BEGINNER PROJECT Novice knitters prefer one-size-fits-all poncho

It's a hot item of choice for cold weather.
For a few years now, the scarf has been the item of choice for many knitters, especially beginners. This winter, though, the poncho is the hot project, for the same reasons of simple shape and one size fits all.
An easy garment to knit or crochet, it's also a very fashionable one. Poncho-mania has hit the stores, but you can get your color and shape by making your own.
Pick up a pattern wherever yarns are sold. If you prefer to crochet instead of knit, you'll find plenty of options there, too. Ponchos and capelets are featured in the premiere issue of Interweave Knits Crochet, a new magazine from Interweave Press, on the stands for the next three months at $7.99.
Another trendy neck adornment is the faux fur yarn collar that ties with a flirty satin bow. What fun to finish off a basic cardigan or suit jacket with this flourish of femininity. These ties or collars are quick to knit in the popular furry yarns, and instructions are in stores or online.
Finding each other
As with every other hobby or craft, kindred spirits can find each other on the Internet. In a recent Free Press TechToday article, Jean Rutter of the New York Times mentioned the e-mail discussion group She says it has grown to over 7,500 participants in 10 years, and knitting questions are answered at all hours of the day.
Turn to Web sites, too, such as and for help. For free patterns, try:

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