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how to knit Estonian lace nupp stitch

Have you ever heard of a knitting technique called “nupp”?

Well, if you haven’t then it is something that reminds a bobble. Literally, the word “nupp” means a button or a knob. But it really is not. It is more like.. . Do you know how Lilac bud looks like? Or a tick? No, tick is nasty, let’s stick to the Lilac bud.

We, as Estonians, use “nupp” technique a lot in lace knitting. If you have heard about Haapsalu shawls then you’ll know what I mean. And I am quite fond of it. I think it will give you the light and airy texture that knitted lace yearns for.

So, why do I think you need to learn this? Because my next pattern is full of “nupps”. And it is handy technique – nice for showing off (in case you want to) in front of your knitting friends 🙂

Anyways – on to the tutorial. Update: In step 7 … I am asking you to knit stitches together and I have received a question about that: “Is it wrong to knit those stitches together on next row instead of the same row?”. Get your answer now.

1. Ready to make the “nupp”

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2. Knit one, but don’t let the stitch off of left needle

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3. Yarn over

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4. Knit again (in the same stitch)

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5. Repeat steps #3 & #4 two more times (now you have 7 stitches on right hand needle)

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*steps #2 to #5 – quite loosely*

6. Now let the stitch on left needle go

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Here comes the tricky part:

7. Insert left hand needle in all of those 7 stitches (be careful so you don’t grab the other stitches on this needle)

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8. With right hand needle grab the yarn…

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9. …and pull through (you can use crochet hook if you can’t make it with the needle)

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10. With right hand needle, take yarn again…

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11. …and pull through the stitch you formed in step #9

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12. Take the left hand needle out and tighten the stitch.

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Congratulations! You have finished your “nupp”!

BUT, I’m giving you a secret formula for perfecting it some more.

Usually, there will be one row between “nupp” rows – purl row, if you knit back and forth or knit row, if you knit in rounds.

Right now I am showing you the purl row option (purely because my swatch is knitted in back and forth).
You can totally just purl your next row without doing anything special and it will be fine, but I, personally, don’t like the hole it leaves.

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Can you see?

So this is how I do it:

1. Purl until the “nupp” stitch

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2. Lift “nupp” on to the right hand needle

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3. Pick up a strand between stitches…

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4. …and put it on a left hand needle so it forms a little twist

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5. Lift “nupp” stitch back to the left hand needle…

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6. …and purl the twisted yarn stitch and “nupp” stitch together.

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Here you go! Done! I knew you can make it 🙂

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Although this is not necessary, I feel like this extra step is fixing my “nupp” more and making it kind of firm and steady.

I leave you practicing and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, leave a comment and I will do my best to help you.

Until next time…

Happy knitting!

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