Nålbinding: Socks Revisted

I found some of my notes on what I did making my socks! In the last post, I just quickly posted the pictures but didn't add my usual goals list, or any information. I'm here to do that now!

Goals for this project:

1. Make a pair of socks!

2. Sample some stitches and decide which one to use.

3. Practice round/spiral start, increasing and decreasing.

4. Ask, did I enjoy Nålbinding? Would I make another pair? What would I do differently?

So, those were my goals. It was a short list because I knew nothing about Nålbinding. What intrigued me was photos of beautifuls mittens and socks made with just a wooden needle and yarn.

As I started my online research, it became clear that the bulk of people doing Nålbinding came to it because they do living history. My interest in this goes as far as thinking about my husband's Viking ancestors, and the surge in Viking history in general. The challenge for me was the thought of making a pair of socks with just a wooden needle! I have made many pairs of socks with 5 double pointed needles and/or 2 or 1 circular needle. This process makes for a very portable project, but could I literally put a wooden needle and some yarn in my bag, and that's all?

Then I saw a picture on Pinterest!

Surprisingly, I'd visited the woman's blog many times before, but for tablet weaving!

The picture that got me started was a pair of knee highs by Mervi Pasanen! They were beautiful! It's worth checking out her blog as there are other photos of Nålbinding goodies, and I even think there is a tutorial on edging. Anyway, her photo inspired me to make a pair!

And when I say a pair, I meant just socks that came up over my ankle.

And, I think it was Mervi's blog that led me to Neulakintaat website (at this time I don't know the name of the woman who runs the site, but when find out, I will add her name here). There is a TON of information there, and links to YouTube videos.

I practiced the round/spiral start with different yarns in my stash and settled on using Brown Sheep Yarn, 100% wool, worsted weight. I also made the decision to make both socks at the same time, as I have learned from knitting that gauge can change every time you put down and pick up your knitting.

I only tried 2 stitches, Finnish 2+2, and Finnish 1+2 also know as the Mammen Stitch. I am one of those people that can sample forever, and this time I really just wanted to get started. I used stitch markers, which "traveled" due to the spiral nature, will have to figure that out at a later date.

Basically, I started with the round/spiral start with increases, tried on the sock, and continued doing increases here and there until I reached the arch area. I added yarn using spit slicing. I stitched half way across, then added an equal amount of thumb stitches and rejoined.

Continuing along, I worked the lower and upper leg with a few decreases and plenty of increases. After that, I went back to do the heel, working a round/spiral decrease. Originally I wanted standard socks, but had enough yarn to keep going.

I started the socks on 16 November 2014 and finished them 9 January 2015.

What I learned:

I absolutely love Nålbinding!

The fabric is dense and warm. Nålbinding does not stretch widthwise, but it does lengthwise, so this would need to be taken in consideration if you were felting the fabric as seen mittens.

I don't really love the heel, it is sort of a Heel Type A but not as noted at Shelagh Lewins site. And as I read online, they are tight thru the ankle while putting them on. I don't really think there is much to do about that. Next time I will either try Heel Type A (adding on the heel cup) or Heel Type E.

I am planning on doing another pair of socks with a different heel and a pair of fingerless mittens!

Note: Also saw on Mervi Pasanen's blog that she will be coming out with a book about Nålbinding, I know it's in Finnish, but hoping there might be some English???


These really cool knee highs

Mervi Pasanen's Knee High Socks

Nålbinding Thread Mervi Pasanen's Blog

Neulakintaat Round/Spiral Start - Video

Neulakintaat Mammen/Korgen/Finnish 1+2 Stitch - Video

Neulakintaat Increasing/Decreasing - Video

Neulakintaat Ending/Finishing Edge - Video

Spit Splicing

Shelagh Lewins Heel Type/Construction Page - Heel Type A

Neulakintaat Website




Aletta's Guitar Strap

This sweet strap was originally a custom order. Unfortunately, the individual changed her mind at the last minute about what colors she wanted. But no worries! My soul sister exclaimed I love pink!

In some ways this strap was a challenge because of the color combo. Rarely do I work with pink as a main color. But overall I think the strap is perfectly funky with its addition of orange and purple.

The recipe: handwoven on an inkle loom, 100% percent cotton yarn, 5 colors, plain/simple weave, handmade leather fobs with handstitching, machine stitching to attach slider and loopers.

Aletta, enjoy, and hope to see this strap in action soon!



Golden Yellow Border Guitar Strap

Golden Yellow Border Guitar Strap
Golden Yellow Border Guitar Strap

This strap was woven on a inkle loom. It measures 2" in width.

The weaving technique is called plain weave. That kind of makes me laugh,

because plain weave can be composed of the most awesome colors! Not plain at all!

100% cotton! Colors: Golden Yellow, Olive Green, Off White, Cinnamon, & Rust.

Front and Back of strap, leather fobs need slits cut in!
Front and Back of strap, leather fobs need slits cut in!

Handmade leather fob w/ handstitching (made by me), black plastic slider and loopers.

The Full Strap
The Full Strap

This strap can be adjusted 33" to 57".

This sweet strap is up for grabs, contact thru FB, etsy, or email!

Slider Close Up
Slider Close Up


Dad's Guitar Strap

First, I want to say thank you to the wonderful folks that have left feedback at my Etsy shop. I am starting to finally have more sales there and it makes me smile to know that the woven key fobs and trims that I make are starting to travel around the U.S.! And as always, thank you to my dear friends for supporting my weaving habit!

Dad's Guitar Strap
Dad's Guitar Strap

A few months back I posted some photos of wider bands that were intended to be guitar straps or sturdy bag straps. Then the requests came from family members, and then a few more from friends. I've finished a series of 7, and now I have 3 more to finish and then I am ready to get back to designing more key fobs.

close up of pattern detail, the front side.
close up of pattern detail, the front side.

My dad had been asking for a strap for awhile. I settled on adapting a pattern from Manual de Telar Mapuche. I placed it in the middle, and added combs on the side (I love, love comb designs)! The pattern is a 15 pattern pick up design and was easy to memorize. This band was woven on an inkle loom.

The Strap!
The Strap!

Here is the funny (sort of) story behind this band. My little guy, who has been practicing his scissor skills, decided he was going to "practice" on this band. I have no idea when he did it, but it sent me into a panic, because the strap was hanging with other for sale pieces. Luckily, he didn't cut any other bands.

close up of pattern detail, the back side.
close up of pattern detail, the back side.

Sadly I showed my dad, and said I would have to make another one. My dad, who can work a sewing machine told me what to do, and we were able to repair enough of it to squeeze a length of strap out of it. I also think, for him, there is a "mark" there, my son saying here I am, and my dad wanted that in the piece.

The strap (100% cotton) and leather hardware.
The strap (100% cotton) and leather hardware.

I made the leather hardware and did the hand stitching on them. So that's the story behind this band. And my dad loves it! Stay tuned for more bands!


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