Our San Francisco Bay Area climate, even with it's warm and sunny days, most always turns chilly when dusk approaches and the marine layer settles in.  We call it nature's air conditioning. Still, we love outdoor summer evening parties and every guest knows the drill: bring something warm.  I always bring a shawl to slip on at dusk (and I'm not the only one who also brings a sweater in case it gets downright cold.)  Because of this, I really don't think one can have enough shawls, plus, they are fun to knit! I know you agree because there are over 45,000 shawl patterns on Ravelry!  

Here are the details of my most recent shawl: 

The Yarn--Rowan Kidsilk Haze is a stand-out yarn on its own, but knit it double or pair it with another luscious yarn and it is downright blissful.  Adding a strand of KSH to another yarn beefs up the fluff and elegance factors. In the past I've paired KSH with Felted Tweed, Fine Lace, and Pure Silk with great success. Adding it will also help the yarn to effortlessly glide through your fingers and needles. And then there's the soft factor.  It's adds an ocean of soft too. I would recommend pairing KSH with a fingering, sport, or dk weight yarn. A yarn bulkier than that may overwhelm the wispy beauty of the laceweight KSH. My most recent KSH pairing was with Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK. The two together were heaven to knit and made an absolutely gorgeous fabric.  I would not hesitate to pair the two together again. 

The Pattern--River by McFadden was very fun to knit--stripes, eyelets, garter stitch--everything I love. It calls for dk weight yarn, and since knitting the two yarns together made a thicker yarn, my shawl dimensions are a little bigger because of this. This shawl is quite small but does block bigger. Still, if you want it to be larger it would be very easy to do that. 

I quickly powered through this knit because I loved everything about it, the pattern and the yarn. A very fun knit.

Both yarns are available at your local Rowan stockist or any number of online shops.

Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK in Deep and Snowdrop

Have a great week and I'll be back soon with another finished knit.
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This is Seacoast from Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People 7, designed by Joji Locatelli and knit, modeled, and loved by moi!  I completely adore the neck/yoke detail and since it's knit top-down, once you separate the body and arms you can try on and shape as you go.  I knit it with 3/4 length sleeves for summer and used the fantastic Rowan Handknit Cotton.  If you fear knitting with cotton because you think it might be too unyeilding or stringy in your hands, you don't have to worry about that with Handknit.  It is by far the very best cotton on the market as far as knitability, wearability, washability and value.  Whenever I push encourage people to knit with it, they always come back to me and tell me how much they love it.  It's knits up as a light worsted weight and is machine washable. Although the ball band does not recommend a tumble dryer, about half the time I throw it in on low and it's fine. This yarn wears like iron: a sweater I made with Handknit Cotton years and years ago is still being worn and looks fantastic.  

Rowan Handknit Cotton DK can be found at your local Rowan stockist
or online at Webs, Deramores, Black Sheep, LoveKnitting and many others.
Make sure you seek out Kaffe Fassett's exclusive colors in Handknit Cotton,
but I believe one can never have too many white summer sweaters!

The pants are from Anthropologie.  They are super soft cotton and have a little bit of lycra for stretch so they don't bag out even after days of wearing.  I love them and when I went to their website to see if they had other colors, I cracked up at the model wearing them.  On her they are capris--I had no idea!  On me they are fully past the ankle. They are on sale now.

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summer garden

We are awfully proud of our summer garden this year. The veg garden is pretty much the same as previous summers. We know what we like to eat and know what grows best for us in our Northern California garden. The heirloom tomatoes are again taking center stage. Our favorite varieties remain the red and pink Brandywines, Black Krim, Big Rainbow, Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple, German Pink and Paul Robeson and are just several of the two dozen we grow. Our favorite way of eating them up is picked warm, sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper. We've also been making quarts of salsa to eat fresh, roasted tomato sauce for the freezer, and the ever-scrumptious roasted tomato appetizer. There's been plenty of fresh pesto too.  We've been harvesting baskets of green beans which we love blistered in a hot iron skillet over the stove.  The cucumbers that aren't eaten fresh are made into refrigerator dill pickles and eaten almost as fast as I can make them. The recipe is so easy and if you like icy cold, super crunchy pickles, this is the recipe. The summer squash is roasted in a hot oven or grated into a casserole. We were given a gift of beautiful backyard donut peaches and what we didn't eat fresh we made into a peach salsa that we slathered over grilled salmon, then took a spoon and gobbled up the rest.  That was so seriously good and all I did was make a traditional salsa with onions, jalepenos, cilantro, etc., but replaced the tomatoes with peaches. Our neighbor gave us 2 enormous bags of apricots that became two pies, 8 pints of apricot nectar, and 8 half-pints jam.  The roses are on their second bloom and look fantastic. The new type of zinnias that I planted in the back border are pretty, but I don't think I'll be planting them again. The border is far enough from our patio that when we sit and look at the garden we really do need to see more pops of color.  The color variations of the Queen Red Lime, while beautiful close up, are not easily seen from the patio. They are pretty in flower arrangements, and if I do plant them again, they will not be showcased front and center and instead will be mixed in with the brighter ones.

So it's easy to see that the garden is what is keeping us busy this summer. That and a lovely steam of houseguests (my brother is visiting now) and while we have a few little trips planned, during the summer we never stray far from home for very long.  We feel summer is at it's best when we stay put!

Oh, yes, and one very big (I mean very little) thing has captured our attention this summer. Last week our son and daughter-in-law welcomed Carter Shea Rettig into the world. We are all completely mad over this little guy and are grateful that we live close enough to be able to see him often.  What a blessing! He is absolutely beautiful and already has the most expressive face. When he has been fed and diapered and everything is okiedokie is his world, he is a pretty chill baby and very content to just look around and take in his new world.  My heart is bursting with love.  I just can't look at him enough.

12 hours old.

Five days old and already pondering what sweater he should wear next!
Pretty soon he is going to be my sweater model!
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xo Kristen