What is it about capes that makes everything feel more mysterious and magical? I’ve always loved capes, ever since I was a tiny kid growing up in the wild woods of Tennessee. As I grew up I wondered why more people didn’t take advantage of these cozy better-than-coats options. A friend of mine made me a new cape a few years ago, a dark green, floor-length version that made me feel like royalty. But of course, I can’t wear it as part of my normal, everyday wear (although I’m considering it). Looking for alternatives, I spotted this crocheted hooded cape from Linda Kaye Smith on Ravelry and fell in love. It’s perfect for those chilly morning or evening strolls, or to keep warm in the office, or to lounge around at home.
However and whenever you choose to wear it, it can be modified pretty easily. If you want ruffles, they’re an option, but if not, they aren’t an integral part of the pattern so you can add something else, like fringe. To make the hooded cape, you’ll need 14 skeins of chunky yarn (recommended: Wool-Ease Chunky #5), a size “K” crochet hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. Make sure you check your gauge beforehand, as this is something you’ll wear and want to fit you snugly. Crochet 9 double crochet stitches in 5 rows. The size should be 4 inches.
Once you’ve checked the gauge, you can begin the pattern. There are only two stitches used in the entire pattern: chain (ch) and double crochet (dc). While that might seem easy, there are some things that make this less of a beginner pattern and more of an intermediate pattern, although an advanced beginner should have no trouble assembling this project. The cape and hood are made separately and then stitched together, so there is some sewing required. After you join the cape and the hood, you will need to decide whether or not you want ruffles. If you decide to forego the ruffles, you will not need as much yarn, unless you’re adding something else like fringe.
If you are going to add the ruffles, they are made with slip stitches (sl st), single crochet (sc), chain (ch) and double crochet (dc). Fringe doesn’t require any knowledge of crochet stitching but it might be a little more time consuming. You could forego any sort of decoration and have a plain hooded cape.
Fastening the cape can be done in a variety of ways, including a belt, or a frog, or a toggle, buttons, or even a chain. Experiment with different fasteners and see which one suits the cape best. It might depend on the color or sizing as well, so if you have a few options, try each of them and see which one feels more natural. I myself prefer toggles.
Do you need a cape to swish around as you walk through the woods, neighborhood, or local grocery store? You can find the free pattern from Linda Kaye Smith on Ravelry. There are a few photos as well so you can get a visual before you begin. There are also several sizes available.