One of my favorite Viking textile crafts is nålebinding (Danish: literally “binding with a needle” or “needle-binding”, also naalbinding, nålbinding, nålbindning or naalebinding).
This is a fabric creation technique predating both knitting and crochet. It’s also known in English as “knotless netting,” “knotless knitting,” or “single needle knitting.”
Vikings and Anglo-Saxons used nålebinding to make hats, socks, gloves and mittens. People would use different stitches to create varied textile patterns and thickness. Whilst over 30 different nalbinding stitches exist today, the evidence from grave sites suggest the Vikings only used three stitch types.
Hanna Van Aelst is highly skilled at basketry. She is a talented artist and basket-maker. Her YouTube channel is enthralling to me, as a craftsteader. Hanna grows her own willow at her country property in Tipperary, Ireland. She lives with her family, “off-grid in the forest on a mountain” and her website can be found here.
Hanna’s videos include information about how to grow willow, harvest it, grade it, and prepare it for basketry, as well as some basic basketry tutorials. Sometimes she makes videos about her many other interests, or philosophical musings. I love every one of her videos and always look forward to new ones.
Below is a selection of two of Hanna’s videos that fellow craftsteaders will enjoy.
Basketmaking for beginners: the base
Catalan tray made from foraged materials (tension tray, easy weaving project).
Grandpa Amu’s YouTube channel has 1.42 million subscribers at the time I’m writing this post. No wonder it’s so popular, because Grandpa Amu is a genius at making things, and what’s more, he makes them with old-fashioned hand tools. His skill and patience are extraordinary. He’s a master carpenter. Most of his videos are about handicrafts and delicious food. His channel is informative and inspiring, and it’s relaxing to watch him work.
Cheryl Heng reported in the South China Morning Post on 29 Sep, 2020: “Grandpa’s an internet star: Chinese carpenter’s traditional woodworking skills wow millions online, but he says ‘I’m just an ordinary farmer’. “Wang Dewen, known on the internet as Grandpa Amu, creates works of art without glue, screws or nails – all filmed by his son who uploads the process online “Wang’s viral fame has brought improvements to his home village, and the local government has built a ‘Grandpa Amu’ attraction to bring in tourists. “His woodworking videos – showing him building everything from furniture to bridges and lanterns using traditional methods – have become on online sensation, earning him more than 2.8 million fans on the Chinese short video app Xigua Video. His fame has translated internationally too, garnering over 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube.”
Here are some examples of his videos. First, “Grandpa Amu uses bamboo roots to make tea cans, small bamboo baskets, pen holders and bamboo horns”.
And here’s an example of Grandpa Amu’s woodworking skills: “The principle of Luban lock to create tables and stools, detachable assembly, easy to carry.”
We usually get our stock from suppliers who have big quantities on hand, but sometimes they run out. This has happened a few times, now, to the consternation of some customers who had put off buying something they liked, only to discover it had suddenly disappeared from this website!
Wherever possible, if a stocked item becomes “no longer available” we do our best to source a similar item, to fill the gap. But we can’t guarantee it! (Just letting you know, to avoid disappointment.)
Liziqi’s YouTube channel is a joy to watch. It depicts a lifestyle of sustainability and self-sufficiency, wrapped in a stunningly picturesque environment. Liziqi makes things from scratch, and I mean, really from scratch. You can watch her plant some seeds, see the plants grow and the fruits (or seeds or leaves or roots) ripen, watch her harvest them and carry them home through heavenly landscapes in beautiful handwoven bamboo baskets, then see her wash, chop and cook them into a gourmet meal, or use them in other ways.
Liziqi makes her own furniture, wades in vast ponds to harvest giant lotuses, grinds her own grain, brews her own beverages and more. And barely a word is spoken, which is very relaxing. You’ll enjoy the sounds of nature – birds, falling water etc.
Here’s a sample from the numerous videos on her channel. It’s called “The Life of Cotton”. Scroll down and you’ll find the bamboo furniture one, too. Make yourself a cup of your favorite brew, sit back, put your feet up, click “play” and enjoy!
“I am Eugenio Monesma, producer and director of ethnographic documentaries. After more than 40 years of producing documentary television series on lost trades, our festivals, traditions, legends, traditional gastronomy, customs and rituals, I have come to constitute one of the most important archives in Spain with more than three thousand ethnographic documentaries.
“Currently, social networks allow access to all kinds of information. That is why I have made the decision to gradually upload to my YouTube channel “Eugenio Monesma – Documentaries” all the documentaries made since the beginning of the nineties, so that they can be enjoyed by all those interested. for our traditions and customs.
“You can follow me on my Facebook page (@EugenioMonesma), TikTok (@eugenio_documentales) and Instagram (@EugenioMonesma) to find out about the next premieres of the channel, news and more information about the documentaries.”
Here’s a sample of one of his interesting videos. It’s about making pitchforks.
Craftsteading is about self-sufficiency, making things with your hands, lost trades and bush-craft. It’s about prepping for hard times or relaxing with mindful handcrafts.
You can learn how to make useful and beautiful things to share with your friends and family, using home-grown plants from your garden, or raw materials foraged from the wild. And if you’re not into gardening or foraging – that’s fine! You’re in the perfect place to shop for supplies, right here.
The Craftsteading Supplies and Goods Store
We have always loved growing, gathering or buying plants and using them to make things. Until recently, we’ve been sharing our passion via our podcast and Instagram. Craftsteaders sometimes ask how they can get hold of raw craftsteading materials or even finished items, so that prompted us to to set up an online store.
Check back now and then to see what’s new. We’re adding more beautiful, useful items all the time. Or find us on Instagram.