Summer Wraps 2017: Half Moon Bay

Thanks to all of you for your warm response to the Summer Wraps 2017 collection! Today, I want to highlight another pattern from the eBook, and talk a little bit about ways to wear this richly-textured rectangular shawl. Half Moon Bay is the largest and most time-intensive of the projects in this collection, but the visual payoff and the versatility of the FO are more than worth the investment.

I will own to being biased, but I am hugely partial to this one, which ticks all the boxes, aiming right for that sweet spot of engaging-but-approachable knitting and spectacular visual impact. The lace and cable pattern is bold and graphic but easy to memorize, as it’s an eight-row repeat with cables no larger than 2x2. Designed in YOTH’s ultra-luxurious Merino-Cashmere-Nylon Big Sister, this shawl is next-to-skin soft, while the eyelet lace keeps it from being too warm for summertime (though admittedly not this week - weirdly enough, it's been north of 100 here in the Bay Area and although I took the sample out to dinner the other night, it remained securely in my handbag).

Now, here's a secret: personally, I'm kind of shawl challenged. I wear cowls and scarves all the time, but I'm never quite sure what to do with a big shawl, or how I should wear it. Here, I wanted to design something that would eliminate some of that angst because it would just. go. with. everything.  Something that would be equally appropriate with jeans and a white tee shirt on the docks as it is with a little black dress on date night, with texture rendered in a scale that reads from well across the room. And I wanted something that, although it was designed as a summer knit, could be worn well into the fall and early winter, either with a sweater as the days grew colder or (perish the thought) under a jacket!

So, did it work? I think so. Since we finished the photoshoot, I've had the Half Moon Bay sample pretty much permanently stationed either hanging by the door or hanging in my office, waiting to shelter me from either the early morning cold or an unwelcome blast of the building's AC. If I'm cozying up for a long morning of brief-writing or pattern drafting or what have you (depending on which day, and which job!), I'm apt to drape it a few times around my shoulders so it will stay firmly put (see the bottom right and top left photos, above).

On a few special occasions, though, I've also worn it with a black dress on a date night with my husband, where its bold texture has added visual interest to a neutral background and kept me warm enough to watch the sun set over the Pacific (nope, not over that one yet, not even a little bit) without huddling under a jacket. If I'm trying to stay warm on a special-occasion-y evening, I'll usually drape it over my shoulders and upper arms, much like a traditional stole (see the top right photo, above).

I've also worn Half Moon Bay as a (super) oversized scarf for a cool morning walk (again, not this week, because heatwave), often with a sweater, but sometimes with just a simple t-shirt (as in the bottom left photo, above). Because I want to keep the focus on the lace and cable pattern, I try to pair the shawl with relatively simple, neutral tops, so that the openness of the lace eyelets aren't visually "fighting" with stripes or another bold pattern underneath. I expect it will get a lot of wear into the fall wrapped this way, and that come the late fall and early winter, I'll wrap it like this under a jacket. Worn that way, I'd either pair it with a neutral coat as a pop of color, or wear it to "tone down" a bolder (red?) wool jacket.


Half Moon Bay is available on Ravelry. Both the individual pattern and the eBook are 20% off with code YOTH through Sunday, June 25.

One size; approximately 17.5” / 44.5 cm x 72” / 183 cm, after blocking.

YOTH Yarns Big Sister (80% Merino wool, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 231 yards per 100 grams), 4 skeins, or 900 yards of DK-weight wool or wool blend yarn. Sample shown in "Blueberry."(Note on yarn substitution: you’re looking for something with some drape here; this is not a great pattern for a substantial wooly wool.)

17.5 sts and 27 rows per 4” / 10 cm in charted cable pattern. Gauge is not critical to this project, but may affect finished size.

32” / 80 cm or longer circular needle in size US 7 / 4.5 mm, or size needed to obtain gauge. Circular needle is used to accommodate large number of sts; longer straight needle in equivalent size may be used.

Stitch markers (optional); cable needle (optional); tapestry needle.

Cabling (with or without a cable needle); increasing; increasing; decreasing.

Half Moon Bay is available as an individual pattern or as part of the Summer Wraps 2017: Knits for Long Days & Cool Nights eBook.