Monday, August 16, 2010

The Five Stages of Niebling

1. Denial. "I really don't care if I never knit a pattern by Herbert Niebling. Hundreds of millions of people are born, live and die without ever knitting a Niebling; and yet they lead happy, fulfilling lives. What do I need with a doily, anyway? I don't even like doilies. No, I am absolutely not going to buy this book of lace patterns by Herbert Niebling."

2. Anger. "You know what, you stupid m-----f----ing doily? There's no law that says I am required to finish you. I can't be arrested for refusing to undo the same four rounds again. I could go shoe shopping or watch 'The Bachelorette' like a normal person. But first, I could cut you up into little pieces and use you stuff a cat toy. I've got the scissors right here. How would you like that, stupid doily? You want to end up inside a cat toy? How does that sound, m----f---er? Answer me! Shut up!"

3. Bargaining. "Listen, if we can just get to the end of this round of blossoms without running into any errata, I'll make a handsome donation to the American Society for the Preservation of Antimacassars and we'll go get some ice cream."

4. Depression. "A doily. A floral doily. In twenty-first century urban America. Stacks and boxes of thousands of unused, neglected doilies going for a nickel each at garage sales all over the place–and I'm knitting another one. Why? Why bother to bring another doily into a world that doesn't want it?"

5. Acceptance. "It wasn't so bad, really.

Doily

Of course, I'm not going to knit another one.

Doily

One is plenty.

Doily

I really don't care if I never knit another pattern by...[repeat from Stage One]."

107 comments:

JelliDonut said...

I'll give you a nickel for it. Plus postage. Seriously--that is so freaking gorgeous, it makes me dizzy just looking at it. That could be the wine I had at dinner, but still, it is stunning. I understand the allure. So far, I have resisted but I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out.

Pretty Knitty said...

Haha! I have not heard/read the word antimacassar in ages! I love this doily and it's inspiration to you for this post! Oh, and I think you are pretty cool, too...

SewSweetStitches said...

Ohmygoodgravy that's beautiful. *glares at my yarn and needles* Failures, the lot of you!

Desiree said...

Now I feel really crappy about my knitting self. I finally worked myself up to a sweater, in moss stitch. This is not to say I haven't been knitting happily and well for a dozen years but seriously... I may as well not know how.

I want a doily.

Jennifer said...

Wow! Beautiful.

Dan said...

Oh holy mother of .... that's gorgeous. Thank you very much. Now I need to go back and finish some of the lace I'd started... a while ago. Ugh!

Anonymous said...

beautiful; that's the final stage.

marie in florida

Sarah said...

It is truly gorgeous. Make sure to keep us updated on the next one.

Kenny said...

Beautiful Franklin. And beautifully photographed too!!! As usual!!

Momyerom said...

Absolutely Beautiful!

Walden said...

It looks lovely! I'd love to knit a Niebling, but don't think I'd be able to finish and it probably would end up being the inside of a cat toy!

Cathy said...

I love to knit lace; I've never considered knitting Niebling....until now! Was that the intention of your post? If I DO knit a doily, it will be an heirloom for sure!

K. said...

i admire you for finishing, actually, you deserve a standing ovation.

Lisa said...

Stunningly gorgeous - to no one's surprise!! Of course, you'll be knitting another...

[DO "normal people" watch "The Bachelorette"...???

kaykatrn said...

I agree--standing"O" from CA. Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Mo said...

Awesome knitting Franklin. It's beautiful and will be an heirloom to treasure.

FiberQat said...

Very beautifully done. Herbie would be proud of you.

I have the book but have yet held it open long enough to start knitting from it. The charts are daunting! I'm in the middle of Nancy Bush's nuppfest Miralda but when I need a little nudge to attempt Herr Niebling's little lacy things I'll look to your lovely pic for inspiration.

justthreadtwiddling said...

I'm in love with (pick one) A: your sense of humor B: your creativity 3: your face D: your skill with knitting needles, sewing machines etc. 10: all of the above (see very big grin here)

ashayne said...

I muthaf#*$in' LOVE that muthaf#*$(in' doily, man.

At first I thought your title was "The Five Stages of Niebelung," and I was all Franklin's gone all Wagner on us.

klaus said...

Looks awesome.
I have the same book and haven't knitted anything from it yet-- but I plan to make mine into blankets, or something.

Mindy said...

my first thought was "I wouldn't know about those, I've never Niebled!" More power to you, Franklin!

Laura said...

Well worth all the stress, Frankiln!

The doily is beautiful.

Katy said...

All the most rewarding things in life (complicated handcrafts, education, making mayonnaise and possibly reproducing) go through those stages...

Perhaps the solution to unloved anti-macassars is to revive macassar oil...

Mel said...

I'd love a couple of those for Xmoose. Speaking of which, will we get to see you this year?

Teresa said...

Beautiful. Isn't that why we knit?

KarenJ said...

Not to sound like a parrot, but "Beautiful!" The workmanship is beyond belief!

Best uses for yard sale doilies I've ever found! 1) A line of them across an attractive curtain rod to give a finish to a window you don't want to cover. 2)Framed. 3) Inside the window of a small cabinet I decided to use in the bathroom for meds and such. (Who wants to see nasal spray and pill bottles?) 4)Top for a pillow. In the same vein, slightly damaged ones have been cut down to edge pillow cases. 5)Insert for a night gown (This is especially good for ones which are not completely intact and you don't mind cutting into.)In fact, why not plan a sweater around one? The first four were at their most appropriate when I lived in a two hundred year old house in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Less so now that I'm living in a new home in dustville near the beach in a country that gets .06cm of rain, on the average during the summer months, and at least that daily in dust coverage!

Yvonne said...

It's beautiful!!

isabella said...

ashayne

HaHa I thought the same!

Tammany said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The photographs are wonderful too. I think I will live vicariously through you, though, and not knit one myself.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! And you celebrated the 100th birthday of Elizabeth Zimmermann (8/9/10) by following her advice and knitting on, with confidence and hope, through all crises. Although I bet there was judicious use of liquor in there. And ice cream. Possibly pie. Gwyn

Lisa said...

Speechless! Beautifully done as always!

Alyoops said...

Wow!!! That is absolutely gorgeous! Why put it in a table? It should be framed and hung on a wall!

Alwen said...

Aren't they great? That's gorgeous.

Soon, soon you will be ordering on German websites and waiting for the mail with knitting needles and thread ready.

I can quit any time I want. Just a minute while I finish the plain row.

Karen said...

Beautiful! I must have $2.35 worth of doilies in a box that have been handed down through the years. Maybe, with enough time, they will be worth $4.70!

Julie Schuler said...

It is very pretty. And now you can say you did it.

LauraJ said...

If you ever need to prove you have a superpower (but it wouldn't do for the Evil League of Evil, who are the ones corrupting the patterns).

Miss Sandra said...

I can't get through a Wendy Johnson "Seriously Simple Shawl" and you're zinging out Nieblings. I bow to you.

Pixiewear said...

gorgeous. but I'm NOT buying that book by that man. I've heard way too many horror stories to ever want to find out if they're true.....

Pickyknitter said...

You MUST take that with you on your next trip to the coffeehouse. THEN let somebody dare to needle the man who brings his own doilies! Also, maybe the doilies in boxes should have been pressed into use for the BP cleanup? How different was macassar oil from crude?

Alwen said...

Speaking of five-cent doilies, last year one of our lace group members brought a box of lace pieces she had rescued to our Michigan fiber festival demo table.

In that box was what turned out to be Niebling's K├Ânigin. Which she GAVE me!

At the fiber festival:
http://lost-arts.blogspot.com/2009/08/finally-fiber-festival.html

and gently reblocked:
http://lost-arts.blogspot.com/2009/08/fiber-festival-loot.html

Samina said...

Hey, I'll give you a nickel to knit another one for me. I'll even give you another to cover the yarn costs.

Mandy said...

Oh, dear. Well, you have a beautiful antimacassar! I love it!

Mari said...

I have the book, I have drooled looking through the book. Niebling was a master. One day I will do one, if I can do Sharon Miller's shawls I can do a Niebling. Sad thing is I have 0000 and 000 needles just siting and waiting for that day

It is truly beautiful Franklin! Well done!

Martha0051 said...

I think Katy's onto something. Bring back macassar! Bring back macassar!

Cookie said...

Welcome to the club, honey. Which one are you doing next?

StacyM said...

I'm somewhere between stage 2 and 3 of Lyra. And I also bought the book at the same time I bought the pattern - in case I wanted to do ANOTHER!

Yours is fabulous and finished. Mine is a heap of yarn!

SusieQ100 said...

O.M.G. ... That is so beautiful! Well done!

Jaala said...

Ach, my Liebling, such beautiful Niebling!

shortoldlady said...

Ach do liber himmel (guess my 6th grade german is really rusty!)!!! It's just knit and purl - right??? Perhaps I could do that - right???
That's what us knitters tell ourselves and then we're in over our heads!! It's absolutely stunning! I'll give you a quarter plus postage.

MBirn said...

So I take back my comment from your last post about whether you actually knit any more. Apparently you still do - and beautifully.

kshotz said...

Oh my gosh, that is Gorgeous!!! Well done as always Franklin!

woolandchocolate said...

I think you may have a bunch of new doily knitters on your hands because of this. I may just be one of them! It is really lovely. Really.

Anna said...

Despite the complete lack of originality, I must add, "Bravo!" What a magnificent piece of work.

B. said...

Heh heh heh. I predict that soon you will have to knit Lyra. Once you start knitting Nieblings it's pretty hard to stop.

Anonymous said...

okay, see one do one teach one. Teach a class on how to make this doily. . .

Heather said...

Stunning! Kubler-Ross would be so proud of your making it through the steps. : ) Hope to see more.

evalyn said...

True, one is plenty, But then, one is never enough. Like potato chips, or kisses.

If one turns out to be enough, this one is a doozie. Lovely.

In case Delores has gone missing, you might look for her here: http://vintagericrac.blogspot.com/

Emm said...

Hello, Doily! (It's a beaut.)

Jeannine said...

These photos are so much more inspiring than the ones in the book, which--uhoh--I bought last month. Thanks.

Rainy Daisy said...

oh, but how it is pretty....

Birdernaturalist said...

Oh, damn. I'm obviously well into stage 1 at this point, and you've only just written out what I guess I already knew.

libraryleigh said...

You've inspired me to try a doily. I didn't think I was a doily person either, until my dear MIL made me several over the years (crocheted though, with a hook small enough that I'd need a magnifying glass to see the thread). They hold places of honor on antique tables in our house. I've been knitting lace bookmarks for friends and library volunteers. On to the round form next!

I'll be prepared for the 5 stages, now. Thank you, Franklin.

Jeanne said...

Dying over Stage 4 (Depression). Too funny! The doily is incredibly stunning--but seriously, what did you knit that on, strands of hair stiffened with Aqua Net? Tiny! I'm having trouble seeing sock yarn lately (must need new glasses). Goodness!

Ted said...

I got so fed up with one once that I did cut it into pieces and throw it out.

Gail said...

It's beautiful. Understand the frustration, though .... lace is addictive, but sometimes ....

Be proud of your creation - it is truly a work of art.

Robynn said...

Stage 2 sounds awfully familiar. My dad's ex was constantly starting ambitious knitting or crochet projects... which would end up shoved in the fire. Quite literally.

Alas, poor Bruce. He never did make it any further down the road of emotional wossname.

dana said...

beautiful.

(i'm sitting here all smug because i know why doilies were called antimacassars.)

WonderMike said...

You have the cutest holes...

Sylvia said...

You know what?? I mean really I had no interest in doilies. Yeah, every once in a while at a sale I would buy one, but I never, ever wanted to make one, and now thanks to you I do. If you've given me Niebling syndrome so help me......Really someone help me.

It's lovely!

Knitter106 said...

It's absolutely gorgeous! Now I'm regretting not having bought the Niebling book when we were at camp last month...

Anonymous, too said...

Of course you'll knit another one. It'll be the perfect gift for Great Aunt Gertrude's 90th birthday.

That's next week, isn't it?

(WonderMike, we need the evidence -- clear photos and/or video! And how do you know about Franklin's Swiss cheese and bagels, anyway?)

Anonymous said...

It's lovely
margie in maryland

Gail said...

I love having company in my Niebling doily adoration. I think of them as knitterly crop circles.

la takahashi said...

Oh go ahead, make another one! What a beautiful thing, a doily.

meg said...

Oh dammit, now I want to make one too. I looked at pictures. They remind me of moon jellyfish, all diaphanous and drifty, and yours is gorgeous. Good work!

PJ Kite said...

I absolutely understand your frustration - and love the finished doily! It's beautiful, and that's why you'll eventually give in and make another.

It's rather like having a second child...you know how difficult and inconvenient pregnancy and delivery can be, but...

Lady Bright said...

I laughed out loud when I read "American Society for the Preservation of Antimacassars", my mother has been asking for an antimacassar since I learned to knit.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Holy. Crap.

Jane said...

Beautifully knit! There is a reason why so many before us knit thos dollies. Welcome to the DARK SIDE :-)

Oraxia said...

Beautiful doily!

Also, you should write an opera about these stages. Call it, "Ring of the Nieblings" :D

(Yes, I'll go sit in my quiet corner of shame now...)

lindaroo said...

....sigh.

It's beautiful.

Teresa said...

Franklin, this doily is a work of art. Give yourself a BIG pat on the back for finishing it. Oh yeah, and give yourself a glass of wine also :)

sue said...

Just beautiful!

Laia said...

Just imagine if you upsized the yarn and needles...it would make a lovely lace shawl.

Seanna Lea said...

Oh my. It is gorgeous. I don't care if you had to redo 15 million rows!

Ginny Z said...

I'll give you FIVE nickels for that gorgeous bleepin' doiley!!! It's beautiful. Can't wait to see the next one you're not going to knit.

Anonymous said...

WOW.

Mike Smith said...

Gorgeous. You've made me promacassar.

Shauneen said...

It's all your fault - take all the credit - since I didn't even know what a "Niebling" was...Now I own the pattern to Lyra. Here we go. You are absolutely hysterical. Keep up the great work!

goblinbox said...

Franklin. Seriously. YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Franklin, your writing is hilarious and your knitting lovely. I laughed aloud. After giving away antimacassars and lace "dresser scarves" ages ago, why is the pull of making lace so strong? Your work is excellent. Thanks for the chuckles.

Lesbian Housewyfe said...

I just found this thread in one of my favorite comic strips, User Friendly, and I thought you might enjoy it! http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20100816

Crazy Lynn said...

Stage 6: Enabling others so that they too could enjoy the pain. Am I so out of my mind that I had to rush to Amazon to buy the book before it sold out? Like everyone else in the world would immediately want to do this? Alas, yes, I am.

SallyT said...

Despite your angst, I hope there was much rejoicing and dancing at the completion of your lovely doily!

Jerilyn said...

Never would I have considered needing, wanting, or heaven forbit, knitting a doily. Until now. Wow. Thanks a lot.

Marsha said...

I have just one question for you Franklin, "Have you cast on for the next one yet?"

Krafty Like A Fox said...

Holy crap, that's pretty. I want to knit a big version in sport for a shawl.

Jesus, Franklin, why must you spread the addiciton?

Judy G. said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

knitabulous said...

On a cold and grey chicago morn, another little baby doily was born...

in the ghetto...

I like how you mentioned those doilies in the garage sales, because I always rumamage through those boxes and buy a few, and I always feel good that I've 'saved' them from neglect and abandonment. Like a vintage doily foster mother.

DJNL said...

The doily is beautiful!! And I have them & antimacassars all over my home...so what if they are not 'au courant' they make me feel all warm & cozy!

Margaret said...

Do you have the 1986 edition, or the updated 2009 edition (with the "geez, don't kill me people -- I think I fixed the errata this time" comment at the front of the book)? I just got myself a copy of the latter, so help me.

Epenthetical said...

That is beautiful. And now I'm knitting a Niebling doily. I have never had the desire to knit a doily in my life, but because I read this, I looked up his patterns and fell in love with the intricacy of them. I haven't a clue what to do with the doily once it's finished and blocked.

Laura said...

Damn you and your Neibling ways! I had to purchase the book and now I'm eyeballing the patterns, trying which one has the pleasure of putting me over the edge. By the way.... what yarn did you use? Linen? Cotton?

Kathleen said...

Beeyouteemuss!!!!

newyorkgirl said...

http://www.knittycity.com/news/2010/09/13/you-have-to-see-this/

Gina said...

Gorgeous!

Black Thumb said...

It's just beautiful.