orange is the new white

I have to share this pretty table with you! My girlfriend Norma designed this table setting for a dinner party for 12 to celebrate her husband's birthday--and also to celebrate her brother and sister-in-law visiting from Australia. It was a feast for the eyes with leopard print placemats, orange chargers, pink and yellow napkins, and tiny teal bud vases.  It was also a feast for the tummy.  During the cocktail hour we nibbled on tiny crab cakes, then sat at the table for a first course of caprese salad. The entree was citrus chicken and summer squash.  All the vegetables were from their own vegetable garden. Dessert was strawberries and cream.  I love it when the table is every bit as delicious as the food served on it!

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Rowan Magazine 62

Rowan's official fall/winter launch date is today.  You'll start seeing the Magazine 62 in your local knitting shops any day now.  I know many of you are Rowan magazine collectors and this one does not disappoint. Rowan is right on trend with an abundance of long, loopy, oversized cables in chunky yarns.  There are some light-handed colorwork pieces--you'll see it mostly in two, sometimes three colors.  I counted seven gorgeous over-sized coats and I know I'll have to make at least one. The sweaters are a mix of fitted and oversized. You'll also see a mix of DK, worsted, chunky, and bulky weights--something for everyone.  Here are a few of my favorites:

To see yarn details, etc, see all of the patterns on Ravelry.

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Rowan is adding three new yarns to their core collection:  Cashmere Tweed, a dk weight, Valley Tweed, a sport weight, and Alpaca Soft DK.  I'm knitting up swatches and watching them bloom in a warm bath.  Stayed tuned for my review coming soon!



Hello friends.  Last night we had a Mexican Fiesta for the monthly gathering of our Second Friday Party Group, AKA, Best Friday of the Month.  I love summer parties and only sorry that we weren't able to have a few more this summer!  Ahh, but one party is better than none party!  As usual, summer has had us going in a dozen different directions, and if I didn't already know that we have to keep our parties simple, this party HAD to be kept simple--I had no choice.  Because of an out of town trip and then arriving home to houseguests, I only had 48 hours to get my house party-ready and prepare the food. Friends, I went into hyperspeed! Now that the party is over and the house is cleaned up, I've got my feet up with a day of knitting calling sweetly to me.

The menu was a huge success.  This monthly gathering is a potluck with each guest (we are 19) bringing a dish to share and a bottle of wine.  We take turns with hostess duties.  When it's at your house you choose the theme and make the main dishes.  I made the chicken tinga mixture and enchiladas in the morning and reheated them right before serving. I kept the bar simple with wine, beer, and sparkling water.  Dinner is served buffet style. You may have noticed that for dessert I almost always serve cookies at my parties. Here's why: at the end of the evening and your'e a bit tired, it's nice to announce, "The cookie buffet is open--come help yourself!"  No forks, no plates, no serving, easy peasy.


Salsa and Guacamole and Chips
Tiny Stuffed Peppers

Fresh Corn and Arugula Salad
Spicy Green Salad

The drinks table has an arrangement of dahlias and Queen Red Lime Zinnias.
Each Queen Lime Heart Zinnia flower is different.  I love the more greeny ones with just a dusting of pink.  The white blossom at the top of the page is a magnolia from our ancient tree.  It smells like a lemon cake right out of the oven. Heaven.

For easy-care, all-weather (and inexpensive) outdoor art, I laminated wrapping paper maps.  The table arrangements were a mix of sedum and end-of-summer dusty rose-colored hydrangeas.  They'll soon be ready for drying.

I pass out shawls towards the end of the evening when the weather gets chilly.

We have room to seat 12 at tables and the rest find comfy spots on the other patios.  It works.

We put up the lighting last year and are so happy with it.

Before I go, here are a few more pics of the Queen Red Lime Zinnias.  This is my first year planting these, and I was on the fence on whether or not I like them. But over the summer, as they have unfurled, I'm amazed at their diversity and I've fallen in love with every petal. 

Have a great weekend!
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