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Braided Women’s Crochet Poncho – Free Pattern + Tutorial

A simple combination of extended half double crochet and slip stitches make for a knit-looking “braided” texture in this free women's crochet poncho pattern featuring Lion Brand Scarfie Yarn.

A simple combination of extended half double crochet and slip stitches make for a knit-looking “braided” texture in this free women’s crochet poncho pattern. Get the full free pattern below or purchase the ad-free, printable PDF here.

Woman in a desert setting wearing a southwestern-looking handmade crochet poncho with fringe (and no sleeves).This free women’s crochet poncho pattern is part of a collaboration with my friends at Lion Brand Yarn. This post contains affiliate links.

On my way home from visiting Lion Brand in New York a few weeks ago, I found myself on a plane, sleep deprived with one ball of Scarfie yarn and (gasp!) no internet access. Without any way to look up stitch tutorials or even peruse Pinterest for texture inspiration, I was left with only a hook and my imagination.

The Stitch

Three and a half hours later I touched down in Denver with a new (or at least new to me) combination of crochet stitches that looks quite knit or even braided. I’ve been loving crochet projects that look knit lately (see a bunch of my faves here), so I had been thinking about how a slip stitch, when worked a certain way, looks a bit like a knit stitch.

Throw in some extended half double crochet stitches so the thing doesn’t take f-o-r-e-v-e-r and you’ve got yourself a really pretty stitch pattern that’s super easy to execute. UPDATE: You can find the step-by-step video tutorial for this stitch here.

How to make crochet look knit with extended half double crochet and slip stitches. Full tutorial and free poncho pattern.Flat lay featuring a handmade southwester-inspired crochet poncho with a pair of women's suede boots and a felt hat. Lion Brand Scarfie yarn pictured.

The Construction

Like many of my projects, this free women’s crochet poncho pattern is constructed from two simple rectangles. Make a third rectangle for the collar, add a dash of fringe and you’ve got yourself a southwestern-inspired garment that looks like an intentional style decision–and feels like pajamas!

If you like making stylish sweaters and garments out of an ol’ unassuming rectangle, you may like these free crochet patterns too:

A collection of free crochet sweater patterns designed by Jess Coppom of Make & Do Crew using Lion Brand Yarn.1. Habitat Sweater // 2. Navajo Shrug // 3. Stonewash Shrug // 4. Dwell Sweater

The Yarn

The Lion Brand Scarfie yarn used in the sample has been on my list to try for a long time. I love how its slightly roving-looking texture is a category 5 yarn (one heavier than worsted weight) because it makes projects quicker to make without becoming super bulky.

And the stripes! Well, the stripes are really cool to watch develop because the color changes are so gradual and gentle. I really love how Scarfie gives this crochet poncho an organic, cozy and bohemian vibe.

Lion Brand Scarfie yarn in Cream/Silver being crocheted into a free women's poncho pattern.

The Detour

I feel like I should admit that when I started this project, I had every intention of it becoming a women’s pullover sweater, but after about halfway through my first rectangle, it was clear that the shape I was making was much better suited for a poncho. Ironically, I really love how this sweater-turned-poncho eventually turned out and I hope you do too!

How to cut fringe for a crochet project by wrapping yarn around a book.

So while you only usually see the finished items on the blog here, know that there are many twists and turns in the journey any project takes to becoming a finished pattern on the site. If like me, you ever find yourself with a big piece of crochet fabric you’ve spent hours on but don’t know what to do with, just keep wrapping it around your body in different configurations until you get an idea! That is my strategy at least. 😉

A simple combination of extended half double crochet and slip stitches make for a knit-looking “braided” texture in this free women's crochet poncho pattern featuring Lion Brand Scarfie Yarn. Plus sizes included.

Braided Boho Poncho
Free Women’s Crochet Poncho Pattern

Purchase the ad-free, printable PDF here.

Add this pattern to your Ravelry favorites or queue here.

Pin it for later here.

Explanation:
Feel like you’re wrapped in a fireside woven blanket sweater when you wear this perfectly simple crochet poncho. The self-striping yarn does all the color work and a combination of extended half double crochet and slip stitches make for a knit-looking “braided” texture. A ribbed turnover collar completes this unfussy, but intentional look.

This pattern is made from three basic rectangles and is perfect for a confident beginner. Sizes include S-3x.

Supplies:
Lion Brand Scarfie (Weight: 5/bulky –  312 yds, 5.3 oz)
– Cream/Silver (#826-216) – 4 (4, 5, 5, 5) skeins
• Tapestry needle
• Size K (6.5 mm) crochet hook
• Stitch markers or safety pins

Sizes:
S/M, M/L, L/XL, 1X/2X, 2X/3X

Gauge:
13 sts = 4”
4.5 rows ehdc + 4 rows sl st = 4”

Abbreviations and Glossary (US Terms):
ch – chain
hdc – half double crochet
edhc – extended half double crochet (see photo below)
sl st – slip stitch
tch – turning chain
st(s) – stitch(es)
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
rep – repeat
PM – place marker

Overall Pattern + Sizing Notes:
• Pattern is written in size S/M with M/L, L/XL, 1X/2X and 2X/3X following in parenthesis. S/M (M/L, L/XL, 1X/2X, 2X/3X)

• When using Scarfie yarn, be mindful of how attaching a new skein will influence the self-striping pattern. Consider breaking yarn and reattaching if skeins don’t naturally create desired striping effects.

• To adjust the width of the poncho, chain any number of sts + 3 for the foundation ch on both the front and the back pieces.

• The ch 3 at the beginning of each row does not count as a stitch.

• See photos below for the hook placement in each row.

• View the step-by-step video tutorial for the stitch used in this pattern here.

Tutorial: How to work the extended half double crochet stitch.

FRONT

Foundation Row: Ch 100 (106, 112, 118, 124).

Row 1 (RS): Sk first 3 ch, ehdc in each ch to end of row; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121))

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1, loosely sl st through the middle loop only of each hdc; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121))

Row 3 (RS): Ch 3, ehdc in front loop of each sl st; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121 ))

Row 4 (WS): Ch 1, loosely sl st through the middle loop only of each hdc; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121)

Rows 5-48 (50, 50, 52, 52): Repeat Rows 3 and 4 22 (23, 23, 24, 24) more times, ending with a WS row. There should be a total of 24 (25, 25, 26, 26) rows of ehdc and 24 (25, 25, 26, 26) rows of sl sts.

Row 49 (51, 51, 53, 53) (RS): Repeat Row 4 once more.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Rectangle should measure approximately:
S/M: 30” x 23”
M/L: 31.75 x 24”
L/XL: 33.5 x 24”
XL/2XL: 35.5 x 25”
2XL/3XL: 37.25 x 25”

BACK

Notes:
• Front and back are worked identically except for total number of rows.

Foundation Row: Ch 100 (106, 112, 118, 124).

Row 1 (RS): Sk first 3 ch, ehdc in each ch to end of row; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121)

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1, loosely sl st through the middle loop only of each hdc; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121)

Row 3 (RS): Ch 3, ehdc in front loop of each sl st; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121)

Row 4 (WS): Ch 1, loosely sl st through the middle loop only of each hdc; turn. (97 (103, 109, 115, 121)

Rows 5-54 (56, 56, 58, 58): Repeat Rows 3 and 4 25 (26, 26, 27, 27) more times, ending with a WS row. There should be a total of 27 (28, 28, 29, 29) rows of ehdc and 27 (28, 28, 29, 29) rows of sl sts.

Row 55 (57, 57, 59, 59) (RS): Repeat Row 4 once more.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Rectangle should measure approximately:
S/M: 30”x 26”
M/L: 31.75 x 26.75”
L/XL: 33.5 x 26.75”
XL/2XL: 35.5 x 27.75”
2XL/3XL: 37.25 x 27.75”

COLLAR

Notes:
• The collar is worked sideways. To achieve the look of the sample using Scarfie yarn, find a place in working yarn where yarn is about to finish one color and transition to next color. This will help ensure balanced gradient look at both edges of collar. (See photo below.)

Foundation Row: Ch 28 (all sizes).

Row 1 (RS): Sk first 2 ch, hdc in each ch to end of row; turn. (26)

Rows 2 (WS): Ch 2, hdc through back loop only of each hdc; turn. (26)

Rows 3 – 39: Ch 2, hdc through back loop only of each hdc; turn. (26)

Fasten off leaving a 24” tail for seaming.

How to make crochet ribbing using half double crochet stitches. Tutorial featuring Lion Brand Scarfie yarn in the Cream/Silver color.

SEAMING FRONT & BACK

IMPORTANT: Keep poncho front facing you as you sl st seam pieces together.

Lay front piece on top of back piece, with RS facing out on both pieces. The foundation ch edges should be oriented toward top of poncho. Join yarn in upper right corner (left corner for lefties).

Working into one ch st of both pieces so as to keep front and back aligned, sl st through 38 (41, 44, 47, 50) foundation chain sts. Fasten off.

Beginning at upper left corner of rectangle (right corner for lefties), count 38 (41, 44, 47, 50) foundation ch sts and PM.

Attach yarn in marked st and sl st along pieces in same direction as first seam until end of row.

SEAMING COLLAR

Fold collar as pictured in photo below. Folded collar should measure approximately 18” wide. Pin collar to poncho keeping overlapping collar pieces in front.

Using collar tail and tapestry needle, seam collar to neck opening.

How to add a crochet collar to a poncho using half double crochet stitches. Lion Brand Scarfie in Cream/Silver yarn pictured.

ADDING FRINGE

Notes:
• To quickly cut fringe pieces of all same length, wrap yarn dozens of times around a small book and insert scissors between front and back cover to cut as pictured above pattern.

Cut  approximately 210 (220, 240, 250, 260) pieces 8” fringe. With RS of poncho facing up, insert hook from the top down and grab five strands of fringe. Pull fringe partially up to top of fabric. Insert fingers through resulting loop of fringe and pull fringe tails through loop. (See photo below.)

Attach fringe at approximately 1.5” intervals along poncho bottom. Rep on second side.

Trim fringe as desired.

Toss on your new braided poncho for your next moonlit desert hike amongst the cacti!

Tutorial showing how to add fringe to a knit or crochet project.

I love to see your finished projects! Use #MakeAndDoCrew and tag me Instagram (@MakeAndDoCrew) to show off your stitches and have a chance to be featured.

Now that you’ve finished this free women’s crochet poncho pattern, you might like these other free patterns from Make & Do Crew!

Here are some modern free crochet patterns that use Lion Brand Yarn including slippers, beanies, a poncho and a scarf! Designed by Jess Coppom from Make & Do Crew.

1. Greyscale Poncho – another free women’s crochet poncho pattern that’s fitted (and has a pocket!)

2. 1.5 Hour Crochet Beanie + Video Tutorial – whip up this beginner friendly hat during an episode of your favorite show

3. At First Blush Triangle Scarf with Tassels – a surprisingly easy free crochet pattern + video tutorial

4. Sierra Slippers – these mukluk-style crochet slippers make a fast gift idea–for yourself!

WANT MORE FREE SIMPLE SWEATER PATTERNS?

I'd love to send you more fashion-forward free crochet patterns that will make you feel like a goddess of DIY! You in?

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22 Comments

  • Sheltie Times
    February 7, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Great project and so practical. This would be great for outings.

    Reply
  • Lili
    February 21, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Lovely stitch, I have not seen it before like this, will definitely try it out and use it. I think it will work great on cushion covers and modern blankets as well, looking forward to how you will use it next Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      February 22, 2018 at 9:42 am

      I’m so glad you like it, Lili! I agree–I think it would look beautiful on homewares projects. If you make something with it, I’d love for you to send me a pic or tag me on Instagram so I can see what you make! (@makeanddocrew)

      Reply
      • Lili
        February 22, 2018 at 9:57 am

        I will Jess ;-).

        Reply
  • Eva
    February 21, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Jess
    Thank you for new Project will make for my Sis- in
    =law she love this

    Reply
  • Tracy King
    February 21, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Interesting stitch to learn, yay! I really love how you are so encouraging and always point out that even though we see finished items, doesn’t mean there is no frustration or frogging! Thanks Jess.

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      February 22, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Ah, thanks, Tracy. There is SOOOOO much frogging in my process. Sometimes I look at these finished projects on the blog and feel like it’s a tiny miracle they ever made it that far. Thanks for letting me know you go through that too. It’s all part of the process, but it’s my least favorite part! 😉

      Jess

      Reply
  • Michelle Anne Wesley
    February 21, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I love your patterns! I made many and this one is going to get done next week! Thank you soooo very much😚

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      February 22, 2018 at 9:39 am

      I love hearing that you’re getting use out of my patterns! Thanks so much for letting me know. I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂

      Jess

      Reply
  • Marcia Woolf
    February 21, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I am in LOVE with this project! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Marcia Woolf
      February 21, 2018 at 9:49 am

      P.S. Any tips for matching up the new skein? That idea makes me nervous as a new crocheter…. Thank you!

      Reply
      • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
        February 22, 2018 at 9:38 am

        Hey Marcia,

        I think once you work with this yarn for a full skein, you’ll get a sense of the “rhythm” of the color transitions. I found that most skeins started in the perfect place to just connect to the finished yarn, but in the case you need to adjust it, just wind off the new ball of yarn until you get to the place in the color transition that you’re at with the skein you’re finishing.

        Hope that makes sense! This is a really great first garment for a beginner!

        Jess

        Reply
        • Marcia Woolf
          February 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm

          Totally makes sense. Thanks, Jess!

          Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      February 22, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that!

      Reply
  • Shannon
    February 21, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’ve been crocheting for 40 years and have never seen a stich like it. You are amazing!

    Reply
  • DaVerne
    February 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This is the loveliest poncho pattern I have seen! You are quite brilliant! 🙂 Looking forward to creating this. Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!

    Reply
  • Jacqueline
    February 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Missing Row 5 on the back panel – or is it simply a numbering error?

    Reply
  • Deborah Borne
    July 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    On the slip stich rows I am not sure what you mean by the middle loop?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      August 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Take a look at the photo tutorial above. Does that make it clearer to you? It’s not the front loop or the loop furthest back from you, but the one between those. Kinda hard to explain, but the photos should help.:)

      Jess

      Reply

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