How to knit a nupp

I'm finally on the border of my Swallowtail Shawl and I'm absolutely lovin' it.

Notice the big bobbles. Those are called nupps. A number of lace patterns use them and they give another dimension to the texture of the lace. It's used in traditional Estonian lace knitting.

A while ago I called p3tog 'the mother of all stitches' but the nupp leaves that stitch way behind. It involves making 5, 7 or even 9 into a single stitch, and then purling them all together on the return purl row.

To make 5 in 1, you knit one, pass the yarn over (YO), then knit another into the same stitch, YO again and then knit again. There's usually a YO on each side of the nupp to make it really stand out.

You have to make those increase stitches very loose to stand a chance of getting your needle back in to purl them together. I made a mess of the first couple (once it starts to go wrong, it's a nightmare trying to rescue it) and I found that using a crochet hook made it much easier and neater. Just push your hook through the 5 stitches purlwise and use it to pull the working yarn back through.

This video shows knitting nupps:

Here's a link to the swallowtail shawl pattern I'm making:

And another scarf that makes use of the 'lily of the valley' motif

The beautiful stitch markers are from Helena Hancart.

Thanks to Peter Smith for some of these links.

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