Friday, May 04, 2007

Nupp. Nupp. Nupp. Or, Why Lace is the Devil

I didn't blog about this particular project because I was afraid to challenge the knit goddess. In fact, I found myself getting cocky once getting through the body of the project, and the knit goddess smacked me down like the bitch I apparently am. Ouch. But it's done, my first "real" lace pattern, and I didn't fuck it up too badly! Victory dance! I'd have spiked it in the end zone, but knitting doesn't spike too well!

I have learned something about myself in knitting this "simple" lace pattern - I am not a process knitter. There are those of you out there who knit like the journey is the thing, not the destination. I have a confession - I'm a destination knitter (man, I wish that meant someone paid me lots of money to knit in exotic locales, but alas, no one pays me anything for anything!) I knit to have an FO I can wear, or my daughter can wear, or my hubby can wear. Yes, I like learning things as I knit, and I'm amazed to go back and look at a project from the beginning of my "career" and realize how far I've come and how that project wouldn't be as great a challenge now as then, but mostly, give me pretty knits and give them to me now! But this project went faster than I thought it would...


It's Swallowtail Shawl from IK. Up there it's fresh off the needles. I knit it using just over 3 balls of Elann's Baby Cashmere yarn in Starlight Blue (don't bother, they're sold out), which is 70% baby alpaca, 20% merino, 10% cashmere. I started it on US4 Addi Naturas because I read on someone's blog (don't remember who) that Naturas were great for lace. This wasn't laceweight yarn, but I can't imagine knitting lace on these needles - the join is terrible for lace, and the points aren't pointy enough. Then I switched to US4 Inox, which were great for the body of the shawl - slippery, but still grippy enough to give this novice knitter some confidence. I switched to my Knitpicks Options when I started the nuppy sections. I started Swallowtail about 2 weeks ago (I don't remember exactly) and after frogging the first few rows several, SEVERAL times (even the stupid cast-on was giving me fits!), I was on a roll.

(ignore the crochet hook there, I realized what I thought was just an f-d up YO was actually a dropped stitch! I don't know how it hung in there so long, but it did, and it was fixed once blocking was done. I blocked using Eunny's excellent tutorial).

There were many tinked rows as I realized I should be counting my stitches more often, and when I got cocky - just after finishing the budding lace section and starting the first of the nupp charts I got all proud of myself, figuring I was in the home stretch...and the knitting goddess promptly disabused me of that notion, and I had to frog 8 nuppy rows, after spending half a day trying to tink and figure out where the extra stitches I had were coming from. Ever try to tink a nupp? Don't try it. Ever try to reconstruct a nupp that's been tinked incorrectly and fell apart? Save yourself the time, trouble, and yes, tears (I was frustrated, ok?) and just RIIIIIIP. Much easier. Luckily, that chart starts with 2 rows that are basically plain knit or purl, so I was able to use them as my point to frog back to. Oh, and nupps? Well, when you fudge them, too, they're not so much of a headache. Before finding this, no matter how loosely I knit, I could not P5tog, even using a US1 Crystal Palace DPN to try to draw the stitches out. So they're time-consuming, but not terribly so when you cheat!


After that, there were a few moments where I fudged as I knit because a nupp wasn't landing where it was supposed to, and I just decreased or increased to fit the nupp where it belonged, but I'm not proud of that. Well, at that point, I JUST. WANTED. IT. TO. END! Hmm...I just typed "Ene" there instead of "end" - maybe I should knit the Ene scarf next. I have a weird addiction to laceweight yarns, and have an entire basket of them, so I should start something else to use that yarn up. I could knit lace from my stash all year (don't get your hopes up!)


No pics of me wearing it, because my ass is huge and I'm feeling all fat cow-y today, but if you're at MDSW tomorrow, you can see it in person! All in all, I am very proud of my first "real" lace pattern, and the next time I feel like banging my head against a wall, I'll knit more. One day, I'd like to knit this or this!

And I needed some simple knitting now, and am bored with the kneesock I'm knitting, so I'm knitting the oh-so-creatively named "Bag" from Debbie Bliss' Noro Collection book in some Noro Kochoran destashed from Colleen ages ago (am I right, Col? Is it Kochoran? I lost the labels! It's the yarn I knit the Urban Rustic gloves out of - remember?) Nice, simple knitting - and not a nupp to be found!


Blogger RC said...

I had Kochoran? I remember the gloves though... but really can't remember what the yarn was. Once it leaves the house, its just gone!

5/04/2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Your shawl looks beautiful! It sounds like you had quite a time of it, though. I've never knit lace, and I'm going to consider it a challenge to some time in the future. Good for you for finishing even though it was so tough - it looks amazing!

5/05/2007 5:01 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

It looks beautiful, even if it gave you a fit!

5/05/2007 9:12 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Spin Sisters
<< | # | ? |>>