A few months ago, Mary Furness-Weir of Maniototo Wool, approached me to help her design a child’s poncho.
I was intrigued by the concept that she suggested, and thought it would be a nice challenge to design a garment for a change, so I said yes.
Today, after much swatching and discussion and test knitting (thanks Mary!), we are delighted to present The Pirinoa Poncho!
The poncho has been designed to fit children aged 18 months – 4 years old. There are two versions of the pattern – one in Maniototo Wool’s 100% wool DK and the other in Maniototo Wool’s 100% wool aran weight yarn. The little girl (2 yrs old) is wearing the DK version, and the little boy (3 yrs old) is wearing the aran weight version.
I am so in love with how the poncho has turned out, especially now I see it on the children it will fit. These stunning photographs were taken by Emma Mehlhopt (said Mel-hop), a very talented photographer, who specialises in photographing children and family portraits (Cheekyart.co.nz). Hasn’t she done a super, super job!? I am so grateful to Emma for these beautiful photographs. And to the models’ mums for allowing their adorable children to be photographed.
There is a backstory to this design: Once upon a time, Mary’s grandchildren had a poncho a bit like this. They wore it from the time they were two years old and right up until they went to school. It was a family favourite, very handy for throwing on between car and house, particularly in the bitter coastal winters where they live in the Wairarapa (the area is called Pirinoa, hence the name of this poncho). Mary thought that perhaps there may be other children who would also love to have a poncho like this, and so the concept was born.
This design has a special place in my heart: it was designed in the Wairarapa, inspired by a Wairarapa family, photographed in the Wairarapa on little models who also live there, and is named after a place in the Wairarapa. In a way, it encapsulates a lot of what I loved about living there. Family, friendship, community, lifestyle. Thank you Mary, for giving me the opportunity to work with you on this one.
The pattern can be obtained in several ways:
- A single printed leaflet from the Maniototo wool website, or at any outlets that sell the yarns – Country Rumours, 11 Talbot St, Geraldine; The Woolroom, 52B Ribbonwood Road, Geraldine, or markets such as KAN (Napier) and WOOLFEAST (Christchurch);
- Printed patterns are available at The Land Girl, Pirinoa Village, where it is available in a kit including enough wool to make the poncho in either Aran or DK weights and a circular bamboo knitting needle. The first kits to sell will include a set of beautiful handmade wooden buttons; and
Each of the printed patterns (from any outlet) will contain a one-time use only code so that you can also download the pattern to your Ravelry library.
Yarn for the pattern can be obtained from Maniototo Wool’s website, where you can choose your colours. There is plenty of lovely Aran wool available. Orders for the new season’s DK yarn will be placed on a waitlist (it is still at the mill).
Mary and I look forward to seeing your own versions of these cute ponchos pop up on your project pages soon!