Thursday, October 15, 2009

What do you mean, she looks like a pumpkin?

Poncho and cap patterns from McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Fall-Winter 1969-70

This, I’ll have you know, is not a Halloween costume. Furthermore, it is most definitely not pumpkin orange. This, mes amis, is the very latest in fashionable ponchos, styled like a French cyclist’s cape, and made of gold Unger Lovely yarn. Yes, Unger Lovely, the name you trust when you want both the silkiness of mohair and the free-radical polymerization of Orlon.

But what, you ask, is a French cyclist cape style? According to McCall’s, this trendy poncho zips up on one shoulder, has slits for ties, and the pièce de résistance, a simulated center seam down the front! All this and it’s a mohair-orlon blend! How lovely is that?

You say it’s not lovely? Bah! You obviously know nothing about French Cycling Fashion.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

See? It says right there. Cyclist’s poncho, not pumpkin costume. And no, I will not sew green leaves to the top of the hat.
SIZES: Directions for small size (10-12). Any changes for medium size (14-16) are in parentheses.

Fits Bust Size: 32 1/2’’ -34’’ (36’’-38’’)
Or add triangular eyes and a toothy grin in black felt.
MATERIALS: Unger Lovely, 16 (18) 40-gram balls. 14’’ knitting needles Nos. 9 and 10. (Or English sizes 4 and 3.) Aluminum crochet hook size F. 9’’ neck zipper. Button mold.
A button mold? Now that the great button shortage of 1969 is over, I’m not sure we need to make our own buttons. Still, here’s a tutorial if you’re determined to follow this pattern to the letter.
GAUGE: 7 sts = 2’’ (No. 10 needles). See page 24.

Note: Poncho and cap are worked with double strand of yarn throughout.

Pattern Note: With yarn to front, sl (as if to purl) center 2 sts on wrong side of poncho.

PONCHO: BACK: Begin at lower edge with double strand of yarn (see Note) and No. 10 needles, cast on 24 sts.

Pattern: Row 1 (right side): K 13, mark last 2 sts worked for center sts, K 11.

Row 2: K to center 2 sts, sl 2 (see Pattern Note), k across.

Row 3: K, inc 1 st each side – 26 sts.

Row 4: Repeat row 2, inc 1 st each side – 28 sts. Repeat last 2 rows 24 times, end wrong side – 124 sts.

Next Row: K, cast on 6 (8) sts at beg of row. Next Row: Repeat last row, slipping center 2 sts – 136 (140) sts.

Dec Row (right side): K to within 2 sts of center 2 sts, k 2 tog, k 2, sl 1, k 1, psso, k across – 2 sts dec. K 3 rows even, slipping center 2 sts on wrong side rows. Repeat last 4 rows 26 times – 82 (86) sts. Change to No. 9 needles.

Shape Shoulders and Neck: Continue to dec 1 st each side of center 2 sts every 4th row 5 (6) times; at the same time, dec 1 st each side every row 10 times, then bind off 2 sts at beg of next 12 (14) rows. Bind off remaining 28 (26) sts.
Googling phrases such as “French cyclists in blindingly orange ponchos” didn’t turn up any hits for the 1960s, but I did find this fashionable young lady.

So not only are capes in this year, but with the addition of a pointed black hat, this model will have the perfect Halloween costume. It’s a “go everywhere” outfit! Literally.
FRONT: Work as for back until 2nd dec row is completed, end right side – 132 (136) sts.

Divide for Belt Opening: Next Row (wrong side): K 47, drop yarn,; join another double strand of yarn, work 38 (42) sts, drop yarn; join another double strand of yarn, k 47. Working on all three sections, with separate strands of yarn, continue to work as for back for 19 rows, end right side.

Join Openings: With first double strand of yarn, k across all sts, cut 2nd and 3rd double strands. Continue to work as for back until 82 (86) sts remain. Change to No. 9 needles.

Shape Shoulders: Dec 1 st each side every row 10 times; at the same time continue to dec 1 st each side of center 2 sts every 4th row until there are 58 (62) sts on needle.

Shape Neck: K 16 (18), drop yarn; join another double strand of yarn, bind off center 26 sts, finish row. Working on both sides at once, bind off 2 sts on at beg of each arm side 6 (7) times; at the same time, dec 1 st at beg of each neck edge 4 times.
Googling “Vintage French Cyclist”, on the other hand, did turn up some very interesting, if not entirely work safe, images.
I suspect this particular cyclist has learned the wisdom of the No Capes Rule.
FINISHING: With backstitch (see page 26), sew right shoulder and side seam, rounding seam over edge of shoulder. Do not sew left shoulder; sew left side seam, rounding seam over edge of shoulder.
Oh, all right, here’s page 26.

This is definitely not a picture that is worth a thousand words. If I went by this exciting action shot, I’d think that backstitching seams involved draping uneven yarn in the vicinity of a pin and waiting for something to happen.
COLLAR: With double strand and No. 10 needles, cast on 10 sts. Work in garter st (k each row) for 16’’ or until piece fits around neck edge. Bind off.

Lower Edging: From right side, with double strand of yarn and crochet hook, work 1 row sl sts around lower edge of poncho, keeping work flat. Do not turn.

Next Row: Working from left to right, ch 1, hdc in next sl st, * ch 1, sk next st, hdc in next st, repeat from * around. End off. Work same edging on one long side of collar. From right side, place edging side of collar 1/2 inch over neck edge of poncho; sew in place with invisible sts.

From right side, work same edging around front shoulder, top of collar and back shoulder. Sew zipper in left shoulder and collar opening.

With double strand of yarn, work 1 row sl st around each front belt opening.

BELT: With double strand of yarn and No. 10 needle, cast on 2 sts. Work in garter st, inc 1 st each side every row twice – 6 sts. Work even for 40’’ or desired belt length. Dec 1 st every row twice. Bind off remaining 2 sts. Work edging around belt same as for poncho. Tack center of belt to wrong side of center back at waistline. Draw ends through front openings; tie ends. Do not block.
Now the following picture is far more educational. The Europeans are renowned for their adventurous fashion sense, but I would never have guessed that this was a popular wardrobe choice for a cycling holiday.

CAP: Beg at lower edge, with double strand of yarn and No. 10 needles, cast on 60 sts.

Rows 1-7: Knit.

Row 8 (wrong side): Purl.

Row 9: Knit.

Row 10: Purl.

Rows 11-30: Repeat rows 1-10 twice.

Rows 31-35: Knit.

Row 36: (K 20, put and keep a marker on needle) twice, k 20.

Row 37: K 2 tog; * k to within 2 sts of marker, k 2 tog, sl marker, sl 1, k 1, psso, repeat from * once, k to within last 2 sts, k 2 tog – 6 sts dec.

Row 38: Purl. Repeat last 2 rows until 30 sts remain, end p row.

Next Row: K 2 tog across – 15 sts. Break yarn, leaving a long end. Pull yarn end through sts and fasten securely on wrong side. Sew back seam.

BUTTON: Ch 2. Rnd 1: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc – 12 sc.

Rnd 3: * Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * around – 18 sc.

Rnd 4: Sc in each sc around.

Rnd 5: * Pull up a lp in each of the next 2 sts, yo and through 3 lps on hook, sc in next st, repeat from * around. Insert button mold. Repeat last rnd until button is covered. End off leaving a long end. Thread needle; sew button to top of cap.
Hey, it’s the button mold! Hmm... I don’t think that’s the same kind of button mold the nice lady on YouTube taught us how to make. Maybe you should just crochet a button cover instead.

And while you’re busy doing that, I’m going to fantasize about a brand new dress code for the Tour de France.

Click here for the printable pattern.

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