Greenwich Steps


Coit Tower stands on the top of Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. There are two ways to get to Coit Tower: you can drive there—Lombard Street ends at the top of Telegraph Hill—or you can walk. By far the best route is via the stairs on the east side of the hill. There are two staircases that climb from the Embarcadero to the top of the hill (a rise of about 270 feet, that is so steep that stairs are absolutely required, especially if you're carrying groceries, or as I saw once, you're carrying your SO who has a foot in a cast); one of them is Greenwich Steps. Both staircases wind their way through a tiny neighborhood of cottages with meticulously tended gardens that overflow with glorious flowers. So why go into this? The first design I did like this, Lombard, was also named for a street in San Francisco. Since this design is loaded with nupp-flowers, I wanted something that spoke of flowers to me, and I also wanted it to be a street in San Francisco, one of my favorite places.

This rectangular shawl starts with a very long toe-up sock cast on (use your favorite one). It works out from this center line, increasing in width and length on every other row. Diamonds and flowers are accented with pretty little nupps. If you wish, replace the nupps with beads for a touch of bling. In case you're wondering: yes, it's a bit fussy at the beginning, but once it's big enough to knit around in circles progress is fast.

Pattern details

  • Yarn: lace weight; 700 yards.
  • Model: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Serenity in Antique Jeans; 1100 yards in 100 grams; 100% silk.
  • Gauge: 16 sts and 35 rows to 4 inches in lace, knit in the round, blocked.
  • Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) for gauge.
  • Crochet hook: US 13 (0.85 mm) for placing beads (if you do that), or size that fits through bead.
  • Beads: 350 size 8/0 seed beads, optional, in lieu of nupps.
  • Finished size: 20.5 x 66 inches.
  • Stitch instructions: Charted only.

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