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I Knit Around

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Dreadful Secret Revealed

First, a Word From My Sponsor

Or about him, at least. I haven't mentioned it in a while, but my husband, Gryphon, has a blog of his own. He just doesn't post to it very frequently. When he does, though, it's often thoughtful, sometimes philosophical, and frequently just downright insightful about something that's happened in our lives.

He recently posted an entry about our little pre-Thanksgiving DSL outage. You'll find that he can give more technical detail than I was able to, and he offers some thoughts about what the incident had to say about the place that the Internet holds in our lives.

Please do check it out - and if you're so inclined, some encouraging comments sent his way would be great. Gryphon sometimes wonders if anyone besides me is reading him!

And now, Our Feature Presentation

Be warned - I'm about to show you a picture of a dreadful, awful, horrible Finished Object. If you do not want to be struck blind by the sheer ugliness of this item, please turn away without scrolling down the page.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ugly Crochet Cape

Folkcat Wearing the Ugly Crochet Poncho

Isn't that the tackiest thing? And it's crochet, which is a technique I'm quite good at, but normally hate for garments. I made this in a fit of boredom one day last year, when I needed a quick-working project that would use up a multitude of odds-and-ends of Lion Brand Homespun yarn that I had lying around. The original pattern can be found here, at the Lion Brand website.

The truth is, though, that this capelet/poncho is also the finished yarn object that I wear more often than anything else I have ever created. We live in a drafty apartment, and gosh darn it, this ugly cape actually does the job. It stays in place and keeps the drafts off my shoulders. It doesn't hinder my arms, and it isn't long enough to get in the way of what I'm doing.

This time of year, I wear it almost every day.

To be honest, I don't wear it the way that Lion Brand intended. They were going for a funky, modern, trendy look, and they have you wear the opening over one arm, like this:

Ugly Crochet Cape - Lion Brand's Suggested Styling

Stylish? I Think Not

But to me, that's all wrong. My left arm would be cold, my right arm would be encumbered by the poncho, and face it, it just looks silly. I could wear it the other way, but then my right arm would be cold, and...well, you get the picture. Besides, it's made from Homespun, which is a warm, warm yarn - if you meant it to be a fashion accessory only, and not to have any functionality as a warming object, you should have used something lighter weight.

Ugly Crochet Cape on Chair

Modeled by my desk chair - no arms blocking your view!

I did have to size the pattern up significantly to fit me. I'm sorry, Lion Brand, but in my world a 40-42" bust is not large. (Edit: There were originally a few words here that were meant in jest, but on reflection I feel may have come across as mean-spirited. They were about the relative matter of size and where the definition of "fat" falls. It was not, nor would it ever be, my intent to offend anyone. I apologize.)

But enough about my size.

Back to the original Lion Brand pattern - to my credit, I did leave off the ginormous crochet flower that they have you make and sew a pinback onto so you can accesorize your own Ugly Crochet Poncho (UCP). As for the pink "fun fur" edging, I think by the time I got finished with the cape, I looked at it and decided it was so ticky-tacky anyway, I might as well send it over the top. (I say "fun fur" because it's actually a hand-dyed variety of the stuff that I bought at my LYS, and not Lion Brand's variety of the stuff.) Hey, if you're going to go ticky-tacky, don't do it in a half-assed way, right?


As I've been doing more and more creative knitting this year, though, I've been starting to get ideas when I slip my UCP over my head each morning. I keep thinking of the 3 skeins of Fuchsia Homespun that I have in my stash. Theoretically it's waiting to be knit into a Wearable Hug and then gifted to someone in need. But I have to admit, I lust after the color myself.

Fuchsia Lion Brand Homespun


It's not quite as pink, and it's more purple-y, than it looks in this picture. But you get the idea. It's bright, and the color makes me smile.

So I'm starting to make plans to knit myself a new version of the Ugly Crochet Poncho. Hopefully, it will turn out nice enough I can call it the Gorgeous Knit Poncho. Or at least the Happy Knit Poncho. We'll see.

I plan to use the same shape and structure that the UCP has - a band of circular work for a neckline, then work flat for the cape itself, leaving a 1 1/2" to 2" opening at the front. My neckline will be in rib stitch, and I think I'm going to keep the cape simple - maybe nothing more complex than a seed stitch variation for a little texture. The idea here, aside from the practical value of a nice-looking poncho to keep my shoulders warm in a drafty home, is to let the color be the star.

So, after I finish the current hat in progress (or sooner if I get bored with knitting hats), this will likely be the next work in progress. I'll be sure to keep you all updated.

Thanks for reading - I love being able to share my knitting with you all!


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