11 December 2006

"Erbstüllgrund" doily by Herbert Niebling

That ball of Flora thread I photographed in my last post? It's now a doily.

Pattern: Burda Special 903/42, "Erbstüllgrund" by Herbert Niebling
Thread: Flora cotton thread, size 50 (available from Lacis or Handy Hands)
Needles: 2 mm

This doily was 94 rounds total, and I used very close to one ball of Flora 50 (300 yards per ball). I blocked it using four short blocking wires threaded through almost every crochet loop along the four sides and just a few pins at the corner loops. The final measurement is 14 inches square.

This pattern also appears in an older Burda lace knitting special called "Kunststricken Folge 1" but as a 76-round pattern without the final border.

I was specifically looking for a doily that was small and square, and this is one of the few I found that included a real Niebling-type floral motif. Most of the other small square doily patterns I have seen are more geometrical, like "English Crystal" from Marianne Kinzel's first book. In any case, I discovered that patterns for round/octagonal/hexagonal doilies greatly outnumber square ones, at least in the smaller sizes.

As always, I loved knitting the unusual Niebling-type floral motifs. I especially like the use of two different lace background patterns to frame the center flowers. I worked the hexagonal mesh in this doily using knit 1, purl 1 into the double yarn over (instead of k1-k1tbl into the double yo, which I have done in the past to make the mesh tighter), and I like its airy openness in contrast to the small holes of the other lace pattern.

When I decided to knit a dark purple doily, I finally had a great excuse to check out some other brands of thread, since DMC Cebelia's color palette is pretty limited. Flora comes in many colors and is available in sizes 10, 20, and 50.

In certain ways, Flora in size 50 is a nice compromise between DMC Cordonnet and DMC Cebelia. DMC Cordonnet only comes in white and ecru in sizes 10-80 and 100 and DMC Cebelia comes in a variety of colors but only in sizes 10-30.

Flora 50, on the other hand, is a thread finer than size 30 that comes in a nice variety of colors, and even the hardness of Flora falls somewhere between razor-sharp Cordonnet and slightly softer Cebelia.

A definite disadvantage of Flora is that knots in the balls of thread are apparently more common. I encountered two knots in the ball I used to knit Erbstüllgrund. Another ball I purchased also has at least one knot, because I can actually see a few thread ends poking out from somewhere in the middle of the ball. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more knots I can't see yet. By comparison, I have yet to encounter knots in any ball of Cordonnet or Cebelia I have ever used. I'm not saying that none exist in any Cordonnet or Cebelia ball, but in my experience, they seem to be less common.

Relative abundance of knots is not a total deal-breaker for me, but it did stop me from stocking up on more Flora 50 for now. Plus, I'm still working on knitting finer and finer threads and finding my limitations. I won't know exactly what my favorite thread sizes and brands are until I knit many more pieces in different threads.

I haven't decided on what to cast on next, although I am fairly sure that the next thread will be either DMC Tatting (size 80) or DMC Cordonnet 100. I like having a small doily in progress all the time, but it seems like once I cast one on, I can't put it down until it's finished! I still have the large linen piece in progress, and I'm also working on the Melon Pattern Stole bit by bit during the commute.


Laritza said...

Lovely! I am working on ROE in linen 40/2 needles 2 mms. The linen comes in several colors and is available at Webs. Good thing too it comes in cones and so far no knots. After this one I think I will cast on the tablecloth in Burda Special 554. Oval, few patterns for those also.

alice said...

Beautiful! Sorry to hear about the knots in the Flora. Knots aren't so bad in wool projects, since you can always splice it back together, but in cotton...ick.

I'm the same way with small doilies and not being able to put them down. :)

OceanKnitter said...

Beautiful, Christina! I enjoy the detail in your posts -- very informative. And your work is always lovely to behold.

After a month of indecision, I now have several projects going at once (which is so unlike me), including a two lace shawls, a baby sweater, a scarf, and a sweater for me. I recently received a translation of a German football-shaped doily and hope to start it after the holidays.

Hope your holidays are warm and wonderful. :)


Lankakomero said...

Your doily is so beautiful! Thank you for tip to knit doilies with sewing threads, I must also try it.

Taueret said...

I am not a doily person, normally. but that is GORGEOUS.

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