I was daydreaming about the Takoma today when Facebook displayed an ad for the Dude's Cowichan sweater. How ironic! Of course, I'm referring to the Dude from The Great Lebowski, one of my favorite movies of all time. Who could resist Jeff Bridges, even playing the scruffy, dirty Dude? Goodness, he's handsome.
The original Dude sweater, a 1970s bulky fair isle cardigan made by the Winona Wool Mills, contains FOUR pounds of yarn and is based on a traditional Indian blanket design. Note the circle zipper pull - haven't seen one of those in decades.
The price for this archetypal sweater soared to over $11,000 before the auction was cancelled. "A day before the auction, questions arose about the screen usage of the 'Big Lebowski' sweater. Originally there were several copies made of the Lebowski sweater for the production of the film, it could not be determined if this one was screen used. In keeping with the policies of Profiles in History, it was withdrawn from the auction pending further research." So the Dude's sweater abides - whichever one it was.
The Pendleton Woolen Mills now sells an updated version, which the company describes thusly: "Like our original (you might have seen it on the Dude Lebowski), this vintage look is inspired by sweaters made by the Cowichan Natives of British Columbia. Chunky 3-gauge knit with leather tab pull." You can get this dry cleanable, lambswool sweater for $188. I prefer the original - especially if Jeff Bridges is wearing it.
For my own personal Cowichan, I'm using the pattern's prescribed Cascade Eco+ in Merlot (burgundy), Yakima Heather (dark olive), and Straw (gold). Julia's version used burgundy, dark olive, and tan, but it looked a bit flat to me, so I added the gold instead.
As usual, I spent hours looking for the just-right buttons. I finally found some 1920s-1930s Bakelite buttons on ebay. I love the dark art-deco-carved wheat motif. I bet they'll be perfect, plus it will be fun to have truly one-of-a-kind fasteners on this creation.
The Dude abides! And these 80- or 90-year-old Bakelite buttons do, too.