Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nupps...the bane of the Laceknitter's existance :)

Howdy fellow FPS-ers!

Is everyone excited about our rapidly approaching Feb. 1 start date? I know I am!!

I know I've referred to the lace patterns used in the FPS as "easy lace" and they really are in but there is one little detail that can bring even a seasoned laceknitter to her knees.....

THE NUPP!!!!

The nupp is that little bobble that is traditional in shetland and estonian lace knitting patterns and is how the "flowers" of the Lily of the Valley pattern are formed.

Nupps, altho beautiful, can be a major headache for the laceknitter to execute!

I've knit a nupp or 100 in my time and here are my tips for nupps that won't make your eyes bleed or tear the hair from your head!

1 - Make the nupp stitches very LOOSE !! This makes for a better looking nupp

2 - The way the pattern has you make the nupp (k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl in the same stitch) makes the stitch so tight it's impossible to get your needle into them when you have to purl all five of them all together on the return row. This is because the yo's have no "base" and just tighten up on the needle! My solution is to substitute k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 in the same stitch. The purls give the nupp some stability and I find it much easier to purl 5 together on the next row - and it looks just a beautiful as "traditional" nupps with no major anguish or eye bleeding involved!

3 - Another option is to knit the nupp as written (k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl) but instead of the p5tog on the next row you slip 4 stitches, K1 and pass the 4 over. this works well but I find it a bit sloppy looking.....your mileage may vary!

I hope these pointers are helpful.

Now we have over 40 participants, how about sharing where's everyone's at - who's swatching, who's chosen their yarn, what needles is everyone using, any tips y'all would like to share?

One last note, has everyone heard Addi is coming out with a pointier version specifically for laceknitters? Thoughts anyone? Beuller? :)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greetings everyone,

I'm writing from rainy Seattle...The yarn I originally chose for this project back in 2003 I've decided isn't right, so I have changed and am using Fino from Alpaca With A Twist in the color Champagne. However, now I think I have to get new dps because I'll go blind looking at natural colored yarn against my light bamboo dps, so may go get some ebony or rosewood so I can see the stitches better.
I just finished a pillow that had a lot of the Lily of the Valley pattern, and the bobbles were a pain. So, I do plan on swatching, and practicing some different versions of the bobbles to see what looks best.
Glad to meet you all...

Agnes said...

I am from California. The yarn I chose for this project is the Zephyre silk/wool in ebony (black). I would be using the KnitPicks classic circular because the points are just perfect. I am also considering getting a set of the KnitPicks dpns because I think the bamboo ones may not be sharp enough.
Thanks for sharing the tips on making the nupps ... honestly, I don't enjoy making them, but I love the effect they have in the lace! I always have a steel crochet hook by my side because that would make the p5tog a lot easier.
Heard about the rumour of the pointier Addi but haven't seen any yet. I hope it is true.

Meg said...

Thanks for the nupp tips! I must be in the minority - I prefer my good old blunt addi turbo needles for laceknitting, but I do find purling numerous sts together to be a bit of a chore!

Denise/CT said...

Great tips on the nupps. I'll have to try all the tips as well as the crochet hook idea.
I have ordered several yarns and will swatch to see what works best. However I'm leaning towards a pale pink cashmere and silk on Crystal Palace needles. They usually are my smoothest circular needles and the points are nice and sharp. Not sure which double points I'll use.
Humm, Addi circulars for lace with sharper points, sounds like a new circular needle purchase in my future.
You'll find me knitting in Connecticut, down towards the shore line just an hour out of New York City and two hours from Boston, Mass. Anyone close by?

Dorothy said...

Nupps??? You didn't tell me it had nupps! Drat. After 5 Estonian scarves, you'd think I'd be used to them. Can't remember if I've posted this on the list, but I'll be using Zephyr silk/wool in a pretty rosy pink. I'll also be using the Knitpicks classic circular needles and have ordered the dpn's.
dswaite@mac.com

alltangledup said...

I'm thinking to use my precious hoard of laceweight Possum/merino/silk from CTH. I paid masses in shipping, custom and duty for it so I wanted to save it for something really special.

Does anyone know if those addi's are out yet? I am most desparate for some really pointy needles for this shawl.

To work the nupps for things like a p5tog, I often use a much smaller needle like a 2.5 or 2.0mm to p5tog and transfer that to the larger needle. It's slower to work like this and you break the rhythm but that's my workaround for blunt needles.

I'm really excited and might swatch on Feb 1 or there-abouts. I'm trying to finish all the project currently on the go before I start though.

Anonymous said...

nupps!! this is new to me, so I will definitly be swatching this thanks for all the tips !! I will be using knit picks redwood forest yarn in keeping with the theme of the stole.Knitpicks dpns and circs.I cant wiat for the supplies to get here

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone. I'm in Boston. Great tips. I'll have to try that as the nupps have been a bit of a headache for me. I have been doing them as instructed but quite loosely. I've chosen Knit Picks Alpaca cloud.

Rebekah said...

Thanks for the great nupp tip! I still haven't decided on my yarn, I have a ton of lace-weight in stash so it's merely a matter of deciding on which stuff to use.

I'll hopefully do that this up coming weekend.

Melissa said...

I've already started, using Merino Oro in a sage green color, and size 2mm needles. I haven't had any problem doing the nupps as written, either. I'm using a Crystal Palace bamboo circ for my needle. My personal favorite lace needle :)

Anonymous said...

Greetings to all from North Central Mass - 70 miles west of Boston near the NH/VT line.

I've chosen the Suri Alpaca in Lettuce and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I also gave in to temptation and ordered Knit Picks Options in sizes 0 through 3 and will probably end up getting their DPNs too (I broke my yarn fast so decided the needles were dessert)!

Practice will probably start tonight or tomorrow (1/23 or 1/24) because I'm gettin' nervous with nupps 'n all.

Anonymous said...

http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/nupps.html

Anonymous said...

my tip for making sure that i finish this -- work the border as you work the entrelac pattern. I know that I will never finish the 15-stitch seed stitch border so I added on a ball to each border and, as I work the entrelac rows, I knit the border too.