Child's Poncho

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    Scrappy Delight

    line of wool string connected to knitting project
    Siri Stafford / Getty Images

    This Child's Poncho knitting pattern is a fun and funky scrap knitting project, allowing you to use up a bunch of bits of yarn in different, coordinating colors. Using two strands of different yarns held together, with one yarn changed at a time, the finished look has a lot more depth than single-strand knitting would allow.

    The construction of the poncho is super-simple. It's two triangles worked from the tip up and joined at the shoulders with a three-needle bind off. The remaining...MORE stitches are joined in the round and worked with a novelty yarn thrown in to frame the face.

    Sizes are given for six months up to 4 years, but because the shape is so simple you can easily customize it to whatever size you want (even for an adult). Instructions are below.


    • About 220 (230, 240, 250) yards of a variety of yarns of similar colors. I used mostly medium weight yarns in pink and purple, with two yarns held together throughout, except for the border, which was worked in a single strand of bulky weight yarn, which requires about 75 (78, 80, 83) yards. The collar area was worked with the bulky yarn and a novelty yarn held together; that requires about 20 yards for all sizes.
    • one pair size 10 US (6 mm) knitting needles, as well as a circular knitting needle (16 inches should work) or a set of double-pointed needles in the same size and one additional needle of size 10 or smaller for working 3-needle bind off
    • two stitch holders or lengths of contrasting yarn
    • scissors and yarn needle


    14.5 stitches and 20 rows per 4 inches (about 3.5 stitches and 5 rows per inch) in Stockinette Stitch.


    6-12 month (18 month, 2 years, 4 years); finished width is 12 (12.5, 13, 13.5) inches. Instructions are given in smallest size with larger sizes in parentheses.

    Knitting the Poncho:

    1. Using one strand of bulky yarn (hereafter yarn A), cast on 3 stitches.
    2. Knit 1 row.
    3. K1, increase 1, K1, increase 1, K1. (I used the knit cast on.) 5 stitches.
    4. Knit 1 row.
    5. K1, increase 1, K3, increase 1, K1. 7 stitches.
    6. Knit 1 row.
    7. K1, increase 1, K2, join in a set of two yarns held together (hereafter yarn B), K1, join a second strand of your first yarn and K2, increase 1, K1. 9 stitches.
    8. K the edge stitches in yarn A and purl the stitch in yarn B, changing yarns when you come to the new strands. For the rest of the project, the edge stitches will be in Garter Stitch and the rest of the body in Stockinette.
    9. K 4 in A, switch to B, yarn over, K1, yarn over, K4 in A.
    10. On subsequent right side rows, K4 in A, switch to B, K1, yarn over, knit to 1 stitch from end of B, yarn over, K1, K4 in A. Change one strand of yarn in your yarn B configuration whenever you want or need to.
    11. Continue in this manner until you have 51 (53, 55, 57) stitches in B; 59 (61, 63, 65) stitches total.
    12. Slide stitches onto a stitch holder or piece of waste yarn.
    13. Make a second triangle in the same manner.
    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    Finishing the Poncho

    Portrait Of A Young Girl
    Design Pics / Colleen Cahill / Getty Images
    1. Place 11 (11, 12, 13) stitches from the beginning of each piece of knitting onto needles. Using a third needle of the same or smaller size, and with wrong sides together, perform a 3-needle bind off on those stitches.
    2. Do the same thing with the last 11 (11, 12, 13) stitches on each side.
    3. With a circular needle or a set of double-pointed needles, pick up the remaining 74 (78, 78, 78) stitches from knitting the body. In addition, pick up three stitches along the sides you just bound off on each side...MORE of the poncho: 80 (84, 84, 84) stitches. Join in the round. Place marker if desired to mark the end of the round.
    4. With yarn A and a novelty yarn held together, purl 1 round.
    5. For smallest size, *K8, knit 2 together. Repeat from * around. For other sizes, *K11, knit 2 together. Repeat from * around. All sizes have 72 stitches remaining.
    6. P 1 round.
    7. *K8, knit 2 together. Repeat from * around. 64 stitches.
    8. Repeat the last 2 rounds twice more. 49 stitches.
    9. Bind off in purl.
    10. Weave in ends. Blocking is not necessary, but you can do it if you like to open up the eyelets.

    Customizing the Size

    Because this pattern is so simple, it's quite easy to make a poncho any size you like. The key measurement on the person you're knitting it for is the shoulder to shoulder or cross back measurement.

    The triangles should measure about 4 inches wider than the recipient's shoulder width. When binding off the sides, bind off at least 3 inches worth of stitches on each side for kids, more for bigger people (because big people's heads aren't quite as big proportionately as babies' heads, the hole for the head does not need to be as large.

    On the decreasing around the neck, use your judgment to decide how many stitches should be decreased. The goal is a poncho that will stay on the body but not be tight around the neck.