Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey, writes: “Dear Mrs. Knitting a Mile Square -Why is it that every time I look in a knitting magazine, all they have is patterns with millions of  nupps?  What are nupps, anyway? Are they different from bobbles? How can I tell the difference between a bobble and a nupp? Are you knitting anything with nupps right now? How can I tell if there are nupps in my knitting? How do I turn a nupp into a bobble? Is there a cure for nupps or a way to make them without going insane?  Sincerely, Richard Feder”.

Mr. Feder, I know what you mean, because I, Mrs. Knitting A Mile Square, am dealing now with a pattern that either has 400 nupps or 400 bobbles and I find myself thinking about the two techniques so much, it’s making me sick! I hardly have any time to think about George Clooney.

This is what I’m talking about:

Nuppin Happenin

Nuppin Happenin

This is a pattern from an out of print Debbie Bliss book from the mid-1990’s, a time when there was no Ravelry, no coast to coast Stitches and even when Sheep and Wool festivals were all about the sheep meat, not the wool.  It is a pattern s from a more difficult knitting time, when you had to know the Metric system and and knit nupps and bobbles for excitement because there was no Noro in any of the yarn stores.

After a great deal of research, I learned there is just one row separating the nupp from the bobble. With the nupp, you do all those Make Ones in a stitch,and leave them on the needle to purl all together on the next row.  With a bobble, you knit all those pesty Make Ones together right away and get on with  your life.

I think, though, I’ve invented the Bupp.  I’m doing all the make ones like you’d do for a nupp or a bobble, but instead of knitting them all together or dealing with them in the next row, I’m passing each slip stitch over one at a time for a lacier, lighter effect.  Sort of like a bobble, sort of like a nupp, but far far worse.