Sunday, November 6, 2016

How to Add a Hood to a Children's Cardigan

A few years ago, I decided that I was going to make each of my older daughters a Playful Stripes cardigan for Christmas. So I bought about 25 balls of Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino yarn.  (I can't remember the exact amount, but it was a boot-ton.) I think this was around October. And I had a newborn.

Needless to say, those cardis never came to fruition, and I have spent the past few years using up that yarn in bits and pieces.

When I wanted to make my almost 2 year old a hooded jacket for fall,  I had my eye on this cute pattern from Alana's beautiful book, Baby Botanicals, but I really wanted to make it in a neutral color, like the gray in which the sample is knit. But this Spunky Spunkerson is unlikely to wear gray.

I went into the Back Closet, as it's called in my house, where my stash is kept and my eyes came to rest on the remains of all that Baby Cashmerino.  And I let the branches jacket go, and decided to try to convert the Playful Stripes pattern into a hooded jacket.

I made several modifications to this pattern actually. The sleeves are knit entirely in stockinette with 3 contrast colors on the sleeve, each knit for four rows. I also lengthened the body of the sweater just by holding it up to my daughter until it looked right. Also, it is only very lightly steam blocked because it fit so well.  In the spring I will probably wet block it to make it bigger!

So, below are the directions for the hood. I think this method would work for any bottom-up children's cardigan, as it's pretty simple. Keep in mind that these directions are for garter stitch which is very stretchy. If your cardi is in stockinette, you may need to add a few more rows to ensure that the hood isn't too tight.


For this particular pattern, I decided to carry the stripes and garter stitch through the hood. Another option would be to switch back the main color and stockinette stitch. The pattern below is written for garter stitch, but could be easily modified for stockinette.

For sizes 6m (12m, 2, 4 and 6)

After knitting the yoke of your cardigan, end on an even number of stitches: 52 (62, 62, 68, 72) total neck stitches.

Row 1: (WS) Knit.
Row 2: (RS) Knit 26 (31, 31, 34, 36), pm, knit 26 (31, 31, 34, 36).
Row 3: (WS) Knit.
Row 4: (RS) Knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, knit to end.
Row 5-9: Knit 5 rows.
Row 10: (RS) Knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, knit to end.
Row 11-15: Knit 5 rows.
Row 16: (RS) Knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, knit to end.
Row 17-21: Knit 5 rows.
Row 22: (RS) Knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, knit to end.

Then, follow directions for the size you are knitting: 6m (12m, 2, 4, 6)
Knit 15 rows (21 rows, 21 rows, 27 rows, 33 rows) ending with a WS row.

Decrease row: (RS) Knit to 3 stitches before marker, ssk, k1, sm, k1, k2tog, knit to end.
Knit 5 rows.
Repeat decrease row.
Knit 5 rows.
Repeat decrease row.

Divide stitches evenly onto 2 needles. Place right sides together so you're looking at the inside-out part of the hood. Bind off both sets of stitches using the three needle bind off method.

Weave in ends, block and enjoy! (Don't you love how I said "weave in ends," as if that isn't going to take you the better part of an evening?  I love this pattern, but OH MY GOSH, the ends!!!)

I hope this post is helpful to you! When I wanted to add this hood, I did an internet search to see if I could find directions and turned up absolutely nothing, so I decided to help the next knitter out.  If these helped you or you have any kind, gentle, constructive criticism (!) please leave me a comment!  :)

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