Before my wedding, I had planned to make the Lily of the Valley Shawl in wedding white from Interweave’s Lace Style book. It’s based on a popular Estonian Lace pattern lily of the valley. The stitch requires nupps which are an Estonian version of bobbles. In the lily of the valley pattern, they look a lot like the stalks of white bell shaped flowers that I remember dotting a patch of my parents’ house. Since I wound up with a champagne colored dress with grey beading, I abandoned this shawl which looked funny next to the dress in favor of a less design intense pattern in charcoal grey. (Unfortunately, as a result, the shawl still lingers in my UFO pile in hopes that I will eventually finish it.)
Thanks to Kathy at Grumperina, I discovered Lace Knitting of Estonia by Nancy Bush. The book explains that nupps were used to show that the piece was handmade and to add weight since the lace was sold by weight. Since getting this book, I have renewed zeal for nupps. I have started three other lace projects, of which one is finished.
(Note: While Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl requires nupps as part of the lily of the valley border, I didn’t have enough yarn to make them. As a result, this shawl isn’t included in this list.)
Have you tried Estonian Lace yet? Please let me know. I strongly recommend the book!
Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief