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The Central Park Hoodie (now available in a kit!)

Dec 3, 2012

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!


P.S. Have you knit the CPH? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Product

Central Park Hoodie Kit Small/Medium Burgundy

Availability: Out Of Stock
Was: $137.10
Sale: $75.00


Download the pattern and buy the yarn all at once for the Central Park Hoodie, size Small/Medium, Burgundy.


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DorisT wrote
on Dec 12, 2012 12:06 PM

Hi, I am interested in the CPH kit but I am unsure of what size to choose.  I wear a size 36D, what size would your recommend?  Thanks!

ednafrench wrote
on Dec 11, 2012 6:54 AM

Good morning, Kathleen, I finally found the pattern for the CPU in  The Best of Knitscene eBook: A Collection of Simple, Stylish, and Spirited Knits. I won't try to keep up with the rest of you, but I would like some information about the experiences people have had using different kinds of yarn. I'm so excited about finding Interweave and KnittingDaily. I had felt like I was knitting in a vacuum before finding this community.

Edna French

ednafrench wrote
on Dec 9, 2012 8:45 PM


Your CPH looks really terrif on you. I especially like the rose color. In addition to making the pattern details more obvious, the lighter color looks like it will be lots of fun to knit.


I don't know if my computer is having screen issues, but the links that you mention don't seem to show up.

ednafrench wrote
on Dec 9, 2012 8:10 PM

Where can I find just the pattern for the CPH. I guess I need it really simple, not following directions from one link to another. Katherine, could you please put the link to the pattern and the yarn separate on the front page?



Yarndeavors wrote
on Dec 8, 2012 5:44 PM

And if you decide to knit the CPH, please come join the KAL! I'm the admin for the long-running blogger version as well as the one on Ravelry., always accepting new members!

gumbiecat wrote
on Dec 4, 2012 12:12 PM

Kathleen, Your sweater is beautiful!  I added the CPH to my knits-to-do list!!

Judy in SI WI

cathyinmt wrote
on Dec 4, 2012 2:15 AM

I have made the CPH 3 times and I have to say it is my favorite sweater.  Made mine first without pockets...will make another one for me but will include pockets.  Made the next one for my daughter but did pockets.  The next one I made for my dear friend (in her 80's) but did a shawl collar instead of hood.  All of them I sewed in separating zippers!  I also used bulky wool so they are more like jackets.  I love this sweater!!!  Next one I will do in the round.

Tuesday@2 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 6:26 PM

Haven't made the Central Park Hoodie, but I wanted to thank you for posting the updated photo.  It is really beautiful and looks great on you.  I find it helpful when sewing, knitting, crafts (etc.) blogs revisit something where it has been long since talked about, (and only during and/or right after the making of the project).  It adds a "in the long run" notation that I find brings the ideal I may be carrying  of something or what the magazine picture looks like home into the light of day.  Let's face it, if you are going to spend the $$ in right yarn to make it worth your while and then take the Time to do it right ... I want to know if it ended up in a drawer or closet or if has become a beloved part of your life!  So, thanks!  Looks great!

on Dec 3, 2012 5:18 PM

Here's a link to all of the CPH kit options—colors and sizes.

lney308 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 2:42 PM

Where can I see a picture of the yarn in burgundy? (I am quite possibly missing something obvious to everyone else :/)

ednafrench wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 2:36 PM

I'd like a pattern for the CPU in size XL.  I suppose that I could be bold and try to increase the pattern size myself, but I don't think that I want to spend that much time on it. I mostly knit socks.


Edna French

EstherL@5 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 2:13 PM

This is by FAR my favorite pattern I've ever used and my favorite garment of all time. I made it out of the charcoal colored Tahki Donegal tweed and it wears really well. I have been thinking about making it again. :)

neilm123 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 2:12 PM

Hello Kathleen:

Love your contributions, although I have to stop myself from trying so many of the wonderful ideas you suggest, heaven knows enough stash already.

Awesome job on your hoodie, wow, but wanted to tell you what a great looking doggie you have in Poppy

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Melissa71 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 1:33 PM

Hi Kathleen,

I just wanted to say your central park hoodie looks fabulous on you - I like that you've made it loose-fitting casual but chic and sweet - really looking forward to making mine now.

Thank you


Cambridge UK

Cattina wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 12:55 PM

Kathleen, thank you for posting the photo of your CPH! This is the first time I've ever seen it and wanted to make it. The light color shows off the detail on the fronts, which I've never noticed before, and the darker, subdued colors many knitters have chosen just didn't appeal to me. Also, you made yours in a size that gives it more ease for a fit more like a sweatshirt -- many of them have looked too tight and too short for my taste. Thanks for giving us a fresh look at this design -- now I see why it's so popular!

MichelleB@50 wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 11:56 AM

I wear mine all the time and love it. It was the first sweater that I ever attempted to sew in a zipper and it was so worth it!

bjoyfulknits wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 11:45 AM

I love this sweater!  It makes up relatively fast and is so wearable.  I want to make another after all the holiday knitting is over.

on Dec 3, 2012 9:19 AM

I have the original pattern...and it's so funny I've recognized the pattern on women wearing the Central Park hoodie. Case in point: while I was at Jo-Ann Fabrics at the pattern table, start chatting with a woman wearing a knitted hoodie. I thought, "Is that the Central Park hoodie?" Sure enough, it was! I love meeting women who sew and knit. We're kind of a unique bunch....lots of women knit, but not as many knit and sew garments.