Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something New that is Very, Very Old

I have just added a new line to the historic reproductions section of my shop. They are nalbinding needles. Now, you ask, what is nalbinding? Nalbinding, also spelled naalbinding, is a an ancient form of knitting done by the Vikings that carried on through Medieval and Renaissance times. It is also known as single needle knitting.

A variation of nalbinding became popular again in the late 20th Century and was then called toothbrush rug making. The techniques and stitches are the same.

A series of loops and knots form the stitches and one who knows this ancient art can create hats, mittens, scarves, socks, and more. Once the technique is learned this knitting goes quickly. Unlike traditional two needle knitting, short lengths of yarn are used rather than a continuous skein. There are many free sources on the internet to learn the stitches including videos that show close up what to do to teach yourself this art.

Who wants nalbinding needles? This art has become popular amongst Renaissance and Medieval living history reenactors and members of the S.C.A., as well as hobbyists and crafts artists who are looking to express themselves in a unique way.

The needles vary in size. This one is a little more than four and one half inches in length and is 3/8" wide. This needle is made of American Maple - a renewable and durable hardwood. The grain pattern of maple is distinct and this piece shows the beautiful striping. The needle is sanded to a silky smooth finish and is then hand-rubbed with oil and polished to glide through the stitches - which is highly desirable in nalbinding. This needle is a pleasure to work with. The eye of the needle shown has been sized to accommodate all common sizes of yarn.

If you do nalbinding or would like to start, come to my shop at Etsy - qbranchtld - and take a look at the fine handmade needles that I have to offer there.


TheFrogBag said...

This is so very, very cool! I'd never even heard of it before!

Anna said...

Interesting! I'm curious now; I'm imagining it being like crochet (a one-needle show) but I imagine probably not really. :) I'm going to go google it...