cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 06:03pm on 16/07/2006 under
By request, a picture of me wearing the infamous nålbound hat! Look here.
location: my futon
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 05:22pm on 09/07/2006 under ,
The hat is done! I finished it on Thursday.

After making all the mistakes I could possibly make in the stitches, I decreased the width too much, and very nearly made it too small to fit on my head! Fortunately, I was able to take out a few stitches as I was working in the final threads. It's still snug, butnow I can pull it on with a bit of effort. It even covers my ears.

And if it looks just a bit lumpy, well, it was my first real project.

Now, on to socks! Or maybe another hat first. :-)
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:19pm on 24/04/2006 under
To those of my friends who wanted to see my nålbinding project at Penguicon, I apologize. I had the yarmulke, yarn and needle with me. But when I had time, no one who'd been interested was around. When they were around, I didn't have time (or energy, or something).

So I will post pictures of that project. Soon. But not tonight.
Mood:: 'creative' creative
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 12:58pm on 25/03/2006 under
I have a new hobby; nålbinding! (Don't tell my boss though; I'm not supposed to have a new hobby. I'm supposed to be billing lots of hours at work, to make up for a time shortfall in January and February).

Nålbinding is an ancient string art that can be used to turn yarn into socks and hats and scarves and other useful things. Archaeologists have found the remains of nålbound pieces in Egypt and similar places going back to the early years A.D., and in Viking-era digs, among other things. The name itself is a Scandanavian word meaning something like "needle binding" or "needle looping," and nålbinding was a living tradition in Scandanavia until the 19th century, then was rediscovered and began to be re-taught in Scandanavia in the 1920s, and has spread from there to be undertaken by reenactors, mostly those interested in the Viking period and the medieval period.

Nålbinding uses a thick needle with a blunt point and an eye in one end. Unlike knitting and crochet, it *cannot* be done with a continuous thread. Instead, you use pieces of about 1 to 3 yards in length, and splice or knot new ones onto the working end when you're about to run out. The end product looks a bit like crochet and a bit like some of the more exotic knitting stitches, but not all that much like either of them, at least in my opinion.

There are, naturally, a bunch of web sites that describe nålbinding and display nålbound items. Here's a few nice ones:

http://www.geocities.com/sigridkitty/
http://www.dilettante.info/nalbindingpages/socksmain.htm

Here's a page that shows a picture of a reproduction of a nålbound sock found in the Viking-era level at the Coppergate site in York, England:

http://polaris.umuc.edu/~jthies/sca/viking/jorviksocks.html

I am now good enough to nalbind a chain of endless length, or a slightly awkward-looking spiral, which can turn easily into a bowl-like shape. My goal is to nålbind a pair of socks for myself by the end of the year. (I thought I could do this in a couple of months, but it's taking much longer than I thought to acquire the necessary skill.) When I have something big enough to boast about, I'll figure out a way to post a picture of it here. Wish me luck!
Mood:: 'ambitious' ambitious

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