I'm a bit of a sentimental soul. I love sitting with my mom, aka "Mimi", looking through her old photo albums. While she reminices about the old days, I have the opportunity to learn about my relatives that have since passed. A recent conversation brought up stories about her childhood, growing up in the Sunset District of San Francisco.
Mimi turns 80 this May. It's so nice that she remembers as much as she does about "the good old days". She spoke of her neighborhood friends and walking to school, Lawton Elementary. This conversation inspired a field trip to see mom's childhood home, neighborhood and school. My parents moved to the East Bay nearly 62 years ago when they married.
I have made countless trips into the city over the years. My grandparents lived there all their life and my daughter lives there now. I have explored many of the city's riches, but I had never come across the Moraga Steps until this excursion with mom. Over 300 people, from 2003-2005, had their hand in making this project become a reality. Neighborhood residents and tourists alike have enjoyed their beauty, and that's not all, turn 180 degrees from the steps and there you have a view of the breathtaking Pacific Ocean.
The wheels were turning in my head. Something creative was going to come from this moment. The leaves used in Lawton have been a favorite of mine for sometime, but their directionality casued an issuse I needed to solve. Why not knit from the center out? This is where Judy's Magic Cast On came to play. That way both ends look the same without having to graft two pieces together in the middle. This idea had its challenges as well, when working from the center out, the stitches do not line up perfectly, they are actually half a stitch off. After thoughtful trial and error negotiating knits, purls and yarn overs, I was able to create what looks like a seamless join.
The Bombyx Silk yarn used here reminds me of the beautiful glossy tiles. It's a wonderful choice for Spring shawls and makes the columns of stair-like dropped stitches easy to manage. Lawton will be a wonderful birthday surprise for Mimi. Who will you knit yours for?
Lisa Souza Sylvie [100% Bombyx Silk; 450 yd/ 411 m per 100g skein]; color: Roof Tops; 2 skeins
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
2 24-inch US #4/3.5 mm circular needles
22 sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
18 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in lace pattern, blocked
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
This shawl is knit from the center out using a provisional cast on, created with Judy's Magic Cast On. Once the cast on is complete, you may wish to slip the unused half of the stitches to scrap yarn or another type of flexible holder.
Instructions for Judy's Magic Cast On can be found here.
CDD: Slip next 2 sts as if to k2tog, k1, then pass 2 slipped sts over.
Note: The colored stitches on the chart represent the columns of dropped stitches. This is worked as a knit stitch. Every 8-10 rows drop the stitch to let the column unravel. When you drop a stitch, replace it with a yarnover so that you can continue in pattern. In Row 31 of the Border Chart, you must drop the stitch and work a yarnover to replace it. After this, work the stitch normally.
The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized
Click below and print each resulting page.
Bind off, leaving an extra-long tail when you cut the yarn.
Turn to work on other side, on second set of 103 stitches. Note: Stitches will be seated backwards on the needle. You can either take the time to re-seat each stitch or work them through the back loop.