theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 3, 2018

From Susan — A New Home for Gloxie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:53 am

Last year — almost exactly a year ago — I did a presentation for the Minnesota Knitters Guild on Herbert Niebling.  I talked about his background and his lace legacy.  I also brought all of my Niebling doilies as props.  One of the audience members was a curator for the Minnesota Historical Society.  She asked if I would ever consider donating one of my Nieblings for their permanent collection.

What a huge honor to be asked!  She said that only a doily that won a sweepstakes would be considered and that they would like to have the ribbons associated with the doily.  I immediately thought of my small Gloxineaflora because it looks so delicate and vintage.

Alas, I decided I could not part with it!!

So, I decided to knit another, but certainly not in size 30 thread and 000’s needles!!  That is why I made a second Gloxie – I wanted to donate something that I knew I could give up!

Thank goodness it won a sweepstakes, or I would be back to square one!  I received word yesterday that the MHS review board had accepted my donation, so now it is theirs to keep and do with as they wish.  I doubt it will ever be publicly displayed, but it will appear in their on-line archive after about 6 months and anyone who cares to can request a viewing in their textile collection.

Bye, Big Gloxie!!

The Artist’s Statement I submitted:

The first time I saw a Herbert Niebling doily – his famous ‘Lyra’ — was on a knitting blog in 2007. I felt like I had been struck by a thunderbolt! I couldn’t believe anything like it was possible. I had to have my own Lyra, even though it was well beyond my knitting skills.

Herbert Niebling (December 20, 1903 – May 15, 1966, Germany) was an avid gardener who transformed his love of flowers into elaborate, almost three-dimensional, lace creations. Over the span of four decades he created hundreds of ornate designs. A Niebling doily represents the pinnacle of lace knitting and is the goal of many a serious knitter. When I discovered Niebling, his patterns were quite scarce. They were only available in their original German publications, which were long out of print. Occasionally one would surface on Ebay, and as luck would have it, a Lyra pattern became available. I won the bid for $76 and was over the moon! Now, many Niebling patterns are readily available in English in high-quality digital format, for under $10! This renewed interest and improved access can be attributed to Ravelry — an online knitting and crocheting community. This popular forum gives knitters an opportunity to share their gorgeous projects and inspire others. I have since had the privilege of knitting several Niebling doilies, including Lyra, Lotus Flower, Frosted Ferns, Doily with Cables, and Gloxiniaeflora.

The joy and satisfaction of seeing a finished Niebling on my blocking board is indescribable!

PS to Betty:  It didn’t seem all that generous — it was very fun to knit!


  1. Congratulations and WOW!

    Comment by Gretchen (aka stashdragon) — January 3, 2018 @ 1:08 pm

  2. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Comment by Mimi @ TheGrandmotherGig — January 3, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

  3. I have been meaning to knit one for years and I keep getting distracted. I should steal one of yours . . .

    Comment by Surly — January 3, 2018 @ 9:04 pm

  4. Your doilies are spectacular! I love your artist’s statement too.

    Comment by technikat — January 3, 2018 @ 9:07 pm

  5. As always, it is drop dead gorgeous. And how cool for you!!

    Comment by Penny — January 3, 2018 @ 9:10 pm

  6. What an incredibly generous donation! Thank you! As for display opportunities, perhaps a knitting display can be requested to correspond with a future Yarn Over with shared publicity?

    Comment by Betty — January 3, 2018 @ 10:33 pm

  7. That is amazing. I’ve been knitting for 40 years but I don’t think I’d consider knitting a Niebling myself. They (yours) are stunning and I would love to be able to see them in person one day.

    Comment by Melissa — January 4, 2018 @ 8:01 am

  8. Jan 4, 2018 @8.30am in a huge blizzard snow bomb on the Atlantic right hand side coast…….
    ….just spectacular knitting…
    …can you please tell us exactly how or where to buy his patterns????
    Thank you so much for the sharing and inspiration, from Janet K

    Comment by janet kovach — January 4, 2018 @ 9:36 am

  9. You should have gotten an second award just for the blocking! Those points are amazing. I salute your thoroughness.

    Comment by Mike Smith — January 4, 2018 @ 11:07 am

  10. Such a beautiful piece of art!

    Comment by Marlys — January 4, 2018 @ 11:17 am

  11. Spectacular. Deserving of being in an exhibition!

    Comment by Joan — January 4, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

  12. These are beyond words gorgeous! Truly masterpieces that deserve to be on display ANYWHERE! Loved the idea of displaying at Yarnover! Susan, you truly are a master of every piece you knit! Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Kathy W. — January 4, 2018 @ 2:20 pm

  13. Wow, congratulations! I do hope they decide to display your piece, such a shame if it’s confined to a drawer for preservation instead of observation and enjoyment.

    Comment by Pru Klein — January 4, 2018 @ 5:07 pm

  14. Words fail me.

    Comment by Chloe — January 4, 2018 @ 9:26 pm

  15. Words fail me. A work of art. Do you remember how long it took, in terms of hours?

    Comment by Chloe — January 5, 2018 @ 6:29 am

  16. Totally gorgeous… And then to blithely knit another!

    Comment by Lee Winemiller Cockrum — January 14, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

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