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Cowichan-Inspired Cardigans


Price includes 10 hours of class.

With Beth Brown-Reinsel

May 15, 10:00am-12:00pm & 2:00-4:00pm CDT;
May 16, 10:00am-12:00pm CDT;
May 22, 10:00am-12:00pm CDT;
May 23, 10:00am-12:00pm CDT

As always, Beth Brown-Reinsel takes you on a special knitting journey. Learn traditional colorwork and construction techniques in the context of planning and knitting a Cowichan-inspired sampler cardigan. Make it your own from choosing motifs and colors to settling on a closure.

Class sessions will be recorded and remain accessible online to registered students of the class for 7 days following the event.

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On Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the Coast Salish people, one of the First Nation tribes of Canada, developed a V-necked, shawl-collared garment after learning to knit from Europeans who came to their area. The Salish knitters prefer motifs that reflect nature (whales, birds, etc.) as well as geometric motifs. The cardigans, still handspun by some people, are knitted flat on double-point needles, with thick singles yarns in 2 or 3 colors.

The extended class format allows time for planning and knitting your own Cowichan-inspired sampler sweater. You will learn about working with colors and weaving (on the right side and wrong side) by knitting the body flat, reading a chart, putting stripes in ribbing (without color distortion), knitting pockets, a traditional shoulder join, creating a shawl collar shaped with short rows, knitting sleeves (flat and in the round) from the top down while shaping the cap, and hand-sewing in a zipper, or working an attached garter-stitch button band. These skills can be used within other garments and add to the knitter’s repertoire of techniques!

Special skills or knowledge needed to take this workshop:
Must be able to read charts and be familiar with stranding and intarsia.

Supply List
__Main Color (A): 3 oz. or 150 yds smooth-textured, worsted-weight yarn (preferably wool).
__Two Contrast Colors (B and C): 2 oz. or 75 yds each smooth-textured, worsted-weight yarn (preferably wool).
__4.5mm/US 7 double-point needles and 16″ (40 cm) circular needle (You may use the Magic Loop or 2 circulars when working the sleeves in the round.)
__Stitch holders
__Sewing needle
__Thread (close to color A)
__ Sticky notes or magnetic board to keep your place on the chart.
__Knitting Basics: Sharp scissors, Notebook, Pen or pencil with eraser, Stitch markers, Tapestry needles (large and small), Tape measure, Small calculator, Needles and crochet hooks of various sizes

Optional: 5″ separating zipper or 3 to 5 buttons.
Note about yarns: This garment was traditionally made in natural colors (cream, light or dark grey, light or dark brown), with bulky single-ply yarns. While you are welcome to use other yarns, I suggest Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride worsted-weight yarn for the closest approximate scale to the original. If you are unable to find these yarns, you may use any solid-colored worsted-weight yarn. Keep in mind that each of the colors should contrast. If they are too close in value the motifs will not show.

Additional information

Skill Level

Main Technique


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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Cowichan-Inspired Cardigans

Beth Brown-Reinsel is my favorite teacher and this class did not disappoint. Her handouts are always thorough and meticulous. She is very patient and encouraging. Several of the construction techniques in this sweater are unusual and explained in an easy to grasp way. I highly recommend this and all of Beth’s classes.