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January 18, 2009

And now, the details of a shawl-in-progress!

A bit at a time, I've been nupping my way through the Crown Prince Square Shawl. If you can believe it, I even knit a few rows while traveling! I can't say it was the best experience in the world - the jittery plane, sharing elbow space in those tiny seats, sub par lighting, juggling charts and those little drink cups on the tiny tray, knitting at 6 p.m. local time (11 p.m. back home) - but I couldn't stay away! Oh, Nancy, why is your pattern so addictive?

Look how much I got done!

Hmmm... I'm thinking it's time for another progress schematic, because photos of wadded up lace or even-smoothed-out-but-unblocked lace are the worst indicators of progress!

Wow, the hour or so I just spent looking up row counts and drawing that diagram in Illustrator was super productive! I now see that I'm way farther ahead than I imagined! More than a quarter done with the main square (84 rows out of 305 total).

The only thing that can potentially top the straightforward simplicity of a schematic is the beauty of dry-blocked lace. Let's take a look.

Oh, nupps! So beautiful, so elegant, so textured, but such a pain to p7tog! Now, ways to simplify the p7tog is a topic as old as the earth itself. Or at least as old as the Swallowtail Shawl: in my mind, that's the project which exploded the issue in recent history. No reason to rehash, right?

Instead, let me mention three areas of frustration which have nothing to do with maneuvering seven loops of yarn in one purl swoop. Maybe you've encountered these issues, too? Or did the p7tog override all other nupp-related difficulties we might encounter?

  1. First of all, if one forgets to make a nupp, one has to frog back to the stitch where the nupp is needed. Similarly, if one adds an extra nupp, one has to frog. Other stitches - yarn overs, decreases, what have you - you can just drop down, fix, and everything will block out at the end. But a nupp uses so much yarn, you can't just add it or delete it later. Annoying! Now, if a nupp or nupps are simply shifted to the left or right, it's not a huge deal because the correct length of yarn has been allocated.
  2. Second, I've found it far too easy to purl too many stitches together, making a p8tog instead of a p7tog. One time I made this mistake and caught it a good 13-15 rows later. Dropping down to the nupp and carving out an extra column on stitches it accidentally ate up was not fun, not fun at all. For this reason, I've gotten into the habit of counting stitches between nupp elements.
  3. And last, am I the only one who regularly makes 9-stitch nupps? K1, yo, k1, yo... so mesmerizing, it's not difficult to add one more! Sometimes I catch myself, and other times I'll just have extra-juicy nupps, I guess!

Writing about this shawl reminds me how much I've missed knitting it. It's been a few weeks, and it's time to work those needles, I say, especially on a snowy day like today ;).

Posted by Kathy on January 18, 2009 12:34 PM


Your shawl is gorgeous! I love the color of yarn you have chosen for the pattern. I believe yours will knit up even prettier than the pattern picture. I just received this book for my birthday, and immediately had to cast on for a project. I am not intimidated by nupps, but I was limited to the yarn I chose from my (very small) stash - a skein with a mere 540 yards. So I cast on for the Lilac Leaf Shawl...but the Queen Silvia, the Maikell shawl, and Madli's shawl are all beckoning me also.

Good luck with the nupps and thanks for sharing your progress!

It's beautiful! It almost looks like hardanger. Thanks for sharing!

I'm working on the Leaf and Nupp shawl, and my biggest issue is your #2.

But for a girl who hates bobbles, I'm sure loving the nupps...

Your knitting is fierce, Grumperina! And your advice and instructions are always helpful, if not totally humbling, since I considered myself to be an experienced knitter (over 45 years); but you still knit better and know more than I ever will. Thank you for sharing your blog with us.
Blogless Mary Lou

This is absolutely amazing! The nupps are so structured and gorgeous; I love it!

I always over YO/knit my Knupps too! I have to sit there and carefully count, and then recount before I finally move on. I always lose track doing that :)

Heh, extra juicy nups, heh

looking good!

Heh, extra juicy nupps, heh

looking good!

As my granny would say, "You're fond!" (Which, roughly translated, equates to "better you than me").

It's stunning so far!! Lovely nupps. :)

My nupps looked like sloppy intestines. Go you!

Lordy that's a lot of nupps! Thanks for pointing out those trouble spots, I'm thinking of trying nupps some time soon. It looks beautiful.

It's beautiful -- I keep thinking I want to knit this, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't be driven crazy by that many nupps!

Have you seen the errata mentioned on Ravelry? http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/nancy-bush-knitters/432587/1-25#1

It's looking gorgeous - I can't wait to have a go at it myself. But I must finish off the shawls for other people first. When I make this one it will be for me - cos I know there's no way I'll be able to part with it! There's a good chance it'll be in a similar colour too - my best friend calls it "Anita pink" - it's definitely my favourite colour! :)

Oh my gosh! The dry block pictures are seriously gorgeous! I've never seen nupps used to that effect before, beautiful!

It is so beautiful! It makes me want to start my next pattern from that book. First, I need to finish my current Swallowtail.

1. Gorgeous.
2. You knit some of that on a plane ...holy guacamole that makes me white-knuckled to even just picture it, let alone do it.

Wow! That's pretty. P7tog? Crazy!

Wow! It looks amazing, I am working on the Lily of the Valley shawl and my nupps look no where near as beautiful as yours.

It is very pretty.

Oh, wow that's pretty!

Wow! I can't even purl 3 together let alone 7!

It's beautiful.

I'm not envious of all those nupps but that gonna be one knockout shawl!

Did you know nupps rhymes with soups? I just found that out...Noops, who would have guessed? ;)

The shawl is beautiful! The nupps sound like a pain in the neck, but it sounds like it will be worth it in the end. That is one fancy piece of lace!

Nupps glorious nupps. How spectacular is your shawl already. Looking forward to seeing more progress reports & the stunning finished shawl....

Sooooo beautiful!!!

The shawl looks gorgeous! I love how the nupps frame the more lacey elements!

It looks beautiful in red.

p7 tog? That's crazy. I had to p3 tog for my Bed Socks and that was bad enough. Your shawl is so beautiful though! I think the color and the pattern go together perfectly! :)

I am currently knitting the Lily of the Valley Scarf which has 5 stitch nupps and purling those is difficult enough for me. I have had to tink already (having finished only one pattern repeat so far) because I purled 6 together and not just the 5. I count everytime I finish those rows.
Yours is beautiful, continued good luck with it.

Crazy idea, but if you forget a nupp, could you not knit one separately and graft it on? Many of Nicky Epstein's edgings in her three books use bobbles that are stitched on after. I guess it would depend on how much frogging is involved?
It's gorgeous though!!

It's beautiful. Something for this beginning knitter to look forward to.

I love the colour you've chosen.

I just finished my Crown Prince today and I'm very pleased with it. Nancy is such a genius - I love the way the pattern knit up......and I'm already planning my next project from the book! :)

I have yet to venture to the land of nupps, but you inspire me to do so. Your work looks lovely.
Must get Nancy's book, since you all rave so kindly about it. Thanks for sharing.

It is really beautiful. I can see why you might not want to put it down!

Now you know why so many knitters drink when they do nupps. I can't stand the things! I know of one knitter who drank a whole fifth of tequila after she finished a shawl that had a whole bunch of nupps in it. I understood why after I attempted a shawl with those suckers on it, I pitched that shawl across the room and vowed never to do one again with that stitch in it.
Lovely color, that you chose.

I mumble to myself. 1 3 5 7 9

Hmm, you are making me reconsider my stance on nupps. Those are looking awfully pretty!

Wow....it's beautiful!!

Lovely! It makes me want to cast on for a new, textured project. The solid stockiniette on my current WIP is getting boring. Alas, it has a deadline, so I'd just better hurry up and finish!

It's a beautiful shawl, but ack! Nupps! After the Swallowtail Shawl I swore I'd never knit another nupp (say that five times fast) and I haven't. No bobbles either. You deserve a medal for knitting all those nupps. Thanks for the progress schematic. That makes it so much easier to see where you are.

That is one of the prettiest shawls that I've ever seen. Can't wait to see it finished.

Gorgeous shawl. I love the texture and the plain rows between the beautiful design elements. I may have to check out this pattern - I say may because I'm trying really hard to finish those projects that have been lingering for far too long.

Oh, that's glorious! You've just moved that shawl up several places in my to-knit-NOW list

Beautiful shawl - and wonderful colour.
I wish I could do lace, but the charts leave me completely at a loss.
Maybe if I bought a beginners-book-on-how-to-knit-lace... I sure would love to be able to knit something as beautiful as your shawl - and some of the other lace you've posted on your blog.

It's gorgeous! I often have the 9 stitch nupp problem myself!!

Wow - that's lovely!

beautiful. can't wait to see the finished product.

Girl, the thought of p7tog makes my fingers seize up like I've been rolling pennies for an hour. Holy cow! It's gorgeous though. And I love the color!

Based on your recommendation, I bought Lace Knitting of Estonia and made the Triinu shawl. I found that nupps took some time to get the hang of but they were relatively easy going after that. Here's a link to my posting on the topic: http://knittedyarns.wordpress.com/?s=nupps

Wow. I've avoided nupps to date--I tried one once and then decided to choose another pattern. But your photos have me thinking the pita nupps just might be worth it. *might*

Stunning work!

Ok, seriously. I generally despise nupps...but, these? These I love!

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