A Little Knitting Mystery
I've probably mentioned before that one of my favorite knitting books is Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns. Between that and Mary Thomas's Knitting Book, there are very few aspects of the knitting universe left uncovered. A technique might be called by an obscure name, but it's probably in there, however briefly. This pair of books has history, lace, garment design - even how to graft ribbing.
They are full of little historical snippets that make me want to know more: what happened to Mrs. Hermann Tragy's knitting collection? (WWII, I'm afraid.)
Does the amazing piece of knitted lace shown in the Pattern Book on page 190, Fig. 194, still exist?
But today's little mystery is this: on page 241 of her Pattern book, Fig. 235 (on the left in the photo), Mary Thomas has what the caption calls "Knitted Doyley. Modern Danish."
I've always liked this little doily, and guess what was in one of the recent Niebling reprints, Schöne Spitzen?
That would be the charted pattern on the right, Wilhelmine.
Now I know a lot of stuff is getting tagged "Herbert Niebling" that probably isn't. Knitters these days have a lot more name recognition than they ever did in the past, so putting Herbert Niebling in as the designer is more likely to sell patterns than admitting that the designer's name is lost.
But Mary Thomas labels this as "modern". To me that means it was published in her lifetime, and her book was printed in 1938. I have a hard time believing she would have mixed Denmark up with any part of Germany, especially since seven pages later she calls another doily Bavarian.
Probably not Niebling. Who was this Danish knitting pattern designer?
I'll probably never know, but it's a charming little pattern.