Sarah le Payller – Learning Oslo Stitch

Name: Sarah le Payller

Materials used: 100% wool yarn from my stash, purchased bone naalbinding needle

These are my first attempts at learning the Oslo naalbinding stitch. Naalbinding is one of those arts that I have attempted several times, but this time it clicked! I took a class with Abu-Darzin Ibrahim al-Rashid at Nova Schola, held in Hartshorn-dale on March 16th, 2024. My first attempt was very messy, with big loops and no attempt at tension. After the class, the instructor was available at the Artisan’s Row, and I asked him to show me the stitch again, starting a new piece. This time my tension got too tight, and the loop began narrowing as I worked on it.

The third attempt was the hardest to start, because I was working entirely off my notes, after the event. I had to restart several times before I got everything lined up properly, especially as I tried to join the chain into itself to start working in the round, adding stitches on top of my previous rows to create the fabric. However, once I got going, I was able to maintain a much more even tension throughout the entire piece. At times I had trouble felting the next piece of yarn to my tail end, but that process improved once I started adding a few drops of water to the join, which resulted in a much stronger felted connection. As I got to the end, I skipped stitches to reduce the size and create a solid base. This third attempt will get a drawstring added to it, so it can be used as a simple pouch.

The fourth piece is still incomplete, as I started it recently. I was able to start it without much difficulty, and continue to have good, even tension. This will probably get finished as another simple pouch. 

Now that I’m reliably able to work the Oslo stitch, I would like to continue to experiment with increasing, reducing, and also try to create a flat fabric rather than working in the round. The Oslo stitch is not the only naalbinding stitch, and I would like to learn some of the other stitches as well.

Historically, naalbinding was commonly used to make socks and mittens. It was common in both Egypt and Viking Scandinavia. It is older than knitting or crochet, though it makes a similar stretchy fabric out of yarn.

Link to all the photos:
Photos were taken by Naomi bat Avraham.

One thought on “Sarah le Payller – Learning Oslo Stitch

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  1. I’m so happy to see that you’ve got the hang of this! You’re making great progress. Keep up the good work! And feel free to reach out with any questions.

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