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A Fine Finish: The Central Park Hoodie

Dec 30, 2009

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.

Speaking of 2009...

All of us at Knitting Daily send you our best wishes for a healthy, happy, peaceful, prosperous, and altogether fabulous new year. My family hosts an annual New Year's Eve open house, and I know one of my toasts will be to my new Knitting Daily friends, thanking you for your generous welcome into your life every day. I'm so grateful for all of you!

Here's to us, and much knitting fun in 2010!



Featured Product

Central Park Hoodie Knitting Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


This best-selling hoodie pattern from Heather Lodinsky now offers expanded sizes. Tahnki's Donegal Tweed wool singles yarn delivers beautiful cable structure and insulation from the cold.


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mwilborn wrote
on Apr 19, 2013 11:51 PM

How much extra yarn do you think it would take to knit the Viking cables variation with pockets?

mwilborn wrote
on Apr 19, 2013 11:51 PM

How much extra yarn do you think it would take to knit the Viking cables variation with pockets?

SusanW@132 wrote
on Jan 7, 2010 4:10 PM

I had other projects during the KAL, but now I want to make the Central Park Hoodie. I am concerned about the yarn requirements. I have been trying to decide whether to make Size 48 or 52 - leaning toward the 52. The pattern calls for 10 skeins for the 48 & 16 skeins for the 52. That seems to be a huge difference for one size difference. Is that accurate?

EdyS wrote
on Jan 6, 2010 9:24 AM

Decided after checking Ravelry that I love the variations of the Hoodie and would like to make one.  I remember you posting about a plus size version of the Hoodie and wonder where I can find the pattern.  Would appreciate it if you could respond by email, so I could get started.  Thanks for a great year of Knitting Daily!!

DianaT wrote
on Jan 4, 2010 9:02 AM

Hey, I too finally finished the CPH last week.  But, alas, it is too small for me!  I made the 44, thinking I would have 4 inch give....oops NOT even close!!!! More like need 4 more inches to bring the front together.  I was going to put the loop buttons on it but that won't work of course because it will stretch the heck out of the front cable panels.  So now the question is, do I tear it out, or wait and see how successful I am with my New Year's resolution to get in shape (aka, loose  

on Jan 1, 2010 4:43 AM

I can't wait to one day knit along with everyone.  I have a 4 year old a 3 year old and a 1 year old and we just moved to Cheyenne, and I can't wait to have time to go to Colorado.  Love the hoodie, Bravo.

DebbieB52 wrote
on Dec 31, 2009 5:12 PM

Great job, very inspirational!  Happy New Year!

Cattina wrote
on Dec 31, 2009 2:13 PM

Kathleen, you are a master finisher! The pink color is fabulous; this is the first time the Central Park Hoodie has looked good to me. The yarn being a little crisp seems to give the necessary body to this design. Good for you for persevering to the finish (in both senses of the word)!

on Dec 31, 2009 8:29 AM

Just wondering, when you mention people have made the sweater from alpaca and it was too stretchy-- do you know what type of alpaca was used? I'm new to using animal fibers, and it may be that alpaca is just too heavy to keep its shape in a large project ( I don't know), but I do know that huacaya alpaca has more crimp and more memory than suri alpaca. I wouldn't be surprised if a sweater didn't turn out well using suri.

LisaW@59 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 7:10 PM


Your CPH is lovely.

Thanks for the reference to my "Viking Cable" variation. It has been an exciting day with many emails and Ravelry messages. My blog stats are *quite* high today, too. :) Very fun.

The CPH really is an incredible pattern, fun to knit and fun to wear.

Happy Knitting,

Lisa Kay

JaniceL wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 6:02 PM


What a great matches your smile. Thanks for the detailed comments about the yarn and what happened after you blocked it.  (Gives us info about whether we might like the yarn or not).  Loved the puppy...the truth is out, she knit most of it!!!!!   Love your post, keep up the great work.  Janice

Sunie wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 5:26 PM

The hoodie is cute, (the picture links that are working. . . ) but you have written A LOT about this one!  Also, getting tired of having to figure out what you are writing about with your acronyms!

I know that it's hard to write dailies, but could you please use American or English, not acronyms (not everyone speaks knitting!), and be much more diverse on subject?  I've been hearing about this very pattern for several months, yet, I have reviewed and purchased several other patterns, as well as knitted others, in the same time.

Mimi wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 4:56 PM

Please HELP me and all those attempting their first cardigan ! I am having many problems with the BAND  : pick up stitches do not match left and right .  S.O.S for your valuable tutorial.thank you so much. Happy new year .mimi.

mary@288 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 4:25 PM

Kathleen - Love the color of your Central Park Hoodie. Will you actually wear it in Central Park? Would love to see a picture of that.

Lori@18 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 2:50 PM

Hi Kathleen,

I find  that if you put a bit of cream rinse in the rinse water when washing woolens it softens them right  up and they feel better next to the skin.


EllenF wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 2:26 PM

Kathleen, you look fabulous in your CPH.  I love the color, too.  YOu give me courage and hope that I could finish a sweater for myself!  Thanks for sharing.  Ellen in Utah

Kay East wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 2:04 PM

What a great sweater!  Loved your dog, Poppy.  Thanks so much for sharing.  It is hard to imagine just what this pattern would look like in a size to fit me.  You are just wonderful to inspire me.  Also really liked to hear your comments on the yarn and to give helpful hints regarding blocking.

Kay in Virginia

on Dec 30, 2009 1:48 PM

I loved the outcome of your pink 'Hoodie".  Very very nice but I would also love to see a picture of it with the zipper.  Did you use a pink zipper to match or what?


AnneR wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 1:26 PM

The CPH looks great.  Please please keep us informed on how to put in a zipper ( often a challenge and scary as you don't want them to pucker up the knitted garment) .  Thank  you.

Linda ONeill wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 12:08 PM

Kathleen . . . I just wanted to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for alll your hard work in putting out Knitting Daily. Amid all the junk e-mail I get it's such a pleasure to get your information. It's always interesting, always informative and I've learned alot. I've been a little nervous about joining a knit-a-long but I'm going to try the next project. Can hardly wait. Again, thanks for all your hard work. Happy New Year everyone.

Terry E wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 11:48 AM


I read your comments about your Central Park Hoodie.  You mentioned that this was your first KAL.  I participated in the Monkey sock KAL.  Wasn't that the first one?  Just confused...thanks!

Terry E

on Dec 30, 2009 11:13 AM

Thank you so much for the photo of you in the nearly-finished CPH.  How personally satisfying knitting becomes, to see another non-mannequin female wearing a useful, beautiful creation of her own.  You've come out from behind the small photo that accompanies your blog's header, and I really appreciate that.  Gives the average woman a presence in this sphere, something rare and wonderful, when it happens.  Keep on modeling, Kathleen.


knittnrose wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 10:41 AM


You are amazing and inspiring. I have not missed a single blog that you have written since you began. I don't know it is the beautiful smile on your face, or the positive energy about knitting,,,, but you inspire.

Your Central Park Hoodie looks fabulous on you. I look forward to your posts in 2010. BTW, I do by the magazine off the rack, and have not missed a single issue, since you came aboard.

Thank you,


Peoria AZ (yes we knit here in AZ)

dimucci wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 10:29 AM

Your CPH looks great!  Love the color.  Poor Poppy,  you should make her work so hard on these knitting projects.  Give her an extra treat !

ChristineL@3 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 9:46 AM

Dear Kathleen,

Well done on your CPH - and I completely agree, knitting should not normally be done to deadline!  That way lies carpal tunnel syndrome and no fun.  Thank you for your postings, and for your good wishes for 2010.

All the best,


qwer246 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 9:32 AM

Happy Christmas and a happy new year!please could you please help me,I watched a You Tube video by Bernadette Tari on Tubular 1/1 p2 cast off,I studied this technique several times but still found it difficult to understand,is it possible for you to draw simple diagrams for me to understand by email,please reply to me soon,thank you and please upload on this site for others to understand this technique as

mderringer wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 9:29 AM

Wow, I am fairly new to knitting and when I look at the picture of you in that great sweater and then I look at the pattern, I realize I need to visualize much better.  The sweater on you, I want the pattern. Funny thing, when I looked at the pattern, with that itty bitty sweater photo, I realized I have that pattern and passed it by.  It would be nice if the patterns showed more than a size 2 in the photo shots.

LeilaBlue wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 8:41 AM

Beautiful sweater and such a cute pup!

LindaD@68 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 8:23 AM

Good Job Kathleen.  Appreciate the comments regarding the yarn feel, guage, etc.  Also, enjoyed seeing your dog, Poppy.   My Wheaten Terrier is also named Poppy, (officially Poppy Seed)  and I thought she was the only Poppy in the dog world.   Thanks for all of the info as well as the cute Poppy picture.

Linda from Maine

SusanG@48 wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 8:21 AM

Great sweater!  I love the color!  Most important - Poppy is adorable!

zooshane wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 7:50 AM

Kathleen:  I love your writing style--it is just the right combination of technical and friendly. And, your Hoodie is adorable as is your dog!      From the stormy coast of Washington state

on Dec 30, 2009 7:24 AM

Great sweater! and the color looks perfect on you! Mary Ellen in Minnesota (we know about warm sweaters here!)