Tutorial: the nupp

Part three of our journey through the textured stitches is the nupp (speak: noop or like soup with an “n”). The nupp is a stitch used in lace patterns originating in Estonian lace knitting. Other than the bobble it makes a flat and elongated shape. Also it’s not knitted back and forth like a bobble. Nupps create a distinct oval dot in lace delicate lace knitting and thus accentuate the shape of certain patterns and forms.

There are 2 ways to make a nupp. The traditional way is to create the additional stitches out of one stitch in the first row and purl them together in the second row. The newer way is to do both steps in one row. Both methods have their pros and cons, but it’s important to know, that they look slightly different and you shoul not use both methods in one piece if you want the nupps to look even.

The key to nupp knitting is to create VERY LOOSE stitches. When I started my first nupp shawl I did not believe how loose to knit them and since I didn’t practice before, I had a whole row of a shawl to fight through the tight nupp stitches. Pull the nupp stitches 2-3 times bigger than a usual stitch. This is most important with lace weight threads. While making the new stitches, use your left thumb (if you are right handed) to hold the base of the stitches so the stitches wouldn’t loose length when you make the next one.

Here is the newer method of knitting a nupp. I’m using a crochet hook for demonstration purposes, you can use the knitting needle for this, too (as you can see in the traditional method below).

01

1. Knit one stitch out of the first stitch. Leave the original stitch on the left needle.

02

2. Yarn over. Leave the original stitch on the needle.

03

3. Knit one stitch, yarn over and knit one stitch. Leave the original stitch on the needle.

04

4. With the crochet hook, pull the thread through all 5 stitches. If you are using a knitting needle, knit all 5 together through the back loop.

05

5. If you used the crochet hook, put the stitch on the right needle. Let the original stitch slip off the left needle.

The traditional method to knit a nupp works over 2 rows.

06

1. Knit one stitch. Leave the original stitch on the left needle.

07

2. Yarn over. Leave the original stitch on the needle.

08

3. Knit one stitch, yarn over and knit one stitch. Leave the original stitch on the needle.

09

4. Work to the end of your row, turn. Work in pattern to your nupp stitches.

10

5. Purl together all 5 nupp stitches. Pay attention here that you get all stitches out of the original stitch or your stitch number will be off (happened to me ;)).

nuppsvergleich

noppen3

Here is a comparison between the two methods. The right side shows the new method, the left side the traditional method. The slanting to different sides is due to the pattern, but the traditional method produces a more textured nupp on the front side, while the new nupp sits more in the middle of the pattern and tends to lean to the back side.

I personally like the look of the traditional method more, as it looks more clean and fluffy. You can do the traditional method with a crochet hook, too, but it’s not neccessary if you make the stitches loose enough.

Here is how a nupp would look like in a lace shawl pattern:

echo2 knit-nupps

Here are the links to the tutorials in this series

1. Introduction

2. Bobbles

3. Wrapped stitches

4. Nupps

knit-bobbleseries

noppenserie

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