The woeful tale of my first Niebling

Finally about 10 days ago I got up the courage to start working on my first Herbert Niebling designed doiley. I decided to do Frosted Ferns since it's well documented, lots of people have done it, etc.

AND IT WAS GOING PERFECTLY! I sailed along for several days using my size 0 circs with #30 cotton threat. Tiny, tiny, stuff...but I was DOING it!!! To the best of my knowledge I had not made one single mistake.

Monday afternoon I finished row 42, now about 8 days into the project. I set the knitting down on the floor next to my recliner as I always do and went to chorus rehearsal.

Tuesay morning I sat in the recliner to answer to email and kick my shoes off which fell to the floor. Finishing me email, I slipped my shoes back on and went off to work. What I didn't notice was that one of the shoes had dropped on the needle right where the base of the needle meets the cable...snapping it completely in two.

But it still looked fine since the needle itself was still in the stitches. When I went to knit Tuesday, I picked it up and thought "Funny, it looks odd somehow" As I twisted it back and forth I saw to my horror that more than a third of the stitches were now off the cable and slipped and twisted beyond any possibility of repair. RIP (in both senses of the word)

Eight days of work down the drain plus I need to order a new circ from KP before I can start over.

The final indignity? The #30 thread snarled into a hopeless knot before I had recovered more than a yard of it. So the thread is lost, too.

Sooooooo many lessons to be learned here. And I will reflect upon them all....AFTER I finish my bottle of bourbon!!!!

RickeScott's picture

OUCH!! My heart goes out to you and yours. At least the experience and learning are not lost. Good luck with the next one!

ronhuber's picture

It sounds like one of those learning experiences you wish someone else would have and not you. Can't imagine a falling shoe breaking a cable. Hope you are not going to buy the same brand!!

scubasinger's picture

It wasn't the cable that snapped, it was the needle itself that broke right where it attaches to the cable. I'm using the wood Harmony needles from KnitPicks 'cause I like the feel of wood and the dark wood contrasts nicely with the white thread. And since these are size 0's, they're not much thicker than a toothpick so easy to break. The metal circs would probably be a lot tougher, but counting tiny loops of white thread against shiny nickel needles is WAY too much of a strain on my poor, aging eyes!

MMario's picture

OWWW! For several reasons - size 30 thread?

and to lose it all .....

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

scubasinger's picture

And I blame YOU for all of it!!!

It was YOUR QAL shawl that a few months ago got me addicted to lace.
It was my success with YOUR shawl that convinced me to go to more technical things, at which point I discovered Niebling.

So see? It's all YOUR fault MMario!!!

I'd yell at you more except I'm currently having great fun knitting up your Spanish Armada. I don't want to tick you off in case I need help from you later. (grin!!) Then there will be your other patterns to knit up....

As prolific as you've been lately, I may not be able to get back to yelling at you for about 6 more years!


MichaelJames's picture

I WOULD HAVE DIED ON THE SPOT! At some point, I guess you have to laugh but I can truly feel your pain. Size 0? You must be insane anyway! Many kudos to you for doing the Niebling. I've been looking for his patterns, but the only ones I can find are in old Burda magazines and they are always from Germany and written in German. Good luck to you! So sorry for your woes.


scubasinger's picture

Actually, Frosted Ferns is one of the very few Niebling's that are in the public domain and not copyrighted. They can thus be distributed for free. There are pdf versions of both the chart (if you're adept at reading chart...which I actually prefer, btw) at a Russian web site and, courtesy of the Niebling Yahoo group, the same pattern written out in line by line instructions. Again available as a pdf. Oh, and both chart (even though from a Russian site) and the word instructions are written in English and all terms/symbols etc. clearly explained.

If you or anyone for that matter would like the pdf files, I have both, and would be glad to email them to you to look at.

In terms of needle and thread size, you can use whatever you want within just affects the size of the finished product.

You could use size 2's or 3's with say, #10 cotton, or maybe even a lace weight yarn with something larger. You might get a shawl out of it instead of a doily but, hey, you'd have a Niebling shawl. Pretty cool.