Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Conversation with Herbert Niebling (1905-1966)

Transcription of a séance conducted this afternoon chez Panopticon.

Present in body:
  • Dolores Van Hoofen
  • Franklin Habit
  • Harry Bollasockyarn (secretary)
We gathered at 3:30 pm around Franklin’s brand-new Knitters’ Special Edition Ouija board.

Knitters' Edition

DVH: Yo, ghosties! Speak to me!

FMH: Dolores, the instruction book says spirits won’t show up if you don’t take it seriously.

DVH: Right. I don’t understand why you can’t just post these questions in the “I’d Fuck Herbert Niebling to Get Free Patterns” group on Ravelry.

FMH: Because whenever possible, I prefer to get my answers direct from the source. Even if he’s dead.

DVH: Harry, let the record show that Franklin has been huffing the Eucalan again.

FMH: If you have something better to do today, I can call Mrs. Teitelbaum.

DVH: Or you could wait for Fred and Velma to drive up in the Mystery Machine.

FMH: Are we doing this or not?

DVH: We are. We are. Fine. Just let me top up my tea. More tea, Harry.

HB: One olive or two?

DVH: Olives? Am I having breakfast?

FMH: Put your damn hoof on the damn pointer.

DVH: Done.

FMH: And no pushing it.

DVH: Oh, please. I want this thing to work so I can ask Elizabeth Zimmermann a few choice questions.

FMH: I am the one asking the questions. You are sitting quietly and not pushing.

DVH: Whatever you say, Professor Dumbledore.

FMH: Alrighty. [cough] Ahem. Um...Testing. One, two, three.

DVH: Is this a séance or are you addressing a knitting guild?

FMH: Hoof on pointer. Mouth shut.

DVH: Oopsie.

FMH: Now. Are there any spirits with us in the room?

[Pointer moves to YES.]

DVH: Holy crap.

FMH: Are you pushing it?

DVH: Sir, your accusation wounds me.

FMH: Spirit, tell us, what is your name?

[Pointer spells out ABRAHAM LINCOLN.]

FMH: Whoa.

DVH: Hot. I like tall guys with facial hair.

AL: THANK YOU KINDLY

DVH: Is your crazy wife in the room, too, or may I speak frankly?

FMH: Dolores!

AL: SHE ALWAYS GETS HER HAIR DONE ON THURSDAY AFTERNOONS WONT BE BACK FOR TWO HOURS

DVH: Ooh. So…what are you wearing?

AL: YOURE A SAUCY THING, PRETTY MISS

DVH: Oh, go on, you big lug. [giggles]

AL: DID YOU EVER HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE NAUGHTY EWE AND THE PREACHERS SON

FMH: I hate to interrupt, Mr. Lincoln, but we’re wondering if there’s a guy named Herbert Niebling floating around there by any chance?

DVH: Killjoy.

AL: IS HE A WEIRD GERMAN WHO KNITS DOILIES ALL THE TIME

FMH: That would be him.

AL: HANG ON A SEC

[Brief silence. Pointer moves to SHUT UP, I’M COUNTING.]

DVH: Typical.

FMH: Quiet, it’s moving again.

HN: THIS IS NIEBLING WHO THE HELL ARE YOU

FMH: Mr. Niebling, sir, oh my gosh...My name’s Franklin and I’m a knitter, and I really love your work. I just started knitting one of your patterns for the first time. It’s so much fun–and so beautiful. Gosh, I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you!

HN: FOR THIS YOU INTERRUPT MY SOAP OPERA

FMH: Oh. I’m sorry.

HN: IS OK WE HAVE TIVO

FMH: Whew. So can I ask you some questions about the doily?

HN: WHICH ONE IS IT

FMH: The piece with the gloxinia blossoms from Gestrickte Spitzendecken.

HN: WTF IS A GLOXINIA

FMH: Well, I think they’re gloxinia blossoms. Maybe they’re daffodils?

DVH: I thought they were petunias.

HN: MAYBE INSTEAD OF ME YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BOTHER A DEAD HORTICULTURIST

FMH: Honestly, the type of flower doesn’t matter. I just wanted to ask you about the funky maneuver on round 60.

HN: FUNKY UNUSUAL OR FUNKY LIKE JAMES BROWN

FMH: I mean “unusual.”

HN: NOBODY EVER COMPARES ME TO JAMES BROWN

FMH: I’m sorry. So, about the triple yarn over–

HN: I COULD HAVE BEEN VERY FUNKY YOU KNOW

FMH: I’m sure you could have, but–

HN: I WANTED TO JOIN HANS BREUER AND HIS HANOVERIAN SWEETHEARTS OF POLKA JAZZ BUT MAMA HAD A CONNIPTION WHEN I TOLD HER AND SHE LOCKED ME IN THE CELLAR WITH ONLY A CRUST OF BREAD AND A PIECE OF COLD SAUERBRATEN

FMH: That’s…sad. But–

HN: PEOPLE THINK GERMANS HAVE NO SOUL BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHEN I HAD A COUPLE OF STEINS UNDER MY BELT I COULD MAKE THAT ACCORDION SWING LIKE A CHEAP HOOKER ON A WINDY PLAYGROUND

DVH: Now we’re getting somewhere interesting.

FMH: Please, Mr. Niebling, do you think we could talk about lace?

HN: ALL I EVER GET TO TALK ABOUT IS LACE DONT YOU WANT TO HEAR ME PLAY THE ACCORDION

HB: I do! I love the accordion! Do you know “Lady of Spain?”

HN: THATS ONE OF MY PARTY PIECES

HB: Oh boy!

HN: THIS IS NICE FOR A CHANGE ALL ANYBODY EVER WANTS ME TO TALK ABOUT IS THOSE FRIGGING DOILIES

DVH: Personally I wouldn’t mind hearing more about the hooker in the wind.

FMH: Honestly, Mr. Niebling, it’s just a quick question about the triple yarn over in Round 60.

HN: GOTT IN HIMMEL IS HE ALWAYS LIKE THIS

DVH: Pretty much.

HN: IM SO SORRY

FMH: I think we’re finished, here.

DVH: Wait a sec. Hey, Herbie–is Elizabeth Zimmermann there by any chance?

HN: WE JAM TOGETHER TONIGHT AT 7 SHE REALLY WAILS ON THAT BASS GUITAR MAYBE YOU WOULD CARE TO SIT IN

DVH: I could clear my schedule. You need a singer?

FMH: I feel that I have become superfluous to this conversation.

HN: YOUR LITTLE BALD FRIEND THERE IS A BUZZKILL

DVH: You don’t know the half of it.

HN: HEY HOW ABOUT AS A JOKE I GET THIS POLTERGEIST BUDDY OF MINE TO BUST IN ON HIM WHEN HES TAKING A SHOWER

DVH: That would be a scream. You should totally do that.

FMH: Hello! Hello! Still in the room!

HN: ROFLMAO

[And then Franklin threw the board at the wall, so I don’t think we will be having another séance real soon.]

Respectfully submitted,
HB

61 comments:

Nadya said...

Oh, Franklin, please sell that Ouija board in your Cafe Press shop!

Kristen said...

Franklin, dear, you musn't let that sheep get your dander up!

Mindy said...

I'VE GOT TO HAVE THAT OUIJA BOARD!

Spiminarian said...

So much love.

Is it sad that my favorite part was Dolores calling you Professor Dumbledore?

Sabrina F said...

LOL! Thank you for sharing, just read this out loud to my husband. We got a kick out of it.

Christa Giles said...

I second the vote for the Ouija board to be available for purchase.

Perhaps also a button saying "Member of the 'I'd fuck Herbert Niebling to get Free Patterns' group on Ravelry(tm)

Jane said...

Though I applaud your efforts to learn the secrets of lace knitting directly from the "Master", you should have known better than to have Dolores present. No one can resist her animal magnetism, her feminine allure, her joie de vivre. And she has all that lovely wool.....

... said...

Need board. Need button. Bring in September. Have cookies.

KelleBelle said...

And just WHEN will these knitters' Ouija boards be available for purchase? Can we download them from Ravelry or will you have an Etsy shop?? :)

livnletlrn said...

Oh, poor Franklin. What a life you lead.

heh heh.

SusieQ100 said...

First I had to look up Herbert Niebling, then everything became clear (as mud!). Great to have a belly laugh in the mornings!! I think I love you (but don't tell the husband)

Anonymous said...

I'm relieved to know that there will be TiVo on the other side.

cheryl:) said...

and you wonder why we love you.

Syd said...

Snorted my coffee again, when will I ever learn!?! Love ya to bits.

CraftyGryphon said...

Another vote for the Ouija board!

Simone said...

Thank you, I needed a laugh. That was great.

Seanna Lea said...

Poor Niebling. Stuck with never an interesting conversation. Just pattern support for all eternity.

Kathleen said...

Hehe. Now *that's* entertainment. Looking forward to the Knitter's Ouija Board and other items soon.

Marushka C. said...

Thanks for this, what a fun start to the day. I'm pretty sure that Ouija board could replace an abundance of Ravelry threads.

Pixiewear said...

Oh I so very much want that Ouija board! Thanks for a huge laugh.

obsessmuch? said...

ha, ha, ha!! you are crazy. i love it. :)

also, i was just looking at your copyright thing at the bottom and wanted to tell you that i linked this to facebook. i hope that's okay, since your name and url are all over it -- it's a direct link to your site. as far as i know, this respects all your copyrights, but please say if that's not okay--just wanted to share the smile w/ others.

Alwen said...

Wait! Before you throw that Ouija board, I just wanted to ask about a couple of rows in Christel!

Dang.

Susan (and SmokeyBlue in spirit) said...

Too funny. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with these cool ideas?

I want a Ouija board sticker for my car. Maybe a t-shirt too. Please, pretty please. Offers yarn as a bribe.

And on row 60, my guess is its a big hole.

S.Kate said...

(Always) Impressed as all get-out at your mad, MAD story telling skills. Thank you for the morning giggles. :D

KarenJ said...

I guess it's a good thing I don't drink coffee or I'd be snorting it like Syd! Thanks. Also, I want the ouija board for my knitting daughter. ( I brought my kid up right!)

Shannon Okey (knitgrrl) said...

Quite possibly your greatest post ever. Genius!

carol sunday said...

Delightfully funny and ... informative! I had never heard of the legendary Mr Niebling. Thanks for turning me on. My, that is some awe-inspiring lacework.
: o

Sile said...

I should've known better than to read this at the library... :D

Sharon Rose said...

I just fell in love with you all over again.

WonderMike said...

Must remember not to sip my morning coffee while reading your blog. Genius you are, Good Sir!

Anonymous said...

GIH! That is so awesome! Did you make it on "OuijaBoardGenerator.com?"

(Yer brilliant.)

Anonymous said...

That "anonymous" was me.

(GIH is OMG in German.)

xox Kay

Emm said...

Lovelovelovelovelove.

Utterly hilarious. I want the Ouija board, too. I am now heading over to Rav to look for the IFHNTGFP group.

anne marie in philly said...

I have so missed dolores and harry!

of course, you, dear franklin, are always much loved!

have a great weekend!

Liz said...

I had set down the wine before reading this one, after the TA comment earlier - just as well... it's been a day of few laughs and a lot of packing and tidying up!

"The hooker in the wind" - is that the second re-write of the Elton John song? I'll get my coat.

Judy G. said...

Laughing and snorting happening here, and no-one in the room understands me.

Jeanne said...

LOL, Franklin! Is this your way of telling us you're having a bit of an issue with the triple yarn over in line 60? What it must be like to live inside your head. :-)

Sherrill said...

Damn, you are funny!

zombie tomato said...

"Hoof on pointer. Mouth shut."

*dies laughing*

Thanks for posting, Harry!

Terry said...

I love this!

Jason said...

John and I just love a good conniption fit -- thanks for the thrill !

YogaNan knits, too... said...

oh, thank you--another installation in the further adventures of Franklin, Harry & Dolores! And yes, please, I need that Ouija board, too

Linda said...

Creative? You're...splendidly brilliant.

AncestorDetector said...

Another vote for the button and definitely for the Ouija board!

OMG! you are too funny! I'm laughing like crazy over here and the looks from my family got even worse as I tried to explain...

Ok, they're having a seance with Franklin, Dolores whose a sheep and Harry, whose a ball of yarn... and well Dolores is a pretty randy sheep... and um, nevermind

Amy said...

mimix2x2Good god you're funny. I'm trying not to laugh too loud because everyone else in the house is sleeping. The last time I tried to conjure up Abraham Lincoln with a Ouija Board was at a slumber party in January 1967. I'm pretty sure at least a year was cut off my life when my friend's cat pounced on the keyboard of the grand piano just as the Ouija really started to zoom around the board. Yow!

Amy said...

Good god you're funny. I'm trying not to laugh too loud because everyone else in the house is sleeping. The last time I tried to conjure up Abraham Lincoln with a Ouija Board was at a slumber party in January 1967. I'm pretty sure at least a year was cut off my life when my friend's cat pounced on the keyboard of the grand piano just as the Ouija really started to zoom around the board. Yow!

knitguyla said...

Call me kooky but I think you made this up. I don't think DVH would say Oopsie. Thanks for the laugh, it's grand!

knitabulous said...

OMG what a scream - I was astounded when I knit that gloxineaflora jobbie too! The triple yarnovers are the first suprise - but when you get to the s6, k6tog, p6sso - you may be going back for a second visit to Mr Neibling to ask him what the hell was he thinking.

I'd join that IFHNFFP group on ravelry! Maybe you could get ravellers God, Satan, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy to act as channellers to the great HN himself ..

Looking forward to seeing your gloxinea..

Michele said...

Absolutely love the Ouija board, particularly "Maybe, but not with that yarn." I think I need that on a T-shirt or something...

Ann said...

Ok, I'm reading this Monday--but how weird is this? Thursday afternoon I was at the library, trying to locate some/any of HN's doily patterns (I found one!). So is it something in the air? I don't "do" doilies!! What's up with that!

Kathleen said...

Curious: what does the M stand for? Or am I asking the obvious and simply missed that information in a previous post?

Terri said...

The Ouija board is genius. Thank goodness I remembered to put the coffee down before I began reading. Franklin for the win!

Daphne said...

Velma! Drive faster, I want to get this mystery solved so I can get jiggy with Fred.

twinsetellen said...

Snork!

And dang, I keep meaning to cast on an HN pattern.

Laura said...

Hilariously fab post!

Gail (nosenabook) said...

That is my favorite Ouija board ever.

Sahara said...

THAT POST WAS HILARIOUS! YOU MADE MY DAY!

PLEASE put me on the list for that Ouija board!

My mother–a 3rd generation New Orleanian-had a ouija board that we used whenever we had to talk to her mother; I tell you, it solves a lot of family drama.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, Love Herbert Niebling, my children just made their very own Ouija Board. Never even thought of making a knitting one. So creative.

Janice in Southeastern WI
hoping to attend Stitches in Schaumburg, IL later in the week

Ariadia said...

Consider me and my shop to be on the Knitter's Ouija Board Waiting List.

Kirsten said...

Is it bad that I actually went to check for that group before realizing it was a joke?

Ellen said...

The thing I really want to know is who was this mad genius? Didn't he have to work for a living instead of spending time creating all this wonderful stuff?

Thanks for the hilarious post : )

My button would have to be: I'd go straight and then fuck him for tech support any day.