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My lovely friend, Jina, modeling her belated birthday present.

My friend Jina and I absolutely hate the cold–and this is a real problem given that we live in South Korea, where winter temperatures easily dip below -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). If this weren’t bad enough, the winters are intolerably –l-o-n-g–, and spring takes FOREVER to arrive! So what’s a girl to do during the March/April limbo, when winter is on its way out, but the wondrous warmth of spring has yet to settle in? Answer: don a cozy, shoulder-warming poncho!

This belated birthday present for my friend was knit up in Caron’s Simply Soft yarn in Country Blue.

This poncho was inspired by Berroco Yarn’s “Nansen” shoulder warmer. I loved the idea of knitting the poncho sideways, but the original design just didn’t have enough cables for my taste. I heavily modified the center design by adding a large central Saxon braid, flanked by an Aran braid on each side. After knitting this center panel until it was 48″ long, I sewed the top and bottom together to create a tube. I then picked up stitches on the top and bottom of the tube to add the ribbing.

Unlike the Nansen design, this poncho also features a much looser neckline. Personally, I love the look of cowl necklines, so I purposely made the neckline loose and long so it would fall into graceful folds around my friend’s face.

So voila, another long overdue knitting project done. I hope you like it, Jina! Happy belated birthday!!!