grey poncho

 Route 66 free knitting pattern from The Noble Thread on Ravelry


Route 66 is a super chunky poncho or capelet. It's a warming top layer to wear at home at work or out and about and it's a super quick knit using a super chunky yarn and thick needles. It's knitted from the top down in the round with no sewing up and has a quick to work slip stitch colourwork pattern that's very simple to do.

Like our Eremophia shawl, Route 66 can easily be knitted in a weekend. It's very satisfying to make. It would make a great palette cleanser if you're in the middle of a large neverending project and it's also a great way to try some new techniques - slip stitch colourwork (mosaic knitting) and knitting in the round.


Route 66 uses circular needles to knit in the round. When you knit in the round you have to consider the length of the circular needle. Your stitches need to reach from one needle tip to the another without you stretching them or worrying they will fall off the needles.

The pattern specifies 3 lengths of circular needles - 40cm, 60cm and 80cm. I knitted our Route 66 using one 100cm needle and the magic loop technique.

Magic loop is way to knit a small circumference using a long circular needle. It is a great skill to have as it saves you buying lots of circular needles in different lengths.

(You can also use interchangeable circular needles. You buy separate needle tips and cables so you can easily swap out the cables to get the length of circular needle to need. But you do need to buy different lengths of needle tip so you can make a 40cm long circular needle... confused? We're always happy to help in the shop or by email.)

Very Pink Knits has a good video tutorial on magic loop showing you how to cast on and this one shows you how to work your rounds.

I had about 10 rounds where it felt a bit awkward - my circular needle wasn't long enough for a full magic loop but it wasn't too bad.


The pattern has two sizes - 46" and 50" at its widest point. Because it's an armless poncho you need to include your arms in your measurement so measure around your body with your arms at your side. It is quite stretchy...



 50" measurement around body (including arms) wearing 46" poncho


Route 66 is a great basic pattern that you can really make you own - tweaking the size, colours and stitches.

You are knitting from the top down and increasing 4 stitches on every other round to create space for your shoulders and arms.

You can try the poncho on and either increase less for a smaller size or increase more for a larger size. 


slip stitch pattern


After the increases you start the mosaic stitch pattern. Mosaic knitting uses slip stitches to create colourwork patterns. You are only using one colour on each row but it looks like you're doing stranded colourwork.

A top tip for mosaic knitting (or slip stitches in generally) is not to knit tightly!

When slipping stitches in this pattern you knit a stitch then slip the next stitch then knit the next stitch. Slipping the next stitch is simply moving the stitch from the left needle to the right needle without working it. When you come to knit the next stitch the yarn is stranded across the back of the slip stitch. If you pull too tightly the fabric will pucker and it'll look a bit like a rib stitch.

That sounds more complex than it is! Trust me, it's very simple to do.

The pattern instructions are all written and you can easily add more rows to lengthen the poncho.

We used three colours as instructed in the pattern, but you could use less or more for a different effect. You could ignore the slip stitch pattern and do it all in one colour or stripe it.


rolled neck of poncho


The poncho has a rolled edged at the neck and bottom edge.

For the neck just cast on, join in the round and start knitting.

I wasn't so keen on a rolled edge at the bottom. I can imagine pulling it down constantly. So I worked 4 rows of moss stitch which I think mimics the mosaic stitch pattern as a texture.

You could rib it or end with garter stitch... or just leave the edge to roll.


moss stitch edge of poncho


I blocked the poncho by laying it flat and smoothing out the shape and stitches (I didn't see a need for any pinning) then I placed wet tea towels on top and left the whole thing to dry. You can also steam it like I did with Eremophila.

The pattern doesn't give full garment measurements so I've added them here for your info. 👇


grey poncho


Route 66 is an armless poncho or capelete. If you'd rather have you arms hanging free check out Capo - a chunky weight poncho knitted from the bottom up.




To recap

You can download a free copy of Route 66 on Ravelry. 

You can buy King Cole Big Value Super Chunky here. I used 3 balls in Grey (24) and 1 ball each of Lagoon (3556) and Charcoal (3552).

You need 10mm circular needles. Either a range of lengths or one 100cm length. You can buy circular needles here.

Fiona Wright

make your own Route 66

Get in touch

What do you think of our Route 66. Will you make one?

Let us know if you need any more info.👇