My Central Park HoodiePosted: March 6, 2008
I don’t have a great track record when it comes to sweater knitting. I finished a total of three sweaters prior to the Central Park Hoodie — Klaralund (worn only once), Kepler (never even worn), and Frieda (worn exactly twice). I wasn’t happy with their fit so they remained hidden in my closet. A couple of months ago I finally donated them to the Goodwill. I know many knitters would unravel the sweaters and re-purpose the yarn for some other project, but I just wasn’t interested in taking apart completely finished garments. I hope those sweaters are now in good homes elsewhere.
The road to completing my Central Park Hoodie felt like a long one because I started it six months ago. The actual knitting of the sweater was quite easy; the pattern is well-written and uncomplicated. For awhile I struggled to get off sleeve island, but in hindsight that wasn’t even the hard part. The challenge for me was the finishing.
I was a bit alarmed when the pieces came off the blocking board because they looked very big. I had read in multiple places that this sweater runs snug, so instead of knitting size 32 I went with the 36. I prefer my sweaters a little looser anyway as I tend to wear a shirt or turtleneck underneath. But when Hubby remarked that the pieces looked like they could fit him tightly (he’s 5’10”!), you can imagine why I got concerned.
Next, I severely underestimated how long it would take me to knit the hood, knit the ribbed border (which involved picking up a total of 300 stitches!), and do all the seaming. I am absolutely terrible at seaming, and while struggling through it I actually considered frogging the. entire. sweater. Because I was convinced that it would turn out horribly and wouldn’t fit me anyway, so why bother? But that seemed like giving up without a fight right before the finish line, so I pushed on.
I spent at least half an hour at Joanns trying to find the right buttons but I still couldn’t make a decision. I came home with five sets (with the intent of returning four ) so I could get a second opinion from Hubby. I ended up using these 3/4″ buttons and I like them a lot.
There are many imperfections in my CPH. The buttonholes look appalling (they were my first ones and clearly I should have read up on techniques beforehand), some of the seams could be straighter, the hood is wonky, and the sleeves are too long (don’t know why I didn’t think about that when knitting them). I’m not necessarily showcasing all of these problems, but trust me, they’re there. And I probably should have knit the smallest size. But. When the sweater came off the board after its final blocking, my doubts started to fade away. My Central Park Hoodie is actually wearable despite its flaws and I am so excited about that!
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Color 8013 (Walnut Heather), a little over 5 skeins
Pattern: from Fall 2006 KnitScene
Needles: US #7 and #9 to obtain gauge
Modifications: Lengthened the body by half an inch