i finally have something to talk about! i made a central park hoodie from the top down, and it is completely seamless! i've always admired the central park hoodie pattern from knit scene magazine, but i went back and forth for a long time on whether i would want my own. i am not a big fan of seaming and was pretty sure that the way the cables draw your eye outwards would be unflattering on my broad shoulders. i don't love sweaters that have sleeves tacked on to the edge like that (whatever you call it), and the point at the top of the hood sort of bothers me. but there are so many beautiful versions on ravelry (1248 and counting!) that are inspiring and got me wishing i could make my own.
so i did a bunch of math and unraveled a sweater/skirt set that my unrelated cousin gave me to take apart and winged this sweater - i am so happy that i did!
the yarn i used is a teal wool tweed with red, purple and teal flecks. the colors kind of remind me of michael jackson for some reason, or one of those early nineties nylon track suits. marita couldn't remember what exactly the yarn was, so unfortunately we'll never know, but i'm sure it's been discontinued for at least a decade. despite wrapping to be dk weight, i was getting a worsted gauge with it so i decided to knit the size 36 to compensate for the smaller yarn. i probably could even have knit the smaller size and been fine, it's a little big. i think hoodies are supposed to be that way so it's not a big deal, it's part of what makes it cozy. (i wore it as a sweater set a few times first,) but i think it suits me better as a hoodie.
i did a turkish (figure eight) cast on for the top of the hood, adding some shaping as i knit the top to eliminate the point. i worked my way down the hood to the neckline and increased as i went to end up with the same amount of stitches as the top up sweater. the math for the raglan increases worked out surprisingly well, and amazingly enough the stitches divided by eight perfectly. at the start of the raglan increases and body i also started the body cables and i continued with the front cables that begin at the top of the hood. i pushed the back cables in to the center of the hoodie, because i felt like the sweater needs all four of the cables to be back there. in the front i elimiated the outer side cables because there weren't enough stitches at the top of the sweater to accommodate them. it would have been possible to add more cables as i was increasing raglan stitches, but it really wasn't necessary. (next time?)
i added some waist shaping, decreasing five stitches on each side and the increasing them again over a few inches. i probably didn't need to do this but i find sweaters fit me better with a little shaping. i wanted to eliminate some of the boxiness of the original sweater since the raglan is generally a more fitted sweater.
for pocket guidance, i measured the pockets in my two favorite hooded sweaters. i realized that i could knit mine by increasing through the front and the back loop of eighteen stitches to form a flap. these stitches were put on a holder as i knit down to the ribbing of the body of the sweater, which was about five inches, and then the eighteen pocket stitches from the holder (including the cable) were knit down to the ribbing. as i knit the eighteen stitches, i knit the last stitch of each row together with a stitch in the body of the sweater to tack it down. once the pocket was the same length as the sweater, i then knit the pocket stitches together with the body stitches to incorporate them back into the sweater. after finishing the bottom ribbing i picked up stitches on the side edge of each pocket where my hand goes in to knit a k2, p2 rib to extend each pocket by an inch or so.
my button band is pretty similar to the one in the pattern (but by this time i had stopped looking at the pattern). it's knit 2, purl 2 rib with eight leather buttons from my neighbor katherine's amazing yard sale a few years ago. they are a little small but i think it works.
p.s. check out flickr or ravelry to see what else i've been knitting.