Well . . . I was determined that hell or high water, I was going to start some lace this weekend. When my Knit Picks order did not arrive, I was forced (yes, forced I say!) to start the Lily of the Valley shawl. This, however, is not going to be a quick summer project so I reserve the right to start several scarves in the meantime. The problem is TDN – The Dreaded Nupps. You may also substitute another word for “dreaded”, if you catch my drift. Nupps, for those of you who are blissfully ignorant, are not just glorified bobbles. They are quite challenging! They call for you to make seven stitches in one stitch and on the following row, purl all seven stitches together. Sounds simple, huh? NOT!! After much trial and error and some advice from other bloggers, I offer the following tips for those who might see nupps in their future:
1. Make those little puppies far looser than you ever thought possible! In fact, when you think they’re loose enough, loosen them up a little bit more. It may be possible to make them too loose, but not in my experience (limited though it may be).
2. The directions instruct you to K1, yo in the stitch for a total of seven stitches. Debi suggested alternating K1, P1 instead. This works much better. It gives the bottom of the nupp a little stability for the return trip. It also seems to make for a neater, more compact nupp. Technically, this may make them more bobbles than nupps, if you really want to split hairs, but the difference is too minor for me to worry about.
3. Watch your stitch count! It’s easy on the purl row to pick up an adjacent stitch. It’s almost impossible to count the seven stitches, so just watch the stitch count before and after.
4. I’m knitting on size 4’s, but I’m keeping a size one double point handy for those nupps that I make just a little too tight. I can purl them with the size one and then slip them back on the size 4. But with practice, I’m finding I don’t need to do that too often.
And without further ado, because I know you’re just waiting with baited breath . . . Nupps!
This shawl is made in the Estonian manner, so this is the border, knitting outward, Soon I will, cast off, then pick up stitches from the provisional cast on and start knitting the body of the shawl, ending with knitting the second border. That way both borders are identical. I have never used a lifeline before – in fact, I had never heard of one until I started blogging. But if I am ever going to use one on a project, it would be here. We’ll have to see. When I finally did get the hang of nupps, it was like an epiphany and it’s gotten easier ever since. Maybe I’ll even pick up a little speed.
And, in case you think St. Enda has been totally abandoned – I’ve made progress on the front. Our weather has been relatively cool lately, so perhaps I’d better knit on that before it becomes too hot.