Saturday, January 22, 2011

A nibble of Niebling

Pattern: A Herbert Niebling-Inspired Lace Bag
by Mary Frances Wogec
"Piecework" May/June 2010

Thread: Lizbeth by Handy Hands
Size 20 - 100% Egyptian Cotton 6 ply
Color 684-Leaf Green Lt.
210 yds/25 gr - less than 1 ball

Needles: Size 0 Inox dpns

Size: 5-1/4" x 7"

This, readers, was true stringPLAY. I cannot begin to describe how pleased I am with this bag even though I may never really use it. Since the whole project, not counting the price of the fabulous magazine, came in around $4, I'd say that USE is completely immaterial. JOY is another matter. It brings me joy just to see it when I walk past.

The pattern was a challenge and a delight. It really helped that I had two snow/ice days to stay home with the pattern and thread.

Mary Frances Wogec designed the bag to give knitters practice with many of the stitches used by Herbert Niebling in his designs. Her accompanying article, "Herbert Niebling, Grand Master of Lace Knitting", points out that his most notable designs feature botanically accurate flower and leaf forms worked against a mesh background and resemble true needle and bobbin lace.

She has edited, revised, and provided a full English translation of a book of his designs. A number of his designs were included in Anna magazine, a German publication (also available in English translation). Although I have several issues, I do not have the June 1986 issue that contains the pattern for "Lyra", which is perhaps his most famous design. It has since been republished as a single pattern leaflet available through Lacis and other sellers.

This thread was a dream to use. I have used it for tatting, but this was a first time with knitting. I worked on dpns and there was a break between the center petal on the large flower (same front and back) that showed a bit of laddering as I worked. I soaked it as usual and blocked on a couple of paperback books wrapped in sandwich bags. While wet I just nudged the those stitches into place and the slight laddering completely disappeared.

I don't know that I'm ready for a large full-on Niebling design, but this little nibble was delicious.


Bonnie said...

What an exquisite bag! Everything--yarn, pattern, color--is perfect.

Mary said...

Adorable! I especially love the little leaves at the ends of the ties.

trailbee said...

Stunning. So impressive. Makes you wish for longer waking hours. :)

pamela w allen said...

well done! it is quite lovely!

YesterUkes said...

Got a mail piece over the weekend to subscribe to Piecework. When I opened it, there was your little bag on the cover of one issue in the photo. I like your green bag better!

minipurl said...

Wow!!!I dare you to fill it with M&Ms ;0

Sheri said...

That came out beautifully! I love it. Since we'll be having a wedding in the family in a few months, I just might have to try that, in white, for the bride. Or, maybe in light blue, for her "something blue?" You do some beautiful work.

Madam Butterfly said...

It is heavenly! Love the lace! It looks so beautiful against the backing!

trailbee said...

1.30.11 Thank you for turning me on to PieceWork. I found a copy at B&N and as I was leafing through it found the answer to something that had confounded me for years! Such a simple answer, don't know why I didn't think of it. Years ago I began work on a bedspread, made in squares which are begun from the center, working outward. The four corners are such that there is no proper knitted edge anywhere, making invisible joining impossible. But looking at Grace Coolidge's Great-Grandmother's Counterpane solved the problem. I can crochet around the entire block, creating a workable edge, and then sew them together.I am grateful to you. Thanks. Biene