In an earlier post, I showed off the work-in-progress photo of a bag I was making using the nålbinding technique, that I displayed at an indoor Artisan’s “village”.
Now I’m finally done the bag (I had to order more wool!) I’m ready to show it off!
After doing hats and mittens, I wanted something else with this technique, and thought that I might really get some use out of a bag, so it would make sense. Plus, it’s a good use of the circular technique.
Like some of my other projects, I used the Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Brown Heather for this bag.
Once the base of the bag was complete, I used the same needle to sew the bottom closed, and then began making a long tube with naalbinding as well. When it was done, I filled the tube with grosgrain ribbon, so that it would work as a strap without stretching out over time. I used buttonhole twist thread to sew the grosgrain ribbon to the body of the bag, and used more of the wool yarn to attach the long tube to the bag body.
At that point I blocked the bag, to smooth out the shape.
I sewed a lining from linen, adding a small zippered pouch inside as well – for those small items that need to stay super secure like keys, credit card, or hotel room key. Obviously this is not even sort of period-correct, but it’s pretty vital for me! I included a grosgrain ribbon at the top folded-over edge of the lining to add extra support to this edge, and then sewed it with a stab stitch to the naalbound bag edge using pearl cotton. (since it would be visible. I might consider going in later and doing some fancy stitches here too, but it’s functional without it.
This project took… years. I only really picked it up here and there for long bus rides, the occasional SCA event, etc… I first showed this off in 2015, and only finished the body and strap at the end of 2018… (and only finished off the lining recently) Part of it has to do with how long it takes to do the naalbinding (though others are much faster at it than I am), but a lot of it has to do with just picking up this project for an hour or less every now and then. Either way – I’m very glad I’m done!
Historical Sew Monthly
The Challenge: April: Upping your game: make something that really stretches you and that works on the bits that you tend to rush through or skimp on.
I’d say this is a stretch because it was such a long time coming – and such a large project for me so far. Normally I like projects that are a LOT more gratifying a lot sooner!
Material: Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Brown Heather (85% Wool and 15% Mohair), 100% linen lining
Year: Naalbinding is a pre-knitting technique used from the ancient world, Viking Age, etc. This item has no specific date.
Notions: yarn, thread, zipper (totally not HA), grosgrain ribbon (not HA for Viking Age!)
How historically accurate is it? The production technique is totally HA for Viking Age (Oslo stitch), using naalbinding for a bag is totally speculative (very few naalbound items have survived from that time) and the lining and strap support is totally NOT HA, but a practicality.
Hours to complete: years. I have no idea.
First worn: just for photos, April 2019
Total cost: I think the yarn was in around 6$/skein on sale and I THINK there are 3 skeins in there… but I really don’t know because it was over such a long period of time. The linen was a scrap left over from another project, which itself was a gift, but if I were to purchase it, it would be about $18/meter, and I used about half a meter or less. Add another few bucks for notions.
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