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.
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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: Acid Rain

Thanks for all the well wishes on Monday you guys. I’m still sick and I think this cough is going to linger for a bit but I’m hanging in there. I took the day off of work on Monday but still had class that afternoon. Fortunately for me I had a guest speaker, the Global Digital Communications Director for Christian Louboutin. I met her years ago with my old blog and we’ve always stayed in touch and when I asked her if she’d be willing to talk to my class she quickly said ‘sure!’ She gave a great talk to my students, they asked insightful questions and it was a strong finish to my series of guest lectures for the semester. And since she came all the way down from NY I knew I wanted to knit her something as a thank you for doing this for me. So I made her the Rain Outside Shawl.
Acid Rain
It’s funny, I was kind of nervous to make this for my friend. We’re internet friends who haven’t seen each other face to face for years so I don’t know her like I would my BFF Jess, but I know she’s stylish and cool but I worried she wouldn’t like it. And then my BFF Jess reminded me, everyone loves a beautiful hand knit item. And she was right. She loved it.
Acid Rain
For this shawl I did one thing different than I did before, I made a swatch. LOL The previous two came out smaller than I expected, they still work but I wanted this to be a bigger shawl and I got that but think I’m still slightly off on gauge. It’s not as big as some but this one definitely was bigger than my previous two versions (shawl one and shawl two).
Acid Rain
For the main color I used two skeins of the Madelinetosh DK Twist in Clap Your Hands I still had in my stash (I’ve got one skein left…what will it become?). And for the contrast color I went with Berroco Weekend DK in black. In my first version I loved the contrast of the metallic yarn with the matte grey yarn so I wanted to play with the matte black and vibrant rainbow of the Clap Your Hands. And with the rainbow and all of the black, it kind of makes this shawl a neutral in my book but it also has a great striking contrast so it’s still a bold accessory.
Acid Rain
I really do love this shawl and the pattern. The lace panels break up a lot of garter stitch to give it interest and it just has a unique look and feel to it. It’s not an old school shawl, it’s kind of like a work of art. I’m sure I’ll make another as a gift for someone in the future.
Acid Rain
And in the end I’m just happy I was able to give a great gift to a friend.

Stitching Status: Acid Rain

Despite being a little under the weather lately (I can’t tell if it’s allergies or a cold) I’ve been in a really good mood. Work is the same and nothing special has really happened but I’ve just been happy and I’m not complaining about that. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been working with one of my favorite yarns lately?
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I could write a love letter to Madelinetosh and all of her amazing colorways. One of my favorites it ‘Clap Your Hands,’ this is it in DK weight and you may remember it from my Under the Graffiti Bridge cardigan. It’s like a beautiful rainbow that’s a little gritty and dirty. I love this color. I want to be a yarn dyer that’s as awesome as Madelinetosh is to me.
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I’m working on another The Rain Outside shawl (view my first and second) as a gift for a friend and decided to use Clap Your Hands as the main color and a matte black of Berroco Weekend in DK weight. I’m loving the contrast.
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The black is so strong against the white/rainbow and the lace panels are all black. I’m contemplating doing the last panel is a super bright pink but I think I may just leave it as is. I always fear I don’t have enough of the contrast color but it’s making it’s way to the end. I have to trust myself more and stop worrying. I’m so excited to get this one off my needles (should be finished over the weekend)…
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If I could just get Cher to stop sitting on it. We shall see. Have a great weekend!