Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hug A Teacher

I may have mentioned that I am working on the Lilac Leaf Shawl from Nancy Bush' Knitted Lace of Estonia. I love lace knitting, and really felt like this was a good "next step" for me and that it would present a challenge. (The pattern is entirely charted, which alone presents a challenge, since I am chart-challenged.) Little did I know that it was going to be much more of a challenge than I had anticipated.

I did okay -- a couple of false starts and a rip-back or two to the lifeline. And this was only in the initial border section. But I started to get the gist and understand how the lace was engineered.

Then I came to nupps in the pattern. If you don't know what nupps (rhymes with soups) are, look here. I tried to knit nupps. I really tried. I failed. And tried again. I failed again. I failed so badly that I had to rip back 9 rows to a lifeline and then trudge forward again. I did not want to rip back again, and I also didn't want to admit defeat. And I also really wanted to knit this shawl.

So I did what I should have done in the first place. I called a teacher. A really good one. Her name is Kristi, and she works with Myfanwe, and she has two darling dachshunds. In addition to her day job as computer maven for Myfanwe's law firm, Krity has a second, super-hero job at Loopy Yarns. And, as it turns out, Kristy is an accomplished nupptress. She learned from the Mistress of Nuppage, Nancy Bush, herself at Stitches Midwest. (I want to go, but Myfanwe doesn't think it's a good use of family funds.) Even though Kristy had taken today off, she met me at Loopy for a 2 hour lesson.

This is Kristy.

In the 2 hours it took for me to successfully get my arms around nupps and to successfully knit two rows of my shawl -- the first row containing nupps and the row in which the nupps are resolved, Kristy knit this lovely specimen.

This is a picture of me. I am, obviously, very happy. Why am I happy? Because I have mastered a new skill.

I know they don't look like much, but look there at the top row. Those little bobble-like things are nupps. Nasty little buggers. But there they are!

I went home, brewed a pot of tea, put a couple of madelaines on the tea tray, and knit a bunch more since then. I'm now finished with the border. And I'm through with nupps for 280 rows! Woo hoo!

It is going to be a very busy week, but I hope to get in a few rows every day. I'll keep you updated.


Cheri said...

I cheat on nupps (ssshhhh don't tell anyone). Because I've not mastered them (I knit really really tight), I end up doing a psso routine that I found on google. You have inspired me (it's your smile in your picture), I shall brave nupps again...just not until I have the Scotch Thistle Stole I'm working on done.

Vanessa said...

Congratulations! Until recently I'd planned an entire knitting career sans nupps, but recently I've begun to reconsider, and your experience encourages me to try them.

Aidan said...

Kristy is a great teacher. If you are ever in Chicago, slip her a twenty and she'll show you anything you want.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people. Sheesh.

anne marie in philly said...

good to have you back! I was beginning to wonder...

GREAT pix of you!

pardon me for being so bold, but myfanwe should let you spend some of your hard earned money on your hobby. go to stitches midwest for just one day, and soak up all the yarny goodness!