Today is Midsummer's Eve in Northern Europe. Here in Finland this traditionally means travelling to the cottage or countryside for a three-day weekend and spending time with your family and friends, enjoying sauna, swimming and the white night. Grilled food, prepared from fresh, seasonal produce, is a must. It's also the first time of the year you have a chance to get your hands on some local strawberries.
There are several folk beliefs and traditions relating to midsummer. For example, it was said that unmarried maidens could see their future husband as a reflection in the water when bending over a well, or dream of them after placing seven different flowers under their pillow. The latter tradition in particular is kept up to this day.
Around here, midsummer weather is not always ideal for spending time outdoors, but we knitters are always happy to have an excuse to wear all the woollen knits. The Midsummer Rose shawl, designed by Lene Tøsti for our issue 5, is a beautiful, large lace shawl knitted out of A Verb for Keeping Warm's Floating, a stunning alpaca, silk and cashmere blend. It's light and airy and at the same time warm and comforting. In other words it makes for a perfect companion for those brief colder moments on sunny summer evenings, or for knitting inside the cottage while watching the summer rain fall.