Hello everyone! I am new to this KAL--I started the shawl a couple of weeks ago as my first lace project. I am using JaggerSpun Zephyr (silk/wool blend) in color Real Red on a size US4 Inox Express circular. I just completed row 6 of the first border and, whew--I'm kind of glad I started without reading this KAL--I think the nupps would have scared me off. Now that I'm there, though, it's exciting to learn a new skill. (You can read more on my blog should you be so inclined!)
I wanted to share the technique I'm using for the nupps just in case it helps anyone else in my situation.
After all the swearing and the poking and the feeling desperate, I discovered a method for nupping that is less painful and more efficient, for me at least. Each time I come to the p5tog, I carefully slip the five stitches onto a metal tapestry needle and hold it to the front, sort of like using a cable needle. I then purl the stitches together from the tapestry needle rather than the left knitting needle. The smaller diameter of the tapestry needle gives me the wiggle room I need to clear all five stitches, wrap the working yarn, and purl it through. It's still really fiddly, but the nupps look great. There are a couple I could have done better, but even my perfectionism balks at ripping back to my lifeline unless I really have to.