Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tres chic poncho. Not an oxymoron.

 

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I have to say it again:  blocking.  Blocking!  Look at that edge, it’s like a knife.  You could cut yourself on that edge. 

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As I squint into the setting sun and the 30+ mph wind hurls my hair in every direction, let me point out that this pattern is nothing more than a rectangle in stockinette stitch.  With a slipped stitch at each edge.  So there’s nothing to keep the edges from curling, which—and this is the truth—they always will.  Also—and this, too, is the truth—there’s nothing you can do about it.  Paradoxically, though, a good blocking will fix that curl, whip it right into shape, lay it right out.  I am wearing the proof right now.  The edges of this poncho are not curling.  I have the power of Zeus!  I am the boss of my knitting.  Success in this case is mostly due to the use of blocking wires (thank you, Deb!) which take an hour to install, but which in the end made all the difference in the world. 

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Not to mention the fact that this pattern achieves the impossible feat of making a poncho—one with the simplest possible construction—look chic.  I mean, really, honestly.  Don’t judge it by these photos of me, I beg you.  The wind was blowing it all over the place and I was frozen to the bone.  It is tres chic, I promise.  My husband used the word “elegant” without irony, and no little amazement.  An elegant poncho. 

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This is, of course, the Easy Folded Poncho, by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas.  I’ve gotta be straight with you.  It is hardly a revolutionary idea, the folded rectangle poncho.  You probably wore one when you were eight, and if you are from Peru, you are probably wearing one right now.  The savvy among you will be thinking what I also thought: Why the heck should I buy a pattern for a rectangle?  Which is all this is, a rectangle.  In stockinette stitch.  There are no size options. There is a cowl collar you can add if you're inclined to do it, but that’s nothing fancy, either.  There is talk of a provisional cast-on, leading one to think perhaps there is going to be an interesting construction element at work, but I am here to tell you that the provisional cast-on is utterly unnecessary in this case.  So, what does your five bucks get you, then?  I suppose it gets you the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a small yarn company, and that somebody went to the trouble of figuring out some basic dimensions that will fit some people.  I don’t know.  Is it a great pattern?  I mean, the end result is certainly a big win, helped a lot here by the gorgeous yarn [Chickadee by Quince and Co. in “Frost”.  Egad, that stuff is a dream.]  But it’s a rectangle, the simplest and most unfettered of all rectangles.  In any case, because this is a pattern that somebody is selling, I am not able to divulge its finished dimensions, mainly because I wouldn’t want somebody to do that to me, if I were selling something.  I hope that makes sense.  Anyway, enough with that.  I send the Churchmouse Yarns people all the love in the world.  This poncho is the best, most wearable thing I’ve made in a long time.   Love to the yarn people. 

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Perfect for springtime, no? 

In other news, look at this:

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I am so thrilled!  I took about four hundred pictures of it, because every time the sun moved an inch, the thing seemed to glow a little more. 

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You wouldn’t believe the pampering this plant gets.  So ridiculous.  I’ll probably be sending it away to finishing school soon, so it can learn to speak French. 

By way of comparison, I also have this orchid:

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I know, right?  I mean, isn’t that just inspiring?  One healthy leaf.  Sheesh.