California Sunrise and my dinner with Kaffe

August 31, 2015

Hello!  I started this as a travel knit over a year ago, finished it in no time, then promptly forgot to blog about it.  The pattern is Isabel Kramer's versatile Ravello, a top-down pattern that is the end-all, be-all of top-downs.  There is a little bit of short-row shaping in the back for a perfect fit, you can add more or less, then it's just knitting on down in-the-round until you're done.  I pretty much use this pattern as a template for all my top-downs.

Who better to model this than my sweet and pretty California girl neighbor, Jessica.  Did she like it?  Yes, she did!  She came out of the dressing room with her arms wrapped around herself and said, "Oh my gosh, I feel like I'm wearing a cloud!"  I had to laugh because that is how I describe Kidsilk Haze: feather-light and cloud-soft.  I asked her if she liked the color, and she said, "Yes, it's so pretty it looks like a sunrise!", which made me laugh again!  The colorway was made by the master colorist himself, Kaffe Fassett, and is called California Sunrise.  It's a mix of the prettiest colors splashed on my favorite yarn and using one of my favorite patterns, this is a winner!

Below is a picture of another California girl, me, wearing the same sweater.  The picture below that is from earlier this year, when Brandon Mabley and Kaffe Fassett came to town.  Brandon taught a class at my local yarn store, and of course I took it!  He was traveling with Kaffe, and after class my lys owner, Stephanie, asked me to join them for dinner.  I was beyond excited, but I guess you can imagine that!  Brandon and Kaffe are so charming, funny, and down-to-earth.  While Brandon was teaching the day-long class, Kaffe spent the day walking around our little town and stopped for lunch with his sister and nephew (the owners of Nepenthe of Big Sur, where Kaffe grew up) who had come to visit for the day.  Over dinner, I asked Kaffe if he could walk around our town unnoticed or did people recognize him?  He said, "Oh no, not really, I don't get noticed very often."  I said, well how about bigger cities, like San Francisco or London?  Again, modestly he said, "No, not so much."  Then in a big stage whisper Brandon said, "Oh yes he gets noticed--all the time!   He is so tall and handsome, people stare at him all the time.  And of course they all know who he is!"  Brandon is funny and bubbly, Kaffe is warm and charming, and it was a wonderful evening. 

Kaffe complimented my sweater, asked me if I'd knit it and said it was a pretty color.  I smiled and told him it was one of his colors from the Kidsilk Haze Stripe collection, and he said, "Oh yes, I remember doing that!  That was fun!"  He said he was becoming more interested in quilting than needlepoint and knitting and how his interests have changed over the years.  They were pretty excited about their home fragrance line which at the time was in the works but is now available.  He talked about his early association with Rowan and asked me about my Rowan Ambassadorship.  We talked a bit about how much they love to travel; it seems like they are on the road and often travel to exotic places, combining work with pleasure.    We also talked about Big Sur and what it was like to grow up there.  He said he tries to visit once a year and that's about how often we get there too, and always have lunch at Nepenthe, the restaurant his family still owns.  If you ever come to this part of the world, a visit to Big Sur and Nepenthe should be at the top of your list.  Kaffe and Brandon were completely charming and I'll leave you with this little nugget:  Kaffe does not own a computer or cell phone and does not know how to use either!  I kid you not!

From left to right is my friend Leah of the Yarn Stylist blog, me, Brandon Mabley, Kaffe Fassett, and Stephanie, owner of Uncommon Threads of Los Altos.  You can see I wore my California Sunrise sweater!  Too bad Kaffe is blinking!

Ravello, the pattern
My Ravelry project page for California Sunrise


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  1. Beautiful top - and I'm so jealous you got to have dinner with Kaffe.

  2. I have had this pattern for awhile, now I need to knit it! Gorgeous!

  3. Wow how lucky are you to have had dinner with Kaffe. My mum will be super jealous too as an avid quilter. I usually avoid variegated yarns for clothing, it just doesn't do it for me but I may have to eat my words with this jumper as it is gorgeous. I have never been to California but this colour combination really makes me want to fly right over there to see a Californian sunrise.

    1. I usually turn my nose up at variegated yarn too! But this was just too pretty to ignore. The funny thing is, he really did get the color and the name right. When we have a spectacular sunrise or sunset in California, it's amazing!

  4. You had dinner with Kaffe and Brandon? Lucky you and I am so jealous! Both you and your model look fantastic in the sweater. Knitting with Kidsilk Haze, visiting Big Sue and visiting California are all on my bucket list!

  5. Lovely to read your account of dinner with Kaffe Fassett. Your Ravello is extremely pretty and looks great on your neighbour. With no disrespect at all to your neighbour, I prefer your owned modelled pics though. As a mature woman, I do get fed up of seeing everything modelled on very thin teenagers. I want to see what clothes look like on grown up women of all ages. So I do hope you haven't hung up your modelling hat for good!

    1. Bernadette, you aren't alone in wanting to see mature women model the clothes, and no, I have not given up my modeling hat at all. I do feel as if I'm cheating a bit when I solely use pictures of Jessica just because she does look great in everything; but because she shows off the clothes so well, I cannot resist. I will always get a few computer pictures of me wearing the sweater, but I know they aren't that good. When I can get my husband to take pictures of me, I will. It's my fault he hates to do it, because I am a total pain when standing in front of the camera. If I were just a little sweeter about the process, I'm sure he wouldn't mind as much.

  6. Gorgeous sweater!

    Kristen, I think what we like best about seeing YOU modeling the sweaters is that you are the person we admire and love so it is great to see lots of pictures of you looking so happy and enjoying your latest knitting triumph. That is more interesting to me than that lovely young girl whom I don't know.

    Ah, dinner with Kaffee Fassett and Brandon Mably, what an honor! It is such an amazing experience to meet incredible artists like them and hear stories about their sources of inspiration and lives. And they were such kind, interesting men, too! We live charmed lives, don't we?


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