Niebling pattern source

Hey, guys,

I've gotten a few requests from guys regarding the Niebling "Frosted Ferns" chart and pattern. So I decided to just post 'em here for all to see.

The written out line-by-line instructions for FF can be found at

The chart is at
This link should take you directly to the chart. If not, it's easy to find FF on the list at the left. If you click an image, you will get a SMALL picture of the chart. If you look, you'll see a small magnifying glass in the lower left. Click that and a large version will appear.

The two are identical thru row 43, which is a far as I compared them...with one exception. The written instructions start with two extra plain knit rows, so from that point on, the row numbers are off by two.

There is a bit of controversy about the second site, the Russian one, around copyright. FF is the only Niebling I know of that is public domain. The rest are not. The problem is that the holder of the right refuses to print them for any reason, basically denying them to people. So unless you find an old Burda magazine or something, there's no chance. Some people say 'well that's the law' while some say the intent of copyright law was to ensure people retain the right to make money from something, NOT to deny it to people. Anyway, just know that the other Niebling's on the Russian site (like Lyra) are technically on there illegally, at least according to our copyright laws. What laws Russia has seem to be unclear.

In any case, many of the lace patterns are simply beautiful to look at. So enjoy!!

TomH's picture

Thanks a bunch. Beautiful patterns. They take my breath away. Is there someplace to buy the books of his patterns?

scubasinger's picture

No. That's the problem. Most of the patterns are held in copyright by the German company that publishes the Burda/Anna craft magazines. Most haven't appeared in print since the 80's .

From my understanding Burda shows NO interest in re-publishing a collection of Niebling's patterns, but if anyone else approaches them about buying the copyrights etc. they refuse. Bottom line is that they're not gonna publish them and they're also not gonna let anyone else publish them, basically denying everyone the joy of legally knitting these patterns.

Again, I really see this as a travesty of what copyright laws are supposed to do. They're supposed to make sure people receive fair compensation, not to deny access. But my soapbox.

I do have several patterns (legally) that are in a couple of Burda's I bought on Ebay. They're in German, but the charts are fairly straightforward. The Burda's aren't cheap, however. They're scarce being so old and, because of the Niebling's, highly sought after.

ronhuber's picture

Thanks so much for sharing the web sites. I totally agree with you about the copyright. I think the one that is published looks like a good place to start. Have you knitted many? Can you give us some advice?

scubasinger's picture

Have I knitted many?

Nope...just a beginner, in terms of knitting Niebling patterns. This post started as a follow-up to a previous post where I told the disastrous story of the end of my first attempt to knit a Niebling. The knitting part was going beautifully, it was the shoe that broke the knitting needle that was the problem (and if you're intrigued at this point, scroll back a few days for the full tale)

But...I have learned that:
a) Niebling's are not as hard as you might think...the stitches are just basic knit stitches, increases, and decreases
b) You have to be obsessive about following a pattern, counting stitches, etc
c) Tiny #0 needles and #30 cotton thread are do-able...and you do adjust pretty quickly
d) Charts look intimidating...but they're really not once you understand the symbols/system

Now I HAVE done a few other lace doileys....

Gloria Penning self-publishes a number of books focusing on heirloom lace. All of them are written out instructions, no charts, just line by line "do this". I found them remarkably helpful for teaching me just basic 'lace stuff'. After doing several of those, I felt confident tackling the Niebling chart. I started with Gloria's "Snowflake" design in Knitted Heirloom Lace II on #2 needles and size #10 thread. It was a fun knit and when I was done I had this beautiful, intricate thing and I said "Look at what I done did!!"

Her website is

Well worth checking out and the books are inexpensive.

MMario's picture

If you are willing to deal with japanese instructions several of the patterns in the Knitted Lace Designs Book #1 and #2 by Naoko Ichida are identitfied as being Nieblings.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

scubasinger's picture

Ooops, thanks Mario...

I'd forgotten about them. I don't have the books myself...just haven't gotten around to purchasing them.

But yes, I have heard that there are a few Niebling's in those books as well.

Something to add to my ooo-pretty-bright-shiny-...must-have list

MMario's picture

In additon there are two publications available for purchase and download. (I got scorched on a knitting list for mentioning these but the seller does specifically state she has permission to reprint.)

Erikas 80

Erikas 79
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

TomH's picture

I keep looking at the photos of Niebling's work and am in total awe. I have to try knitting at least one. Putting Niebling on my To Do list after I finish my current shawl and the next two shawl patterns I have slated to do. I can only work on one at a time or I get totally fragmented.

Can you give any more info on the Burda magazines? I know nothing about them. Which issues/patterns/etc? It will give me a good quest. Thanks for the info in general!