Ok, here's my latest finished project. It's project #4, and my first with no real pattern. Of course, you hardly need one, since there isn't any shaping. It's just two rectangles sewn together. (Well, three if you count the stripe.)
Here's the poncho:
A closeup, because I LOVE the fringe. It took me as long to do the fringe as to knit the pieces.
And my girl modeling:
(It was late at night, and she was being slap-happy, so she looks kinda' goofy, hiding her hands under there. She loves wearing the thing because if she swaggers just a little all those beads make the niftiest swooshing noises.)
And here's how I did it:
I wanted a toddler poncho, but I wanted something super easy, that knitted up fast and was washable and easy to care for. I didn't really like any of the patterns I saw on pattern sites, and I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on yarn. Then, I came across a vintage pattern book with a really adorable poncho in it. It was much more sophisticated a style than most vintage ponchos; more like today's styles than like the 70's orange/brown ones. But, it was for an adult, and used really nice wool yarn that was no longer made. For obvious reasons, this wouldn't do. So here's what I did:
I noted what the length of each rectangle in the adult pattern was, and the found a chart that had typical body measurements for adult's and children's clothing sizes. I took a ratio of what the average medium-sized womens' shoulder size compared to the width and length of the poncho pieces. Then I did a little algebra, using the size 2T shoulder size, and found what the length and width of my 2T poncho pieces should be. As you can see, it turned out to be the PERFECT size, so I highly recommend this method, and that way ANYone can make ANY simple adult pattern into a child's.
Anyway, I had this yellow cotton yarn. It's actually Aunt Lydia's worsted crochet cotton/acrylic blend. I got two 400yd balls at Walmart on clearnance for $1.50. I worked up a swatch and figured my guage, then decided how many stitches I'd have to cast on to meet my length and width, including an extra stitch for the seam edge, and figured how many rows I'd have to knit, adding one extra row, also for a seam. The stripe was a happy accident. Since I'd knitted 4" of swatch already, I didn't want to unravel it and start over, so I decided to keep going, even though that piece fell 2" short of what I needed. I knit the correct number of rows, knit my other piece to measurement, then went out and bought another ball in white and knit the extra 2" in the contrasting color. Then I sewed it all together and added the fringe. I did not block this thing. It rolls in a little at the neck, but that doesn't bother me that much, and the fringe keeps the other edges from curling. I haven't even washed it yet, so once I do, I'm sure some of that can be taken care of.
All told, this poncho, including the fringe, took 1 and a half 160 count packages of alphabet beads and about 3/4 of a ball of yellow yarn, plus probably less than 1/8 ball of white. The beads cost me more than the yarn.
This is SUCH an easy project, and works up so quickly. I've gotten compliments from everyone who see's it, and my aunt even told me I should sell the things. (Ugh, not with that fringe on them. I wouldn't be able to make enough money to cover my time alone!)