The Comfort Zone in BSF Techno

A young woman standing with her arms crossed wearing a plum handknit poncho.

Everyone reaches for different projects – or crafts – for different reasons. While working on my Masters in Library Science, I knit almost exclusively socks, in fact I was cranking out almost a pair per week due to the train commute and the long lectures. In the dead of winter, I find myself reaching for colors that I don’t find often in the winter wonderland outside my door. For whatever reason, summer often has me reaching for thicker wools and larger projects. Despite the hot June that summer brought, the cooler July weather had me dreaming of being wrapped in something warm and fuzzy. Add that to procrastinating a lace shawl I’ve been slowly working on for months (more on that soon, I promise!), and the Comfort Zone poncho by Espace Tricot found its way off my queue and onto my needles. Especially as we transition back to working from our cool (yes even in winter) offices.

Confession time: I’ve never actually knit with Blue Sky Fibers’ Techno before. There isn’t really a good reason for this outside of “I don’t work with bulky or single ply yarns frequently”. That being said, when deciding to cast on the Comfort Zone, I found myself thinking about how warm and snuggly the fabric Techno would create. Plus, being a Blue Sky Maker for a little bit longer means that it’s the perfect time to try new yarn.

Actually knitting with Techno is so much fun, possibly because of the ease in which new strands spit slice together and possibly because it feels like you’re knitting from a cloud. Though fuzzy in nature, Techno does not tickle my nose the way some alpaca yarns do and I don’t feel the need to reach for a lint roller after knitting on my lunch break.

A young woman standing sideways to the camera holding the bottom edge of her plum poncho away from her body.

The Comfort Zone knit up both faster and slower than I thought it would, whether that’s because I anticipate thicker yarns knitting up quicker or not is a toss up. In order to make something that provides a little more movement in the arms, I modified the sizing of the pattern a little bit. Knowing that alpaca and alpaca blends tend to create a heavy drapey fabric, I cast on for size 1 and knit until the ribbing was 4 inches (instead of 6). Then, I increased up to the size 2 stitch count (104 to be exact), which is 4 rows longer than the plan rows following the increases call for. Knowing that the final ribbing would add 5 inches, I measured my poncho with a goal of having around 12 inches and discovering that I had 14. I started the bottom ribbing without knitting any extra rows.

Now that the Comfort Zone is off my needles, I find myself wondering what else I can add to my wardrobe in Techno (Tamarack Blanket Scarf perhaps? Or a sweatshirt style sweater in Club Grey?). The bloom induced by wet blocking has created this feeling of wool armor that’s designed to keep me safe from the cold. Though I’m not one to rush the summer months away, I do find myself looking longingly at the Comfort Zone each time I enter my closet. Is it my fault that I’m happy with the fabric and the fit?

on Ponchos

I knew that I got to a point of not caring what other people thought about what I was wearing when I attended a post wedding (as in the next day) BBQ in jeans and a flannel and didn’t feel under dressed. In hindsight, I probably should have dressed up a bit more, but maybe they shouldn’t have called the function a BBQ (that is, after all the event I dressed for). It was confirmed again when I opted to wear flats to my sisters wedding and again when I grabbed a random dress out of a box in order to attend a recent function.

I’m also not a fan of wearing makeup, it feels funny on my skin and hides my freckles. Every so often I whip out mascara for fun, but I don’t have a strong drive to wear it ever day.

This is a round about way of me saying that I wear what makes me comfortable and most of the time dress to the right fancy level. I love acquiring clothing second hand and stopped caring about having the “in style” outfit when I was 12.

So why can’t I bring myself to knit and wear ponchos? A poncho is basically a classy blanket that you can wear all day, a concept that I’m super into. So why do I put them on and immediately say “wow that looks silly” while staring enviously at others who are “able to pull it off”?

In the interest of reminding myself that this mentality goes against all of my other clothing thoughts, I’ve put together a list of ponchos that I should really consider knitting. Note: Order means nothing.

The Comfort Zone
  1. The Comfort Zone. The simplicity of this poncho speaks to me, someone essentially decided that they wanted a poncho in the middle of knitting a sweater. I love it. Plus it’s knit in Aran weight yarn, so you know it would be warm and cozy.
Indigo Frost

2. Indigo Frost. Another gorgeous poncho that mixes yarn overs with a little bit of colorwork. A few people even made this one with pompoms…

Stone Point

3. Stone Point. I believe this one was on the cover of a catalog a few years back. My aunt made one and it looks amazing on her. Surely if she can pull it off so can I?

Oakwood Poncho

4. Oakwood Poncho. Tell me this one isn’t a blanket that’s been made to stay around your shoulders. Knitpicks even had kits when they first released it.

Wanda Estelle

5. Last but not least: Wanda Estelle. When I worked for Web’s Yarn Store, this one was constantly passed around because it looked good on everyone. I used to stare jealously at the different staff who could pull if off better than me in my mind.

We’re in the process of fixing up a 1910 house that is on the drafter side. Between that and working from home for the foreseeable future, I might end up with a poncho on my needles and the motivation to convince myself that it doesn’t matter if it looks good on me.