Tea Garden


Oh, how I looked forward to those rare Sundays when I was a child, and we went into San Francisco to play in Golden Gate Park. In those days we always parked in back of the aquarium, where we were greeted by a huge Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that stood guard outside, daring us to enter. We always went through the aquarium from back to front—exploring as we went—and exiting via the entrance. We’d cross the Music Concourse, either near its central fountain or up by the band shell, and then explore anything new at the museum. Afterwards we’d finally go next door to my favorite part—the Japanese Tea Garden. I always thought the Tea Garden was a bit magical. When you walk in the gate there’s this bridge that crosses a tiny creek… the bridge goes way up, it’s steep and hard to climb, then down the other side, just as steep. Then there are the twisting little pathways, and the flowers. Oh! the flowers!, and plants with huge leaves, and others with tiny little blooms.

Anyway, I found this sweet little flower stitch in a Japanese stitch dictionary, and knew right off that I’d have to use it for something in just the right yarn to bring it to life. Cast on just a handful of stitches. Knitting grows on the right-hand edge, and is trimmed with a pretty lacy edging to the left. It ends with a simple border before the picot bind off.

Tea Garden is also available as part of Grandma's Garden, a five-pattern ebook celebrating gardens, gardening, and my love of flowers.

Pattern details
  • Yarn: fingering weight; 250 (450, 675) yards.
  • Model: Malabrigo Mora in color 247 Whales Road in middle size; 225 yards in 50 grams; 100% pure mulberry silk.
  • Gauge: 19 sts and 23 rows to 4 inches (10 cm) blocked.
  • Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) for gauge, and US 8 (5 mm) for binding off.
  • Finished size: 38.25 x 23.25 [52.25 x 31.75, 63.25 x 38.5] inches.
  • Stitch instructions: Charted and written.
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