I'm looking for old Cowichan and Cowichan-esque sweaters that need a home. I intend to put on a show of sweaters in honour of Coast Salish knitters and knitters everywhere. The idea got started when my publisher, Diane Morris from Sono Nis, and I put together a sweater display for the launch of my book Working With Wool.
We used Judy Hill’s (Judy Hill Gallery, Duncan, BC) amazing collection of old Cowichan sweaters--some were almost 100 years old. Many of the sweaters came from people who bought sweaters, wore them and loved them for decades and then couldn’t throw them away. These people found Judy and she promised to give their old sweaters a safe home.
But a Cowichan sweater collection doesn’t stop with Cowichan sweaters. The sweaters emerged from a fusion of ancient Coast Salish weaving and equally as ancient European knitting traditions and, like any good art, the sweaters have been (and still are being) infused into many other design forms in complicated, interesting and amazing ways. Cowichan sweaters have spawned many direct knock-offs and equally as many truly creative innovations. So far my collection includes Ralph Lauren, Aritzia, Big Lebowski, Le Chateau, Mary Maxim and several hand knit creations. If you come across such sweaters or an “authentic” Cowichan that needs a home let me know. I’d love to meet your sweater and see where it fits into the story.
If you love your sweater (or an old one from your family), it’s beyond repair, and you’d like it to last forever, let me know. We can repurpose the sweater into something beautiful.
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- Tags: Cowichan Sweater, Diane Morris, Judy Hill, Judy Hill Gallery, Sono Nis Press, Sylvia Olsen