A poncho is simply a square with a head opening that you can draw around you for warmth, or wear open for ventilation. Ponchos originated in the Andes and have been worn for centuries by everyone from cattle-herding gauchos, soldiers, and backpackers to Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The poncho is a fashionable substitute for a sweater or a coat!
Like all of RYEP products, the colors and designs of the ponchos depend on the recycled cashmere that is found. They are pieced together from panels that measure 14” x 14” (or, 7” x 7” panels combined into larger squares). There are four panels each for the front and back, so that the finished square is 28” x 28”. The opening is called a “boat neck” and measures 30” around.
Each poncho is hand dyed and all seams, openings, and edges are finished with a purl stitch that looks the same on both sides so the poncho can be reversed. Sometimes I incorporate the front of a cardigan sweater with buttons or pockets, which I stitch closed.
The unique thing about a poncho is that it can be worn in several different ways: you can reverse it back or front, place the squares horizontally or (especially flattering) diagonally, or drape the poncho so that in falls in a diamond shape in the front.