The Cowichan Tradition

The Coast Salish people created and still produce the wonderful Cowichan sweater.  It is a sturdy garment, knitted in one piece, similar to the construction of a gansey.  Although these sweaters were originally pullovers, cardigans were added to the Salish repertoire as demand increased.

The Salish sometimes still spin their yarn from the natural shades of their sheep’s wool, then knit the sweaters on seven or eight double-pointed needles.  The motifs they prefer reflect the natural world of salmon, whales, eagles, and the water.  The typical gauge of these heavy garments is 3 sts/inch.

The construction techniques employed are unique and include shaped shoulders and sleeve caps (with short rows), shawl collars, pockets, a wonderful shoulder join called the Double Bind-Off, which I demonstrate in a video.



Cowichan Techniques (1 day)