|image (c) Lion Brand Yarn on Ravelry|
I am going to be reviewing the pattern called the Coming Home Poncho. The pattern was written by Doris Chan and published by Lion Brand Yarn.
Ravelry Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/martha-stewart-coming-home-poncho-crochet
Honestly, I was a little surprised to find this pattern on one of the "free - take me" sheets at Michael's. My oldest had shown interest in a shawl I had made myself but indicated she'd much rather have it in a poncho rather than the open-front shawl. I must have tucked that tid bit away for future reference because as soon as I saw the free pattern, I immediately thought of her.
While you can replace the recommended yarn out with whatever you prefer in the same size, the recommended yarn is Lion Brand homespun. I don't know about all of you, but I for one am not a fan of this yarn. I love the colorways but the yarn itself is a bear to work with. It is very splitty, that little thread in the middle just seems to catch on everything except the hook, and quite frankly, when I'm crocheting it seems to fuzz up a little.
I do like that the yarn is washable, it's very soft, and like I said before - the colors are gorgeous.
I chose to do my eldest's in "prairie" which is a gorgeous mix of browns with a splash of blue and green mixed in. I thought it was perfect autumnal colors and she would love it.
The pattern works in the round, and as you can guess by the nature of the yarn, it was a beast to get going from the starting chain. Once I got the first row of double crochet finished, the remaining portion of the body of the poncho was easy enough to finish.
The edging is nice but I have to sheepishly admit that I thought the poncho was going to be a little short so I added a couple extra rows to the main portion - so when it came time to do the edging I had to modify it a bit so the numbers added up and the peaks made sense visually.
Working the color last was fine and presented no issues.
As I said, I ended up adding a couple rows because it didn't seem like it was going to be long enough. Granted, I did not come out to Ravelry to see if they had the poncho posted in different sizes so in a way, that's 'shame on me.' Had I went to Ravelry, I could have seen the published the poncho for all sizes and I could have picked a pattern that fit the eldest instead of modifying the freebie pattern to fit my needs. I genuinely didn't even think of it - I figured a free pattern was all it was. Lesson learned!
|my eldest in the "Coming Home Poncho" I made for her|
What happened in the end is that I didn't finish the last row of the edging, although I think that it ended up looking pretty darn good.
The colors are definitely very autumnal and while it was meant to be a Christmas present, I gave it to her early so she could enjoy the benefits of the garment before it was too cold.
Overall, I would say the pattern was well-written and worked up pretty easily. I started it and even with limited craft time due to work, school, and family - I felt that it didn't take too long at all.
I believe this pattern is good enough for a beginner to complete although knowledge of basic crochet through making double crochet stitches is needed. If a new crocheter is going to try this yarn, I would suggest they use something other than the homespun.
In the end, I rate this pattern 4 balls of yarn simply because the pattern cannot be increased easily and it was recommended to use the homespun yarn. Both of these are easily resolvable by looking up the pattern in different sizes and using a different yarn; however, a person that doesn't know either of these options are viable would probably not think the pattern goes as smoothly as it does. I'm sure that if I came back to make this again and used a different yarn, I'd rate the pattern higher.
I will make this pattern in the future and know that it'll work up even faster once I get way from the suggested yarn.