My Central Park Hoodie

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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46 Comments on “My Central Park Hoodie”

  1. Jessica says:

    It turned out great! And the flaws are only noticeable to you πŸ™‚ You’re going to get a lot of use out of this sweater, hopefully this season, but definitely during the next.

  2. stacey says:

    it looks wonderful! hopefully it will be a knit you wear on a regular basis!

  3. Jodi says:

    It looks wonderful, cozy, and very wearable! I understand your initial worries about the size, but I think sweaters with cables need positive ease — otherwise the cables get all stretched out in the most unflattering way.

  4. Emily says:

    Looks great!

  5. Jillian says:

    It looks great on you and I’m sure you are the only one who will ever notice the flaws. I have been seriously thinking of knitting this sweater because I keep seeing such awesome finished versions. Oh, and I’m glad you admitted that you donate your handknit sweaters. I do that all of the time too. I never frog and reknit – I always donate!

  6. Mintyfresh says:

    Congrats! It fits perfectly and looks really comfy.

  7. lisa says:

    You SO can’t see any imperfections – it looks great. I love the colour…

  8. jen says:

    oooooh caitlyn it looks so pretty! i do hope you wear it a lot and get some good use out of it! it’s very pretty and looks it would have taken FOR EVER and a day!

    xoxox

  9. gleek says:

    it’s fabulous! i love it! really, all the imperfections just make it that more special.

  10. Karen says:

    It’s beautiful! You did a great job on it and should be proud. I bet you’ll get lots of use from this one!

  11. kristin says:

    It looks fabulous. I especially love how curvy it is in all the right places! And it’s official – I have to make it now.

  12. winnie says:

    well i don’t know what flaws you’re talking about because on my screen it looks freaking gorgeous.

  13. Agnes says:

    I doubt anyone who knit a “perfect” sweater … the beauty of handknits is the possibility of little flaws here and there which add to the uniqueness of the piece. Besides, 99% of people looking at your garment wouldn’t even notice anything … and the remaining 1% you can absolutely forget about. Your hoodie is beautiful … the Cascade 220 is really a nice yarn. I love the grey colour. I always love sweater to be a bit roomy … so it looks perfect on you for me.
    Great job!

  14. Christina says:

    My second sweater was a cardigan (no hood) and it is the only sweater I wear on a regular basis. My first, a linen Tivoli was too big and I frogged it. My third sweater was a cotton tee that I made too small/short (I think I was compensating for my saggy Tivoli the previous year!). The cardigan has wonky shoulder seams, a saggy back neck and the buttonholes are atrocious. But I MADE IT! And I love it.

  15. aquaknits says:

    Beautiful job! All your effort was worth it, and those are the most stunning buttons! Definitely flawless from where I sit.

  16. mel says:

    Very nice! And it looks nice on you too! I am getting ready to start a CPH and hope mine turns out as good as yours!

  17. Julie says:

    Wow! I think it’s gorgeous. Really, it looks lovely on you too. We always notice every little imperfection in our own work, even when others can’t see it.

  18. Katie says:

    I think it looks awesome! I rarely like any sweaters that I make for myself. For some reason, the flaws, as I see them, look so much more obvious on adult-sized garments. The stuff I make for my kids always looks better to me. That being said, we are our own worst critics, and I see nothing at all wrong with your CPH. And I love the yarn you chose. Cascade 220 is such a great yarn!!!

  19. Katie says:

    Also, super photos! =0)

  20. ruth says:

    AY!!!! It’s gorgeous!! And your choice of buttons is PERFECT. Are you bringing this to SnB this Thursday?? I think you should wear it and show it off proudly. Great job! =)

  21. Jes says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about it =) Especially that you will wear it. That’s the best feeling.

  22. Yaaay! I think it looks terrific. The buttons are beautiful, and I think the button-band came out great. Congratulations on finishing a great sweater!!!

  23. yaiAnn says:

    I think it looks awesome! The perfect casual sweater! Congrats for sticking it through!

  24. Leslie says:

    I could feel my throat tightening when I was reading this and looking at the pictures . . . I was that excited and . . oh my gosh . . I can’t begin to explain . . your work is just amazing. The cables are beautiful and I actually like that the sleeves are longer. You can always do a small cuff/fold up that would look really cute! I seriously doubt I could ever come close to this. It looks like you bought it at a botique . . seriously. Is the color a taupey-grey? That’s what I kind of get from the pictures. Hopefully you can take some more real-life pictures of you wearing the sweater so I can see it in motion! I love it! Congratulations on finishing and having something so pretty!! I’m so happy for you — *hugs* πŸ˜€

  25. Jennifer says:

    I think it looks fantastic!

  26. Julia says:

    Oh, it looks good! I love the color and the buttons. I really need to get started on mine. :o)

  27. adrienne says:

    WHat flaws?!? It looks fantastic!

  28. Ingrid says:

    Its absolutely gorgeous. Persistence does pay off – I’m glad that you overcame your doubts. I could do with a dose of that.

  29. Wendy says:

    It looks great! I love the colors and the style is so classic πŸ™‚

  30. joyce says:

    I think it looks perfect! I like the color you chose too!

  31. lola says:

    Excellent job! I can’t wait to knit a wearable sweater. I keep kicking around that CPH pattern. I may just take the jump after seeing yours.

  32. lolly says:

    Caitlyn, it is just beautiful. Great fit for you! I know you will wear it often!

  33. Oiyi says:

    It looks great. The cabling is gorgeous. I was taught in art school to not point out the flaws of a project when you present it. I love the color and think you did a great job. It looks like so much work.

    My track record for knitting adult sweaters is zilch!

    I can’t believe you gave those sweaters away to Goodwill. There are some lucky shoppers out there.

  34. Zonda says:

    Lovely! I really like that colorway! Thanks for the close ups of the hood, as I’m liking it much better than changing to have the cable up the back. I’m 0 for 2 so far with sweaters, just got the yarn I wanted for this, hoping it works.

    Glad the sizing worked out in the end, looks really good on you!

  35. Beth says:

    I’m so glad you didn’t rip the sweater out! It looks wonderful! I don’t see any flaws at all. (My sleeves are long, too, but I like them that way.) Great job!

  36. Paula says:

    Oh that is gorgeous what great pictures. I have the back, left front and am close to finishing the sleeves.

  37. Bobbi says:

    It looks great! Viewers can’t see the imperfections and I think you did a great job picking buttons!

  38. rositta says:

    I’ve got mine almost finished too but I can’t post any pictures. It’s a gift for my daughter in law who reads my blog. I used measurements that my son sent me so I hope it fits her. If the sleeves are too long just turn them up and tack them down. I do have a question though, did anyone else find the sleeve cap too tight? I thought so and ended up frogging both sleeves and enlarging the cap. Mine is almost the same color, I really like the neutrality of it…ciao

  39. Kassia says:

    Your sweater looks great!! Cozy and comfy. The buttonholes look fine to me, and I really like your choice of buttons. Complements the yarn really well! I have yet to start my CPH, I’m on the lookout for the “right” yarn that won’t cost me an arm and a leg. A question– you mentioned that the sleeves seem a long to you; I think I’d like that length because I like to turn up the cuffs. Did you knit yours according to the pattern specifications?

  40. Ariel says:

    Your CPH came out perfectly. One thing I’ve learned is that only the knitter can see the imperfections and when it comes right down to it, isn’t that what makes it more special….. you made it!!!

    I think it’s terrific!!

  41. Stacee says:

    I think you’re way too hard on yourself about this sweater! It’s awesome and fits perfectly, from the looks of it. Very very nice job!! πŸ™‚

  42. Snowbird says:

    I think the CPH looks great!!!! Wear it with pride!!!!
    Recycle. I saw where you donated sweaters that didn’t fit. Frog, wash and use that yarn for some other project? But then, someone else will get to use the fruit of your labors.
    I have a niece that would love the color of your new CPH. Thanks for the color idea.

  43. lekkercraft says:

    I really like this on you – it looks comfortable and flattering, and the buttons you picked out are really pretty. It’s a job well done. Not to mention your detail photos are great!

  44. AJ says:

    Your sweater is totally gorgeous! As knitters we can always pick out our own imperfections. I think you give yourself a pat on the back. It’s beautiful. I just recently got this pattern and am (hopefully) going to pick out some yarn for it on Friday. I love the gray, so don’t be too suprised if you see me using your color choice! πŸ™‚

  45. This is next up on my sweater project roster and I love the way yours turned out! I hope mine turns out just as nicely…

  46. Jody says:

    This is gorgeous!!! I love love love it!

    I can’t believe you donated your other sweaters to charity – you are so sweet!

    My CPH is my favorite sweater too!