Estonian Lace

This is the only piece that I've tackled so far from "Knitted Lace of Estonia". I'm generally not into fussy lace patterns, that is lace with lots of gewgaw and scallops and such but this Estonian lace has me very intriqued. Nupps look like they would be fun. This is the Raha Scarf, its pretty simple, no nupps, but it was a lot of fun and I like its geometry. I think for my trip to Mexico project I'm going to attempt the "Lilly of the Valley Scarf". It's exquisite with lots nupps.

I'm pretty sure this is in Malabrigo Lace with size 3 Addis.


Tom Hart's picture

Hmmm... I'm beginning to get a whole new understanding of what lace is. I thought it was just shawls. But I'm seeing now that it can be scarves and even socks. I'm getting interesteder and interesteder....

Beautiful work by the way!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Indeed, indeed. I designed a pair of lace socks and enjoyed wearing them for a couple of times, even though they were a bit large. I then gave them to a friend of mine and she recently wrote to tell me - yet again - how glad she was for them. One of my queued projects is a lace intarsia scarf designed by one of the gentlemen at the Rocky Mountain Retreat...which gets lots of nice comments when seen.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

akkamaddi's picture

Shawls are a good medium for lace simply because of size. A shawl allows for a larger and better spaced repeating pattern that would be possible on a scarf or sock. Further, shawls have a large area that hangs open on your back, so the display is excellent. However, Ravelry has plenty of beautiful lace scarves and cowls. "Lace" can be as simple as a herringbone rib.

scottly's picture

Lace techniques can be incorporated into any knitting project. Try one project and I know you will be hooked.

BrentGC's picture

Absolutely beautiful scarf! Lace is on my list of projects...but it's down the road a piece. I'm still struggling (in a good way!) to transistion from looms to needles. And I'm enjoying every minute of it!!!


I remember, from many many years ago, Joyce Grenfell singing a bawdy ballad called I'm the Lilly of the valley--over there. I will have to Google that and see if I can find the words.

Kerry's picture

Nice scarf. When you get round to nupps keep them loose, it will then a lot easier to purl together on the back row.

scottly's picture

Thanks for the tip. I'm kind of apprehensive about them. There are tons of nupps in the Lilly of the Valley scarf - I'm afraid it's going to be one of those three for four month projects.

Bill's picture

There's an exhibit of "Knitted Lace of Estonia" at Lacis in Berkeley, right now...much of it from Nancy Bush's collection. Beautiful stuff!

chipsir's picture

I just could not make nupps consecutively good until I ran across this little trick, for a 5 st nupp k1, yo twice, k1, yo twice and k1 all in the same stitch. On the return (or purl) row p5 togrther, drop one of the yo's in each of the 2 double yo's. It keeps the stitches loose and much easier to purl the 5 together. I made a swatch and practiced this method until I was confident with it. Hope this is of some help and good luck with the "Lil;y of the Valley".

rob7086's picture

Neat little trick. I'll try to remember this when I start knitting some of the designs in KNITTED LACE OF ESTONIA, which I just finished reading through. Guess the same trick can be used for the 7 st nupp.

bobinthebul's picture

Nupps had me a bit confounded at the beginning. I think it's a good idea to do a swatch out of similar gauge yarn that you'll be using, and get them down *before* you get to that point in your knitting, so that your project doesn't end up being a document of your nuup-grokking process. :) For me, it was the instruction to "knit them very loosely." I knit what I thought was loose - very loose even - but still couldn't get the needle through on the purl, much get the yarn back through. Of course, if you can get the needle through, you can finish them by lifting the rest of the loops over but that means a lot of time spent on each nupp.

I watched in more analytically, and realized that although I was knitting the first stitch loose, I was losing a lot of that play in the yarnover, and especially when I'd go in for the second knit stitch. So here's how I avoid it: On the first knit stitch, pull the yarn a good inch or so through. Do the yarnover as loosely as possible. Then before you go in for the next knit into the same stitch, hold that yarnover in place with your index finger (I knit continental, I suppose you'd use your middle finger if you are throwing. Whatever works!). You can even push a bit more yarn into the yarnover as you do it. That keeps the whole structure loose and you'll find that purling through the nupp will actually be fun. :) Also - make sure you get all those loops onto the stitch (miss one a few times and you'll know what I mean!). If you do miss one, it's often obvious by the time you get to it again in the next knit row, and you can correct it there before you work that stitch.

scottly's picture

I better print all of this stuff out so when I actually start "nupping" as it were, I'll be able to figure out what you all are talking about. I'm starting to feel a little intimidated. I think you're right about doing some sample swatches first.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Swatches are definitely a great idea. I just remembered that a friend of mine has knit "Lily of the Valley" several times, the first one when Nancy Bush first published the pattern [pre-book]. It is quite a lovely shawl. I personally don't care for nupps...they are a form of bobble and I just cannot do bobbles of any type. [Knit or crochet.] Not because of lack of skill, I just don't like them very much.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

MMario's picture

I find nupps and bobbles to be very different...

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Joe-in Wyoming's picture must be more of a visual thing for me; they look so much alike that I can't get past that point. Still, if they were part of a project for a commission or important gift, I'd grit my teeth and work them.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.