So I’ve learned nalbinding 🙂 The Scandinavian spelling is nålebinding, which means needle binding. Not sure what to call it, really. I think the most common spelling in English is ‘nalbinding’, but I’m tempted to use the Scandinavian word, being Norwegian and all…
A friend showed me the basic technique last Saturday, when we were gathered for a pre-New Year’s Eve dinner. And this is what I did:
I managed a fair first row, bit then I messed up the join and the second round was all wrong. I had no idea what I’d done, and neither did my friend. I didn’t try again for a couple of days, and on Tuesday my friend left town. I don’t have a nalbinding needle of my own, and they’re really hard to find around here, so I figured that was that.
But now, a few days and a million YouTube videos later, I have made this:
I didn’t plan on making a wristwarmer, I really wanted to make a bag or something, but this is what happened. Don’t know if I’ll make another, because this was my first try and I don’t think I’ll be able to repeat it, mistakes and all.
As you can see from this picture, the beginning (green) is very loose and uneven. The first rounds will usually be looser than the rest, but not this much… I found my tension eventually, and by the end of the gray part I was making pretty even stitches. Still not without mistakes, though…
I’m using a large yarn needle as a substitute, but it’s not completely blunt, and my thumb is now really sore. I need a proper needle before my thumbnail falls off… Tomorrow’s my birthday, and on my wish list is, of course, a nalbinding needle. The museum where I work has bone needles, they are pretty expensive, but it’s the only place I know that has them. I could find some online, but with shipping costs it would be more or less the same price.
After the first project was done I picked a new color and started experimenting some more, changing the number of loops I worked and where I picked up stitches. The result is this thing:
Just a test, I do not intend to use it for anything. I really like how much firmer the fabric becomes when you work two loops at a time instead of just one, like I was taught. It takes longer, because you need more stitches.
With nalbinding you work with relatively short lengths of yarn, and when you run out you have to attach a new length. You’re not supposed to tie the ends (some think knots are a huge no-no), so the best way is to splice the ends together by felting.
Not particularly easy, though. Takes a bit of time, but perhaps it doesn’t really take more time than weaving in the ends afterwards. Plus you get to use the whole length, so it saves yarn, too 🙂