Opera, by Trendsetter Yarns, which you can find on our Fiber of Maine website. It is a cotton-blend dk weight yarn. Here are the directions in a nutshell: You need to use a yarn that you can knit loosely enough so it will drape and not curl if you are going to knit it all in stockinette (knit one row, purl one row), and that is why those summer fibers tend to work best. Knit a quick swatch to find the gauge that will create the knitted fabric you like. Then take the number of stitches per inch from your swatch and multiply it by 18 (this number comes from 18" -- the width of your rectangle). If, for example, you are knitting at 4 sts per inch, multiply 4 by 18 to get your cast-on number -- 72 sts. Knit mindlessly until you reach about 56" in length. Bind off, making sure you have about 2 yards of yarn left. Do not cut the tail. Fold the rectangle in half (so your folded piece now measures 18" by 28"). Using the tail and the mattress stitch, sew the long sides together -- on one side only -- toward the fold leaving approximately 10" for the neck opening. Try your poncho on before cutting yarn and weaving in ends so you can make adjustments to the size of your neck opening if necessary. Tie off, weave, block and enjoy! This poncho can be worn with the seam going down one shoulder or straight down the back. Size considerations: If you are petite, you can consider a 16" width instead of the 18" and knitting approx. 52" in length. Larger sizes should consider a 20" width, knitting closer to 60" in length.

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