Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Christmas Sweater and Tocque

Finally, after year of waiting, i decided it was time to get a sweater! (given that we live in an area known for it knitting).  Some of you may have got the book Yetsa's Sweater from me in the past.  It is a really fun read on Cowichan knitting.  http://salishfusion.ca/product/book-yetsas-sweater/

If you don't know much about Cowichan or Coast Salish sweaters, here are a few links:



They are the sweaters that were part of the 2010 Olympic scandal (since the olympics crew used the cowichan designs for official sweaters, but then sent them off to be manufactured in China rather than by the Cowichan and salish knitters)


Typically, the sweaters are knitted using three colours of natural undyed wool (just the colour of those sheep: white, black and grey).  Lately, little shots of colour have been appearing there too!

My new sweater, knitted by May Sam

May Sam (one of the elders over at the First Peoples' House on campus) agreed to do it for me.  We talk about the possible patterns (i.e. whales, eagles).  I asked her what she was enjoying knitting these days, and she said she had just done a few sweaters with a Bear pattern that  her nephew had made for her.
my sweater, ... and kiwi looking for ball under sofa
Bingo!  Having grown up with the bear skin that my dad brought back from the north, what could be better!?   I know, I know... that would be a polar bear, vs. a brown or black bear (more local to here), but those of you 'in the know' would know that the guy who mounted the polar bear skin did not have the mould of a polar bear head handy, so instead used a plaster cast for a black bear, creating an odd hybrid!   All that to say, bears are in my blood, so it was a perfect choice!  
the matching 'bear' tocque
I also ordered a matching tocque...and she said she would put a pompom on top.  Most of the Cowichan hats have some litre doodad on top, so that seemed fine with me.  But I never anticipated that the pompom would be so gorgeous!   It is some magical swirling of the three natural colours of wool, and is about the size of a lime.  wow.
now THIS is a pom-pom!

May says she teaches a workshop on pompom making.  I think i might have to sign up!

Anyways, it arrived on Steve and my anniversary (27 years?!), so it was a perfect gift to myself.
Here are some photos of me modelling it!  Note the bear paw prints on the front.  Given all the writing I have done about nursing mothers, I find it absolutely amusing to refer to this as my 'bear-breasted-sweater'

My 'Bear-Breasted' sweater!

1 comment:

  1. OK, I am so jealous. Yes, you gave us Yetsa book and a piece of wool to go with it. I want your sweater. I have my own, but I want yours too. Well, let's be honest, mine is really Leo's -- his aunt bought it for him years ago, but it is a real cowichan sweater. I consider myself priviledged to get to wear one. I know you will use yours well. Can I have yours when you are dead? Hugs.