Design by: Maggie Weldon
Skill Level: Intermediate
Size: Directions are given to fit 18″ dolls. Changes for sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are in parentheses.
Materials: Stitch Markers; Yarn Needle; Worsted Weight Yarn:
18" Doll: 4 oz (220 yd/198 m); Size 2: 14 oz (770 yd/693 m);
Size 4: 16 oz (880 yd/792 m); Size 6: 20 oz (1100 yd/990 m);
Size 8: 24 oz (1320 yd/1188 m); Size 10: 28 oz (1540 yd/1386 m).
Crochet Hook: Size I-9 (5.50 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge.
Puff Shell Poncho Crochet Pattern
Now your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and their favorite companions can match wherever they go! Your little girl will want one of these ponchos in every color. Don't forget, loosen the doll poncho drawstring before removing it in order to avoid doll head removal! Your young one will appreciate your attention to detail. Puff Shell Poncho Crochet Pattern includes instructions for 18" Doll Poncho and Children's sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 Ponchos.
I was not sure if I would enjoy making the puff shell pattern, so I watched Maggie's Youtube "How-To" for this stitch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu8vPXGI4hQ for right handed, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wv7v48ztoo for left handed), and that convinced me to try out the poncho pattern.
First I wasn't sure if I should still buy the pattern, since I now know the stitch, but then came the questions, like how to increase properly etc. And boy, turned it out to be useful to buy the pattern, where Maggie's "tried and proven to work" descriptions shine again!
I went through my yarn stash and made a few swatches before settling on a suitable yarn, and I'm writing this to tell the reader how important the swatches are for this pattern! Even though the suggested double crochet swatch came out "right", the actual puff shells came out very different. It depends not just on the thickness of the yarn and the matching hook, but how "bouncy" the yarn is, which makes the shells stick out more (smaller swatch) or less (bigger swatch). So ... really, really, really make a generous swatch of the puff shell pattern before you begin, and it might be a little bit tricky, to determine the right size to crochet after that.
After that hurdle was taken, it just turned out to be another wonderful Maggie Weldon pattern: Just follow it step by step (there's one errata, make sure to get that from the website), and - voila - here's your poncho! I chose a denim blue "I Love This Yarn" worsted yarn, and made the fringes and the tie with tassels using the same quality, but in the color red. As additional embellishment I added one row of red shells (5 dc in one end of row, 1 sc in next end of row; repeat) around the edge of the hood, with single stitches along the neck line. Perfect rustic appearance for a little country girl!
I have a few more color combinations in mind, which is another blessing of this pattern. Using more than one color allows you to add impressive effects very easily by changing colors every two rows or four rows. I tried one patch with variegated yarn, but this took away from the visual puff effect of the shells, so I discarded the idea of using that type of yarn.
Note: An additional benefit of the puff stitch pattern is that it is "puffy" on both sides, so it is a true double-sided pattern, which leaves many more applications (like shawls, afghans) to explore.
Lastly, I want to point out one big win of this pattern: It comes with a 18" doll size. This let's you create a "dolly and me" combination with any size you need, which I really like. One note, I used thinner yarn for the doll size, which otherwise - with the worsted yarn mentioned above - came out too large.
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