Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lots of Socks, Tarim Stitch & Lucet

Ask me if I'm tickled that my Larry Schmitt's Lots of Socks book arrived?... It has instructions for 10 different nalbinding stitches and patterns for about 5 different nalbound socks. It also says that while naalbinding is a correct usage and spelling for this craft, an effort has been made to standardize the name using nalbinding with the pronounciation as nall-bin-ding using a short i .

It was surprising to learn that most nalbound socks in the early centuries and even up until the mid 19th century were made with a mixture of wool and goat hair.. the goat hair was added to help wick the moisture away from the feet.. with the side of the sock facing the foot brushed to smooth the goat hairs and bring them to the top. It seems that some very early Scandinavians were surprised to find that when they took their shoes off the skotalinger, or toe cap (nalbound shoe liner with a toe cap), was frozen to the bottom of the shoe. The toe cap was worn over the socks as an extra insulation for the toes and bottom of the feet.

Over the last day or so I have been trying some of the stitches and find that all but one are not that difficult to do. The last stitch, Omani, is complicated enough that I will have to study it in the full light of day with no The Tarim Stitch looks just like the knit stitch. The better thing about this stitch is that it doesn't roll in from the sides like regular knit stockinette stitch.. and is much more durable. I really like this stitch and am in the process of trying to figure out if I have enough yarn yet to make something really big out of it. Or it may be that all the kids and grandkids will get another neck scarf for (I offered to make Son #2 a pair of socks out of my hand spun pink/rose merino yarn...can you believe he politely refused!)

I finished a nalbound bag the other... handspun orange Corriedale. I need to put cordage through the top so decided that I wanted to try a Lucet instead of the usual twisted cord. Here is my "Lucet". A wooden one will be quite easy to make, but I wanted to see if I could do it (duh...easy peasy) and also to see if I would like the square cord that it makes. It's great. I just drew off my approximation of a lucet onto heavy cardboard and used a combination of knife and scissors to cut it out...covered all areas that the thread would come in contact with, pushed a hole in the center and voila'. It goes very quickly and you can use everything from embroidery thread to big yarn. The only thing is that the finished cord must be of a size to fit through the hole in the center. Therefore...aha...perhaps it would be good to have more than one size...hmmm

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