Those &%*#$ Nupps!

A few days ago I told you all about the beauty of Estonian Lace. While I still believe in the beauty and old-world design of this fascinating style, I have one issue – NUPPS! Nupps are those fantastic little bobbles that highlight the openwork lace areas of lily of the valley, leaves, flowers, and much more. They are created by doing a 3, 5, or 7 stitch K1, YO, K1, YO, K1 (5 stitch nupp) in a single stitch. On the flip or purl side of the piece, you purl these little bad boys together. That’s easier said than done. For the most part, I have wasted a few yards of $18 a skein yarn and spent a few days stewing over the problem. I can complete the nupps on the front side, but purling them together is another issue altogether. When you get to the flip side to purl the nupps, there is a problem. If you don’t knit super loose it is hard to gather the five stitches together on the needle. Secondly, if you don’t gather all five but think you did, then get to the end and find a loop hanging out, all is lost and you must frog and start over! Hence, the frustration and yarn waste.

So in my search for how to best complete these nupps, I found a few sites where the problem is more of an issue than I previously imagined. The Knitting Doctor has a lovely series on these little problem makers. The love/hate relationship is carried over in Fleegle’s Blog where she has a more positive attitude regarding the little beasts. I do notice that the yarn she is using is not a lace or sock weight though, probably making it a bit easier to knit on the reverse side. However, in earlier posts she has knit a beautiful shawl in lace or sock weight yarn so I can’t condem her! Her technique is good, but I have tried it with the finer weights and it just doesn’t work as easily as she makes it look.

However, there is some good news! I think I may have a solution and will be working on it throughout the day tomorrow to test it out. If all goes well, I will post a video and let you all in on my plan. Then maybe I can develop Fleegle’s positive spin on the nupps and irritate those that have not yet figured it out. I can only hope!


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