My oversized ponchette

As lots of crocheters out there know there is a subscription company called Little Box of Crochet. (I’ve mentioned them in previous posts). I first found them on Instagram and followed their story as Amanda dealt with the terminal illness of her daughter Jenny (read more here.) img_7042.jpg

Last year I saw this on their Instagram feed: A Hygge Ponchette. Now all the other designs I’d seen, whilst I admired them and thought they looked lovely, weren’t for me. Simply a matter of taste and desire. But then I saw this and thought “I’ve got to have it!” So I asked Father Christmas/ Père Noël/Santa if I could have it for Christmas and (lucky me!) he said yes!

Now this box they called their first Not-So-Little box of crochet because the yarn was super chunky and there were six balls of it! Basically it was a super chunky, snuggly, cosy, hygge project so couldn’t fit into a little box.

When I opened it on Christmas day it was so exciting. I think only fellow crafters can understand how I felt then! The soft, squishy yarn and this beautiful project to aim for. And again something just for me. It’s a bit silly just how excited I was! I wanted to get started then and there but their was Merida’s mermaid tail to finish so after the madness that was the

Christmas octopi I’d have to wait for my turn. Who knew that within the first month of the year I’d actually make two things just for me!

When we returned to France and the mermaid tail was complete I opened the magical box. As well as the yarn, a hook, a pom pom maker, a bodkin, a stitch marker and the pattern itself by Emily at Make E. were a lovely scented candle and a pine cone pendant. Lots of lovely things in the box. So I began. Now the first thing I did was try with the 12mm hook in the box. However, since discovering Clover Amour hooks I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to most other hooks. So I switched over the my 12mm hook from my kit.

I have to confess that my first results were…disappointing. Oh no! I then dug out an email from the Little Box of Crochet gang with a amendment to the pattern. I had thought I was going mad but no, it was ok. Starting again the results were much more promising. The texture was gorgeous and I loved how it was turning out. Now I was down to the armholes but something was wrong. As you can see from the picture above the armholes are supposed to start roughly at the elbows. Mine started half way up my arms. I had assumed the pattern was a one-size-fits all affair and was very confused. I checked the pattern for notes on tension, read through what I had down and checked the number of rows but I had definitely done it right. But mine looked like this:

img_7035.jpg(Please excuse the squiffy selfie). The armholes were far too high and the shoulders were a bit too tight for my personal taste. Now I’ve never been under the illusion that I’m small, I’m not. I’m a big person and always have been, even bigger since I had Rose. I am also tall at 5’11” and prefer garments to be long enough to cover my belly so when the nearly finished item barely covered my bust I was a little upset. But I was sure I’d seen pictures of people roughly my size (if not height) modelling theirs on Instagram.  So I had a look. There were various different sizes I could see and I was running out of yarn. If I made the ponchette big enough for me I would run out of yarn.

So I emailed the lovely folk at Little Box of Crochet, explained my problem and Emma replied quickly. She reassured me it was a one-size-fits-most project and that she is roughly my size and the one she made fit. Bless her she offered me a refund or extra yarn. I wanted my ponchette so went for extra yarn.

Whilst I waited for the yarn to arrive I took radical action. I made a test swatch with a bigger hook. I ramped it right up to a 15mm hook. The practise swatch I made with the 15mm hook had a much better look to it. It even resembled the picture in the pattern! So I took the drastic step and completely ripped the whole garment out. This was not kind on the yarn as the softness of it didn’t like being undone. However, it was fine to be worked twice and the look was the same. It could’ve gone horribly wrong but the other option was a garment I would never wear. I think it was worth the risk.

So I remade the ponchette with the 15mm hook. This had its downsides. Whilst the look and finish was better it means the ends pop out where I changed balls (you may giggle, my husband always does when I say “balls”). Every time I’ve worn it I’ve found a new loose end. Also, the yarn has a slightly silky feel and this combined with the bigger hook did cause me to rethink my method of tying in loose ends (I tend to crochet them in as I go). In fact there are now many knots inside the ponchette but it’s chunky enough to hide them thank goodness.
So I made it in a bigger hook and I made it a few rows longer…quite a few rows longer. I’m used to altering patterns a little but it surprised me how many rows I ended up adding. Perhaps I need to cut back on the cake!?! Although the ponchette is now complete and comes further down than my bust and I can get my arms through. So a win in the end. What do you think?
Then there were the pom-poms. For  all of an hour I couldn’t decide whether or not to go for pom-poms! They were an optional extra in the pattern and as I’d finished the whole thing to my desired length and had the yarn spare I thought why not? It turns out I like pom-poms! Who knew? I love how big and fluffy they are. I made the first one far too big and had to undo all the yarn I’d just wrapped around the pom-pom maker and start over. Although I have to say I do like the pom-pom maker. It’s really easy to use and I’ve never owned one before so it was a good introduction to it. However, I did have to look up how to use it on YouTube and after consulting many videos I got a result I’m happy with. So I’ve learned to make pom-poms too.
img_7040.jpgAnd then there’s the candle. Amanda Bloom is branching out into a scented candle business and they’re all made of soya wax and things like that (I don’t really know the particulars!) that make the candle burn slowly. The scent is gorgeous. I’m absolutely in love with it!
img_7038.jpgSo in conclusion:
⁃I was a bit disappointed I had to start again twice.
⁃It made me feel fat/big having to add extra rows
⁃I ended up with a much bigger hook than is in the pattern. I’m coming to the conclusion that I have tight tension. Normally that would be a good thing but it didn’t work for this pattern.
⁃Emma from Little Box of Crochet couldn’t do enough to make sure I was happy.
⁃I was reassured looking at other posts on Instagram that I wasn’t the only one to add extra rows for length.
⁃The yarn is lovely and squishy and (currently) still white even though I’ve worn it.
⁃It’s lovely and snuggly and warm. I’ve even worn the ponchette in the snow!
⁃I’ve learned how to make pom-poms with some success.
⁃The candle is gorgeous.
So adding everything up I’m happy. It took longer than expected to get there but I have a gorgeous, massive hygge ponchette I can wear even if I loose or gain weight. I have a scented candle that I can still burn several weeks after starting it and burning it almost every night. The pattern was well written and simple to follow.
Would I use them again? If something came up that I fancied I suspect so. To be honest I’m always making something for someone (birthdays and Easter coming up) so I don’t always have the time for a regular subscription box. I love the idea of it though: everything in one box that you could possibly need for that project. It’s a great idea. So the next time a pattern/project catches my eye I’m in! I’m definitely going to buy more candles too.
What I love most is that the staff at Little Box of Crochet are absolutely lovely. Emma was incredibly helpful and they really care about their customers which is really refreshing. They are running a business sure but there’s a definite personal element to their approach which will have me following them on Instagram as long as I’m able.
It’s getting colder here again…am I allowed to wear my ponchette indoors?! Shall I wear it into the mountains to experience the snow and try to camouflage?!
Ta ta for now lovelies.
Josie Xxx