[Caught Me Creating] The Swoncho Saga Takes a Stroll Down Caribou Trails

It was almost two years in the making…and the minute I finished knitting my swoncho (that’s a half sweater, half poncho), I hated it. (previously on this swoncho) It made me feel frumpy. It was a shapeless thing that hung too short to really be a poncho. It was indeed too swoncho relaxo for my taste, and I wanted it gone. NOW!

Some of you suggested in the comments of my swoncho blogpost that sometimes it’s best to kill the effer with fire.

I had a better idea in mind – repurpose the wool.  Seriously! The wool was still good. I had knit large enough pieces in the swoncho that it would be easy to reuse. “Let’s go for it!” was my first thought, followed by: “…as soon as possible!”

Situations like the swoncho snafu always challenge my ego. Here was a project I was unsuccessful at. My friends, I have dealt with failure before – Jesus, have I ever! Sarca Seeecret: if I look back into my knitting history, about 68%* of my projects have run into one snafu or another. TRUTH! I just try to learn from the fuck-ups, suck it up and move on to the next project, yo!

This next chapter in the Swoncho Saga is no different.

To start, I had used Fiesta Chunky wool in a smokey grey for the swoncho, so I needed to find a pattern that could accommodate chunky wool. I took to Ravelry – the “pr0n for knitters” website that is the go-to meeting place for designers and users alike to share patterns and their knitting experiences. I was lucky to find a pattern for a raglan style sweater called “Caribou Trails” designed by Kelly Daniels. It is a relatively simple sweater with a lovely cable stitch at the sides and a turtle neck. It looked cosy and warm – just what I needed to switch out the swoncho.

This pattern was a departure from what I expect when I knit a sweater. To start, my Caribou Trails sweater was knit from the neck down; I am used to knitting sweaters from the waist up! Also, it was knit without seams using circular needles “in the round”; essentially knitting one whole piece without having to sew up anything. I was nervous tackling this pattern, but I must say, it was easy to follow. I am definitely a top down knitting convert!

Three weeks later, and I had completed my sweater. As usual, I ran into minor snafus, but nothing too serious. All things considered, this was an enjoyable sweater to knit, and in my opinion, my best work yet! The results speak for themselves!  I am very pleased, and hope to add another sweater like it to my wardrobe very soon. Good riddance, swoncho!


*68%…What’s that figure? Well, it’s not 65%, and not quite 70%. haha


  1. This is a great gift, this talent of yours. You can make things with your hands, using tools and supplies. It is impressive, yes, and also creative. Sure, you;re only following a pattern, but give that pattern to me and you would not have a sweater. You’d have me in a looney bin, shaking and drooling, saying “the needles… the needles are coming to get me…”

    Well done, Sarca. RIGHT. ON.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice job. It’s great that you re-purposed a project you weren’t happy with. We have a closet full of crocheted beanies that weren’t up to snuff in my wife’s eyes. We could probably create a whole line of swonchos with those damn beanies.

    So many beanies.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I really admire that tenacity. Give’r!

        My wife is very similar, she will continue working on something until it’s right. I can’t say this on Facebook, (it’s a surprise) but she’s making a Transformers baby blanket for my buddy. He’s having a a girl and she designed an Autobot logo pattern that is just killer. Took her several drawings and several more prototypes to get it right, but now it’s right and she’s mass-producing the logos for a blanket for a baby due in May.


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