For a few months now I’ve been teaching myself Nålebinding with the help of some YouTube videos. There are a few photos on Instagram of my efforts. I’m so grateful to Karin Byom on Instagram for her hints and tips! She’s so talented! Just look at these socks she made!
I also started a pair of fingerless mitts in Drops Eskimo. On the plus side, I’ve found a new use for all the odds and ends of 100% wool yarn I have left over from various projects. I’m thinking about using some leftover 4ply Cornish Tin II to make some slippers for me. But I’ll need to get some leather for the soles I think. 🤔
So what is nålebinding?
Nalbinding (also spelled naalbinding, nalebinding, nalbindning and other variants) is an ancient fabric construction technique that predates knitting and crochet by some 2000 years.
I find it interesting that pieces have been found as far apart as Egypt and Scandinavia. The socks in the above picture are on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum and are proof that men have been wearing socks and sandals for a very long time!
These socks are the earliest knitted items in the V&A’s collection. Made in 300-499 AD, they were excavated in Egypt at the end of the 19th century. They have a divided toe and are designed to be worn with sandals.
Finding information about Nålebinding in the UK is quite difficult. Apart from the outer Scottish islands that is. I think the Vikings must have brought it over though. I’ll have to start visiting folk museums to see if there are any examples in their collections…
I’ve been using a darning needle for my project until now but I really really really wanted a proper needle. I spoke to Lisa from Cottage Coppicing back in May but she felt it wasn’t in her skill set so I wasn’t able to get one from her. I then shelved my search for a few months while I sorted out a few things that I needed to do.
Then about 2 weeks ago, Lisa mentioned me in a tweet in reply to a tweet by another wood carver. Carveryn said he could do it. I was so pleased! We began speaking about it on the 21st of June and he’d finished it by the 25th. I just needed to pay which is what delayed the posting!
It cost just £12 including postage which is not a lot for a handmade item that he hadn’t made before. In fact, if you look at his website, his prices aren’t too high.
I received the needle Friday and I used it immediately! The needle is beautiful to look at and so nice to hold! It works perfectly and does the job! It’s made from beech and finished with walnut oil and beeswax. This needle will have many years of use!
I was really impressed that the packing material was wood shavings from his workshop. Recycling at its best!
All in all, I’m really pleased with both the service and the quality. I’ll definitely buy from him again. Maybe the snake in the above photo. It’s £40 if you love me and would like to buy me a gift.
So, yes, I would definitely recommend this product and company.