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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Falling in Love with Nupps

Last time I mentioned my Maikell Scarf project - Estonian lace. Twisted stitches. Nupps. Cashmere.


I imagine some of you just said, "Nupps? Heaven? How can those two words go together?!"

I, too, once felt that way.  In fact, my Ravelry queue was filled with patterns like the Percy Shawl, the Crocus Shawl, Laminaria. . . . . Unfortunately, I was never brave enough to push that "Cast On" button.

Until I got my hands on this:

As soon as it landed on my doorstep, I tore open the box & popped in the DVD.  Suddenly, nupps didn't seem all that intimidating.  I grabbed a skein of lace-weight handpainted tencel yarn from Yarntopia Treasures, restarted the DVD & started winding a center-pull cake.

By the time I got to the end of the skein, I'd watched Nancy Bush knit through the nupp section at least six times. I felt brave.  I felt confident.  I felt competent.  I cast on Percy. I flew through the first section of lace with ease.

Because I had read all the comments posted on Ravelry, I was aware that many have had trouble with the fact that the second section of lace is "active" on both sides.  Still feeling confident, I forged ahead, placing lifelines at key intervals.  I only had to tink back once (half a row).  I found it easy to recognize the "flow" of the lace & was easily in a good rhythm by the third repeat of each row.

Finally, I started the third section. The one containing the nupps.  I still had never actually knit a nupp.  Out came the DVD, and Nancy Bush soothingly walked me through my first one.  After I successfully purled back without any difficulty, I felt like I was flying!  You know that feeling you got the first time you rode your bicycle really fast without training wheels & didn't fall?  That's what knitting nupps felt like.

I finished my Sunset Percy in only 17 days (while also knitting a pair of socks & participating in a shawl KAL.)

Now I'm addicted.

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Last Hurrah

Does everyone else have a hard time planning a "Big Family Weekend", or is it just my family?

Last Thanksgiving, my two sisters & I, and our respective spouses & children were at our parents house. Someone came up with the brilliant idea that we take a weekend the following summer and rent a beach house. My little sister, Charity was tasked with the extremely difficult & thankless task of finding the one magic weekend that would fit everyone's schedule AND find a house we could all afford. Needless to say, this the last weekend of summer (school starts Monday, and according to my Princesses, summer is over the minute school starts), and we are finally having our "Big Family Weekend".

Now some of you reading might ask, "What does ANY of that have to do with knitting, design, spinning, etc.?!"

Aside from getting some time in the sand & sea, I also plan on finishing Clue #3 of Mystery Sock KAL I'm participating in (view my progress here).  I have to say, I really love Jenn's (of Knitting Like Crazy fame) designs.  In fact, she inspired me to design & write my own sock pattern!  (Hmmmmm. . . . maybe a pattern giveaway in the future?) 

If I'm lucky, I might get another repeat or two done on my Maikell Scarf - this one will soon be available from my upcoming etsy site. 

Until next week, my friends!