The other day (yesterday? day before? I’m vague) THIS GUY contacted me with a link to his site. He makes “toothbrush rugs”, which probably you have heard of. I hadn’t, but I knew of the technique as naalbinding, because I used to hang out with Vikings a lot during my impressionable youth. But, I never actually had anyone teach me to DO it before.

So armed with the instructions and some ugly thick yarn, I marched off to Knit Night and spent most of the evening trying to make what he said plus what my hands were doing equal rug making. I think I’ve got my mind around it, there may be one loop I’m approaching the wrong way. Actually, I might have fixed that as well, except idiot that I am I did that part in black rags, and actually I can’t see what I did there at all. So I’ll have to do it again in something bright or contrasting, at least. It’s a little like crochet, and a lot like buttonhole stitch, and also quite a bit like punto in aria if you’ve ever done that.

Point is: Sturdy rugs! Made from old clothes or yarn or plastic bags or whatever you want, PLUS the technique can actually be used for socks and mittens, which is what the Vikings used to do with it. Very cool, go check it out!

I also found this site, which has samples of extant pieces from the Viking age done in wool, and if you’re really feeling like a yarn nerd they also identify how the wool was spun. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Emily!)

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