Knitting · Tools

King of the Nupps

It took me quite a while to realise that the ‘nupps’ people wrote about on Ravelry were the same as the ‘noops’ one of the my friends talked about occasionally, and even longer to figure out why they are so intimidating. Upon figuring out what they were I made a few attempts to do them but always gave up in frustration. That is… until I started my Damask shawl.

First up, maybe I should talk about what a nupp is. It’s a stitch that comes from Estonian knitting, a gorgeous lace-heavy style. According to Google Translate the word ‘nupp’ means button which is totally adorable and I love it. Basically a nupp is a bunch of knits and yarn overs worked into the same stitch, then on the following row you knit through all the loops in one go, leaving a little bobble-type thing on your object. There are other ways to get similar effects but nupps are smart and neat when they’re done right.

If you’re curious how to do a nupp, check out this video. I think I watched this many years ago and this isn’t how I do my nupps but I’ll come to that.

Okay, so on the video the woman uses the crochet hook for the nupp and the reason I think that I did watch this video years ago is that when I came to the first nupp on the Damask I had the thought that I should use a crochet hook. However instead of doing the whole thing on it like in the video, I did the nupp the normal way on the first row and then on the way back along the wrong side I used my crochet hook to grab the yarn and tug it through all the stitches before purling the resulting stitch. It worked out beautifully.

After the first row.

Sholl4This was my first attempt and for the first row of the Damask they all look like this. I’m not sure what I did, but I think I may not have purled them and instead carried on as if they were knit, which dragged the yarn across the front. They all look like wrong-side nupps and I was not at all pleased with them but nor was I willing to break my momentum and go back to fix them.

Once I figured out how to do them they turned out much neater and worked well for the rest of the shawl.


Much bubblier, don’t you think?

By the end of the shawl nupps became quite boring which is a sign I’ve come far since the beginning of it. As ever I’ve found that pushing myself past a thing that intimidates me makes me much stronger in the long run.

At one point I dropped the nupp mid-crochet which almost made me burst into spontaneous flames. Thankfully I managed somehow to wrangle the three-inch strand of yarn back into a nupp and it’s only slightly messier than the ones around it.

I’ve still got a way to go before my nupps are as perfect as I want them but I’m still pleased with the progress.

Have you ever tried a nupp? How did it go?


One thought on “King of the Nupps

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