Rosalind Recognized by Spencer Lepler

Rosalind Recognized

by Spencer Lepler
September 2018
Light Fingering ?
10 stitches and 17 rows = 2 inches
US 2 - 2.75 mm
2.75 mm (C)
1250 - 1400 yards (1143 - 1280 m)
Flag of English English
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Errata Update 5/25/2020 - A new version of the pattern has been uploaded - there was a typo on page 12 on the second column. The text should have read: Repeat rows 19-28 for 22 more times until you have 23 crosses of the cables.

This pattern is a fingering weight shawl featuring openwork cables and lace netting. It features both written instructions and lace charts that are worked in both directions.

This pattern is our way of recognizing the important contributions of Rosalind Franklin to modern science.

Rosalind Franklin was an English Chemist whose work in X-ray crystallography was instrumental in the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is due to her work, which showed DNA to be helical in nature, that the Watson and Crick team were able to develop their model of the structure of DNA. She was never nominated for a Nobel Prize, neither for her contribution to the work of Watson and Crick, nor her contributions to x-ray crystallography.

The finished shawl will have seven openwork cables representing the double helical model of DNA. Each cable is worked to have 23 crosses to symbolize the chromosomes in the human genome. The shawl’s edging contains three lace blocks with a simple solid and void motif that is reminiscent of Franklin’s team’s famous x-ray diffraction image - Photo 51 - that influenced the work of the Watson and Crick team.

Gauge provided is for the openwork cables, the bulk of the pattern is lace netting and gauge is not relevant since it will be blocked heavily.


Yarn: 3 skeins of Franklin Fingering by The Fiberists. Samples shown in photos are knit in Peridot (green) and Sugalite (purple). Approximately 1250 yds needed - will vary with gauge.

Needles: US Size 2/2.75 mm/UK Size 12:

  • 1 set of Circular Needles - 24” cord min.
  • 1 Double Point Needle, Cable Needle, or extra 6” cord circular


  • 4 Stitch Markers
  • 1 Tapestry Needle


  • 161 beads (6/0 4.00 mm recommended) if placed once per twist on all helices (cable crosses).
  • Crochet hook to place beads size will vary based on bead used - a US Size C-2/2.75mm/UK Size 12 Aluminum Hook is recommended for the beads recommended above.

The pattern features optional charts and directions for an alternate infill which is more structured (featured in the purple sample, knit from sugalite). There are also optional instructions for beading which is the only use for the crochet hook listed above.

The pattern contains links to videos found online (which were all confirmed to be available at the time of publishing) for all of the techniques used.