May 17, 2010

The Case of The Missing Nupps

A nupp (rhymes with soup) is a very small bump or bobble found in many lace patterns, especially traditional Estonian shawls . Nancy Bush did an excellent job of describing nupps and providing instructions on making them in her book Knitted Lace of Estonia.

I just completed my second shawl pattern, knitting nupps for the first time.
Lace knitting is not rocket science but it does take care, concentration, and lots of counting.
I often have to frog back a row, stitch by stitch, to redo a section when, after reaching the centre stitch of the project or the end of a row, the pattern doesn't fall into place 

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl
Designer: Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Zephyr Laceweight
Needles: 3.5 mm circular

It took me about eleven days to do the shawl (after reading a lady on Ravelry exclaim that the project flew off her needles in only five evenings!). I am pleased with it but puzzled. After stretching it out on the blocking wires, and carefully scrutinizing the shawl, I discovered three areas where there are chains of four nupps instead of five. Now how I accomplished this and still kept the stitch numbers and the rest of the pattern intact is a mystery to me. A more experienced knitter with a sharper eye would have picked it up while the work was in progress.

I'm never discouraged in these situations but motivated to try the pattern again sometime and get it absolutely mistake-free! In the meantime, this one will be a dressy scarf with a winter coat when the cold winds of January descend upon us.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Your Swallowtail is a beauty, Rosie! Mine sure didn't fly off the needles in five nights. I love the nupps in this shawl but still haven't mastered them. I should probably do another 'nuppy' shawl....