Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

PhoenixPalme Completion

At last, the pictures of blocking the PhoenixPalme. The PhoenixPalme is knitted, and is the design of Herbert Niebling. Blocking this was definitely a two-person job, and I couldn't have done it without the help of the wonderful man in my life.

I cast-off, rather than crocheted-off, the edging, much to the delight of my hands, which cramp terribly when I try to crochet.

My prescription for avoiding crochet cramps when finishing the edging?
Rx: don't crochet!
I admit, I'm a knittin
g snob, and crocheting makes my hands hurt. My solution works well, and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.

I used stainless steel welding rods, and a few pins, to block it. The rods were inserted along the last row of hexagonal mesh. I lightly starched the entire cloth, and once the edging was damp from the spray starch, I simply finger-blocked it and let it dry.

Vitals: Size 30, six cord, 100% cotton thread, highly mercerized, 11 x 20gr balls. Belly button start was on 2.25m
m dp bamboo needles for about 20 rounds, then a 2.75mm circular needle for about 30 rounds, then a 3.5mm circular (Circlon) for the balance, up to, but not including the edging, which I did on a 3.75mm circular needle. It is about 2 metres across, or just a bit more than 6 feet.

This beautiful piece of furniture was built by my grandfather approximately 1920, when he was 20 years old. It was in his parents' house until 1955 (the year I was born). When my great-grandfather passed away, my grandfather disassembled it, bundled it up with binder twine, and stored it in his basement.

In the early 60s, my parents bought a beautiful old house. My grandfather thought the entrance needed a mirror, and brought a long mirror with him the next time he visited (he was Inspector of Jails for the province of Alberta, after retiring from the RCMP in the 50s, and visited the city where I was raised once a month, as there was a provincial jail there).

After my grandparents passed away in the late 90s (both nearly 100 years old), my dad asked me if I would like the cupboard. Of course I would! He offered to piece it back together for me, nearly 50 years after it had been disassembled. He spent several months doing this, having to replace and/or refinish several pieces. He did a fabulous job!

The clock was rescued from the Lethbridge RCMP station just before the old station was torn down. My grandfather had great foresight! And why did I mention the mirror? Because it was the mirror that Grampa had made to go with the buffet, before my dad was even a twinkle in his eye. All those years of coming and going while I was growing up, I had no idea that the mirror was part of this piece of family heritage.

And I am so very lucky to be the recipient of these two beautiful heirloom pieces.

What better way to display the PhoenixPalme! This is my dining room, in my house which will be 100 years old next year.

The glassware is Fenton milk glass, covered hobnail candy dish and salt and pepper shakers. The double-swan dish is a piece of Vaseline glass from the 30s. And the very pink piece on the buffet is my Kometenstern, a Nie
bling piece I had knit earlier this year.

Tonight I very carefully folded the PhoenixPalme, wrapped it in
acid-free paper, and prepared it for its new life in Lethbridge, on the antique oak table in my dad's dining room.

My dad and his wife have waited a long time for this. They have no idea it'll be under their tree for Christmas. Fortunately, they are not online so won't be able to cruise my blog and spoil the surprise!

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  • At Sun. Dec. 09, 09:09:00 a.m. PST, Blogger Soo said…

    It's beautiful!! What a perfect present - they will love it.

    And I loved reading about the heirlooms -- it's great to have those beautiful reminders of your past.

    What will you tackle next????

  • At Sun. Dec. 09, 12:51:00 p.m. PST, Anonymous elizaduckie said…

    It was such an interesting story that you told Rosemarie. Along with the pictures of the bureau and mirror and your MOST beautiful piece of lace knitting, I really enjoyed the whole thing. I'm truly in awe of that lacy Neibling piece, *anyone* would be so honored to receive such an exquisite gift!

  • At Sun. Dec. 09, 06:24:00 p.m. PST, Blogger broadcasting from a knitting parlour said…

    What a fabulous present, Rosemarie! Amazing work. You must have the eyes of a 13 year old!

    I love the story of your grandfathers' cabinetwork. Wow. I'm the keeper of several family made antiques. They mean more to me than I have words to describe.

    Great blog!

  • At Mon. Dec. 10, 01:45:00 a.m. PST, Blogger nurhanne said…

    Beautiful work - both the buffet and the treasure on it.

    And yes, enquiring minds want to know, what will you tackle next?

  • At Mon. Dec. 10, 02:50:00 a.m. PST, Blogger fleegle said…

    That is an astounding tour de force. Congratulations on finishing it! It's incredible!

  • At Mon. Dec. 10, 08:58:00 a.m. PST, Blogger dragonxser said…

    fantastic!! What an accomplishment! Looking forward to seeing your next project on the needles. Weather here in Lethbridge is cold and snowy - lots of shovelling in store today.

  • At Mon. Dec. 10, 09:27:00 a.m. PST, Blogger 2trees said…

    Beautiful. What was the final size?

  • At Tue. Dec. 11, 12:20:00 a.m. PST, Blogger Andulka said…

    Magnificent! I just love the Niebling patterns.
    And I know exactly what you mean by crocheting making your hands hurt - I get the most horrendous cramps in my thumb after 5 minute's crocheting - so I don't. :-)

  • At Tue. Dec. 11, 04:27:00 p.m. PST, Blogger z's momma said…

    That's beautiful. And I really like your bindoff.

  • At Thu. Dec. 13, 10:32:00 a.m. PST, Blogger joanie said…

    Rosemary, I am in awe of your amazing talent as well as patience... (she says nose & forehead touching the ground in humble abeyance. Of course I'm not standing as I do this! lol). It's absolutely beautiful & your parents will be in raptures I'm sure. What a wonderful daughter you are! Your furniture is a great story as well & beautiful.
    I just found your blog & will be popping back in to enjoy your next entries. Keep it going.
    Merry Christmas to you & yours.

  • At Fri. Dec. 14, 05:13:00 p.m. PST, Blogger Leigh said…

    Rosemarie, it is absolutely breathtaking. Way beyond anything I could ever hope to knit. Your dad and stepmom will treasure it always.

  • At Sun. Dec. 16, 06:23:00 a.m. PST, Blogger yarnlot said…

    An exceptional piece of lace knitting that undoubtedly will become an heirloom...

  • At Sun. Dec. 16, 10:15:00 p.m. PST, Blogger Larry Gambone said…

    Fabulous work. I know nothing about lace knitting but I know a work of art when I see it. Never seen anything like this outside of a museum. I agree with the other folks - this is an instant heirloom!

  • At Sun. Jan. 13, 08:20:00 a.m. PST, Blogger Knit Witch said…

    WHOA!!!! Beautiful!! Nice work and also a great display of patience!!

  • At Thu. May 29, 10:46:00 a.m. PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    so beautiful.
    it takes your breath away.
    your work is fabulous.

  • At Mon. Jan. 05, 11:08:00 a.m. PST, Anonymous vtknitboy said…

    you rock! i just started lyra (on row 51 but ripping back to 45 lol)and a friend sent my the link to your blog! what fun.

    i absolutely love the lamp in the pic!


  • At Fri. May 01, 09:05:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Vicky said…

    Love your Phoenix Palme!! Do you remember which of his books it was in? Thanks!!!!


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