When I took a class at the SCA Twelfth Night event on nålbinding, the instructor taught us the York Stitch. I ended up not quite following her directions, but adapted what she taught to a technique that felt more natural to me.
The stitch is the same, it’s only how I treat the working yarn that is different than her instruction. Her instruction was perfect though for someone new to naalbinding – to keep the steps clear.
In the class I was working on a hat, but the stitches were very inconsistent as I was learning the stitch. When I got home, I decided to put that project aside (since I only had the yarn from class, nothing that matched at home) and start a new project using the York Stitch.
I also wanted to take a few photos to remind myself her method of starting the hat – making a “flower” of buttonhole stitches at what will be the top of the hat.
Buttonhole Stitch start
Layering 10 buttonhole stitches onto a yarn string in the round.
Pulling the trailing yarn to gather up the buttonhole stitch into a “flower”.
Once I have the “flower” of ten stitches, I can start using the York Stitch to begin the hat.
Nålbinding with the York Stitch
For the hat I used Lamb’s Pride Bulky yarn in Indigo. This is a 85% wool, 15% mohair that I’ve used a number of times before. It’s single-ply, which seems to work well for nålbinding, and it joins nicely using a Russian join.
I typically work up – from the hat opening to the top of the hat, but since I was following my instructor’s top-down method, I did that instead. I find that working up works better for me to get the right size of the hat. I have found in the past (and found this time too) that getting the diameter and length right is harder for me working top-down.
One benefit of working top down (though it would have been possible after finishing the top too) is that I was also able to add an extension to the back of the hat making it two rows longer at the back.
In the photo above I’ve marked where I’ve added the first of two extra rows to the back of the hat. The start and end point I marked with a scrap of white yarn. After adding in the two extra rows, I kept working down the hat, blending in the ridge from starting and ending the extra rows.
With the loose construction that I learned the stitch with, I found that the York Stitch was quite fast to construct, however with this tighter, more consistent stitch, I found that it’s only slightly faster than the Oslo Stitch. Too bad…. I was really looking forward to a *fast* naalbinding stitch!
I like the texture of the York Stitch as well; it has an overall texture rather than the horizontal ribbed effect from the Oslo Stitch.
After finishing the naabinding, I washed the hat and blocked it (along with another spiralled hat).
Come follow me!
I cross-post all of my blog posts to my Facebook page – so if you aren’t a WordPress user, or just don’t want to hit the “subscribe” button, you can follow me on Facebook and see when I load new content. Since I don’t blog daily, I also have a few links, videos, and photos that I load to Facebook as well.
If you’d like to see my works-in-progress, you can also follow me on Instagram!
In the photos shown here, I’m wearing the hat with my black and white wool Viking-inspired coat trimmed with blue silk, my dark green wool serk (dress) and the Midgaard-inspired steel-blue/grey wool hood.