Ever since I saw these socks in the Victoria & Albert Museum I’ve wanted to try nålebinding. Thanks to some excellent tutorials on youtube and Richard Rutt’s The History of Knitting, I’ve started to have a go. Even though it can produce a fabric structurally identical to knitting, nålebinding is sewn with a threaded needle. I doesn’t unravel like knitting because the yarn is pulled through each stitch. I describe it as ‘knitting backwards’. The easiest way to explain how it’s done is through photos, so here’s the first stage: making the initial ‘knot’ and row of loops.
For a while I’ve been wanting to try out the technique of double-sided knitting, after seeing a scarf that my very multi-talented aunty made. Finally I’ve had a go myself.
Although knitted ‘straight’ on two needles, it produces a seamless double-sided fabric, great for two-colour projects. Both sides are knitted in one row, with every knit stitch (for one side) followed by a purl stitch (for the other). If using two colours, they can be swapped from one side to the other to create the pattern, without any stranding on the reverse (because there is no reverse! ;). This allows you, for example, to knit a scarf with green polka dots on an orange background on one side, and orange polka dots on a green background on the other.
I discovered a couple of very useful websites and tutorials, created by people who are far better at explaining these things than me.
I found Ann Kingston‘s instruction’s really helpful, which can be downloaded as a PDF file here. I took her advice and adapted the handy technique of Italian cast on demonstrated by Helen Griffin in this youtube video.
— UPDATE! Thursday 13th March —
Click here for my free double-sided knitting pattern for a simple phone case