I hate nupps. As Sean so correctly points out, there is no simple way of purling 9 together – so why do we put ourselves through it?! I love knitting lace shawls and I love the effect of nupps on them but I just hated knitting nupps. I was increasingly reading on Ravelry project pages “I omitted the nupps” and thought, “Hey, I’m not the only one, there has to be an alternative to this madness!”. And there is. I found it in the form of popcorns. They look like nupps, they have the same effect as nupps, I defy anyone but the very pickiest of knitting geeks to be able to tell the difference in the finished article. But there is one BIG difference between nupps and popcorns and this is that popcorns are a helluva lot easier to execute.
Firstly, they are worked all on the same row so the first bonus point for them is that you do not have to try and push the tight little nupp-stitches around your needle for a whole row. Secondly, because they are worked in one go on the RS row, your WS rows are ALL a purl-only zone. I don’t know about you but I appreciate my P-only rows when I’m knitting a complex lace shawl. They provide me with a “break” in which I can switch off a little, have a swig of wine perhaps and actually follow what’s on the TV for a few minutes – I appreciate them not being broken up with super-frustrating “purl-9-together”s.
How to work a popcorn
The first stage is exactly the same as a nupp. making 1 St into 5 (or 7, or 9 – or however prominent you want the little bobble to be). For those of you who are new to any form of nupp/popcorn/bobble knitting; to turn one St into 5 you have to kfbfbf (knit into the front, then the back, then the front…… etc) of the same stitch (ie without dropping the working St off your LH needle at any point). If you’re still none-the-wiser, watch this excellent video demonstration.
Then, from these 5 Sts which you now have on your RH needle, you pass the 4 Sts furthest from the tip on your RH needle one by one over the one nearest the tip.
And Voila – there’s your popcorn, there’s nothing more for you to do but enjoy your purl-only row!
Happy weekend everybody!