Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fun with String

So. I was jonesing for a doily fix. I reached into my doily thread stash (very small, just one shopping bag) and pulled out some thread. LBH #40 tatting cotton? Where the heck did that come from? I have no memory of acquiring this.

But it looked interesting. 20 grams, about 250 yards, a cordonnet-style cotton, off-white.

Now that the thread was chosen, I needed to select a suitable pattern. It couldn't be too big, because I only had 20 grams.

A few minutes of inspecting the pattern stash (which takes up far more space than the thread stash), and I decided on this lovely doily in an old MEZ pamphlet. There are three related doilies in MEZ 7105: a square, a small circle, and a larger circle. I decide on the larger circle. It has 12 pattern repeats and is about 62 rounds. It's cute. I think it's quite possibly a Niebling pattern, because it has a few of his typical touches and it was in a MEZ pamphlet and the small square is in one of the Burda lace-knitting specials. In other words, a lot of speculation leads me to the conclusion, but it is not entirely unreasonable.

The above doily is the result. It's MEZ 7105-C. It was fun to knit. I write that a lot. However, not all doilies are fun to knit. Some are beautiful even though they are tedious at times. It's a bit of a bonus when the doily is fun to knit as well as giving lovely results.

This was the first time in a while that I'd used a fairly fine cordonnet thread. I hadn't remembered how much I enjoyed working with it. A typical cordonnet thread used for doily knitting (and other lace) is often referred to as a "tightly twisted 6-ply." It actually has a cabled construction. The thread is made of 3 plies of cotton. Each of the three plies is a 2-ply cotton, plied in the opposite direction from the final ply direction. The resulting thread is very crisp and provides good stitch definition. It is also a tactile pleasure to use.

Interestingly, I don't think I can tell the difference in the final, blocked doily. It looks great, of course. It's different from softly-twisted 2-ply cottons. However, I'm not sure it's all that much different from a tightly-twisted 3-ply cotton such as DMC Cebelia.

There was enough thread left over to do another doily. I chose Marianne Kinzel's Marigold pattern (from ANP 5). I only had enough thread for the smaller Marigold doily, 34 rounds and 6 pattern repeats. It's a cute little doily, though I could stand to block it better when I get a chance. I'll have to do the larger Marigold doily one of these days.

I enjoyed working with the LBH tatting thread. I might have to track down more. I sure wonder how it got into my stash. As far as I know, no local store carries it. Oh, well. I have to rely on mail order for most of my fiber perversions. The local places mostly cater to the conventional knitting crowd.


Marcy said...

Beautiful little works of art, jp! How big are the finished doilies? And about how long did it take to knit each of them?

The Doily Underground said...


The small doily is about 10" and the larger one about 15". That's scallop to scallop and includes the crochet loops.

I didn't keep track of knitting time. The small one probably took me 1-2 hours, while the larger one probably took 4-6 hours. That would include the crochet cast-off and blocking.

Factors that affect how long it takes to knit a doily include how many stitches there are per round and whether there are any tricky or time-consuming maneuvers. And whether or not I make mistakes or change my mind about the thread or needle size.