Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's a Sock

I know it looks more like an itchy thong, but it's a sock. Not a knit sock, though.

This is my first successful attempt at naalbinding, a way of creating looped fabric with a single needle. Naalbinding is much older than knitting - it's also much slower, which is probably why it hasn't stayed popular. This, specifically, is the Oslo stitch, which has directions available here. (There are lots of naalbinding stitches, usually named for the location they were discovered. Some resemble knitting or crochet, which explains why these crafts are often said to be much older than they are.)

Why Naalbinding? I put down my Harry Potter book long enough to attend Simple Day, the Indianapolis SCA group's big summer event. There wasn't much going on, and I was thinking about leaving, until I heard there was someone who could teach me Naalbinding. This is something I've wanted to learn for years, but since the best directions I had were in Swedish, I never got very far. Now, however, I'm well on the way to making a Viking sock. The loop around the top goes around the ankle, and the stirrup underneath goes under the foot. Then it's just a matter of going in rounds to make the toe and heel, and there's a sock!

Naalbinding doesn't stretch as well as knitting, but since it's made one stitch at a time, it won't unravel. Aaron once found a quote that said a man with a good wife will never be stuck with knitted socks - she'll naalbind them for something more sturdy. But now I can teach him - so he won't need a good wife to take care of his socks.


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