beck's blog

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho

I finished my Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho and got my son to take a few pictures of me wearing it on today's sunny day. (Please click on the photos to enlarge them).

There really is no front or back side. It can be worn either way facing front.

Here's with my hands on my hips. I wanted to spread it out so you can see the whole thing clearly.

Here's the "back" with my hands still on my hips. I wish I had had one taken from the back with my arms down but I didn't think of it at the time. It looks like I need to twist it just slightly over a bit around my body too so that it would be perfectly symmetrical. Oh well. I can never seem to get a perfect picture no matter what! LOL!

It is made in two panels and then joined end-to-side and end-to-side. It was tricky to try and make sure as I was crocheting it, that two of the same colored puzzle pieces weren't right next to each other. AND to make sure that, where the panels are joined, I had the same color of the puzzle match up with it's other panel's color too.

It's tunisian crocheted using a size J cabled afghan hook.
I drew out the puzzle pieces on graph paper myself. It's a simple repeating pattern.
The best part of this project is that, once again, I was able to use up my tons of left-over yarn bits to make it. I made sure that if I didn't think I had enough for a whole puzzle piece, I wouldn't use it. I didn't want to get stuck not having enough of the right color. (If you'll notice, on the ends I was able to use smaller bits of colored yarn I had that were only needed for the round "head" of the puzzle).

After joining, I needed to trim the edges to stop curling and to make the poncho fit nice and snug around my neck.

So I used some really soft yarns I had. I combined Moda Dea Chichi yarn with Fun Fur. It worked great.
It's really soft right where you want it to be most. Around the neck and where the arms stick out.

The "symbol" which represents Autism is usually a piece, (or several pieces) of a puzzle.

The following is a brief definition of Autism from

Autism is a neurological disorder, which affects three main developmental areas: social interaction, communication and imaginative play. It is called a spectrum disorder, which means that the effects from it can range along a spectrum, from severely affected to a very highly functioning person who might only be described as quirky. No two people with autism are the same, so remember to never generalize, such as 'People with autism don't speak or like to be around people', because that simply isn't true in many cases. Some of the friendliest, most personable and charming kids you'd ever want to meet are on the spectrum. They are all different with a few common traits, that is the key.

Currently, one in every 150 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism. (Source, T.A.C.A.).

This Autism Awareness Puzzle Piece Poncho would surely grab anyone's attention. LOL!


I'm adding the graph I made because a lot of you were asking for it. (Click on it!)

Each puzzle piece is 13 squares across, (minus the "heads". If you keep that number in mind you won't mess up.

The outlined area is what I used for the poncho. (But the third row is really a repeat of the first row).
All you really need to remember is two squares across and two squares up.
(But it does help to draw out more of it to visualize it in your mind better).

I'd love to see the things you all make with it!


  • That is a beautiful poncho- well-done.

    By Blogger sophanne, at 4:26 AM  

  • Oh thats awesome!

    By Blogger Gina, at 9:10 AM  

  • This is wonderful! I think I might make a lap afghan for my friend!!

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:50 AM  

  • This is truly amazing! Both of my kids are on the Autism Spectrum, so this poncho is near and dear to my heart. Great job, Becky!!!

    By Blogger Marcia Fiedorowicz, at 8:54 AM  

  • I was googling for puzzle pieces, and stumbled across this. It is just wonderful! Do you have a pattern to go with that graph? I would love to make that, if you are willing to share. My son is on the spectrum as well.


    (PS I am also a Bob Dylan fan, and adore your Times They Are a Changin' Afgan!!)

    By Blogger Joni, at 6:27 PM  

  • This poncho is absolutely beautiful! My 8 yr old has Aspergers so I just love all things that have to do with supporting and spreading the word on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    By Blogger Lizze, at 6:01 AM  

  • Hi! AWESOME PATTERN!!!!!My son, age 14, has ASD and attends a school for students with multiple disabilities, of which the majority have ASD in varying degrees. I would love to be able to make this or the scarf and raffle it to help raise $$ for our Life Skills Area renovation. Is there a pattern to go with the graph as I have never done this type of crochet before. Please help me to accomplish this!

    Theresa in KY

    By Blogger Theresa in KY, at 2:04 PM  

  • Hi Theresa!

    I'm so happy you like the Autism Puzzle Piece items!
    I only have the graph to go by as far as a pattern.
    If you don't crochet, you could still use the pattern for things like needlepoint or cross stitch. I even saw someone had made a knitted afghan from it. (I don't knit myself but it sure looked great!)

    Still, I'd really like to help you out. Could you tell me more about your son's school and the Life Skills Area renovation?

    Click on the e-mail button at the very bottom of the page next to the white owl and send me note. I think a scarf raffle sounds fabulous!!!

    By Blogger Becky, at 5:01 AM  

  • Becky, I tried but cannot send you a direct email because I don't have Outlook so I am sending info you requested thru your blog page - I hope that is okay!

    Just a quick statement to let you know more about Binet School. Binet School is a JCPS (Jefferson County Public Schools)school and is for students ages 5 to 21 with multiple disabilities. In addition to the basic standard education learning, they also learn Life Skills (how to do laundry, prepare food, cook, serve, sewing), Community based learning (how to go to store and shop and pay, eating out, library, street signs, etc), and Work skills (doing office-type jobs) to help them to try to be as independent in life as possible.

    We are working to raise $150,000 to completely renovate our Life Skills kitchen. We are working on many options to raise money to pay for this.

    We are selling cookbooks for $15 plus $10 shipping. It has abt 480 recipes and is copied and put together by the students as part of their Worklab job. It is beautiful- very colorful and has a section of Picture Recipes so younger kids could help cook. This is also the main type of communication our students use at Binet. Our cookbook sales is a major way for us to accomplish the goal of raising our $150,000.

    If anyone is interested in buying a cookbook - pls email me at We would appreciate it!

    About the puzzle piece - any items made like this would be a big hit and would definitely help to raise money to help fund our renovation project. If anyone is interested in donating such items to help us, please contact me at
    Theresa in KY

    By Blogger Theresa in KY, at 7:59 PM  

  • I am looking to make a blanket to raffle off to raise money for our Autisim walk in the fall. CAn you give me some insight into what diamentions is best and how I go about making it.
    Is each square a stitch and did you single crochet it??
    Please help!!!

    By Blogger debbieingrovecity, at 11:25 AM  

  • This pattern is AMAZING!! Is there a written pattern available (I'm not great at using visuals to figure things out)? I am willing to pay for it. My address is I am interested in making an afghan for ANGEL Autism Network. Thanks!

    By Blogger Amanda, at 6:49 PM  

  • I just seen your Poncho of the Autism Puzzle Pieces, do you have a pattern? I am having trouble change to the different colors.
    I have an Autistic son and would love to make him a blanket with this pattern for him.
    Please if you can send me the pattern, to
    Thank you so much!! Jodi (Jovan's Mom)

    By Blogger Jovan Strom, at 2:35 PM  

  • Hi Jodi!

    All I've got is this graph that I made to work with.

    If you google "color changing for tunisian crochet" there are many different sites, (including videos on You Tube), that give tutorials on changing the colors.

    There are a LOT of colors for this project and you may want to practice by doing a more simple graph until you get the hang of changing the colors.

    But once you get it, this autism graph shouldn't be hard to do because it's just basically a repeating pattern. (Unlike a portrait or something that isn't symmetrical or anything).

    By Blogger Becky, at 4:09 PM  

  • Can you please help me how do you count in the puzzle piece head in pattern

    By Blogger tanya Sevigne, at 12:06 PM  

  • I am trying to access your graph for the puzzle scarf/poncho, but the image will not come up. Do you by any chance have the pattern on another page or file that can be accessed?
    Thank you for all you do.

    By Blogger R Stone, at 2:46 PM  

  • I've uploaded the chart to my Pinterest page. It's under the heading Cross Stitch Charts.

    By Blogger Becky, at 5:01 PM  

  • Thank you so much. That link worked. The other still does not work for me. No telling what I am doing wrong. lol. Thanks again.

    By Blogger R Stone, at 7:01 PM  

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