Evolution of a capelet obsession

back bay poncho by leslie scanlon

It’s hovering near 90 degrees here these days (that’s Fall by the bay); my schedule and to-do list are all out of whack; and I’ve been battling a case of cast-on-itis. So what am I planning to do today, as soon as I get a chance? Cast on a super-bulky turtleneck capelet, of course!

This has been on my mind since that roundup I did back in March. I’ve been stockpiling inspiration photos and perusing various patterns — ranging from cowls voluminous enough to tug down around your shoulders to things that border on poncho territory — trying to decide exactly what I want. (The problem, of course, being that I want them all.)

If I could magically own any capelet I’d seen in a photo, I would have the one below, which is a Cos beauty worn and photographed by a French blogger called Punky B:

punky b cos poncho cape

(And maybe also the one on the bottom right from the previous set.) I’ve found patterns for similar things, but nothing knit sideways like that. And I don’t have the patience to work out the shaping for it on my own.

I’ve thought about modifying this Bergere Poncho pattern:

bergere poncho
I’d give it a regular turtleneck. Skip the wristholes and cuffs, for sure. Maybe give it a cleaner hem of some sort. And possibly leave out the stockinette triangles — just stick to purling between the cables. Would I love it then? Maybe.

But then I also like this really simple little Noelle Capelet by Martin Storey for Rowan:

noelle capelet by martin storey rowan

So I’ve decided for now I’m making a version of that one at the top of this post, which comes from a Mac & Me pattern, the Back Bay Poncho. I downloaded the pattern last night because I like that slight shirttail-shaped hemline and wanted to see how the short-rows were done. So that will probably be my jumping-off point. I’ll change the neck and “sleeve” proportions a little, do a different increase for the raglans (the YO holes are not my favorite) and probably make it a little longer. Or shorter? We’ll see.

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12 thoughts on “Evolution of a capelet obsession

  1. Hi, Kate. The Cos one is most likely cut and sewn, but definitely with the fabric running sideways. If you were to knit it, you’d knit from side to side (and could graft it together rather than having side seams like that). But it would take some serious short-row calculations to get the trapezoid shape.

    I might try to work it out one day …

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  3. I love them all! I’m really drawn to capelets and ponchos, so I love all of these. I even have that Bergere pattern, and I like your ideas for modifying it too. One day I’ll get to that…

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  5. On the noelle caplet, can you explain the size MLand Xl instructions? What does rib 12(6:4) mean?im lost with the UK instructions

    • Hi, Steph — I’d love to help but it’s not my pattern and I haven’t even knitted it, so I have no idea. If you contact the designer or the publisher, I’m sure they’ll be happy to help!

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