Who's afraid of the big bad nupps?
Nupps are easy. And in saying that I mean that nupps are just as easy or just as hard as any other stitch you might be asked to do in knitting. They are really no "harder" than anything else.
And this is probably also an instance of how hanging around in blogland has really helped me with my knitting. On the one hand, I learned that nupps are often feared, despised and shunned. On the other hand, I learned a few tips for dealing with the dreaded nupps.
I'll share them with you!
First Tip - maybe obvious but it bears repeating - get yourself some pointy tipped needles. I used my Knit Picks Options needles because they are the sharpest tipped needles I have. They worked out fine for me but I probably would have appreciated having some of those new Addi Lace needles which are even sharper. (In fact, I think I'll go order some after I finish this post.) You really need the sharp point for digging under all - in this case five - of the sections of the the nupp.
Second Tip - splitty yarn will probably drive you into nupp despair. I didn't have this problem with the Hand Maiden Sea Silk so this is just an observation.
Third Tip - and this is probably the most important - when you are forming the increases that make up the nupp, make them VERY loosely. More loose than you would ever think you might need. This will help you to have the room to be able to get in under the stitches when you are purling them all together on the back side. It will also give the nupps a nice, fat fullness which makes them look good.
Another observation - let's call it the Fourth Tip - it seems like the middle stitch of the increases for the nupp (in this case the third stitch out of five) seems like it is the most difficult to pick up when you are purling them together on the back side. This may just be due to my knitting technique but I don't think so. So the tip here is - watch out for that middle stitch. Make sure you are actually getting under ALL of the nupp stitches. If you miss one it could get ugly. And chances are it will be that middle stitch that you missed.
So there you go - armed with these Four Tips, go forth and conquer The Fear Of Nupps.
Sure, nupps will slow you down a bit and you do have to pay attention to what you are doing but that doesn't make them "hard" to do. In fact, I kind of thought they were fun and a clever little technique.
As an aside here - I had a couple of emails asking me if I thought two skeins of the Sea Silk would be enough for the shawl. Well - I have completed through the first repeat of the second chart and I still have a little less than half of the first skein left. I think (knock on wood!) I'll be fine.