It feels excellent to have finished this:
It's "Lyra" by Herbert Niebling, from a twenty-year-old Anna magazine, knit as a circle (blocked to a kind of curvaceous octagon), worked in Colourmart 2/65 cashmere/cotton on 2.5mm needles. It was entertaining to knit even though it was a slog at the end, when each round took the better part of an hour. I'm still partial to Niebling's smaller doilies (<100 rounds) that feature more aggressively floral areas and less background mesh, but finishing this I feel like I have arrived as a lace knitter, or something.
I'm not sure what it's for. It's not quite big enough to be a functional shawl (for me, standing 5'5"; it's about 42" across) and there aren't many things stupider than a cashmere tablecloth, so. Someone suggested making coordinating booties and turning it into an extravagant baby shawl type present, which may well end up happening. It would come with orders to give it back when it got grimy so that I could launder it, because blocking is my favourite part and also I want new parents and babies to be comfortable and warm, not frazzled by demanding washing instructions.
I'll likely end up knitting at least part of this again; the centre flower thing + first tier of leaves would make a fine small doily.
Half the Internet was working on this pattern a while ago, and some of them suggested going up a needle size about halfway through to prevent binding issues (that seem to be somewhat typical of Niebling patterns). Of course I didn't read this advice until twenty rounds too late, so I kept on keeping on. And it doesn't bind as much as I was worried it might! The hex mesh is a bit distorted immediately below the big flowers (are they tulips?), but whatever, it's not glaring. Blocking it wasn't a problem. It's a bit reluctant to lay flat now that it's been paraded around, but that's the yarn's fault again (and also my fault for failing to learn my lesson after this).
The binding becomes less of an issue if it's spread out on a smaller table. This way the yarn also gets to act out some of its desire to sproing, and everyone gets to admire the drape. Maybe a cashmere tablecloth is not that stupid an idea.