Alright, it’s definitely starting to get cold, and more and more I’m beginning to wish that it were socially acceptable to wear a blanket everywhere. The good news for people like me, though, is that ponchos exist and they’re currently on-trend and in every store! Just as warm, if not warmer, than a hoodie or a sweater and far less restrictive, a crochet poncho is the essential winter cover-up. Unlike sweaters and cardigans, it’s not really easy or practical to wear a poncho underneath your winter coat, but worn on its own in place of a coat or worn inside wherever AC units still blast cold air, ponchos are key.
Cozy and over-sized, ponchos might straddle the line between “just a blanket” and “acceptable clothing,” but it’s close enough that I’m all in. There are so many different styles of ponchos, too, so even if you’re unsure of the trend you’re bound to find something you like. Ponchos are typical worn slipped over the head and loose, with no actual armholes. They’re typically long and very oversized, but you can still find some that are a little more fitted. Some also have arm holes cut into them to allow you to use your arms without all of that billowy fabric. Or, if you’re just not into that, many sweaters are also taking pointers from ponchos, so you’ll find open-front sweaters that are easily wrapped around your body, just like a poncho.
You can just as easily crochet your own poncho – since they’re flowy garments there’s not much shaping to the design which allows even newbie crocheters a shot at working one up. Given the nature of the pattern, it’s also much more forgiving of mistakes than something like a fitted pullover sweater would be. And, you can use whatever yarn you’d like – just picture how snuggly a poncho worked up in bulky yarn would be.
So, are you on team poncho yet? Even if you’re still a little on the fence, take a look at the free crochet poncho pattern below, by Red Heart. It’s an easy pattern for anyone to make AND it features a cowl neck for maximum worth.
Sporty Crochet Poncho
Pattern by Red Heart
Skill Level: Easy
Size: Finished Cowl Circumference = 24 (26, 28)” [61 (66, 71) cm] to fit bust 32-38 (40-46, 48-54)” [81.5-96.5 (101.5-117, 122-137) cm]
Gauge: Four 3-dc groups = 4” (10 cm); 8 rows = 4” (10 cm) in poncho body pattern. 12 sts = 4” (10 cm); 8 rows = 4” (10 cm) in half double crochet (hdc)
Yarn: Red Heart Team Spirit (100% acrylic; ): #980 Navy/Gold (6 (6, 7) skeins)
Hook: US size I/9 (5.5 mm) hook
Poncho is worked in one piece, in two sections: Cowl and body.
Cowl is worked first, back and forth in rows. Body of poncho is worked in joined rounds, beginning across one long edge of cowl.
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook (skipped ch does not count as a st) and each ch across. (30 hdc)
Rows 2-48 (52, 56): Ch 1 (does not count as a st), turn, working in back loops only, hdc in each st across.
Joining Row: Ch 1, turn, fold piece in half matching sts of first and last row; working through both thicknesses, slip st in each st across to join piece into a circle.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, working in ends of rows of long edge of cowl, sc in end of first row, *ch 2, sc in end of next row; repeat from * across, ch 2; join with slip st in first sc. (48 (52, 56) sc and 48 (52, 56) ch-2 spaces)
Rnd 2: Slip st in first ch-2 space, ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same ch-2 space, 3 dc in each of next 23 (25, 27) ch-2 spaces, ch 3 (for front point), 3 dc in each of the next 24 (26, 28) ch-2 spaces, ch 3 (for back point); join with slip st in top of beginning ch-3. (48 (52, 56) 3-dc groups and 2 ch-3 spaces)
Rnd 3: Slip st in next 2 dc, (slip st, ch 1, sc) in next space between 3-dc groups, [*ch 2, sc in next space between 3-dc groups; repeat from * to next ch-3 space, ch 2, (sc, ch 3, sc) in ch-3 space] twice, ch 2; join with slip st in first sc. (50 (54, 58) sc, 48 (52, 56) ch-2 spaces, 2 ch-3 spaces)
Rnd 4: Slip st in first ch-2 space, ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in same ch-2 space, [3 dc in each ch-2 space to next ch-3 space, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in ch-3 space] twice, 3 dc in each remaining ch-2 space around; join with slip st in top of beginning ch-3. (52 (56, 60) 3-dc groups and 2 ch-3 spaces)
Rnd 5: Slip st in next 2 dc, (slip st, ch 1, sc) in next space between 3-dc groups, [*ch 2, sc in next space between 3-dc groups; repeat from * to next ch-3 space, ch 2, (sc, ch 3, sc) in ch-3 space] twice, **ch 2, sc in next space between 3-dc groups; repeat from ** around, ch 2; join with slip st in first sc. (54 (58, 62) sc, 52 (56, 60) ch-2 spaces, 2 ch-3 spaces)
Rnds 6-39 (43, 43): Repeat last 2 rounds 17 (19, 19) more times. (122 (134, 138) sc, 120 (132, 136) ch-2 spaces and 2 ch-3 spaces in Round 39 (43, 43))
Rnd 40 (44, 44): Repeat Round 4-124 (136, 140) 3-dc groups and 2 ch-3 spaces.
Fringe (optional): Cut 4 strands, each 10” (25.5 cm) long. Fold strands in half to form a loop. Insert crochet hook from wrong side through front ch-3 space. Place fold on hook and draw fold through, forming a loop. Thread ends of
strands through loop and pull to tighten.
Repeat to attach fringe to back ch-3 space and to every other space between 3-dc groups all the way around. Trim ends evenly.
Weave in ends.