I did get a little reading time in over breakfast this morning. I'm reading through the July/August 1998 issue of Piecework magazine. The only issues of this magazine that I bother to get have an article on knitting in them. This one features the history of cowichan sweaters. Since I've actually made several of these and they are quite common to where we live the article was of special interest.
The name cowichan comes from the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island, where the Cowichan band of the native Coast Salish people lived. The sweaters are a story in themselves as they include many of the animals important to these people, such as whales, horses, eagles etc. The Cowichan had always spun goat and dog hair, but when the settlers and missionaries came in the 1840's they brought sheep and these began to be used for spinning as well. The articles goes into some depth and there is also a pattern for a sweater included.
My new technique for January was the linen stitch heel flap. This picture doesn't do it justice, but what you don't see is the typical ribbed ridges of the traditional heel flap. It makes a nice flat surface that is much thinner than the traditional. My version is a four row repeat - google to find instructions. Mine came from a pattern that has gone missing.
In January I also made two charity hats and a pig puppet from the Creative Knitting website. This is the pig partially
made. I made some mods to the pattern to make it more "pig-like". I couldn't find the other hat, but it was called Thorpe.