Claire over at Mollie and Claire is working on a shawl that has nupps, and she mentioned struggling with them. I promised to get some photos of how I do it, and here they are. Not great, as I took them myself, which is hard to do while maintaining tension. 🙂
The instructions always say to work the nupp stitches loosely, and they really mean it. How loose is too lose? I don’t know – I have never managed “too loose”, but I sure have managed not get loose enough! This is how I do it now, and it seems to come out pretty well, although it is slow and tedious while working the first row, it makes the second row work smoothly.
First off, pull enough yarn loose from the skein that you don’t have to stop mid-nupp to pull more.
When I do the first K1 Yo, I make sure there is quite a lot of yarn involved, pulling the two sides apart almost an inch, while keeping a firm hold on the work to the left – so that the yarn comes from the skein, not the work.
Do that again after each k1 yo, and know that it will get harder and harder to spread the work apart, and by the last one, you won’t have anywhere near as much play with the work. That’s why it is important to get a lot of play in the first one. Notice that at first, I can get a whole knuckle between the two needles, but by the end, it is about half that.
When they are all done, it looks like this – note that the stitches on the right are a bit longer than those on the left – that is OK, and will settle out when you put them all back together.
Coming back at across the purl row, you should be able to work your needles through all the stitches (in this case 7 stitches) and the yarn will spread out evenly across them all.
That’s it – learned by practice, practice, practice. I hope it helps!
For those of you who are interested, this is a scarf I am working on, from Nancy Bush’s Estonian Lace book. the pattern is Triinu. The yarn is Malabrigo lace.