To Nupp or not to Nupp

My plan for today’s “Tours on Thursday” blog post was to follow-up on my last post, showing you my Annis, by giving you a detailed tutorial on how I did my Nupps. Then I realised that I don’t have a suitable piece of knitting underway that I could use to photograph the method in progress. (And I’m too lazy to knit something up, purely for demonstration purposes.) Instead, I’ve decided that I can describe what I did in one line; thus the photographs and blow-by-blow description would really be padding.

First of all, what’s a Nupp? It’s a bobble or pop-corn or cluster of five or seven stitches that crops up as a feature in lace-work and Aran jumpers. In the Annis pattern it’s a seven-stitch cluster; so you start forming the Nupp on the knit row by [k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1] all into the same stitch. When you come past the same cluster of stitches on the purl row, you purl all seven together.

Purling seven stitches together is not such an easy thing to do and the Nupps seemed to present everyone in the Annis KAL on the This is Knit Ravelry Forum some pause for thought at the very least. Many opted not to do them at all and chose to do beads instead, with beautiful results. Others used a crochet hook to make the nupps all in one movement but found the process almost as fiddly as [P7tog]

I didn’t have beads; and didn’t hear about the crochet hook method before I came up with my own solution for making the Nupps:

  1. Since I was using a long circular needle for my Annis, when I came to the [P7tog] I pushed the cluster of stitches to be purled together down to the cable part of my needles.
  2. This meant I wasn’t struggling against the full thickness of the left-hand needle as I tried to negotiate all seven stitches together.
  3. Once the manoevre was complete I moved the stitches back up to the tip of the left-hand needle to allow them all to slip off together;
  4. making sure the new single stitch is firmly positioned on the right-hand needle of course.

Manoevering the cluster of stitches down to the cable in this way meant a lot less struggling for me and no faffing around with a crochet hook every time I made a Nupp.

One word of warning, this is probably not the kindest thing you could be doing to your circular needles, so be gentle with them if you choose to try out my method.

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Choices, Choices

The last time I had a Choosey Tuesday I asked your opinion on which yarn I should use for my Annis (the Knitty Surprise in the Spring / Summer 2010 edition of Knitty).

I had four to chose from:

Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Annis Annis Ol' Yarn

From the top:

and I said I’d give a prize to whoever came up with the most convincing argument for which one I should use.

I got four replies (from Deirdre, Mairead, Laura and Sinead) who – though not conclusive – gave me plenty to mull over.

  • Like Deirdre, I’ve a pro-purple tendency so we were down to three pretty quickly;
  • Plus, I love a good word play, which made me pre-disposed to Mairead’s choice of Rayon Vert;
  • But I shared Laura’s concern that the Rayon Vert would have to much contrast in the variagation for the lacework.
  • I was very taken by Sinead argument as she extolled the virtues of knitting with Dream in Color Smooshy, which also got a vote from Deirdre.

Contrary person that I am, however, it was Sinead’s argument for Dream in Color Smooshy that finally convinced me to go with the Misti Alpaca. I know… I’m ornery! You see, I’ve  realised recently that I can’t wear alpaca close to my skin – it makes me itch. So my logic was that I should keep the awesome Dream in Color Smooshy for a nice pair of socks for me (shoot me if I forget this in the future and start to make it into socks for DH; ‘mkay?).

So here it is: the finished (and finally blocked) Annis in Misti Alpaca Handpainted yarn:

Misti Alpaca Annis

I really enjoyed knitting this and – now that it’s been blocked – I’m thrilled with the finished object.

And now for the prize. All of the arguments were convincing and had their own merit. I really appreciate the time and trouble people took to offer me their opinions. (Even if I completely ignore it and go off an do my own thing anyway!) After some delibertion I’ve decided to pick a name at random and the winner is:

Deirdre!

Choix d’Annis

Selection Box of Treats

Last week, I was feeling very over-whelmed and I decided I needed some me-time. For many of my female colleagues “me-time” would involve getting a facial, a hair-cut or shopping for new shoes. These things would be living hell for me – especially now that the only hairdresser I’ve trusted in years has run off to Jersey to get married, the cheek of him!

No, my idea of me-time is to take out all my sock weight yarn and try to decide which pattern to make with each: heaven!

The box on the right doesn’t represent all of my sock-weight yarn – not by a long-shot! Instead, it’s a a little box of treats: a selection box of those skeins I hope to knit this year. Considering there’s 12 projects there and only six months left in the year, I’ll be doing well to get them all done!  But it will certainly be fun trying.

Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Annis Annis Ol' Yarn

From the top:

So which one do you reckon will be best for Annis (the Knitty Surprise in the Spring / Summer 2010 edition of Knitty)… and why!

Answers in the comments here and I will give a prize to whoever comes up with the most convincing argument for any of the four yarns above.