This was inspired by a winter morning’s walk across a local park to take my sons to school. We could see the low winter sun peeping through the trees and a mist across the ground below as the dew evaporated. Aren't we lucky to start our day with a walk like that? Even if we start the walk to school feeling a bit rushed and grumpy, being close to nature always cheers us up and we reach school feeling more enthusiastic for the day ahead and even more so when we are treated to an extra specially beautiful view like this one.
Like many of my designs, after sketching out how I wanted the design to look, I created both a knitted and a crocheted swatch for the body stitch and the motif and I really liked both of them which rather stalled progress with the design! Luckily, seeing the call from Crochet Foundry and thinking the design would be a good fit helped me decide. What do you think though? Was crochet the best choice or should I have opted for the knit version? Let me know in the comments at the end.
I was delighted to hear that it was chosen for the January issue, especially as that fell at pretty much the same time of year as I saw that inspiring view. Crochet Foundry supplied me with Furls Wander yarn in Sandbar, Conifer and Sunrise as well as an absolutely beautiful Furls Streamline Wood Laurel Hook to make the sample. What a treat! You can read more about creating the pattern and seeing it in the magazine in this blog post.
The Woodland Sunrise Cropped Hoodie is a lightweight but very warm garment that’s eye catching and easy to wear. It's so warm and comfortable that you’ll want to wear it everywhere and the good news is that it’s surprisingly versatile.
For work - this isn’t classic office wear, of course, but not everyone has a formal dress code, so imagine this paired with chunky colorful corduroy trousers or skirt and long sleeved, shaped t-shirt for a preschool or primary school teacher needing extra warmth during outdoor learning sessions or for those trying to keep the rising heating bills down in style on home office days with a more relaxed dress code.
Out and about - Try layering over a simple, fitted woollen garment in a neutral shade like a knitted dress or ribbed pullover with jeans. Add aged leather boots and a saddle bag to complement the look.
Weekends at home - If you haven’t yet leapt on the trend for dungarees, don’t wait any longer! trouser or dress versions would team beautifully with this hoodie as you work in the veggie garden or maybe just leaf through the seed catalogues in a reclining chair!
Evenings out - Draw inspiration from the garment’s 1930’s style sunray motif and wear with a bias cut satin dress and high sandals in a toning shade for a romantic, vintage inspired look. Consider how the different dress necklines can interact with the front hem of the hoodie.
The sample was made with Furls Wander which is an incredibly soft, fluffy worsted weight acrylic yarn and worked really well for this design, but I know some of you will be substituting yarns to fit your budget, yarn availability in your part of the world, style preferences, health and ethical considerations. Not every yarn will turn out the same way and I want all crafters to feel they can create something they'll love, so I would suggest that going for something soft and tending to drapiness rather than springiness. You could choose a superwash wool or aim for a little extra luxury by choosing a natural wool mixed with other animal fibres like alpaca or cashmere to help counteract the wool's natural springiness. You could even go for a pure alpaca or cashmere if the budget allows. Another option might be to choose a yarn with mohair content or hold a finer DK weight yarn together with a silk mohair yarn. I think a cotton acrylic, wool acrylic or wool cotton blend would work beautifully too. I'd probably not avoid using a pure plant fibre as the weight might cause the garment to pull out of shape or just not feel comfortable.
I think this is a great garment for all seasons as it can be worn over a heavy pullover on the very coldest days with the hood pulled right up. During Autumn and Spring when the weather can be changeable, it's an airy and comfortable layer that works well over a long sleeved, lightweight top and in the right yarn, it could definitely be used on cooler summer days over a camisole or strappy sundress.
I really love the style of super cropped outer wear. The flexibility of movement that you get with layering garments in this way is something I really appreciate and when I start to get cold, it's always my arms, neck and shoulders that I want covered up and avoiding bulk around the rest of my torso means I don't get caught on every door handle and end up bathing the hem of my cardigan along with the children. Someone tell me I'm not the only one who does that! I can really see myself wearing this in the evenings while I'm crocheting on the sofa and grabbing it as an extra layer to take the children to school or pop out in the garden when I get up up each morning to check if any new flowers have opened or a new fruit is ripe.
I think this was actually one of my most enjoyable makes last year. The lace stitch of the body has an easy, meditative feel that is perfect to accompany time spent lost in your own thoughts or in a good audiobook/television programme, while the motifs have a more varied range of stitches to keep your interest and make an excellent portable project to carry with you on the go. I made a lot of it whilst visiting my mum and mother in law last summer, so I worked on it in lots of new locations.
I've added lots of customisation tips to the pattern too: tall or petite fit; cuff shaping; a wide, straight sleeve; a pointed pixie style hood; gathered hood or neckline for a close fit. One of the great advantages to making your own clothes should be having them turn out just how you want and I want my patterns to support the maker with that, whether that's about getting a good fit for their figure or more of a style choice. I love seeing how creative people can be and seeing how different versions of the same pattern turn out is one of the best parts of being a designer.
The Woodland Sunrise Hoodie was originally published in Crochet Foundry Magazine in January 2023 and a downloadable copy of the individual pattern for the poncho including for the first time a UK terminology version is now available from my Ravelry and Etsy stores and there is a discount of 20% automatically applied until 11th June (midnight UK time) but if you subscribe to my mailing list during May or June you'll receive a code to save 50% instead, plus monthly news, updates, behind the scenes info, testing opportunities and exclusive offers just for subscribers.
Do let me know if you make the hoodie. I'm always excited when I see that someone has used one of my patterns!
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