Nalebinding – Viking Knitting Technique

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By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilight Kallisti

Nalebinding Knitting Technique

Want to knit like a Viking? Recently I had the pleasure of researching nalebinding for a school project. Nalebinding, also called Nalbinding or Viking knitting, is a fiber technique that predates both knitting and crochet. Egyptian socks from the 4th century were made using nalebinding. The Vikings also used nalebinding to create textiles and now you can too.

Materials

There are many types of nalebinding stitches but as this was my first time trying I went with a simple stitch. This method is called the Oslo stitch.

Cut a length of yarn roughly a yard long. Anything longer becomes too wieldy to handle. Take the yarn and make a loop.

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Place your needle through the loop.

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Wrap the yarn over the needle.

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Pull through. This creates a loop on your thumb.

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This next step is tricky at first but once you get the hang of it it’s easy. Put your needle under the back loop. Twist the needle to then slide under the loop on your thumb and under the working yarn.

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Pull through. You now have two loops on your thumb.

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Slide the top loop behind your thumb.

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This now becomes the loop you slide your needle under first.

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After sliding the needle under the back loop twist it again to slide under the loop on your thumb and working needle. You’ll then have two loops on your thumb.

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Repeat this step over and over under you have a length of chain. You can use multi ply yarn if you like. But it needs to be wool.

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Why wool? Because when you get to the end of the yarn you’ll need to attach more.

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Pull apart the yarn ends. You can spit splice them together but I preferred to use my needle felt tool.

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Once you’ve joined the ends you can continue.

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I decided to make a cell phone bag so I joined my ends once I reached my desired length. Slide the yarn needle under the first loop on the starter end before sliding under the loop behind your thumb.

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For the next stitch slide your needle under the stitch to the right of the first starter stitch you worked in the last step. You’ll keep working to the right. Keep spiraling around until you’ve reached your desired length.

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I wanted to make a little flap at the top so I stopped spiraling around. Instead I turned direction to pick up a stitch.

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I worked back and forth until I had a little triangle.

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Attach Sticky Velcro to give the flap quick access.

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A small length of red felt makes for a cute tongue. Sew down with matching thread.

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Find circular items to trace out shapes for the eyes on the felt. I used the thread spool for the white and a bottle cap for the black

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Sew on the eye.

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Create a new chain of nalebinding stitches of desired length for the strap.

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Sew strap onto bag.

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Now you have a cute Viking monster!

DIY Cell Phone Cozy with Nalebinding Knitting Technique

I’m loving my new cell phone cozy. If you make your own please post a
pic in the comments.

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