Rodeo Drive Poncho

rodeo with scarf sm
mannequin poncho sm
Time for some luxury! This poncho design was inspired by a stroll down Rodeo Drive on a recent trip I had to California. It is knit in a cashmere-blend yarn, for the ultimate in softness and stitch definition. The techniques used are very simple – this pattern is appropriate for anyone with at least advanced beginner skills, meaning you’re comfortable with both knitting and purling. All of the other techniques are demonstrated in the four-part video tutorial.

Sizes: Two sizes, one with a deeper neckline, one with a shallower neckline. (See photos below.) Finished poncho is about 25.5” long from front of neck opening to bottom front, and 23” long at the sides.
Needles: Size US 7 (4.5mm). In a perfect world, you will have both 16” circular needles and 32” circular needles. In the video, I demonstrate how to complete this poncho with only 32” circulars. It is also useful to have a needle one size larger to complete a loose bind-off.
Yarn: Knit Picks Capra (85% Merino Wool, 15% Cashmere), DK weight (also called 8 ply), 123 yards each ball, 10 balls. The color I used is called “Caviar”. (See note below on yarn substitution.)
Additional Materials: 7 ring stitch markers, cable needle, tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch (20 stitches over 10cm)

This pattern is available in three different formats, each includes links to 4-part video tutorial:

1. PDF Pattern, traditional and printable. $6.00 via PayPal

2. Amazon Kindle digital download (suitable for Kindle devices and devices that use the Kindle app): $6.00 US.

3. eReader (For non-Kindle eReaders, like Sony eReader and Barnes & Noble Nook, or any device using the Google Play Books app) $6.72 US

Note on Size: Pattern has been updated to include two different necklines – see photos below. Bust size isn’t an issue, and you can easily modify the pattern to be longer or shorter. I’m nearly 6’ tall myself, and you can see how it fits me. In contrast, my friend who is just over 5’ tall tried it on – and the amount of fabric was far from overwhelming on her. It looked decadent.

deeper neckline…
…and shallower neckline.

Note on Substituting Yarn:
This pattern will “work” with any yarn you choose, as long as you’re able to get the correct gauge (stitches per inch). The weight of the yarn I used is DK weight, also called “8 ply” outside the US. When choosing a yarn, I encourage you to stick with an animal fiber or animal fiber blend, so that your finished poncho will block out nicely around the cable twist and at the increase points. Other fibers that will look great in this pattern are wool – especially merino wool, alpaca, or a silk/wool blend.

rodeo without scarf sm
Instructions for knitting the swatch I show in the video:
Cast-on 28 stitches
Knit 5 rows.
Row 1 (RS): K all stitches
Row 2: K 4, P 20, K 4
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 nine times (18 rows).
K 4 rows.
Bind-off on right side of work.

back detail sm
cable detail sm
shoulder detail sm
Information on things you’ll see in the video:
The gloves I’m wearing in the photos are my Learn to Knit Gloves, pattern + video tutorial, with one modification. Instead of knitting a ribbed cuff, I knit a plain stockinette (knit every round) cuff for 9 inches before starting the thumb gusset.

The scarf I’m wearing in the video is called Hitchhiker, knit with Hazel Knits DK Lively Yarn.

The 16″ circular interchangeable set I use is by Knitter’s Pride, and is available on Amazon.

The cable needles I prefer can be found here on Amazon.

The bulky yarn I use for demonstration is Malabrigo Chunky.

The ball-chain ring markers I use are by Rycrafty on Etsy.

The green row counter I use can be found here.

96 comments on “Rodeo Drive Poncho

  1. Staci
    I have started the poncho and have been excited to start it.
    I have come to the cable portion and am confused. I have been knitting only a short time but have done cables before. In the video you say it will be 3 stitches; in the pattern it reads 6RC. I don’t know what that means. Please help…
    Lei Ann Brown

  2. Lei Ann – yes, the stitch is called “6RC” because it uses six stitches, half held on the cable needle, half knit from the left needle.

    S t a c i

  3. Hi Staci,
    I purchased your wonderful pattern and am now looking at yarn. I want mine to be just like yours! Unfortunately I don’t see that color anymore but want to use the same yarn. Although the reviews on the yarn are great, many say the yarn blooms when wet blocking. Can you please say how blooming will effect the poncho and if your pictures are after blocking? I don’t know about blooming, just guessing the yarn will puff up?

    I enjoy watching your tutorials very much and have learned a lot. Please don’t stop!

  4. I’m so embarrassed. I saw you covered blooming in this video after I wrote. I should have known. Thank you!

  5. Dear Staci,

    Your videos are great and so are your patterns. I love the Rodeo Drive poncho and was dreaming of making one but I have a dilemma. I want to wear it instead of a fall jacket but I’m wondering if the DK yarn in an animal fiber will be warm enough for Upstate NY weather. I’m assuming you intend this as outerwear as you have pictured. I hope it will work as I am wanting to make this wonderful design. Thank you.

  6. Grace – it really depends on how much warmth you like, but in my opinion, this poncho is just as warm as a medium-weight sweater. Not so warm that you take it off immediately when you get inside, warm enough to keep the chill away when you’re outside. Certainly not a replacement for a winter jacket.

    S t a c i

  7. Love the simplicity of this pattern. I look forward to this being my selfish knitting January pattern.

  8. I can’t believe I’m doing my second RD Poncho and I’ve forgotten how to do the cables. Your video clearly shows the 6RC, however, I forget if the middle 3 stitches are placed to the back or front for the 6LC.

  9. Staci, Thank you for the video, it is very helpful. I am left-handed and have been knitting “backwards” for over 55 years. I am not willing to change at this time of my life. Seeing the make 1 stitch left and right, and practicing it with your video, allows me to reverse everything in my mind for knitting left handed. I just have to remember to make 1 left where you say right, and it works out. By the way, I am teaching my left-handed granddaughter to knit right handed, so she won’t have to work so hard. Thanks again.

  10. Hi Stacie,
    I ordered the pattern for the poncho. I came with 4 videos but each video is the same. My question is… I keep increasing until it is the length I want it, or at some point do I stop increasing?

  11. Hi Tammy – I’m not sure what you mean by “each video is the same”…the four links to videos are four different parts of the same video, is that what you mean? To answer your questions – yes, you continue increasing until you get the length you want. For the measurements I give in the pattern (23” long at the sides), I used all of the yarn I indicate in the pattern. But you can alter the length to suit you – a good fit will just touch your wrist bones with your arms held at your sides.

    S t a c i

  12. Hi staci, I am from Pakistan.I came across your knitting videos on youtube and love them.Your teaching method is very easy and detailed.I understand each and every thing perfectly.Staci,,,I need your help,,I love this poncho and want to buy its videos but dont know how can I pay for it.I live in Pakistan,please tell me what will be the procedure for me to pay for this decent poncho.I watched its introduction video in last winters and fall in love with it,but cannot decide what to do,now my daughter encouraged me to request you and see what happens,so here i am waiting for your reply.
    Regards, Saima.

    • Hi Staci. I love your very pink. You and your tutorials are exclusive.I can’t find out how to purchase ur poncho design being in pakistan.please guide.

  13. Saima – I’m setup to take payment through either a PayPal account, or any major credit card. That’s Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. I’m not sure what the process is when you’re purchasing a pattern from Pakistan, but that is how I’m setup to take payment.

    S t a c i

  14. Hi Staci, Just wanted to say thanks for being there when I needed a question answered. I would like to ask, if I may, what size needles you used when making your R D Poncho? I spent the evening knitting 4 swatches with yarn that I already have enough to make the poncho with. Talk about blooming…
    After 60 years of knitting I still can’t wrap my head around make 1 and I have yet to figure out armhole and neck shaping. What I have thought about is if I am making a garment from instructions that are totally off for me I figure out the difference percentage-wise and use that to cast on the correct number of stitches for me. Would the same % work for armhole & neck shaping? (Can you tell I was a bookkeeper for 40 years?)
    Getting very long winded here so I will wind up by saying thanks again and keep up your very admirable great work.
    Sandi K.

  15. Sandra – I used size US 7 to get correct gauge for this pattern.

    Here is a link to my Make 1 video:

    Unless you’re designing patterns, you don’t really have to understand armhole and neck shaping. If you would like to understand it, I’m afraid it’s a lot of trail and error! The percentage method you suggest will probably work in many cases, but not all. Designing and/or altering patterns requires one to be okay with plenty of ripping out and starting over.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  16. Staci
    About to purchase the rodeo dr ice poncho pattern and yarn. I believe you said the modifications are in the new pattern download for the petite knitter, correct? Also, do you have the pattern for that scarf you are wearing with the poncho? Excellent pairing! I wanted to know if it is the same type of yarn so I can order it together.
    Thanks and happy new year!

  17. Elyse – yes, the pattern includes instructions for both necklines. The scarf I’m wearing in the photos is not knit, but a woven, store-bought scarf.

    S t a c i

  18. Hi Staci,

    Have been practicing all the elements related to the rodeo drive poncho and now ready to order the yarn with the confidence I can knit one. Thanks for making it so clear for us beginner knitters. Been practicing other fancy stitch combos from your site and was wondering if I could substitute one of them for the garter stitch at the neck and hem of the poncho. Feeling confident and don’t want to mess up trying something that won’t work. Thanks for you advice.


  19. Amelia – I haven’t test knit this poncho with anything except a cable down the front, so I can’t give you solid advice on how it will drape or look, since it also depends on the stitch combo you choose. If you really want to alter the poncho, you can try it for a few inches, then decide if you want to continue with the modification or not.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  20. Hi Staci,

    I have to first say that I love your videos and patterns. I have knit the barber pole cowl and fair isle hat and they turned out beautifully! I expect the same result for the Rodeo Drive Poncho. I do have a few questions about the Poncho pattern:

    1) How many times would you repeat the cable pattern in the Increase Rounds (without shoulder shaping)? If one was using the base 8 method like in the shoulder shaping section of the pattern, what number would a row counter show?

    2) I notice in the pictures of the pattern that the poncho length stops around the wrist area. However the front and back sections appear to be longer, creating a slight v shape. Is this because the poncho is knit in the round?

    Thank you very much for your assistance and I look forward to more video tutorials and patterns! Your site has basically taught me to knit. 🙂

  21. Denise – you should knit the poncho as long as you like, or as will fit you. There is no exact number here. My ponchos are about 25″ from neck opening to bottom front. The front and back are longer because the increase shaping causes that – no extra effort on your part.

    S t a c i

  22. Hi Staci, I am done with the poncho, but the bottom border (garter stitch area) keeps rolling up, and inside is shown especially where the arms are. I have to keep pushing the border down with hands. Is there any other way to do the bottom border to prevent it from happening? I have not washed the poncho yet. Would it make it better?

  23. Hi Staci

    Love all your videos and use them all the time. I don’t have a paypal account and would like to purchase this pattern another way. Is that possible?


  24. Mary – you don’t need a PayPal account, you can use PayPal with your credit or debit card without opening an account, provided you are in the US.

    S t a c i

  25. Staci thanks so much for your videos. It helps me a lot since I learned to knit a long time ago and I knit through the back and purl from the front. I can convert by watching you. I’ve tried to switch to conventional knitting but it is so much slower for me.
    I just finished your 2 at a time toe-up socks and look forward to this poncho.


  26. Hi Staci,
    I just finished my poncho and I love it! I can’t tell I’d I did something wrong with the bottom boarder as I cannot get it to lay flat, it wants to curl up. I had to use an acrylic yarn as I’m allergic to every animal fiber on the planet – could that be why my boarder won’t lay straight?
    Thank you so much for your patterns and tutorials, I’ve learned so much from them.
    Cheers, Laurel

  27. Laurel – it’s hard to say why your poncho might be curling up, without seeing your work…did you try blocking it? Acrylic yarns don’t block all that well, but it might help. My guess is that it might be a combination of the acrylic yarn and maybe yarn that is a bit thicker than the pattern calls for. You can always add a few more rows of garter stitch to the border to see if that helps, too.

    S t a c i

  28. Nina – it is my understanding that PayPal can be used from anywhere in the world, either by opening a PayPal account, and/or using a credit card.

    S t a c i

  29. Kaybertier – I knit this poncho for my mom who is your height, and I believe I used 1 ball of yarn fewer than the pattern calls for.

    S t a c i

  30. my daughter is plus suze with broad shoulders…..if I purchase this pattern would it be adapted easily to widen the top. I understand I can make it as long as I want – I just want the neck/shoulder to be larger. Is this possible

  31. Cher – yes, you can continue working the shoulder increases for as long as you like, to make the shoulders broader. Regardless, the poncho will fit broad shoulders without modification, just by how it naturally fits the body.

    S t a c i

  32. Did you measure your yarn (nose to fingertip) to make sure that you had enough yarn left for the last 6 rounds or did you weigh your yarn? If the latter how much does it have to weigh?

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