Nalbinding, Naalbinding, Needle Binding, Etc. whatever you call it, this ancient craft is a lot of fun. There is debate if it is 1,000 or 2,000 years older than knitting, but this is another craft attributed to the vikings. While knitting takes two pointed sticks, Nalbinding only takes a needle. There are Nalbinding needles for sale on etsy, but for now I am just using a blunt tapestry needle (mom uses them for plastic canvas). I love the look of this craft, though it looks like garbage while you are making it (or while I am making it at least) but a tug here, a pull there and Viola:
I gathered my courage and watched a few more youtube videos, lo and behold I managed to make this:
While I thought that this was a valiant start to a sock, I then found out that my Sombrero (as named by mom, of course) covers…a toe. Well I will just have to change colors and make it bigger. Why change colors, well it certainly isn’t because I ran out of this shade of brown..nope, its….um….a design element. (yeah, we will go with that). Most of the patterns that I am looking at, and yes there are patterns for this craft, state that a wool single might be the best fiber to use. I am now thinking about spinning a wool single, thickly, for using with my Nalbinding. It certainly is a thought.
I have decided since I have been in such a mood to learn, to pick up a few more new crafts! At present I am fascinated by some of the older crafts that have been attributed to the Vikings. The first of which is Lucet, a method for making a cord just using a two pronged object. Some people use forks with two tines bent or broken off, some use their fingers or a stick, I splurged and picked up a Lucet from Sistermaide on Etsy.
Since I had read a few articles and watched a couple of videos while waiting for this to arrive, I was ready to go as soon as it came in the mail. After a few hours I was making a beautiful cord with even tension and no real holes. Now I have a ball of Lucet made, not pictured, that I will then figure out what to do with! Happy Crafting.
This is my brand new batt from Crafty Creations out of Missouri. It is a fantastic piece of fiber, and I have already started spinning it. There is an amazingly bouncy texture to this fiber that makes if very different from the Corriedale that I have been spinning. I did split the batt into three sections and I am spinning each section separately, at the end I hope to have a three ply yarn.
I had some Silk Hankies left from 2012 when I last purchased fiber. I decided to spin them, and while I was on a Navajo Plying kick this past weekend I plied them. I then decided to exercise my new Inkle Loom, and much to my delight I love the results.
This past week we had one lovely day of Indian Summer. The weather was about 70 so my mother suggested that I hang the wool that I Plied using the Navajo Ply, and then washed, out on the line to dry. I had also managed to ply the bamboo silk I though I had ruined using the same method. Since I could not decide which picture to post, I posted a selection of them.
This past week I decided to use my bottom whorl spindle to spin up a couple of mini-batts I purchased from Woolie Bullie out of Kansas, purchased through Etsy. The first batt started out looking like this:
These are two views of the same batt. I split this batt into two halves and spun two singles. I wound the singles onto (clean) chopsticks and plied them from there. The plied yarn on the spindle looked like this:
Then I used my Niddy Noddy to measure the yarn:
This first 1/4 oz batt gave me 17 yards, all of the design elements that caused this to be less than a ‘perfect spin’ are my own and I love them! I then cast on 20 stitches and using a stockette stitch on US9 needles I started knitting:
This is after 17 yards, well I love it and so I spun up the second batt:
Which yielded about 16 yards. I have that knit up but could not stop there! I am currently waiting with baited breath for my next Batt from WoolieBullie. So exciting, I hope that there will be enough to make a very nice scarf or cowl. I believe that when I finish knitting and wash the product, gently with Dawn, the finished knitted fabric will full out a bit and cause the absolute end product to look a bit different from this beginning.
For the WoolieBullie Dingbats, I highly recommend them. My first batt spun very quickly and easily, while it looked like there was a lot of white the end product was very colorful. There seemed to be a bit of a sticky substance on my second batt, but I believe that this is the result of having a few beautiful curly locks in the fiber and just surprised me instead of detracting from my spinning experience (obvious since I am getting another batt!).
Since we spoke last, I purchased an Ashford Inklette loom from Woolery. I found the service to be excellent and I adore the product I received. You can see my progression of weaving from right to left, the right being my first efforts. It looks good in the photo, but I had way too much weft showing and the weave wound up very loose and large compared to what inkle weaving is ‘supposed’ to look like. After that my second effort started the same way but I got the hang of it by the end of that piece. I’ve been having a ton of fun with the different lengths and widths I can get with this loom. If you want to get into weaving I really suggest starting with the Inkle loom!