The Central Park Hoodie (now available in a kit!)
A note from Kathleen: The Central Park Hoodie is the highest-selling sweater knitting pattern in the Knitting Daily Shop, and for good reason. I knit it as part of the first ever Knitting Daily Knit-Along, and so have thousands of others—yes, thousands; 4638 on Ravelry alone! That's soon to be 4639 because I haven't put my own CPH in my Ravelry projects yet.
We're celebrating the Central Park Hoodie with a brand new product: A project kit. The kit includes the pattern and Tahki Donegal Tweed yarn. It comes in three sizes and three colors. Yay!
You'll see below that I had some concerns about the yarn, but as you can tell from the photo at left, the Tahki Donegal Tweed has held up fabulously and it's become softer and softer, while retaining its sturdiness, with what I would consider a lot of wear.
Here's a trip down memory lane—my original blog post from three years ago, right after I finished my CPH.
A Fine Finish
I finally finished the Central Park Hoodie (a.k.a. "The CPH"). I'm only a couple months behind my own schedule—this project was my second knit-a-long with all of you, and most of you speedy knitters finished on time or soon afterward. Not that that's important, mind you—in knitting, speed only matters around a holiday/birthday, etc. Am I right??
I did want to get this finished, though, because I wanted to actually wear it. It's been chilly here, and I needed a new sweater! Well, mission accomplished. It's done now and I love it. Let me count the ways:
1. The Yarn: Truth be told, I didn't love this yarn when I first started knitting. It's Tahki Donegal Tweed, and it was quite scratchy on the hands while knitting. I got used to it, though, and I never got bored with the color (plus, I got a screaming deal on this at the annual sale at my LYS!). Still, I was a bit worried that the finished sweater would be too itchy. But I don't have problems with wool next to my skin and I thought I'd always wear a long-sleeved shirt under the sweater, so I figured all would be well. And it is! After blocking, the sweater really softened up, and it has a wonderful drape—sturdy but yielding. I was afraid my that my gauge was a bit small and the fabric would be stiff, but it's perfect. And I know so many people that have made this sweater, most out of an alpaca or an alpaca blend, and it's really soft but too stretchy. So, check: good yarn choice!
2. The Cables: This sweater has relatively simple cable work—a six-stitch right-cross cable and a six-stitch left-cross cable—but it allowed me to perfect my favorite cabling without a needle method. This was especially great on the back piece because there's a left-cross cable and a right-cross cable right next to each other. If you haven't tried this cable technique, give it a shot. I think you'll like it.
3. The Variations: There are a couple of variations that people in the KAL did. One is the beautiful Viking Cable variation by Lisa Kay on Ravelry. It's a stunning braided cable and it's not difficult, either. If the CPH is in your queue, consider this variation. (I would have done this if I'd seen it before I was half-way through the back!) Some people also put in pockets. There are a couple of pocket variations, I did the simple side-seam pockets, but my friend Audrey did the front pockets with the cable on the edge. There's also an option to work the cable up the hood or just to do a stockinette hood. I did the stockinette hood. Finally, there are several ways to close the sweater: buttons, zipper, or no closure at all. I'm going to put in a zipper. Hopefully I'll do that soon.
4. The Finishing: You are all going to think I'm crazy, but I love finishing, and this sweater had a ton of it. The ribbing band was a big undertaking; I did half at a time, going from the top of the hood to the waistband, and then sewing the short seam at the top. I used two 24-inch needles to knit this long band, using them as if they were straight needles. I didn't have a long enough circular needle to do the whole thing on one needle.
5. The Wearing: I've worn this sweater a couple of times now, and I've really enjoyed it. The color is great with jeans, and I have a pair of silver-gray chords that really makes the pink color look beautiful. It's been unseasonably rainy here; the yarn repels water, and the hood is great on a rainy day! Donegal Tweed is also one of those wools that's warm enough for outside and not too horribly hot inside. I think this one is going on my Favorite Knitted Jackets list.
So all in all, a fine finish for this, my last sweater project of 2009.
—Kathleen, from Knitting Daily, December 2009
The Central Park Hoodie is an enduring favorite. Jump on the bandwagon and join all of us who've knit it and love to wear it: get your CPH kit today!