This was a really fun project. I knit it for my mom for her birthday. The special part is that we were able to go to a yarn store together and she picked out the color she liked and saw a completed sample that she loved. It made me feel more confident that this was something she would like once I had finished knitting it. (I know people tend to appreciate receiving hand knit items and usually "love" them because you made it, but it is always nice to know when someone aesthetically likes what it is you've created.)
I had never heard of a ponchini prior to this pattern- and honestly I think they might be a wonderful original from StevenBe. However, if you, too, had never heard of this little beastie, I will try to describe what the garment is. Like a poncho, it can be worn draped over the shoulder with your arms still underneath (as shown on the dress form). However, it is not as large as a traditional poncho and it is shaped somewhere between a poncho and an infinity scarf. It is knit as though it is a scarf or wrap, but then the top end is seamed to the side of the bottom, creating a sort of triangular loop. Perhaps I have confused the matter more for you, and for that, I apologize. It is a unique garment that has a lot of flexibility in fit and is very flattering to a range of figures.
We chose a lovely purple color palette with the recommended yarn, going with the "Nightshade" gradient yarn from Cascade and the "Prune" mohair/silk from Ito Sensai. Both yarns are beautiful by themselves, but together the change is astounding. The drape and feel of the combination is really wonderful. The ponchini is so soft and touchable.
Now, I am a girl who loves to block. It's like magic to me- especially when I'm blocking lace or eyelets and you really get to see the "bloom." This project really came to life after the blocking, but it had to be steam blocked and pinned opposed to a traditional soak. Not a huge hassle really, but you do have to have an iron with a steam setting or a garment steamer handy. So when I say it felt like work, I just mean it was a little out of the normal way for me. But it was not difficult and the instructions in the pattern were very detailed for this important step. (The instructions for blocking were just about as long as the pattern instructions.)