A Hostage Situation

I love my new Boot socks. Still not caring that they are not the same colorway (or dyelot, or something).

I am in absolute love with the Peacock and Leaves scarf. I wasn’t feeling especially spectacular last night so I turned the Pookie over to Daddy to put in bed and put myself in bed with my handspun and my charts and went to work. I knit quite slowly while lying down, but slow knitting is better than no knitting. I completed the Peacock edging chart, put in the garter rows, and added the eyelet row, and went to work on the Peacock center chart.

There are nupps (pronounced ‘newps’ and rhymes with loops) on one row in the center chart. I had originally planned to knit those nupps as designed because of their traditional nature. According to Nancy Bush, Estonian knitters charged for their shawls by weight. Well, a fine lace shawl doesn’t weigh all that much, but if you add nupps, you add weight, without changing the dimension of the shawl. Plus, since nupps cannot be replicated by a knitting machine, nupps offer proof that a shawl is genuinely handknit, not machine knit.

What is a nupp? Take a single stitch, increase it 3/5/7/9 times. On the purl side, purl those 3/5/7/9 stitches together, and you are left with a elegant looking bobble of yarn. You can find some great images of Estonian lace and nupps here.

Nupps are not tricky to create, it’s just that purling all of those stitches together on the backside can be a smallish challenge, depending on how many stitches you are knitting together.

So, my plan had been to approach this scarf and put in the traditional nupps. If you chose to leave them out, you can. Just ignore the symbol on the chart and keep going; nothing is affected. Or you could chose, as I did with my Swallowtail Shawl, to replace those nupps with beads. You get a nice effect that way. See my Lily of the Valley section of Swallowtail. Each bead could have been a nupp. My mom loves beading and I thought she would appreciate the beads instead of yarny bumps.
Whatever you choose, it is no harm no foul. No one will call the knitting police on you.

So back to Peacock and Leaves. My plan had been to go with the 7 stitch nupps as called for by the pattern, but since I am not totally sure I have enough yarn to even complete the pattern as designed, I decided to go the less yarn-consumptive route and place beads instead of nupps. As dark as the yarn is, I figure the nupps will be lost anyway, so since I have some beads that look nice, that would be my route.

So I reached into my knitting utensil drawer (doesn’t everyone have a drawer for knitting tools?) to grab my teeny-tiny little crochet hook to place my beads with. It is not in there. I look again. And again, as if a stainless steel needle is suddenly going to become visible in a drawer full of wooden and brightly painted aluminum DPNs. When was the last time I used it? First, I thought it was when I finished Swallowtail, but then I remembered the disastrous run on the shawl that never will be.
That’s the Faroese shawl from A Gathering of Lace that I got about 6 inches into and suddenly fell seriously out of love with.

Look, in that picture is even my beading crochet hook.

That shawl went into a plastic bag with the needles, beads, hook, and pattern. It sat on my kitchen table for weeks. WEEKS. And now it is. . . lost in the twilight zone as best as I can tell. I really couldn’t care about the lost shawl. I would at some point like my yarn and 3mm circular needle back, but the shawl itself is a lost cause. What I REALLY want back in my crochet hook. I cannot go a step further in my scarf without that hook, and I am losing my mind not being able to work some more on it.

I have a sneaking suspicion it is being held hostage by one who wants his beer socks completed.


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