Viking Nalbinding Knitting
If you would like we can teach you the ancient Viking knitting technique while you visit. You can also buy hats, mitts, scarfs, belts and socks which has been made on site in the gift shop or in the cheiftain's hall from the re-enactors.

An example a Nalbinding Knit Hat produced at Norstead. They come in many different colors and styles.

Literally translated as "needle binding" or "binding with a needle," nalbinding is a time-honored method of creating fabric that is considered to be older than crocheting or knitting. Alternately spelled as naalbinding or nalebinding, the process is based on the use of one needle rather than two, and a technique that employs the entire length of the strand of yarn. Here is some information about the art of nalbinding, as well as a couple of applications for the art form.

Nalbinding is considered to be a form of single needle knitting that makes use of short strands of yarn. This is different from many other techniques, in that an entire piece of yarn is involved in the creation of each lop in the pattern. The needle that is used in nalbinding is relatively flat in structure made with moose antler or wood. Beginning with a short piece of yarn, a loop is created, and the needle is passed through the loop. However, the knot that results from this action is not snugged. Instead, the knot is left loose, allowing the needle to be passed through the loop created by the first movement.

What this series of steps creates is a chain of loops that are meant to be more or less uniform. When the end of the row is reached, work on the second row commences. This is accomplished by passing the needle and the attached yarn through the last loop in the first row as well as the first loop in the second row. That process is repeated throughout the second line, joining each new loop with the corresponding loop in the first row.

Nalbinding relies on this unique method of looping yarn to create a number of useful items. Some of the more common items that can result from nalbinding are winter scarves, hats,and mittens. Interest in nalbinding as folk art has also led to the use of the art form to create attractive vests, decorative belts, and stocking caps. Because the technique relies on the use of relatively short pieces of yarn, it is possible to mix in a variety of colors into the design, making each creation.

Norstead Village Inc. in L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland
Billing address:P.O. Box 265 St. Lunaire, NL Canada A0K 2X0
Tel: (709) 623-2828
Toll Free: 1-877-620-2828
Fax: (709) 623-2882