I have spent many enjoyable hours in my life making lovely items from scraps of material. I hope I can inspire some of you.
DIY Rectangle Poncho With Knitted Armbands, Neckband and Hem
The sewing element of this pattern consists simply of cutting out two matching rectangles of fabric, over-locking the raw edges of each with a sewing machine, and then joining them together, leaving gaps for neck and armbands.
If your sewing machine does not have an over-locking facility, the raw edges can be neatened by folding them over 0.25 mm, pressing, and machining with a straight stitch.
The finished garment will fit the following sizes:
- Small-Medium: 81–97 cm/32–38 in
- Large-Extra Large: 102–117 cm/40–46 in
If you wish to increase the sizing, just add extra centimetres to the length and width of your fabric panels.
An Easy Pattern With a Professional Finish
The professional finish which you should easily be able to achieve belies the ease and speed with which this garment can be made. For this reason, it makes an excellent gift.
- Approximately 1.5 metres of fabric at least 112 cm wide. (Medium-weight knitted fabrics that drape well are best.)
- Four 100 gram balls of good-quality double-knitting yarn in a coordinating colour.
- Sewing thread.
- Sewing machine, preferably with over-locking facility.
- One size 4 mm circular knitting needle.
- One pair of long (38 cm) straight knitting needles, size 4 mm. (Optional: You can use your circular needle to work back and forth if you prefer.)
- Darning needle and crochet hook.
Instructions for Preparing Your Fabric
- Cut two identical rectangles of fabric measuring 56 cm by 133 cm. If you have extra fabric and you wish your finished garment to be longer, you can increase the length here. (The example in the photograph was made with two 133 cm length rectangles).
- Measure two points along the inner edge of each rectangle at 32 cm and 79 cm respectively, as shown in the diagram below. The distance between the two middle points should measure 47 cm.
- Mark the centre point of each rectangle at the armhole edge on each panel (at 66.5 cm), then mark 22 cm in each direction from this measurement. This is the armhole measurement which will be 44 cm in total.
- Over-lock the raw edges of each rectangle, or neaten by turning, pressing and stitching 0.25 mm, as described above.
- Using a straight stitch, join the two panels at the centre-front seam, leaving 47 cm open in the middle for the neckband.
- Thread your darning need with the coordinating yarn. DO NOT BREAK THE YARN. You will be working with the ball of yarn intact.
- With your work facing towards you and starting at centre-back, make 38 running stitches down left side of neck opening roughly 0.75 cm in from the edge, and 38 up the right side, making 76 running stiches in all. Do not draw the yarn tight. (See photo below.)
Start Knitting the Neckband
- Using 4 mm circular needle, with your work facing towards you and starting at centre-back, pick up each running stitch in turn and p1, k1 into each stitch as shown below. When you have completed this, you will have 152 stitches on your needle. Place a marker on your needle at this point.
- Work in rounds to create your neckband in crocodile stitch. Instructions for knitting crocodile stitch in the round are given below.
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How to Crocodile Stitch
Crocodile stitch is easy and satisfying to knit, effective to look at, and your work grows quickly. If you have problems following the instructions below, there are some very good video tutorials online that you can refer to.
WS = wrong side
RS = right side
k = knit
p = purl
sl-1 = slip one stitches
sl-2 = slip two stitches
p3tog = purl 3 together
yf = yarn forward
yan = yarn around needle
wyib = with yarn in back
Crocodile Stitch in the Round
Row 1 (Setup row): k1, p1. Repeat all round.
Row 2: Wyib, *k1, yf, sl1. Repeat from * all round.
Row 3: Yan, p1, s2. Repeat all round.
Row 4: Keep yf, *k1, p3tog. Repeat from * all round.
Row 5: Wyib, *k1, p1. Repeat from * all round.
Repeat rows 2 to 5 three times. You will have made four repeats of the four rows of crocodile pattern. Cast off in k1 P1 rib.
Stitch the Armbands
- At armhole edge, front and back, measure a point 22 cm down from marked centre point. Your armhole measurement should be 44 cm.
- With work facing towards you and using 4 mm standard knitting needles, without breaking yarn, make 40 running stitches to make the basis for your armhole cuff. With your work facing towards you, p1, k1 into each stitch making a total of 80 stitches in all.
- Use the instructions below to finish off each knitted armhole.
Straight Crocodile Stitch
Pattern Worked Back and Forth on Straight Needles
Row 1: (WS) Sl-1 wyib, then bring yarn to front, *sl-1, yon, p1. Repeat from * to last st, k1.
Row 2: (RS) S1-1 wyib, then bring yarn to front, *p1, sl-2, yon. Repeat from * to last st, k1.
Row 3: (WS) Sl-1 wyib, *k3tog, p1. Repeat from * to last st, k1.
Row 4: (RS) Sl-1 wyib, *k1, p1. Repeat from * to last st, k1.
Repeat rows 1 to 4 three times. You will have four rows of crocodile pattern. Cast off.
Stitch the Hem, Front and Back
- Using the same procedure as above and with your work facing towards you make 104 running stitches across the width of your front hem.
- With your work facing towards you, pick up each stitch in turn and p1, k1 into each stitch, making 208 stitches in all.
- Work in straight crocodile stitch for 4 complete pattern returns. Cast off.
- Repeat as for front hem until you have worked 4 complete pattern returns.
- On the next row, continuing to work in pattern, cast off 26 stitches and work to end of row.
- Continuing to work in pattern, cast off 26 stitches at the beginning of every row until only 2 stitches remain.
- K2tog and pull yarn through remaining stitch.
- Join side seams. Use your sewing machine to join the fabric parts of your garment and your knitting yarn to join the knitted parts.
- Use your crochet hook to neaten and hide any trailing ends of yarn.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Annabelle Johnson