Cowichan Waves by Donna Druchunas
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Cowichan Waves

September 2017
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
10 stitches and 14 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 9 - 5.5 mm
US 10 - 6.0 mm
400 yards (366 m)
Adult S, M, L, see notes
This pattern is available for free.

A couple of years ago, I took a colorwork knitting class with Canadian designer Sylvia Olsen, author of Knitting Stories: Personal Essays and Seven Coast Salish-inspired Knitting Patterns and Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater. In the class, I learned that the style of knitting used to make Cowichan sweaters – including the colorwork technique that has no floats – is the only 100% North American knitting tradition. I designed this cowl and hat because I had so much fun in the class, I wanted to keep knitting with the two-color technique that we learned.

These projects can be made using traditional colorwork technique used by the Coast Salish knitters or with any technique for stranded knitting that you already know. I’ve used two different techniques on the cowl so you can see what each looks like on the inside. The Coast Salish technique tends to work up looser than traditional stranded knitting for many knitters, so you may find that you need to use a smaller needle for this technique. It’s quite surprising, because the opposite is normally true for stranded knitting. Many knitters need to go up a needle size to get the same gauge in stranded colorwork than they do in one-color stockinette stitch.

This design is dedicated to Sylvia and to all of the Coast-Salish knitters who have knit in this style and designed and knit the famous Cowichan sweaters that are still inspiring knitters everywhere today.

Both projects can be made with this amount of yarn.

Both projects can also be knit with 2 circulars or 1 long circular and magic loop.

Circumference: 1820, 22 1/2 inches/ 4651, 57 cm
Depth: 8 inches/20.5cm

Circumference at bottom: 40 inches/102cm
Circumference at top: 30 inches/76cm
Length: 12 inches/30.5cm