Modern Cowichan Cardigan

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Inspired by the beautiful sweaters designed by the Cowichan knitters of Vancouver Island, Nehalem is a shawl-collared Shelter cardigan with bands of geometric colorwork adorning the lower torso. Gentle A-line shaping allows for comfortable layering over fall outfits and the garter-stitch shawl collar, shaped with short rows, folds snugly about the neck. Nehalem is worked with a steek at the center front so you can knit the colorwork in the round. Sleeves are also worked in the round to the underarm; the caps are knit flat and set in. The quiet, monochrome palette we chose nods to the natural sheep shades that characterize Cowichan colorwork, but feel free to knit up a blaze of autumn glory with our red and orange hues.


Worsted weight wool yarn in the following approximate amounts:

  • 920 (1005, 1140, 1250, 1370, 1520) yards Color 1 (C1)
  • 125 (135, 150, 160, 175, 190) yards of Color 2 (C2)
  • 115 (125, 135, 150, 160, 175) yards of Color 3 (C3)


Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (100% American Targhee-Columbia wool; 140 yards/50g):

  • 7 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11) skeins C1
  • 1 (1, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins C2
  • 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) skeins C3
  • Photographed in colors Stormcloud (C1), Cast Iron (C2), & Snowbound (C3)

Please note: the stitch patterns in this garment are charted only.

  • 18 stitches & 28 rounds = 4″ in single-color stockinette stitch with Size A needle(s), after blocking
  • 18 stitches & 22 rounds = 4″ in charted colorwork pattern with Size B needle(s), after blocking

Size A (for Main Fabric)

  • One 32″ circular needle and one set of double-pointed needles (DPNs)* in size needed to obtain gauge listed
  • Suggested Size: 5 mm (US 8)

Size B (for Charted Colorwork Bands)

  • One 32″ or 40″ circular needle, two sizes larger than size A
  • Suggested Size: 6 mm (US 10)

Due to significant variance between knitters, your colorwork fabric should be swatched prior to knitting your sweater to determine whether or not this needle size should be larger, smaller or equal to Size A. Please read about Speed-Swatching for Circular Knitting (see Special Techniques).

Size C (for Garter Stitch Trim and Collar)

  • One 32″ or 40″ circular needle and one set of DPNs*, two sizes smaller than size A
  • Suggested Size: 4 mm (US 6)

*32″ circular needle can be used instead of DPNs if using the Magic Loop method for working small circumferences in the round (i.e., Sleeves)

Finished dimensions
  • 34¼ (37¾, 41¼, 45¾, 49¼, 53¾)” circumference at bust
  • Intended Ease: + 3-4″
  • Sample shown is size 37¾” with + 3¾” ease on model

Tutorials for all special techniques listed below are included in the pattern:

  • Garter Stitch Selvedge
  • Speed-Swatching for Circular Knitting
  • Color Dominance
  • Steeking
  • Securing a Steek: Crochet Method
  • Securing a Steek: Sewn Method (Machine or Hand)
  • Backward Loop Cast On
  • Short Rows: Wrap & Turn Method
  • Steam Blocking
  • One-Row Buttonhole
Jared Flood
Pattern By
Jared Flood

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