Hello yes I am mostly still alive (despite the best efforts of my treatment object for this semester, which we think has arsenic salts on it) and, actually, still making progress on my projects. It’s just that I am once again working on things that are all super slow and therefore I have very little to say. Stitching four meters of 6″ wide horsehair into the hem of my natural form skirt is really not very interesting and definitely wouldn’t interest anyone else.
I picked up a new knitting project recently though, and I wanted to talk about it a little bit!
First of all, I need to introduce one of my heroes–Fleegle. Yes, I know that blog hasn’t been updated since 2013 but I promise you– you won’t care. She is amazing and hilarious and never fails to remind me of my love for elaborate knitted lace.
And, in a lot of ways, the most elaborate lace of all are the patterns of a German designer from the early 20th C named Herbert Niebling. His designs feature elaborate, realistic plant motifs that are very different from traditional lace knitting, which tends to be quite geometric. He also utilizes all sorts of weird textural elements to bring extra depth to his patterns. Some of my favourites are:
And my current project….Pulmonaria.
Now, long before the invent of this blog (I think in the fall of 2015?) I tried the Niebling pattern Fuschia Flowers. Just for reference…. here’s what the chart for that one looks like
If you don’t feel overwhelmed looking at that then you are a better person than I am.
Unsurprisingly that one ended badly, but Pulmonaria is a little bit simpler and so far is going quite well! At another Fleegle suggestion I’m using Yarn Place’s Gentle which I’m really enjoying. It’s very sproingy, and while that does mean your knitting looks like tangled ramen noodles until you block it, I’ll live.
It feels really good to be able to work on this. One of the reasons I switched from knitting to sewing and spinning when I first developed chronic fatigue is that it requires a lot less brainpower. When you are doing work like this you have to know exactly where you are and exactly what you are doing next, and how to read your knitting to know if you made a mistake and went off your count somewhere. I think it’s a lot harder to follow than pretty much any other craft, and trust me, I’ve tried most of them. Bobbin lace and blackwork are way easier on your memory and spatial skills than lace knitting. I started trying to make these shawls when I was about nine and really didn’t have the concentration and discipline to finish them until I hit college, and I’m really glad they’re a part of my life again. Now I just need to buy some 1.75mm needles to use with the 2/45 cobweb cashmere I bought from Colourmart…..