The Persephone Cape is designed to be the perfect piece to throw over spring dresses and tanks. Like a ruana, an open front poncho that originated in the Colombian and Venezuelan Andes region and is distinguished by the large open slit along the front down to the hem, this cape is worn draped over the shoulders and is open on the sides. The version offered here features a shawl collar for a touch of modern design. Effortlessly pull any outfit together with this lightweight and striking accessory. Made using Lion Brand Yarn Truboo, the drape on this piece is unmatched. The repeating rows offer a making experience that is meditative and satisfying for all skill levels. This pattern features short row shaping and color changes, making it a great skill builder.
Melanie Depcinski is a crochet and knitwear designer with free patterns available at www.CountingCraftySheep.com. Her designs aim to use simple stitches in unique combinations for engaging but approachable patterns for the modern maker. Other patterns by Melanie on the Joy of Motion blog include The Sabrina Sweater and The Melanie Tee. Melanie is a Design, Create, Repeat team member and also operates an Etsy shop that includes stitch markers, handmade jewelry, and more. You can learn more about Melanie and her fiber arts journey through the Crafty Yarn Council’s Humans That Yarn video series. Follow Melanie @CountingCrafty on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Lion Brand Yarn Truboo is an amazing rayon yarn made from 100% bamboo. Not only is the drape unmatched, the gorgeous sheen gives it a touch of elegance that is hard to match in a budget friendly fiber. I immediately fell in love with the combination of mushroom and mauve I used in my sample.
They have a wide variety of both subtle and bold colors that are sure to complement any personality and style. Not only is the finished project a dream, this yarn is amazing to work with. Even my husband couldn’t resist reaching out to touch it and comment on how “cool” it feels. Sometimes this type of yarn can split a lot, and while I encountered some splitting, any reworked stitches were totally worth the end result.
A LESSON IN VERSATILITY
A lot of times when I go into a design, I have at least a general idea of where I am heading, if not a sketch or more detail about what I am trying to make. This design went the way that a lot of mine tend to, where I start with one idea and then do a total 180 and head in a different direction. The original plan was a two rectangle poncho. I love the look and I love the simplicity of the design. I even went as far as swatching (gasp!) for a design with that style of construction. However, it became clear really quickly that my heart wasn’t in what I had come up with and I ended up reworking the whole thing. I went completely back to the drawing board. Instead of using some of my hand dyed stash, I decided it was high time I tried Truboo. I had been green with envy seeing all of the teaser posts coming through on Instagram that featured this dreamy yarn and I knew this project was the perfect excuse to abandon my vow to stick to the stash and order some.
Even as I started working with the Truboo, there was a lot of guessing and testing. Eventually I came up with a stitch sequence I was happy with, and the yarn chicken began. You see that is one of the risks you take when you dive in without a clear idea of what you are doing. I also tend to get design elements stuck in my head and you will see similarities pop up in things that are released close together, or at least begun close together. Having just finished the design for Amelia’s Birthday Cardi, which features Janne’s yarn, I had shawl collars on the brain. This combined with my cavalier approach to design resulting in not enough yarn to carry out my second original plan led me to incorporate that element into this design as well.
Not only was this process truly a test of how inventive I could be working with no gauge and no plan, it was quite the exciting adventure. The result, I think, speaks for itself as to whether or not this all worked out in my favor. While I was certainly influenced by Amelia’s cardi, I wanted this one to stand out and challenge me a little more, so I decided to give short rows a shot. If you are a knitter, odds are you have heard of or worked short rows at some point. However, it wasn’t until recently that I came to know they were also used in crochet and I had been using them for ages. Thus the waves in the collar were born. This is probably my favorite detail in the whole design, so I am sure you will see it again down the road. The short rows allow for a gentle cascade to the collar that contours it perfectly to the body.
The Persephone Cape is perfect paired with high wasted shorts, jeans, spring dresses, or even a swim suit for all of you beach-goers. You can really throw it on over anything (including yoga pants!). Dress it up, dress it down, either way the loose open design of this piece is sure to keep you comfortable on warm spring days and the cool summer nights ahead.
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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CROCHET THAT?
How long it takes to crochet something varies depending on your skill & how fast you crochet. But that isn’t a helpful answer is it?
Well, I’ve developed a yarn calculator to help you get the answer to this question.
It will help you calculate exactly how much time you’ll spend crocheting a project.
All you need to know is how much yarn you will use on the project in either meters, yards or skeins. Then crochet your test square & time it.
THE PERSEPHONE CAPE – THE FREE CROCHET PATTERN
GRAB THE PDF ON RAVELRY!
ABOUT THE PATTERN:
The Persephone cape is an open front ruana style poncho perfect for spring and summer. The pattern is written for sizes XS-5XL and is easily modified to fit larger or smaller sizes. I am happy to help with sizing adjustments, just send me an email at email@example.com.
Size 4 mm / US: G / UK: 8
Yarn amount used:
Color A (Mushroom): (2, 2, 2) (2, 3, 3) (3, 3, 3) skeins / 3.5 oz / 100 g / 200 m / 241 yards
Color B (Mauve): (3, 3, 4) (4, 4, 4) (5, 5, 5) skeins / 3.5 oz / 100 g/ 200 m / 241 yards
- 3 light yarn, DK yarn.
- 100 % Rayon from Bamboo
OTHER MATERIALS NEEDED:
- Needle, find one here (if you don’t already have one)!
Measured in pattern crocheted in rows, a total of three color A sections and two color B sections:
18 stitches & 15 rows per 10 cm / 4”.
- This crochet pattern is written in US terms (more details).
- All measurements given are unblocked.
- Note that measurements are given as exact as possible. But crochet tension & technique might give variations in the result, that changes from person to person.
- Read pattern instructions carefully before beginning to make sure you understand everything. It might save you hours!
- Make a swatch that measure at least 10 x 10 cm / 4 x 4 inches using the stitch the gauge is given for. If your swatch matches the gauge, you’re good to go. If the gauge is wrong, you might need to change your hook. Go up in crochet hook size if your stitches are smaller & go down in crochet hook size if your stitches are bigger (more details).
- Check yarn info if you want to find an alternative or test your yarn against the gauge (more details).
- This pattern is written for 9 sizes, any questions about sizing adjustments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Notes on how to adjust are included in the adjustments section.
- At the end of each row, the stitch count is given in parenthesis.
SIZE & MEASUREMENTS:
Measurements (given in inches) for the total width of the garment and the width of the “sleeve” front panel sections are both given.
Width (total): (26.5, 27, 34) (35, 42, 42.5) (48.5, 49, 49)
Width (front panel): (6, 6, 9) (9, 12, 12) (15, 15, 15)
Height: (18, 18.5, 18.75) (19, 19.25, 19.5) (19.5, 20, 20)
- When adding width, always think in color blocks, not rows. You always want to start and end on the same color for your panels. This means you will be adding in increments of at least two inches.
- When adding length always maintain an even number of sts.
- Any increases in the back or front panels will result in changes to the counts on the shawl collar. You can adapt as you go, or make sure that you are adding increments of eight when working additional length. This will result in more of yarn color B required to complete the collar as you will need additional passes. Every eight sts increased is another two rows essentially.
Fhdc = foundation half double crochet
Ch = chain (s) (tutorial)
Hdc = half double crochet (tutorial)
Sc = single crochet (tutorial)
Dc = double crochet
Sl st = slip stitch (tutorial)
St = stitch (es)
STITCHES YOU WILL NEED:
Foundation Half Double
Mini Puff (yarn over + insert hook and pull up a loop 3 times, yarn over and pull through all loops on hook)
TECHNIQUES YOU WILL NEED:
Using Color A
Row 1: fhdc (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90), ch 3, turn. (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
ch 3 counts as dc + ch in next row
When repeating Row 1 use a standard hdc, not fhdc
Row 2: Skip the first st, dc in next, *ch 1, dc,** repeat *-** to the end of the row, ch 2, turn(82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
Row 3: hdc in top of each dc and ch space across, finish last st with color B, ch 2, turn. (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
Using Color B
Row 4: dc in first, sc in next, continue to alternate dc and sc across to the end, ch 3, turn. (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
ch 3 counts as turning ch + ch 1
Row 5: skip first st (top of the last sc), mini puff, *ch 1, mini puff,** repeat *-** to the end of the row, ch 2, turn. (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
Row 6: dc in first, sc in next, continue alternating dc and sc to the end of the row. Finish the last st with color A. (82, 84, 84)(86, 86, 88)(88, 90, 90)
Repeat these two sets of rows 15 more times (both color A and color B rows).
Sizes M, L, 3xl, 4xl, 5xl: Repeat just color A rows once more.
On the last row, turn you work on its side and work another hdc in the last st. Continue down the side placing an hdc at the end of each row. Fasten off when you reach the end. Your stitch count for this edging row should be (90, 90, 99)(99, 108, 108)(117, 117, 117)
You should have a total of (30, 30, 33)(33, 36, 36)(39, 39, 39) stripes.
Front Panel (Make 2)
Follow instructions for back panel for a total of (6, 6, 9)(9, 12, 12)(15, 15, 15) stripes. Your stitch counts for the edging rows should be (18, 18, 27)(27, 36, 36)(45, 45, 45) sts.
Using Color A
Lay your panels with the final rows of hdc lined up, making sure the stripe colors are in alignment. Wrong sides of the panels should be touching with the two front panels on top of the back panel.
Use your locking stitch markers or safety pins to fasten the panels so they stay lined up while you sew. Starting at the outer edge, mattress st through the inner loop of each st. Repeat on the opposite side.
This should create a visible but pretty seam along the sewn edge on the rs of the work.
Using Color B
The collar is worked using short rows to create the wavy tapered look. Place a stitch marker on your front panels 10 sts from the shoulder seam (not including the shoulder seam join.)
Join color B at either stitch marker, depending on your handedness. Ch 1 and hdc in the join st. Hdc across to the other st marker, ch 2, turn.
Hdc back across to starting point. Cut yarn. Count 8 sts from the st marker where you joined your yarn, this would be the st at the base of the one you just finished with and join again. Working back towards the section you just finished placing an hdc in each st until you reach the first short row. Work up the side of the row, place one hdc in the end of each row and then work across. On the last st of the row, instead of working into the top, work into the side, work into the side of the base row then continue placing an hdc in the next 8 sts. Ch 2, turn. Work an hdc in every st back to the start of this section, where you rejoined your yarn. Cut yarn.
Repeat this process until you reach the corners of the front panels.
Join color B at the front inner corner of either panel. Working away from the collar, place an hdc in every st. 2 hdc on the ends of the dc and mini puff sections, 2 in each corner all the way around. Join with a slip st to the opposite collar corner. Do not work around the collar, only on the unfinished edges.
Weave in any remaining ends and steam block.
BY GUEST DESIGNER Counting Crafty Sheep!
Melanie Depcinski is the Owner, Maker, and Designer behind www.CountingCraftySheep.com and the Counting Crafty Sheep Etsy shop. She is an Anthropologist turned stay at home parent and has two adorably wild daughters. When she isn’t crocheting, Melanie also loves to knit, spin yarn, read, and spend time outdoors.
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