June 02, 2018

I am nothing if not loyal to a pattern and a yarn. This is my third Seacoast and at my tenth-plus time using Rowan Handknit Cotton. I love both, and together they make the perfect summer sweater. The pattern by Joji Locatelli is perfect in every way and I could see myself making a dozen! I made my first Seacoast with white Handknit Cotton, my second with Rowan Hemp Tweed in black (I haven't Raveled that one yet and I knit it over a year ago; must get on to that) and this one in a quiet Ballet Pink. I love the yoke; besides having hidden increases in the ribbing there are short rows at the back neck so it rests a little higher up than the front.

And that pretty table with the checkered cloth--well, that was the dinner party that never was. On Friday night we planned to have six for dinner to meet a friend's new girlfriend. The night before we went to the Farmer's Market and bought the season's first locally grown globe artichokes. They are so beautiful and so massive, when stuffed I imagine it would only be possible for a very hearty eater to finish one. At 1PM, after I had set the table and just as I was getting ready to stuff those big guys, I was called away for a little bit of an emergency and was gone the entire afternoon. I didn't get home until 1 hour before the guests were to arrive and only had time to shower, prepare one appetizer and set out a simple bar. When our friends arrived we had a drink and an appie and then went out to dinner. That was Friday and today is Sunday and I just now dismantled the table and am cooking the artichokes (unstuffed); two for lunch, two for mom and two more that we will eat cold for tomorrow's lunch.

Castroville in Monterey County is about an hour south from us and grows about 90% of the artichokes consumed in the US. We go there often for day trips, especially this time of year when the artichokes and berries are in season. I grew up eating artichokes every spring and taught my son how to eat them when he was two. We will have our grandson this week and as he is only 10 months old  so managing a leaf will be too tricky for him. Artichokes are eaten one leaf at a time by scraping the lower part of the leaf between your upper and lower teeth to remove the fleshy part at the base. Instead I will mash up the heart for him and I'm certain he will love it. He is a very adventurous eater and loves avocados, mangos, eggs, spaghetti with meatballs, and even zucchini with pesto. Last week I made a casserole with leftover kale and Swiss chard and just threw in what I had in the refrigerator--sour cream, grated mixed cheeses, pine nuts and a few eggs to bind it, then baked it. The baby ate it, and not only ate it, he loved it! We really haven't found anything he doesn't like, bless his heart. I mash up whatever we are eating and while he may be surprised by a new flavor, he is always game! He is a little chatterbox, have I mentioned that here? He says egg, appo for apple, nana for banana, on, off, up, car, go-go, calls me Gammy for Grammy and says Paw for Papa. He says dozens of words and is a very early talker, but his big word is umbrella. He loves outdoor umbrellas and when he sees one he points in awe and says, "umbrelllllaaa" with great reverence! What a little character; having this baby in our lives is just so beautiful in every way.

We just celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary! We could not believe it and we both kept on saying, "Forty-five years? Has it really been that long?" I am married to the sweetest and most kind-hearted man I know. Plus he's funny. I think I got very lucky or was very smart 45 years ago. Maybe both! Sometimes he reads my blog, so if you are: Happy anniversary honey! I love you!

And in the TCB department: because of new GDPR policies, I have added a privacy policy page to my blog. Basically it says that I don't/won't share your email or any personal information with anyone. But even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have a clue as to how to do it! So never fear, the Knitionary blog is a safe place to be--a cozy spot filled with yummy yarns, pretty flowers, and happy babies!

The artichoke in the vase is from our garden. The plant only seems to get smallish artichokes like this one so I usually cut them and use them as cut flowers. They last a good long time in water.  In late summer the artichoke will bloom into a purple thistle and they look so pretty in a vase too.
Under the magical umbrelllllaaa!


How to cook and eat an artichoke.
Rowan Handknit Cotton is my favorite cotton yarn ever.
Joji Locatelli's Seacoast pattern is simply beautiful.
My Ravelry project page with my modest and simple modifications for fit.
The inexpensive gingham tablecloth comes in a half dozen colors and sizes.

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  1. 45 years! Wow! You don’t look old enough for sure. Congratulations and many happy returns of the day.

  2. I agree with Annie! You look very young to be married 45 years! Happy anniversary to you and your husband. Your grandson sounds adorable. It's wonderful that you are able to see him twice a week and I can understand why he is such a joy in your life. I have 6 grands in 3 different states and seems like we are always on the road! It's worth it!

    1. Thank you to you and Annie! I have friends who have 9 grandchildren in 3 different states and Australia! They seem to spend a lot of time on airplanes and I think they are very lucky!

  3. Happy anniversary! You certainly don’t look old enough to be married that long.

  4. Hi Kristen,

    Everything is beautiful, as always. Question, can this Rowan cotton be used in place of the all seasons cotton for the striped quilt pattern? Would it be good for wash clothes?

    1. Hi Diane. Handknit Cotton is machine washable on a gentle cycle and while I do put it in the dryer on low for about 15 minutes, I finish drying flat in shade. The ball band does not recommend dryer, but I have not had a problem and haven't noticed shrinkage.

      As for the yarn sub. question, they have two different gauges. The All Season's is an aran weight and Handknit is a worsted weight. You can sub for something like a blanket, but your blanket will be smaller, or you would have to cast on more stitches. Hope that helps.

  5. Happy Aniversary, Kristen! Looks like a happy life has kept you looking very young! Love your grandson posts and the color pink of your sweater. I am so used to seeing white on you I thought something had happened to my monitor. LOL. Chloe

    1. LOL! Well, thank you! Some Rowan cotton/linen just arrived from Jimmy Beans and I plan to knit it this summer or next--who can resist white linen/cotton on sale, right? But today I hope to finish a bright blue (Kaffe Fassett color, so you know how bright it is!) pullover today so that color will be a real departure to anything I've got in my closet. Very brave!

  6. Congratulations on 45 years how wonderful.
    I love the sweater that is my very favorite neck ever. You are just an amazing knitter.
    Thanks for all your inspiration.

    1. Thank you. I love this neckline and actually modified it so I could make sure to get a wide neck. I cast on for the smallest size, then when I got to the sleeve separation, I started following the XS size. It's an easy sweater to knit too, and looking through Rav, it looks great on everyone.

  7. Hi Kristen I hope you are on an anniversary world cruise or some such as a reason for your absence. And not something less pleasurable. You are missed. (I don't use Facebook outside of viewing pictures of my grandnieces so I may have missed something.) Chloe.


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