7.01.2006

nalbinding

Doubled over. It's fluffy at the end thanks to the single crocheted edges.


Stretched out. This scarf can be several feet long but very skinny, or really dang wide, and short.


Up close. You can see how neat this stitches look.


A few years ago I ordered one of those Charlotte kits that has 5 coordinated colors of Koigu. I had already made a Charlotte, and I wanted to try some Nalbinding. In 2003 I was lucky enough to attend Interweave's SOAR in Michigan, and I had a class on Nalbinding. I really like the way the fabric looks, but it is tedious to make. The fellow who taught the class had us use thick and user-friendly wool while we learned. He passed around some of his finished pieces one of which was a scarf made of Koigu in shades of blue. It was lacey and beautiful in a different way from knitting, and I fell in love. When the kit showed up I decided to give it a try. I made most of this on a road trip from SoCal to Santa Fe for a conference in 2004. I wasn't driving, I should say.
Having moved 87 times or so since SOAR, I searched the web for nalbinding directions since I could no longer find my hand out. If you're interested, look here, here, and here for pretty good directions and pictures. Per my class at SOAR, I nalbinded in a circle, and then when it was the width I liked, I cut the circle as to end up with a strip. The ends will unravel a few stitches, but you can just find the end and tug it tight to prevent your work from undoing itself. I thought the ends looked a bit sloppy, so I single crocheted along both edges to hide the 5 ends. I nalbinded two rounds per each color. It took a lot of time. You can only nalbind about a foot or two of yarn at a time before you have to add more yarn, and this is done by felting ends together. Koigu is perfect for this since the colors are always wonderful, and it's pure wool, not superwash (despite what vendors STILL have on their sites about Koigu). You need a large blunt wooden nalbinding needle, or one of those large plastic needles we use to sew in ends of yarn upon the completion of a knitting project. You need patients, and you need to know how to join yarn by felting ends together.
I ordered two wonderful skeins of cashmere and started another scarf not long after this one was finished. I have to say that cashmere felts so much easier, but this project has languished because I don't like nalbinding, I just like the finished product. Alas, I've been slowly working toward finsishing it for years now. I'm almost done with one skein, but I've still got another to go! Keep your fingers crossed.

4 Comments:

Blogger JANET said...

your scarf is beautiful - is it Koigu or handdyed yarn (by you?)

4:49 AM  
Blogger Frances Goodman فرانسيس said...

thanks! It's Koigu. I only wish I could make such great colors!

8:01 AM  
Blogger JANET said...

I've been writing about color and I placed a link in my blog so others could appreciate the scarf.
Please let me know if you'd prefer that I remove it.
You can find my blog at http://pegotty.blogspot.com.

7:42 PM  
Blogger JANET said...

the newbie is now trying for an actual link. . .
http://pegotty.blogspot.com/

7:45 PM  

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