One Hundred Words For Rain by Marna Gilligan

One Hundred Words For Rain

May 2021
An Caitin Dubh SIlk
An Caitin Dubh Fluff
both are used in this pattern
20 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches
in stocking stitch
US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 8 - 5.0 mm
875 yards (800 m)
one size
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for £5.00 GBP
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In Ireland there are so many sorts of rain, and so many ways to describe the wetness.

At one end of the scale there’s the soft day, where the rain’s so light and stealthy that you never see a raindrop and yet end up damp all over. After a week or two of this barely-rain you’re still not actually wet wet, but still suspect that you’ve become a fertile medium for moss.

At the other end of the rain scale you can be soaked to the skin almost instantly. It can be lashing, pelting, pouring, hammering - or the weirdly threatening raining forks and knives.

And that’s just in English - in the Irish language there are just as many way to describe the wetness. Possibly my favourite is fluich salach, which translates as filthy wet.

Here’s a shawl that celebrates the extremes of the rain. It starts with the heavy raindrops that will leave you soaked to the skin in moments. The weather clears a bit, to just a soft day. And we end up with an edging of raindrops glistening in the emerging sunlight.

This is a knit designed in, and designed for, challenging times. The knitting is gentle and rhythmic, with just the simplest of lace stitches to break the monotony of a rainy day. It’s also a knit about homesickness. As borders closed and travel back to see my family became a near-impossibility I took some comfort in knitting myself back to Ireland - and Irish weather. I hope this shawl gives you some comfort too, both in the knitting and the wearing.


Yarn A: 100gr/ 400 metres of a 4-ply yarn.

If you’re sticking with the rain metaphor you’ll want something with a bit of heft and drape, so look for silk or silk blends, lustrous long-stapled wools like BFL or Wensleydale, or maybe something with a bit of tencel in the mix.

Yarn B: 50gr/ 400 metres of a light and fluffy lace-weight yarn.

For the soft rain look for something with a halo and a bit of fluff to it - mohair or other floofy lace yarns are perfect here.

I used Caitin Silk (100% silk) for yarn A, and Caitin Fluff (65% mohair, 35% silk) for yarn B, both in the We’re So Far From Shore Now colourway. You can find kits with both of the yarns here.

Colour choices

Choosing identical or very similar colours for both yarns will emphasize the textural contrasts.


Yarn A: 20 sts/ 28 rows to 10cm, using the smaller needle.

Yarn B: 15 sts/ 20 rows to 10cm, using the larger needle.

I used a 3.75mm needle for the first section of the shawl, and a 5mm needle for the second.

Gauge isn’t very important for this project. You’re aiming for a loose and drapey fabric on the first section, and a very light, floaty fabric for the second section.

Changes in gauge will mean a larger or smaller shawl, and if it’s out by a lot you may need more yarn.


This shawl is 190cm tip to tip, and 60cm deep.