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...

swallowtailshawlpreblock

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.

swallowtailblocking
(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!

swallowtailtaildone

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!)

swallotaildone

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!

3 Comments:

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  

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