Lyra Learning Group

We are a group of about 55 lace knitters from around the world, knitting Herbert Neibling's "Lyra". Thanks goes to Helen Eisler, owner of the Knitted Lace List, to which all Lyra knitters in this group belong. This blog is written, edited, and published by Rosemarie Buchanan, 8 year member of the Knitted Lace List. All images and text in this blog are protected by copyright laws. Permission must be sought, and given, to use anything from this blog.

Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rochelle's Lyra

Rochelle Ribeiro of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is another Lyra knitter who's completed the journey!

Here we see the corner of her square version of the Lyra. As with most of the other Lyras, the area of binding at the third set of leaves is visible; just to reiterate, this is a pattern flaw, not the knitter's error!

Many of us who have knit the Lyra, as well as visitors to this blog, have noticed that the Lyra is not the only Niebling pattern that seems to have a similar "flaw".

Rochelle's appears to have been knit in cotton. She has done a wonderful job, too!
I will pester her for more information on material
and thread, as well as her thoughts and reflections
on the project.

Rochelle's completed Lyra below.
Beautiful knitting, Rochelle!

Marianne's Beautiful Lyra

Marianne Kuokkenan from Finland is sends these pictures and
comments on her Lyra, which she completed in August of this year (2006).

"I got my Lyra off the needle last week, but only today
I had the time to block it on my bed, + styrofoam.
It took 1.5 hours and a sore back to block it!! I had to
take my Balmoral off first. It had sat there for 3 months
:-[ not on the bed, but by it.

You can see there's quite a binding in my Lyra, like the others.
I stuck to the original pattern. The finished doily is 125 x 125 cm.
The styrofoam is 120 cm wide, as is my bed. I used up 4+ balls
of #20 crochet cotton. The last change was in the middle of the
crochet round.

Now what's next, hmmm? I've been writing my pattern
for a Faroese shawl. Nearly done in Swedish. After that,
translations to Finnish and English. I need to take new photographs!"

Thank you, Marianne, for contributing your thoughts and these beautiful pictures. Your Lyra is gorgeous, and what a stunning colour!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sandy's Lyra

Another Lyra has come off the needles, and what a beauty! Sandy, from the West Coast of the United States, dressed her Lyra and took these fabulous pictures:
Sandy writes, "In the Fall-Winter of 2005, I was about halfway done, then put Lyra aside in favor of other projects. When the Amazing Lace began at the end of May 2006, I decided to pick it up again and finish it by Labor Day, the end of the event. One of my event entries included a photo of the lace wrapped around my arms like a straitjacket – all of us know we might be headed for one when knitting a Niebling."

"I used DMC Cebelia #20 and size 0 (2.0mm) needles. It took almost a full three balls, but I had bought a fourth just in case. It’s about 35” from side to side, and about 43” from corner to corner."

"I’ve never made a doily this large and intricate before. However, I got more and more confident as I neared the last few rows. Then I made a crucial error. I had forgotten to move the markers on Row 177. I knit two more rows. Then I blanched and realized I would never forgive myself if I didn’t tink back those two long rows and correct it. It took me a couple of days to get back to the error. But in the end, I’m glad I did.

Since I had posted my progress on my blog, I became the target of prodding questions:

“How big will it be?” I have no idea.

“When will you finish it?” By Labor Day, the end of the Amazing Lace (I hope).

“I can’t wait to see it!” Me, too!

“How many stitches??” You don’t want to know.

My husband thinks I should frame it. I’m not sure yet, but I might. I’m also thinking about knitting future Nieblings. Where would I hang them all?"

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and story with us, Sandy. Another gorgeous Lyra for our own Lyra Hall of Fame!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Diane's Thoughts on her Lyra

Here are my thoughts and feelings on knitting my Lyra doily:

I loved being part of this study group. While I enjoy selecting and knitting my personal knitting projects, I also enjoy being part of the knitting community as a whole. Participating in a study group like this, highlights the different approaches, thoughts and materials that contribute to making each Lyra unique.

The group also acted as a catalyst for me to finish the project. It was great motivation. After all, I didn't want to let my fellow study group members down. We all joined to knit this doily and by gosh and by golly, this doily was going to become a "finished object".

What a wonderful source of technical info became available to all of us too. The discussions on double yarn overs and blocking - to name just two - were most excellent.

And last, but not least, I like the personal connections made. We all got to know a bit about each other and that is quite possibly the best part of belonging to a group. One member I knew from a sewing list ages ago. She retired from sewing and I lost track of her. Imagine my delight when I realized she was part of this group.

Did I enjoy knitting Lyra? You betcha!!! Did I have moments of total frustation? You betcha!!! At one point, it sat on the needles for 2 months, totally ignored. I realized I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish, so why bother continuing?

That led me to think outside the box and frog my Egeblad doily. It was made with the same yarn I was using for Lyra. While I was sorry I had to resort to sacrificing my completed Egeblad doily, I was able to complete this much more time consuming project. I learned even completed projects, are another source of yarn.

Thanks to all involved so much for allowing me to be part of this Lyra Study Group and best wishes to all - those who have finished and those who are busily knitting away on their very own Lyra doily!!!



Another beautiful Lyra to add to the Lyra Hall of Fame! Diane's knitting skills are very apparent, as we see in this picture of her Lyra. Remember, too, that she frogged the Egblad to salvage the thread to finish her Lyra. Now that is dedication! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 02, 2006

It's hard to believe that a lumpy, soggy pile of thread can be blocked out into the beautiful Lyra. Gretchen McKinsey-Clarke, whose Lyra has been featured previously on this blog, contributed these pictures of her completed Lyra. What a joy to see it go from the above photo to the beautifully-dressed Lyra in the next two photos. I had asked for reflections on knitting her Lyra, and Gretchen provided excellent responses, which are available below. Posted by Picasa

Challenges, well... not getting too sidetracked, like I did for a couple of months knitting other things. And while I was sticking to it, trying not to think about other things I wanted and needed to knit. Knitting something like this with my style of "combined" knitting. Blocking it was a major challenge. I bought those ABC jigsaw mat pieces off eBay to block it. I would have liked a bigger, sturdier platform that I could mark lines on. I did mark on the back of a corner of one of the pieces with a fine point Sharpie. Then I rubbed it with a dampened clump of the cotton thread I was knitting with. Sadly the colour came off onto the cotton. I could have stretched it even more than I did to get it more square. But I ran out of mat and was a little afraid to, as well. I was worried about feeling let down when it was all over too. So the minute it was pinned out I started knitting myself a warm shrug. I was also worried abut the kitties wanting to lie all over it while it was trying to dry. I got very lucky there!

Frustrations - getting 3 different numbers on 3 separate counts of the same segment. Finding that I had dropped a stitch that raveled back through 2 weeks of work. When the work was young and the rounds were shorter I used lifelines. Later I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sometimes I would tink back to fix an error and create a new one by dropping a stitch during the tinking. Finding I didn't have the next size circ I needed to do the round version.

Revelations - I learned how to find an error many rounds back and unravel a group of stitches all the way down and reknit using separate dp needles and a crochet hook. A couple of places I just couldn't figure out how to do that so there are a couple of errors that are very visible to me, although nobody else seems to see them. I learned how to tink carefully. I learned how to tell right away if I was on track by "reading" my knitting as I was doing it. Stitch by stitch I could tell where I was by how the stitch felt when being made. It is something very hard to describe!

Joys - believing I could even try to do something like this! I've been collecting patterns like this that I never really thought I could do. Now I know I can. Seeing it turn into real lace as I was blocking it. Hearing my husband say that it was beautiful. His usual praise is "fine" or "OK". Showing the work in progress to my Mom and watching her go cross eyed and shake her head. :o) She taught me to knit when I was 5. And the best joy of all will be when Mary opens it on Christmas day.

Observation - I think the stress on that last set of flower leaves could be relieved by narrowing that fat, outer part of the calyx. I would love to figure out how to do that. I would also love to figure out how to add a long straight center to make this into a long oval tablecloth for my own table. I do dream don't I? :o) Posted by Picasa

What a beauty! Gretchen's completed Lyra, blocked and ready for admiration. Her comments above reflect, I'm sure, many of the frustrations, joys, revelations and insights most of us Lyra knitters have experienced. Posted by Picasa

A beautifully executed corner on Gretchen's square Lyra. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts, Gretchen. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Debbie Arnold of Colorado Springs, CO, USA, knit this beautiful Lyra. Debbie sent this close-up of the alteration from round 85 through 113, and says, "the third set of leaves was stretched during blocking, but not too badly. When I do lyra again, I will alter this section again--more for appearance than blocking. My addition looks too skinny and doesn't blend with the original pattern as well as I would like." All the Lyra knitters understand the quandry with the area that binds, Debbie. I think your solution looks great!

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Debbie continues, "knit with size 60 crochet cotton on 1.5mm needles throughout entire project. About 27" side to side and 29" from corner to corner. Took 56 grams of thread." It's a beautiful cloth, Debbie. You've done a fabulous job!

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Susan G. of Berlin, Germany has finished her Lyra, and what a beauty! She says, "My Lyra looks very nice once blocked, although I had real trouble blocking it. Even after pulling and ironing and using some starch, there are some places where my Lyra will not lie completely flat. The inner leaves circle is still a bit bumpy after blocking, and the corners of my square version are impossible to block out. Maybe if I pull the corners a bit more it might get better, but I'm not really in the mood so I will leave it for now." I think many of the Lyra knitters can understand about "being in the mood", as this pattern has caused some of us more than just a little consternation! The lighting on Susan's picture illustrates the various textures and stitches in the Lyra, which is one of the things we love about the Lyra. Absolutely lovely knitting, Susan. Posted by Picasa

Here is a close-up of the square corner on Susan's Lyra. She writes; "I'm thinking that my troubles with blocking maybe were caused by this particular yarn/ needle size combination. I used #10 thread and 2.5 mm needles giving me a fairly tight tension. Should I do the pattern again I would make the round version, and use smaller needles until after the first circle of leaves is completed." Even with its trademark Neibling design anomalies, the Lyra is a beautiful cloth. Thank you for sharing your pictures and wisdom with us, Susan! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ann Glassely's completed Lyra is indeed an immaculate piece of art! Ann writes, "My Lyra is finished! I used Cebelia #10, beginning on US 2 needles then changing to US 3 needles where it suggested. I did the round version and it blocked out to about 48" in diameter, using 4 1/2 balls of thread." Ann's attention to the dressing of her Lyra illustrates clearly that every detail counts when knitting a fine piece like this. Posted by Picasa

Ann contines, "I do have the squished leaves in the third set. I followed the pattern with no adjustments for this. In my double yarn overs I did do the knit into the back loop which may have tightened that area too much. I am still very pleased with my table center."

"Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Lyra Learning Group. The discussions has been very informative and useful. I was in awe of the Nebling design the whole time knitting it and would love to do more of his designs." I think all the Lyra knitters would agree with you, Ann.
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