Welcome to the spring installment of the Progressive Needles Knit Along. I’m thrilled to share 14 Carat with you – a poncho that is as much fun to knit as it is to wear. I was shopping last week and saw ponchos in every store and on so many women. The best news is that they looked great on everyone! Our poncho is enhanced by the excellent drape and beautiful hues of Cobasi. A big thank you to our sponsor, Skacel Collection, for distributing this yarn and for their continued support of knitting education.
Before we begin, here is an overview of the KAL:
- A portion of the 4-part mystery pattern is revealed here on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Thursdays in April at 9am Eastern time. The weekly pattern, video resources and lots of helpful tips are included in each post. An abbreviated, pattern-only version is included to download.
- All techniques are supported with video instruction at knitpurlhunter.com
- All questions and comments are monitored daily both here and in the Knit Purl Hunter group on Ravelry. It’s like having your own private knitting tutor!
- Projects completed by May 31 are eligible for the monthly prize drawing – first prize is a set of addi Clicks! See skacelknitting.com for all the info.
14 Carat has a very simple construction that is easy to customize. The poncho is knit as one long rectangle that is folded in half widthwise and then seamed partially along one long side. The width of the rectangle becomes the shorter length from shoulder to wrist as seen on the left side of the above sketch. The open portion of the seam becomes the neck opening. The closed portion of the seam drapes asymmetrically lower as seen on the right side of the sketch. Since it is the length of the rectangle that wraps horizontally around the body, it is very easy to adjust this measurement to suit the width of YOU. We will address how to customize the size in next week’s clue.
This week you must decide the width of the rectangle (22 or 24 1/2)” which will drape from neck to arm. Some of this measurement sits on the shoulder and also drapes at the neckline.
I have heard from many knitters fretting over which size to knit. Ignore the size names – I had to give them some kind of a moniker. Instead, choose the width of the rectangle (to be the length of the shorter side) and the length of the rectangle will be adjusted as needed. As I stated in earlier posts, the smaller size is more like the dreaded “One Size Fits All”. The larger size fits those who need a bit more. The body width of both sizes can be customized in Part 2. Don’t worry – the fit will be fabulous!
Because the cast on and bind off edges will eventually be seen side by side, it is important that they have a similar appearance. For this reason, I chose to cast on using the Crochet Cast On method. The result is a smooth and somewhat loose cast on that closely resembles the Standard Bind Off. With no long tail calculation, it is a great option when a large number of stitches are required. It is similar to the Provisional Cast On except it is worked in the project yarn where the final stitch on the crochet hook is placed on the left hand needle. I have long used this technique and it was one of my earliest videos. While my technology has vastly improved, the cast on is still an old favorite. Watch my Crochet Cast On video to add this to your repertoire.
The bottom and side borders are worked in seed stitch. This makes for a flat-lying edge that will be easy to seam in the finishing process. Follow the seed stitch directions as written. Do NOT slip the first stitch of every row. This is a nice practice in some instances, but is not suited to edges that will be seamed.
Following the seed stitch is a lovely 14 stitch diamond pattern – hence the name, 14 Carat! I provide both written and charted instructions for the pattern to suit your preference. The first three and last five stitches of every row will remain in seed stitch as the diamond pattern is worked. I abbreviated this in the written instructions as [seed 3] and [seed 5] for easy reading.
The diamonds include the usual yarn over, k2tog and ssk stitches that are standards in lace knitting. Row 13 contains the SK2P, a left leaning double decrease. This stitch is executed as slip one as if to knit, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over the resulting k2tog stitch and off the right hand needle. Slipping the first stitch as if to knit gives the decrease a smooth and decidedly left lean. See my SK2P video for a quick tutorial. All wrong side rows are worked in purl, excluding the seed stitch edges. I call these recovery rows!
I believe that the key to success in lace knitting rests with two practices – lifelines and markers. The lifelines will safeguard your work and makes unravelling and rescuing stitches a snap. I recommend placing a lifeline after working a wrong side row as often as desired. See Lifelines video
I routinely use markers between stitch pattern repeats to minimize errors. The markers turn a larger piece of knitting into smaller, more manageable sections of stitches. With each repeat isolated, errors are spotted in the repeat instead of at the end of a very long row.
I recommend placing markers between each 14 stitch repeat of the diamond pattern, but there is one problem! In Row 13, the SK2P requires moving the marker to execute the k2tog portion of the decrease. I solved this dilemma by using removable stitch markers. As I got to the k2tog in the SK2P, I removed the marker, completed the SK2P, worked the last yarn over of the repeat and then replaced the marker. The marker is now automatically in the correct place for the remainder of the design – no need to reset or rearrange it later. You can actually see this shift in Chart A. If you are knitting from the chart, remember that the stitch repeat is found between the bold lines with the stitches outside of these lines serving as the edge stitches (stitches before and after the * in the written directions).
In lace knitting, the most common problem is forgetting a yarn over in a row. This omission does not mean that the row has to be removed to replace the missing yarn over. There is a quick solution called the Afterthought Yarn Over. I have a video waiting for you should you need it!
Below is a photo of Part 1. I hope you will share your photos in my Ravelry group for all to admire. I can’t wait to see them!
Small/ Med. (Large/ XL)
22 (24 1/2)” wide, 60 (67)” long before folding
- CoBaSi by HiKoo, 50g/220 yards each, 55% cotton, 16% bamboo, 8% silk, 21% elastic nylon, 6 (8) skeins
- US #7 (4.5mm) needle or size needed to obtain gauge
- Size F crochet hook for cast on
23 sts and 31 rows = 4” in stockinette, unblocked
k2tog – knit two together. See K2tog video
[Seed 3] – k1, p1, k1.
[Seed 5] – k1, p1, k1, p1, k1.
SK2P (sl 1, k2tog, psso) – slip next stitch as if to knit, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over decreased stitch and off the needle. Left leaning, double decrease. See SK2P video
ssk – slip next stitch as if to knit, slip next stitch as if to knit, insert left needle into the front of these two slipped stitches from left to right and knit together. See SSK video
yo – yarn over. See Yarn Over video
Click here to download printable version
Using Crochet Cast On method, cast on 125 (139) sts. See Crochet Cast On video
Row 1. (RS) *K1, p1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 2. (WS) *K1, p1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 3. Same as 1.
Row 4. Same as 2.
Row 5. Same as 1.
Row 6. Same as 2.
Row 7. K1, p1, k1, knit to last 5 sts, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1.
Row 8. K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, purl to last 3 sts, k1, p1, k1.
Row 9. Same as 7.
Row 10. Same as 8.
Work next 30 rows using Chart A (p. 5) or written instructions below.
Row 1. [Seed 3] k1, *k7, yo, ssk, k5; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 2 and ALL wrong side rows through Row 30. [Seed 5] purl to last 3 sts, [seed 3].
Row 3. [Seed 3], k1, *k5, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k4; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 5. [Seed 3], k1, *k4, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k3; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 7. [Seed 3], k1, *k3, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, ssk, k2; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 9. [Seed 3], k1, *k2, k2tog, yo, k7, yo, ssk, k1; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 11. [Seed 3], k1, *k1, k2tog, yo, k9, yo, ssk; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 13. [Seed 3], k1, k2tog, yo, *k11, yo, SK2P, yo; repeat from * working last repeat k11, yo, ssk, k3, [seed 5].
Row 15. [Seed 3], k1, *yo, ssk, k12; repeat from * to last 9 sts, yo, ssk, k2, [seed 5].
Row 17. [Seed 3], k1, *k1, yo, ssk, k9, k2tog, yo; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 19. [Seed 3], k1, *k2, yo, ssk, k7, k2tog, yo, k1; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 21. [Seed 3], k1, *k3, yo, ssk, k5, k2tog, yo, k2; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 23. [Seed 3], k1, *k4, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k3; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 25. [Seed 3], k1, *k5, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k4; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 27. [Seed 3], k1, *k6, yo, SK2P, yo, k5; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].
Row 29. [Seed 3] k1, *k7, yo, ssk, k5; repeat from * to last 9 sts, k4, [seed 5].