All About Crochet Ponchos

by Alison Stapleton

Ponchos

Ponchos are always on trend and make a good fashion staple.

Ponchos were originally made from a blanket with a hole cut in for your head. This simple method will still work, but it creates too much fabric around your body.

Your poncho should not lie out flat like a blanket, if it does it is way too big for you.

You can make a poncho from a triangle as well, by folding the points together and cutting a hole for you head. It is a simple piece of clothing.

Ponchos are typically pointed capes that have no sleeves and are closed at the front.

Modern poncho designs, with fronts and backs, are more flattering, streamlined and look good.

Poncho design (2 piece)

An easy poncho design is made by crafting two identical oblongs. In this design the the length is twice the width.

For example if the short side is 40cm then the long side should be 80cm. This would fit most women. For infants kids you can start with a 20cm to 30cm short side.

Then you sew them together offset and fold on the dotted line to join at the back as shown in the diagram below.

If you add a crochet border at the neck it will provide a better fit. You can also create a polo neck to this ponch for cooler weather. If you don’t want so much fabric at the shoulder area you can add a drawstring that will make the whole garment adjustable.

poncho diagram 1-page-001

The two piece poncho design works well with stripes going lengthways. This draws the eye down towards the point thus elongating the look of elegance. If the stripes go on the short side it makes the garment seem bulkier to the eye.

Any crochet pattern or striped stitches can be used to make the two simple rectangles and the possibilities are endless. You can use granny squares as well.

How to wear a poncho

Ponchos are great for kids and women. You can easily ride a bike in a poncho. Wearing a poncho at an evening bar-b-que is a good option to a pashmina which you always seem to need to hold.

A poncho is easy to wear as it does not have to ‘fit’ the body well. Your poncho should be snug but have some room. Ponchos are good for travelling on the bus or plane as they are light and comfortable to wear.

A poncho is a casual garment at best. This item is not part of your business, work wardrobe but will form part of your weekend easy-going clothes.

I like to have a new poncho every autumn and I will usually crochet one in the fall colours that season. I sometimes make my daughters one each as well although they don’t always want one, that doesn’t stop me. 🙂

If you keep a poncho too long it can look ratty and tatty. When it gets old give it to the dog as a blanket.

Poncho size and trim

Be careful of ponchos that hang too low in front. You don’t want it flapping around you knees so you look like Clint Eastwood in a western movie.

The front point should lie at the same level (horizontally) as your finger tips when your hands are by your side.

Many ponchos have fringes which can be either all around the edge, are only tassels at the points, or only on two sides (left or right when facing front and back) of the point.

Poncho colours

Watch out for garish colours and too many colour combinations in one poncho. They look best with one, two or three colours only. When you use colour in crochet you need to understand what works best.

If the darker colour is at the bottom and the lighter colours are at the top the garment is visually pleasing because the darker colours ‘ground’, or add visual gravitas, to the poncho at the widest part (the edge).


Crochet Poncho Patterns

I like making ponchos almost as much as I love crafting shawls and wraps. You can see my easy Poulton Poncho pattern and Preston Poncho pattern (details coming soon).