I have another little surprise that I've been working away on for an awfully long time. You may remember me posting about my Cowichan-inspired sweater that I was compelled to knit after following all of the incredibly gorgeous projects coming out of the Fringe and Friends Knitalong last fall.
You were all so kind and enthusiastic about my cardigan that I couldn't not follow up with a pattern so that we could all have Cowichan-inspired sweaters. The pattern development was far more involved than I'd anticipated and took me the better part of a year to complete while juggling the work of our upcoming book Within.
In the process of perfecting this design I've knit 3 of these sweaters. My first was a lesson in all of the design elements and is basically a wearable swatch (and very wearable indeed!). The second was meant to be my final draft but in the end the collar wasn't quite right—I'm particular about these things. Because the neckline needed to be changed to achieve the perfect collar, I cast-on a third, and was able to get everything just right. Not once did I get sick of knitting this sweater, it's a lot of fun and even a little addictive because it knits up so quickly. Now that the pattern is finally finished, I'm dying to cast-on another using the 'blanks' included in the pattern and play around with more traditional colourwork motifs.
Here is a little bit about the West Coast Cardigan from Ravelry:
Knit from the top down in one piece, the West Coast cardigan features raglan shaping, flattering set-in pockets, a generous shawl collar, and a zipper closure. Bands of stranded colourwork knit up quickly using Briggs and Little Country Roving—a 5 strand lightweight pencil roving that creates a surprisingly lofty fabric. Extensive charts are accompanied by written instructions, schematics, and helpful links to guide you along the way. Instructions are provided in an easy to follow fill-in-the-blank format.
The West Coast Cardigan was inspired, in respectful admiration, by the Cowichan Sweaters that are abundant on Vancouver Island and are a tradition of the Coast Salish people. This sweater is not a real Cowichan sweater, only inspired by this traditional style.
BONUS: Feeling creative? Use this pattern as a jumping off point into your own custom colourwork adventure by using the bonus blank charts provided with this pattern!
I couldn't help getting a few shots of the collar flipped up so that you can see how wonderfully full it is.
As I mentioned above, the pattern includes some really fun bonus material—blank charts that you can print and colour to create your own unique colourwork motif. I'm pretty excited about this additional offering, there are so many great ways to customize a sweater like this, I hope it makes it easier to be creative and make the sweater you've been dreaming of.
I would sincerely love to see all of your sweaters as you cast-on and get knitting. There are already quite a few stunning versions from our testing group. You can view them and get inspired by using the hashtag westcoastcardigan.
Happy Knitting and hope to see some of you this weekend!!!