Oma's Knitted Lace Centerpiece

I'm very excited about my latest project. I have reconstructed the pattern for an old lace centerpiece (below), knitted by the late grandmother of the husband of Paula Knoll, a friend of mine.

A brief look at Oma's Lace Centerpiece

I met Oma only a couple of times in her life. I did not know she was a lace knitter, or I would have made an effort to know her better. I did not even know her name, as her family called her "Oma," which means "grandmother" in German. Her son (Paula's father-in-law, if you're keeping track), kindly wrote a brief biography of Annie Marie Doenicke Knoll.

Here are the instructions for the cloth. I have test-knitted it, and it comes out very well! It is not foolproof, however, so I also include some comments and tips. And here's how to start a circular piece. I welcome any comments from anyone who tries this pattern, and will be grateful for any suggestions for improvements to the instructions.

Meanwhile, I've made a simplified version that makes a nice washcloth, which I call the Circular Feather-and-Fan Cloth. It's an easy way to try out the pattern before attempting the real thing. It can also be expanded into a Feather and Fan Shawl; see this photo sent by Mary Lee Herrick.

Another spinoff pattern from Oma's Lace is this Lace Bonnet, sized for an adult. It was designed for a friend of mine who's undergoing chemotherapy.

I have several photos of Oma's original lace centerpiece and its details. They are largish files, so will take awhile to download. They're worth the wait!

A view of the whole cloth (JPEG, 50 Kb)

A closeup of the feather-and-fan pattern (JPEG, 40 Kb)

Detail of the edge of the cloth (JPEG, 40 Kb)

Detail of the center of the cloth (JPEG, 40 Kb)

I'd like to thank Paula and the Knoll family for giving me the opportunity to work on this enchanting work of art.


[Spring 1997]

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Judy Gibson
Descanso, California
jgibson@cts.com