torstai 23. syyskuuta 2010
+70 years of nalbinding!
In early September I visited three elderly, or should I say experienced nalbinders, quite near here, in South Carelia, near the eastern border. All those three had learnt nalbinding either from their mother or grandmother in the 1930's, that is, they have been nalbinding for over 70 years.
A few videolinks are included in the text beneath.
Clicking the picture will open a link to youtube.
Oh all the interesting things I saw :) !
I visited also a fourth nalbinder. She was younger than the others, and had learnt to nalbind at school in 70's, and remembered having done two other pairs of mittens after that. A fun coincidense was that we both had had the same handicraft teacher. She had entirely forgotten the nalbinding technique she used, but she had kept the mittens made first. From the dense structure I would suspect they were done with thumb. Stitch was Finnish Stitch 2+2 F1, UUOO/UUOOO F1. The top was rather square-shaped, thumb rounded, and at the cuff there were a couple of crocheted rows with another colour.
Then the more experienced ones... :)
Mrs #1 had learnt in 1930's the Finnish Stich version 1+3 F1 (video) (so called Broden Stitch), and she had never known any other stitches. Though, it has been 20 years since her last pair of mittens, but she has shown other people how to nalbind. She also showed unfinished mittens she had been given by a friend, and the original maker of which had already passed away. These other mittens were Finnish Stitch version 2+3 F2, UUOOO/UUUOOO F2, but Mrs #1 did not know how they were made. She made her mittens "the shape of the hand", ie the first row was shortish, and at the sides she increased enough to make the mitten top rounded. Thumb was rounded, and started at the "cuff edge" of the thumb hole. The other mittens from her friend, on the other hand, were very square-shaped, probably no increases at all, and the thumbs had not been done.
The Mrs #2, too, had learnt to nalbind in 1930's. While still at her parents' home, she had learnt the Finnish Stitch version 2+2 F2, UUOOUUOOO F2 (video), and later on Russian Stitch 2+2+2 F2, UUOOUU/OOUUOOO F2, and she knew also other stitches. Mrs #2 showed her ways of working and several details, also finished items she had nalbound. Her way of manipulating the loops in both Finnish and Russian Stitches were different from what I had seen or read before.
Oh I wish one day to read through all the written replies to the 1957 nalbinding inquiry by Finnish National Museum! Who knows what kind of hidden gems there might be. Though, written-only instructions may be totally misleading or may be interpreted in many ways.
Mrs #2 showed me along with different techniques and details also "haahlaaminen" (video), which is a traditional way to handle a long piece of yarn. I had heard about haahlaaminen, and read instructions, but never tried it before. It's easy and handy :) .
The Mrs #3, too, had learnt nalbinding in 1930's. She showed me her way of doing Finnish Stitch 2+3 F2 (video), UUOOO/UUUOOO F2, with thumb loops, and her way of Russian Stitch 2+2+2 F2 (video), UUOOUU/OOUUOOO F2, with both thumb and forefinger involved. Her way of manipulating the loops in the Russian Stitch was, too, - surprise surprise ;) - a different one than I have seen or heard before. Mittens made by Mrs #3 have very square-shaped top because she makes the first row longish, and does not increase stitches until few ones near the thumb. Also the thumb she makes very square-shaped, and she, unlike the other two mrs's, starts the thumb at the edge nearer to the fingers.
So many fascinating things, and things that can be done in different ways, and boy have I been excited after all these visits :) ! Lots of details that are not in any "books and covers"...