Friday, October 5, 2007

Egleblad (a Christine Duchrow classic)

This is the famous Egleblad doily. You can find the English translation on Nurhanne's site here. Egleblad means something like oak leaf, which is probably a reference to the leaf-like motifs in the outer rounds.

The doilies on that portion of Nurhanne's site are actually designs by Christine Duchrow, a talented early doily designer. Her works are in the public domain. The Egleblad doily is the first pattern in pamphlet 64 in Volume III of the Lacis compilation of her patterns. Volume III has the most doilies, in case you were wondering.

I knit this doily years ago. (It needs re-blocking after being stuffed in a drawer for so long.) I don't know exactly what I used, but I'd guess #10 cotton and 2mm needles. If I were to do it again, I'd use finer thread or larger needles to get a more open fabric.

Actually, that's not true at all. Because I am thinking of doing it again, but as a lap afghan.

I did the Mommes Lysedug pattern as a small shawl or lap afghan around the same time as I did the Egleblad as a traditional doily. It turned out great. It took about 748 yards of sport-weight wool yarn. This was good, because I only had 750 yards of yarn available. Someday I'll get a decent photo of it to share with everyone.

Anyway, there's been a lot of recent chatter on the various mailing lists about Jared's (aka brooklyntweed's) lovely adaptation of the Hemlock Ring doily into a lap afghan. There's even a KAL mailing list devoted to it. It reminds me yet again how satisfying the proper doily pattern can be when it's upsized. Facecloth, shawl, lap afghan, area rug... If you like to knit doilies, you'll look for any excuse to knit them, right?

No offense to those who love feather and fan, but it's not my first choice when something more interesting is available. I do have a couple of f&f patterns on my tentative to-do list, but they keep getting bumped by other projects. The Hemlock Ring doily, whether small or large, is not one of them.

So, what would make a good doily pattern to do as a lap afghan? I like the relative solidity of Jared's Hemlock Ring blanket. An open lace pattern is not as snuggly and is prone to snagging.

I don't want anything too enormous. This is a lap afghan, not a kingsize bedspread. Given a row gauge of roughly 5-7 rows/rounds per inch, I'm probably looking for something in the 75-150 round range, preferably at the lower end. I can add edgings or another motif or something to smaller patterns if necessary.

The pattern has to look nice and show up well when knit in a thicker yarn. It's not as critical as a shawl, where I'd prefer not to look like I'm wearing a tablecloth. However, the decorative elements of the pattern have to look good at the gauge I'd be using.

The Egleblad would work.

So would a lot of other patterns. Clearly, I'll have to go through my pattern collection and my yarn stash to identify some good candidates. This is such a hardship. The things I do for my addiction.

However, I am a good little lemming and find the prospect of a warm doily/blanket project for fall to be very enticing. Will it happen? We shall see. I'd like to finish one of my other projects before I start anything new.


z's momma said...

I love your doily. I was wondering how large of a lap blanket can be made with a doily pattern using sport weight yarn.


The Doily Underground said...


You can make a lap blanket as large as you wish with sport weight yarn, depending on the quantity of yarn and patience you possess.

The actual size depends on your blocked row gauge and the size of the doily you're tackling. Take the diameter of the doily (number of rounds x 2) and divide by your blocked row gauge to get the approximate diameter of your lap blanket.

Example: You choose a 105 round doily, so the diameter is 210 rounds. Your row gauge is about 7 rows per inch. The size of the lap blanket will be approximately 210 divided by 7, or 30 inches.

You've given me a good idea for a future blog post! I'd like to take a few photos before I do it, though. I've knit several smallish shawls from heavier yarn. They get used as lap blankets as well as shawls.

Katherine said...

I'd love to see that article!

Susan Ripley said...

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