FO: Purple Rain

For the last few years the first project of the year I finish is typically something for my cousin Safia in Chicago. We also send her an after Christmas/Kwanzaa box filled with gifts and something handmade, we’ve been doing this with her since she went to college. Last year it was her red Lila Winter sweater. The year before that was her pretty pink raglan sweater. This year when I asked her if she had any requests she told me she’d like a nice wrap or big scarf she could use for when she’s cold at work. I immediately thought about the Rain Outside.
December FO
I’ve knit this shawl four times now (shawls #1, #2 and #3)! Clearly this is a favorite pattern. And in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to use this variegated yarn that went from orange to pink to dark purple that I bought the very first time we went to Chicago to visit Safia.
Untitled
I lost the label a while ago and the yarn shop has since closed but I knew that Chicago yarn had to be a part of her shawl, I had 400 yards. But what to contrast it with? Well Periwinkle Sheep yarn had an awesome Black Friday sale and I picked up this gorgeous purple dk yarn, Safia’s favorite color. I love Periwinkle Sheep for her really vivid and true dye colors, just gorgeous. (Periwinkle is the bright blue yarn I used for my Mom’s Christmas sweater last year)
Purple Rain
I didn’t know how this yarn blend was going to work out but man this is vibrant and fun. Pictures honestly don’t do it justice.
Purple Rain
And now it is being delivered to its new owner in Chicago…even though it was so lovely I wanted to keep it for myself. But purple and orange aren’t my colors, so I happily gave it away. I can’t wait to see her wearing it.

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FO: Merry Christmas Mom

I wanted to end this week on a high note with a favorite project from 2016. I’ve got a bunch of my December FO’s to share and this one is just too good to wait any longer. It’s the Christmas sweater I knit for my Mom.
Christmas Eve
I originally said I was going to make my Mom this two color cardigan using the Miss Babs Yowza in Ghoulish with a Neighborhood Fiber Co. skein of Georgetown that was a bright blue. Then I randomly picked up this insanely bright skein of Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors sock yarn in a gorgeous cobalt thinking maybe one day I’d knit my Mom a pair of socks. And then I saw the pattern for a_simmetrie and it needed dk and fingering weight yarn and I knew I had to make this sweater for my Mom. Also, is she not the cutest? We took these pics on Christmas Eve so she could send out a holiday card.

A sweater for mom
This was my Mom wearing the sweater immediately after I gave it to her on my Dad’s birthday.

This pattern was really interesting and the construction was completely different so I took my time to knit this one. It was about 6 weeks of knitting for me because I only ever knit it at home. Since I had my two huge skeins of Miss Babs Yowza I decided to knit the identical front and back pieces two at a time on a really long needle. I didn’t have to add a single ball of yarn, one skein of each was enough for each piece.
A sweater for mom
The fingering weight yarn (the blue) is what joins the front and back pieces together. I had to really read the instructions a couple of times each to make sure I got it but once you start you realize who clever this pattern really is. You also really have to get gauge on this one or your color stripe will not lay flat. I had a slight bit of buckling on the back panel because of how many stitches I picked up but it worked itself out when I blocked it.
A sweater for mom
My favorite detail that was a bit of a pain to do was the pop of color on the inside of the arm bands. How great is this little detail? The same detail is also on the bottom hem but it’s a little trickier to do in the round on smaller needles but I just took my time and was patient to make sure it worked out. I also shorted the sleeves just slightly and they turned out to be the perfect bracelet length for my Mom. We’re both short and hate how some sweater sleeves are just too long for us.
A sweater for mom
This sweater really was great but it just took me longer than my normal project. I can see making one for myself somewhere down the road. Perhaps over the summer so I have it ready for the first chilly days of next fall? I really do love how it drapes and hangs. This was such a creative knit and the color combinations are endless.
Christmas Eve
But in the end, for me it’s always about making something special for someone I love. And the fact that she loves it as much as I loved making it for her makes this an even better project.

Did any of you do any special knits for the holidays? Share!