I Knit San Francisco

I KNIT SAN FRANCISCO (IKSF), is series of Knit Like a Local pattern book by One More Row Press. IKSF has 10 beautiful patterns that pay homage to the celebrated city of San Francisco with designs and fibers from local designers and dyers.

Designs with Loome: 18th & Castro Top & Half Moon Rug.


NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Alice O'Reilly and Kathleen Dames

Have you, too, left your heart in San Francisco? We have! Having spent lots of time in the Bay Area over the years, we have an abiding affection for the place and people, and have come to the same conclusion: bring your woollies, even if you’re visiting in August.

Mark Twain didn’t say “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” (no one knows definitively who did), but frankly it could have been anyone who spent any time in the Bay Area microclimate on a summer day. Never downright freezing, the cool damp of the Pacific always moderates the weather, and a bit of woolly goodness, whether in accessory or garment, is always a welcome layer (despite what any polar fleece wearer might tell you).

San Francisco has changed over the years. Waves of migration have left their mark on this land and on this city. A place which was once the far end of the Gold Rush is now the starting place of tomorrow’s innovations. Not all of the history is pretty, yet there is immense beauty (and pride) in this city.

We found inspiration in the geography, history, and meteorology of San Francisco: create your own version of Kelly White’s Continuous shrug inspired by the fascinating art of Ruth Asawa (her wire sculptures have particular appeal to fiber artists—don’t miss Kelly’s introduction to Asawa on p. 12), meander down the switchback curves of Lombard Street in a sock with Audry Nicklin, then take a Grant Avenue Stroll through Yvonne Poon’s personal history of Chinatown for a curved wrap thanks to German short rows, and keep your head warm with Faina Goberstein’s slip-stitch Fog City hat, plus half a dozen more designs.

What better way to knit San Francisco than with local yarn? From Sincere Sheep up in Napa all the way down to The Dye Project in Santa Cruz, with Little Skein in the Big Wool, A Verb for Keeping Warm, Love Fest Fibers, and other talented dyers in between.

Where to find those yarns is our other favorite part of creating these books, and our geographic boundaries of “San Francisco” are generous, but as you can see there were people and places we couldn’t leave out. From San Francisco proper to the Berkeley area, then north into Napa and Sonoma counties, and south through the Peninsula to Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay, we found yarn shops big and small to fulfill all of your fiber wishes.

We hope you enjoy this fiber journey through the Bay Area—we can’t wait to get back there ourselves.