Oma's Biography, in brief

Annie Marie Doenicke Knoll
by her son, E. F. "Pat" Knoll, 1996

My mother was born on February 26, 1894, in Graefenhainichen (near Chemnitz), Germany, where her late brothers' families still live (maiden name Doenicke). I also was born in that same town, actually then only a small village, in 1921. I am the sole survivor of the Knoll family who emigrated to the United States in 1927, where (Annie Marie's) husband, Felix, was President and Chief Engineer of The Knoll Aircraft Co., Wichita, Kansas. Annie had only 2 sons, my brother William, and me. William passed away at age 73 several years ago.

"Oma", as you know her, knitted almost constantly, and was admired by all the many friends she made during her lifetime (she died at 98). Bullock's store in Westwood Village (West Los Angeles) hired her to provide knitting lessons to their customers, and to knit special order items such as gold thread trimmed full knit dresses -- she made one for my late wife which was never equalled later, and which brought gasps of awe for years. In the many, many years that I watched her sit and knit for hours at a time, I never saw her use a pattern of any kind. She literally generated the items she made, whether doilies, tablecloths, dresses, blouses, skirts etc., out of her very agile mind.

Your assessment that she had a mathematician's or computer mind is very apropos. It was amazing to see her literally "fly" with her needles, so fast that she could finish a full length special dress in 2 or 3 days (unbelievable !!), and smaller items in a matter of hours. She was very modest in that she humbly accepted compliments on her skills from friends and customers alike, brushing them off with "it is not hard," or "you could do it."

I wish you luck in "decoding" "Oma's Lace" !!!

-- Used here by Mr. Knoll's permission, with my thanks.

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Judy Gibson
Descanso, California
Email to jgibson (at) cts (dot) com