Hand Made With Love

cowichan sweater

Just watched the documentary on Knowledge Network about the Cowichan Sweater made by the Coast Salish Knitters. I am totally in love with these sweaters. When my mom moved to the coast in 1933 to a small island from the land locked prairies I don’t think she was aware of what was in store for her. She was ingenious though. Her first home and no electricity or running water. As a sewer and knitter she did her sewing on a treadle machine and her knitting by gaslight. With no supplies and two little ones, she took apart her own beautifully knit and handmade clothes to make outfits for her first two girls. Her love of knitting stayed her entire life. During the winter the only regulars on the islands were native or loggers and their wives. A love of knitting brought them together. My mother learned to knit the “Cowichan sweater” and in turn taught the knitting that she knew best, Scottish and Irish cable. My father always had a Cowichan sweater and we all had Irish cable knits. My mom knit an Irish cable knit coat, blanket and leg warmers for me.

The Cowichan sweater is perfect for our weather, warm and water-resistant. Without my mom to knit me one I went on the hunt. I am an addicted thrifter, ready to rescue beautiful things that people no longer have a use for. I have had some beautiful and valuable finds. My search  for the seater was not in vain. I found one for myself on Etsy. I wanted to find one for my son to duplicate the picture of my dad holding me and my son holding his daughter.

cowichan sweatercowichan sweater

I also found one for my grandson and a vest for myself. Cowboy wants to know when I am going to find one for him.


You can buy these sweaters new. They were very “hot” here during the Olympics but really, wouldn’t you rather have something hand-made with love?

2 responses to “Hand Made With Love

  1. My pub is an avid knitter and working on an Irish cable sweater for her son. All you really need to do is knit and pearl. Very fulfilling, (we do have a bit of a sweater addiction) xo LMA

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