As many of you know we are preparing to move, so I've been incredibly busy with that end of things, as well as putting together my son's 6th birthday party (Mad Scientist Theme. I'm sure you will hear about it later!). Its been crazy town around here once again. I got pretty sick last week with some sort of bug. I didn't feel like knitting or spinning or doing anything really, but laying around on the sofa blowing my snotty nose. Which sucks because the kids both have swimming class every night. Which of course means I have swimming class because my littlest is in the class where Moms have to be in the pool too.
But somewhere in the midst of all that hullabaloo I managed to knit a bit. I haven't really been in the mood to knit lately, what with all the insane spinning thats been going on (see last post), but I did pick up the Knitted Lace of Estonia book at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival, along with some lovely merino/silk Zephyr yarn. What I expected was a challenging knit that would take a while and be frustrating beyond words. After all, this book is full of nupps. Nupps have a reputation for being a pain in the sassafrass.
My humble opinion? I love nupps. I'm not kidding. I don't think they are fun to do, per se, but boy are they impactful. When I say they aren't fun to do, I don't mean that they are difficult. In fact, I encourage anyone to give them a go. Really they are just a glorified bobble. They do have a learning curve--and that isn't to say that the technique is difficult, its just tricky to get the hang of.
How To Knit A Nupp Without Losing Your Mind
Knit one without dropping the stitch off the left needle, yarnover beside that first sitch and repeat 3 times, all without dropping the stitch. Then knit the last leg of that stitch and finally drop it. Purl or knit (depending on the pattern) all of those increases together on the next row. My tip for knitting nupps? Knit them as loosely as possible. After I'm done knitting the nupp I insert the left hand needle through all the loops of the completed nupp at the base of those loops and give a gentle but effective tug just to loosen the stitches. I thought about getting a needle which is 3 or so sizes bigger with which to knit the nupps, but that could get clunky and cumbersome if you have a nupp every 10 stitches. I tried holding the first leg of the nupp down while i knit to reduce the tension to almost nothing, but that also got cumbersome. The speediest technique to me was the knit-then-tug-loose method. I'm sure there are six billion different ways to do it--please if you have one you like post a comment! I'd love to hear other versions of this technique!
Anyway, here is my shawl so far. I admit I had to swatch a lot to practice with the nupps, but I think it was worth it. These look pretty decent:
And from above:
I think you can see (especially in the last pic) the impact that nupps have. They really turn out so beautifully and make such an impact! Go try one, they aren't that bad! Remember: they are simply a glorified bobble.
In Spinning News
I don't have a ton of spinning news since last time. I am still spinning away at the Shetland that I got from Spunky last year. I am also progressing with the light fingering weight merino/tencel, just a bit more slowly than last week. Its easier to drag out a spindle when you are sick than a big ol' wheel, so I worked with "Ruby" while I was snotting around.
I am happy to report, however, that yesterday I felt good enough to pile the kids in the card to go pick up my fleece. YAY! As predicted, it is a gorgeous fleece. Lots of crimp, just what I love.
Here it is, at least a portion of it:
Nice huh? I can't wait to wash it up, but I have a feeling I will have to, what with the moving and all. And I packed up my combs and flicker anyway and don't really feel like digging them out from whatever moving box they are buried in.
In Other News
Moving. Its all consuming at this point. I won't bore you with the details. Instead, let me show you what I did the other day in lieu of packing.
Yup, I made my kids a box fort. They loved it and played there all afternoon. Unfortunately its gone now, and many of those boxes are packed up already. But it was fun to break the monotony a bit and let them have their "cave".
Thats it for now! Surprised to see a post so soon after the last? Me too! But procrastination can bring great things. I hope to have one more post before we move.
P.S. Podcast. Just sayin.