Saturday, September 17, 2016

Starting Up Is Hard To Do...

Last night and this afternoon, I made more attempts to work on nalbinding stitches.

I think I do have the idea of how to work what the "Nalbinding From Finds" booklet calls "modified Dalby stitch", but I have trouble starting a chain in a way that does not fall apart after I start to work the stitch.   

So I've tentatively gone back to using Mammen stitch, and I've opened my green wool skein and attempted to work the starting bands for the mittens.  Several times.  It is very lovely yarn, both in color and feel. However, it is washable, which I didn't realize when I bought it.   I haven't tried felting joins in it yet (for reasons I'll get into below).

To my annoyance, I'm having trouble keeping a consistent stitch, and avoiding snagging my needle on previously worked stitches (and dragging the needle through a thread on a previous stitch).  

I'm also trying to work on joins, since joins were a big problem for me the last time I attempted nalbinding.  Spit joins are a problem for me (even with fully-feltable, no-wash wool), because I work at such a tension that they tend to come apart when I pull the joined section through a stitch.  So I've been attempting to do joins by placing both old and new threads in the eye of the needle, though that poses its own problems.

When I do succeed in working a section of stitching properly, the result is beautiful.  I really want to keep with this, in the hopes that once I conquer all of these problems, I will have mastered the basics of nalbinding and can go on to more interesting projects.  

In the meantime, I'm going to try another needle.  I have a metal tapestry needle around here somewhere that's significantly shorter than my beloved bone needle; perhaps that will help.

EDIT (9/30/2016):  I'm still making new starts.  I've started the first rounds of the cuff of a mitten several times now, but either twisted the chain or skipped too many connecting stitches.  Still forging ahead though.


  1. My favourite source for naalbinding instructions is this website:

    Good luck!

    1. Hi, Miriam! Welcome, and thanks for the good wishes.

      I found, which has a positively overwhelming collection of resources of all kinds about nalbinding. When I first looked at it, I was very confused by the video showing Dalby stitch. However, I looked at the same video a few moments ago and it makes better sense to me now, so I'm going to try learning Dalby stitch from it again.