This is the chrysalis stage…

As a wise man with the unlikely name of Jon Bon Jovi once said: You’ve got to keep the faith.

Sir Jon Bon of Jovi must have been an experienced lace knitter, and the faith he spoke of must have been in that the folds and crinkles of his lace knitting, he knew there was something beautiful waiting to emerge.

In this crumpled, ill-begotten mess, I have to trust that there is a beautiful butterfly, readying itself to spread its bright blue triangular wings, for if the ball of yarn is the plump caterpillar, full of so much hope and ambition, and the shall is the final, beautiful conclusion, then this mis-shapen froth of knitting must be the chrysalis.

This is my first large-scale lace project, and I just have to trust in the experience of all the brave lace knitters that have come before me that there is something beautiful in there, that the placement of yarn overs, decreases, bound stitches and nupps will all fall into regimented place once water and a vast array of pins have been applied. Oh, and by the way, nupps are sent to test you. You do not have to submit to their examination. I knit the first two rows of nupps and then decided that they weren’t needed on the rest of the shawl. I deny the nupps.

Nupps are not ‘difficult’ as such, but purling 7 tight stitches together with 4mm needles and using 4-ply yarn does require good lighting and a bit of patience. They perhaps do add a little something to certain designs, but whether they add enough to justify the extra work is a matter of personal opinion. I compromised by knitting the first two rows of nupps and then omitting them from the rest of the shawl.

Postscript: I am not a Bon Jovi fan. Thanks for entertaining the idea, though.