Lace Knitting, Nupps, and the Mother Stitch

In Estonian, nupp means button, bud, or knob. It really is a bump, and bumps have been used to glorious effect in Estonian lace knitting. You can see them quite well in this image of Madli’s Shawl from Nancy Bush’s stand-out book Knitted Lace of Estonia (Loveland, Colorado: Interweave, 2008).


This detail of Madli’s Shawl from Nancy Bush’s book Knitted Lace of Estonia shows Estonian nupps (buttons, buds, or knobs).

In an article Nancy wrote for the July/August 2010 issue of PieceWork, she described how to make a nupp: “[T]he nupp is created, beginning on the right side of the work, by increasing a number of stitches from one. Usually, the increases are made by knitting five or seven stitches into the “mother stitch,” working a yarnover, knitting into the first stitch again, and repeating both the yarnover and the knit stitch again until the desired number has been achieved. On the next row, a wrong-side row, the increased stitches are purled together.”


This detail of Nancy Bush’s knitted Leaf and Nupp Shawl also shows Estonian nupps (buttons, buds, or knobs). Get our kit, make the Leaf and Nupp Shawl, and wrap yourself or someone you love in beauty and warmth.

Guess what? Our newest kit features nupps! Not only will you get to explore nupps, you will have an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous rectangular shawl as a result. But wait–there is more!! The pattern is from none other than Nancy Bush, and the kit includes the May/June 2015 special Lace Issue of PieceWork with the shawl pattern and charts, and a copy of Nancy’s glorious book Knitted Lace of Estonia. Wow!

I forgot to tell you–the name of this special pattern is Leaf and Nupp. Nancy explains: “The pattern is a mix of garter stripes embellished with nupps and a double leaf motif and bordered with a very decorative openwork zigzag at the top and bottom.”

Treat yourself or a knitting friend. Our Leaf and Nupp Shawl Kit is really special.

Happy knitting,