Make Your Own Perseverance Poncho! -Vintage Knitting Pattern

I want to introduce a new category I will be posting stuff under occasionally.   Since creating is my passion, I have a category tab on my home page called “Let’s Create!”  There will be various different sub categories under this tab in the future, but for now you will find “Let’s Get Cookin’ “ (which already has some content) and now my newest sub category “Knit Together.”  My goal is to make this section of my blog a fun area of participation where you can create along with me. In the future I will probably do some YouTube video tutorials on how to knit different things.  I also will try to share a variety so that people at all different creative levels of experience can join in.  It’s more fun if we get creating together, so feel free to stop by and comment or share, and also do post pics of the creations you end up with (from these posts) if you like.  I would love to see how your stuff turns out!



Previously I wrote an article about Perseverance and talked about a Poncho I made.  Click Here if you missed that story!

I had a couple requests for the pattern, so I am going to tell you how you can make your own “Perseverance Poncho”.  But first- a little poncho history for you….



Knitting Wise my mom taught me the basics when I was in grade school (Hey- I WAS a Brownie Girl Scout with Mom being our troop leader! 🙂 ), but I forgot how to knit and didn’t pursue it anymore until I was in my 20’s.  I decided several years ago I wanted to relearn how to knit, so Mom taught me the basics.  She basically just taught me how to make potholders and how to cast on, cast off, knit and purl.  Potholders are a good first project! The rest I taught myself.



One thing about teaching yourself how to knit (or how to do anything new for that matter) is that you can’t worry about the outcome.  Don’t be afraid to fail at it- just dive in!  I learned by basically playing, and trying, tweaking, and making LOADS of mistakes.  Most importantly I never gave up when I did make a mistake.



So how did I come across the Perseverance Poncho?

Mom gave me 2 little beginners knitting booklets that she had when she was a girl.  I LOVE them because they are full of vintage patterns from the 50’s and 60’s.  The poncho pattern in this little booklet (which is published by the American Thread Co. -Park Ave., NY and cost 29 cents back then) doesn’t really have a name- the page above the pattern just says “Viva Poncho!”


I had been making lots of potholders and then scarves, and wanted to try something a little harder, so I decided to tackle this project.  Because I was a total beginner at this, the first one didn’t come out right.  It was way too big and loose and holey haha.  I had worked for WEEKS on it, so needless to say it was a big bummer when I saw the finished result. However, this is how I learn… I learn in doing and sometimes I learn by making errors (not my fav. way to learn but it’s effective).  So I realized that if I maybe used smaller needles and knit more tightly and consistently, that I may be able to get it to look better and actually fit right.  I ripped the entire finished project out and started right over from the beginning.  This is how I came up with the name “Perseverance Poncho”.



This is an easy pattern that is for beginners, as far as that goes 🙂  If you have never knit a garment before they are a little tricky because of the sizing.  A poncho is pretty forgiving though.  This particular poncho pattern comes in one size – Small/Medium.  There are ways to make the sizing different though.  Here are some tips before we get started:


  • Gauge matters.  When I was new to this I didn’t pay any attention to gauge, mostly because I didn’t understand it and thought it was annoying.  Your “gauge” does determine if your garment is going to turn out the right size.  I guess because people knit differently (some knit loosely, I knit tightly) gauge can vary.  The gauge on this project is 4 stitches = 1 inch. (size 10 needles).
  • If you find your gauge doesn’t match the sample gauge above, try different sized needles.
  • You can fudge on sizing depending on the types of yarn and size of needles you use.  So while this poncho is a Small/Medium sizing, if you use a bulky weight yarn and bigger needles it will result in a larger size.  Alternatively if you use smaller needles or a thinner weight yarn, your poncho will be smaller.
  • When casting on and casting off…don’t do it too tightly or it will draw the edges in some
  • Try to knit consistently.  When I was new to knitting I was trying to fight my urge to knit more tightly, and that is how I wound up with an inconsistent piece.  However you knit (loosely or tightly or somewhere in the middle) just go with it and knit that way consistently every row and you shouldn’t have a problem.  I only pay attention to knitting more loosely when casting on or off.


For this pattern I used a worsted weight Chenille yarn (which is lovely, but chenille can get “loopy” when knitting, so it may not be the best choice for a beginner) and the second time I made it (when I actually got it right!) I used a size 9 needle and knit rather tightly so I would have a closely knit poncho and not one that was more open or “holey”.  If you do want a very open weave, I suggest using either a thinner yarn or large needles.



Perseverance Poncho Pattern:


  • Knitting Worsted weight yarn (this pattern called for 18 ounces of Scarlet color, but you can use whatever color you wish)- I used a multi color yarn that had a strand of  dusty peach mixed with a strand of sage green.
  • I can’t remember how many balls of a particular yarn it took me to make mine, but I do remember they were fairly large yarn balls and I want to say I used about 4 of them.
  • 1 pair each of size 10 and size 7 knitting needles ( I used size 9)
  • a darning needle for finishing (a darning needle is a large needle that has a duller point and a huge eye that you can thread yarn through)



With Number 10 needles cast on 3 sts and work in garter st. (K each row), increasing 1 stitch each side each row (in other words you are increasing 1 stitch the first stitch and the last stitch of each row so your poncho will be taking on a triangle shape as you knit…starting at a point and getting wider each row) until there are 145 sts. on needle.


Next row:  Work across row. Decrease 1 st. at end of row.  Repeat last row until 60 sts. remain.


Change to number 7 needles and work in K1, P1 ribbing for 4 inches ( I didn’t like the way my first one turned out so I actually modified this to be about 2 inches and I don’t think I changed needle sizes…I wanted a more open neckline so I am thinking I stayed with the same size needles.Bind off. Work another section in same manner .  (You have to make 2 of these triangular pieces. Seam each side, matching rows as you sew.


Optional:  The original pattern called for tassels all along the bottom.  I did not put these on my shawl, but if you want them on yours here goes :

Tassel:  Wind yarn 10 times over a 2 1/2 ” cardboard.  Tie one end leaving length long enough to tie tassel to poncho, cut other end.  Tie tassel again 1/2 ” from 1st tying.  Tie a tassel to poncho every 1 3/4 ” all around lower edge.


Here is how my poncho came out the second time:

If you want a design more like mine, just follow the modifications I made.  Mine is a more open neckline and I also choose to wear it with the seam in the front because it gives a v neckline instead of a boat neckline.  I also left the tassels off.


Here is the original pattern:

Here is how your poncho would look if you follow the original pattern exactly.


Now it’s your turn to knit your own creation to wear.  Just dive right in and play with it!  Have fun and don’t worry about perfection.  If it doesn’t come out to your liking the first time, just try again…it’s called the Perseverance Poncho for a reason!  🙂  Feel free to hang out here and comment or share your progress or questions in the comment section at  We can have our own sisterhood of the ponchos :D. I would also love to see pictures of you sporting your poncho in the future-so feel free to put a picture on our facebook page when you get yours done!
Also linked here: Lines across my face, An Original Belle, the Brassy Apple, The Gunny Sack, Craft-O-Maniac Mondays

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3 Responses to Make Your Own Perseverance Poncho! -Vintage Knitting Pattern

  1. Becky Firesmith says:

    Bekah, are you going to put up pics of the socks you have been knitting? They look really nice!

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      yes. I do plan on putting photos up. I am just not sure if I am going to do it on this site, or the other site I thought about doing. 🙂

  2. Mimi says:

    Hi Rebekah , If I used light worsted weight yarn #3 with size 10 needles will my perseverance poncho come out like yours? I never made a poncho before so do you sew up the sides ? You wouldn’t happen to have any pictures of your poncho in progress while you were making it ? Great pattern and hope mine comes out as wonderful as yours did !