My First Naalbinding Hat

My first naalbound hat using my oak needle   I continue to be fascinated with this centuries old and almost forgotten technique.   I have learned today that this stitch is called the Korgen stitch.  It is one of my favorites.  The mitten I made turned out really bad..grin  So … no pics!  But I will try again since I think I have figured out what caused the mess.  I can only hope that other people will cultivate an interest in this almost lost art of naalbinding…

Wrap Your Gifts in Fabric…Forget Paper!

How to wrap a gift in fabric….  What a wonderful idea! I was surfing through my early morning blogs and found a post re: Vox on Sharon B’s blog… had to go look… began to surf to see if there were many fabric sites… found this!  It seems the Japanese government is encouraging it’s population to use fabric as gift wrap instead of throw away paper.  I can see this as doubly wonderful… for the person receiving the gift it would be a second gift if they sew or work with fabric at all… for the person giving the gift (if the recipient does not sew or need the fabric), just keep all that wonderful fabric instead of picking the paper wrapping up off the floor and throwing it in the dumpster…

Now… how could I do this without it costing a fortune?  First, it wouldn’t have to new fabric.  That shirt I have hanging in my closet (unmoved for perhaps the last 2 years except to make room) has a pretty design, but it too small.  For smaller gifts, how about an antique hankie found at the local charity thrift shop.  Does anyone have any other ideas?  I would love to hear them! 

Naalbinding

My first naalbinding needle.  A few weeks ago I came across this method of making cloth somewhere in my  travels across the web.  I can’t honestly say which site I came across first because I immediately clicked on every link I could find.  It seems that this was the method for making shoe linings or socks that was preferred by the Vikings around 900 AD.   I was enthralled with the idea, so immediately picked up my largest metal darning needle and went to work to see if I could do all the loop-de-loops…grin  It wasn’t hard at all, but somehow mine just didn’t look quite like what I had seen online. 

To make a long story short, I went out to the shop looking for a sliver of oak… DH knew in his heart of hearts that I would chop off not only all fingers but my liver also… so he cut me a small piece off some scrap oak we had lying around.  I put it in the vice and started filing away.  When I had come up with what I wanted, he used the drill press and cut the threading hole in it for me.  A little sanding and voila… I love it!!!!

 Oslo Stitch Bag So I immediately made this little bag using the Oslo stitch…which… by the way… is the only stitch I know..grin  Well, I didn’t really like all the lacy look, so I wandered through cyberspace again and found another way of doing the Oslo stitch. 

Beaded Amulet Bag  This amulet bag turned out a bit better.  The beads I made a week or so ago using Sculpy.  I still need to make cording to close it with, but all in all I am quite happy with this little bag. 

Tablet Weaving.. or Card Weaving.. who knew?

My Cheerios Box Tablet Weaving Cards Yesterday I finished the Cheerios at breakfast. 

Card Weaving Cards  So I made Tablet Weaving Cards out of the box.   There is a really great tutorial on how to make these cards and use them in the Society of Primitive Technology  online pages with the tutorial page by Robin and Bart Blankenship.   I printed off the instruction pages, got out 2 colors of crochet cotton thread and decided to see what would happen.  WOW! 

Attaching it to something….    Now I had to find a place to hook one end… To be more comfortable, I could have used a doorknob, but at the time I didn’t think of it, so this is what I came up with.  This is one that you could do with the tails of your thread attached to a belt around your waist and the end on a tree if you wanted to do this outside. (In other words… no loom needed..) 

Card Woven Pattern    In all seriousness, I was amazed when I saw the pattern begin to emerge just by rotating the cards forwards or backwards and passing the weft thread back and forth.  This is of course a very untidy first try, but it will definitely not be the last. 

Soda Straw Weaving Tutorial

My Soda Straw Weaving  Back in March of this year, I posted a link to a site that had instructions for using soda straws to weave.  Well, I don’t know what’s up lately, but I seem to be in one of those “I wonder how our ancestors did things!” moods, so I’m trying everything I can think of…grin   This is very simple to do and I can see it done very long ago using reeds.  

Straw Weaving  In the instructions given on the site listed in March, there is no provision given for making a length as long as this one.  So here is how it’s done. 

I cut 5 lengths of yarn about a yard long and using a needle, attached to buttons by running the yarn through until the button reached the center point of the yarn.  Then changing needles to a much larger darning needle, I threaded the double end of the yarn into the needle and dropped the needle through the straw… pulling through until the button sat on top of the straw.  This is repeated for all 5 pieces of yarn and straws.   This gives you a double thread warp. Gather all ends of your warp threads together in your hand and tie them together in a knot as shown at the top of the photo above.  The “loom” is now threaded and ready to weave.  (I found that if I hooked the knotted end over my bare toe… I know, don’t laugh… it would hold a tension over the threads and made the weaving easier!)

For the weft… or the weaving thread… I attached the loose end of my yarn to one of the straws by wrapping it around and tying a knot at the end near the button… about an inch down the straw.  This straw is now one of the outside straws. Holding this one on the outside, gather all straws into one hand and hold the weaving yarn (weft thread) in the other hand.  Now weave the thread around and between each straw back and forth across all 5 straws.  At first you will have to hold the straws in position until you have a few rows complete, but then the weaving itself will hold the straws in place.  As you fill up the straws, gently twist each straw and pull it up, making sure that all are pulled up to the same level.  Gently move the weaving down the warp threads keeping them smooth and close to the end of the straws until the next time you need to move the weaving down.  There is one small place in this piece where I actually used a bit of a pattern and saw that one can make a different pattern by wrapping 2 straws at a time in pattern.  That will come later. 

This tutorial will have to be continued in a bit due to the fact that I have not finished this project and have not yet bound it off… grin  That will come in a bit…